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Austin's activities: Rho Nu Delta, Student Life Programming Board, varsity swimming

Austin Zarbuck

"When I first met Austin, he was this quiet sophomore, sitting in the back row of my Principles of Accounting class. He didn’t say much, but when I graded his first test, I knew this was a student I wanted as a major. He displayed a natural talent and ability that is uncommon. For the last class we had together, I used his work as the solution manual because it was better than the author’s version. Austin continued to grow and flourish during his time at Augustana, and I look forward to watching him as he flourishes as a professional."

— Pamela Drueger, professor, accounting

Austin Zarbuck

Major: Accounting and business administration (marketing)

Internships: Two summer internships at Group O in Milan, Ill., and I just completed a winter internship at Grant Thornton in Chicago (audit practice).

Post-grad plans: Attend The Ohio State University on a university fellowship to earn my master's of accounting. After that I will sit for the CPA, and I plan to continue in public accounting.

Why did you choose to attend Augustana?
There were lots of factors that led to my decision to attend Augustana, but the bottom line was that I felt that I would get personal, focused attention on my academics and anything else I wanted to pursue.

Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?
Absolutely not. When I came to college, I thought I knew two things — that I did not want to be an accountant and that I wanted to be done with school in four years. Now I’m starting a career in accounting with plans to continue schooling. Both are things that I’m passionate and excited about.

Who helped you get to where you are now?
Augustana is such a strong community, and there are so many people who have encouraged my growth. My professors and advisors who pushed me academically and helped me succeed in landing internships and graduate school offers. My swim coach who challenged me to ignore my limits and reach greater heights. And of course all my friends that I’ve met at Augustana, who have been there to support me and make college such an enjoyable time. 

A peak experience?
My entire senior year has been a peak experience. All the work I’ve done these past three years has been coming to fruition through academic success, leadership opportunities and meaningful friendships.

What did you learn about yourself in these past four years that surprised you?
How much I can achieve when I am passionate and relentless in what I set my mind to.

How did you use your Augie Choice?
I used Augie Choice to help pay for my living expenses in Chicago during my internship at Grant Thornton. 

What will you miss the most?
My Rho Nu Delta brothers and my friends at the Office of Student Life. These people gave my college experience meaning outside of the classroom and have left a lasting impression on me. I really treasure all the people I’ve gotten to know through these two organizations. 

Advice for the Class of 2018?
Realize what it is costing you to attend and use that as motivation for going to class, joining clubs, checking out campus activities or even meeting new people. College should not be a place where you spend a bunch of money to get a piece of paper, but rather an opportunity to invest yourself in a way that pays off for the rest of your life.