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Michelle Alano
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Michelle Alano

Graduation year: 2018

Majors: Accounting, business administration-finance, Spanish for professional use

Activities: Augustana Symphonic Band, Honor Council, Ascension Ringers, Phi Rho sorority, accounting and finance tutor

Internships: Museum operations intern at El Museo del Baile Flamenco (Flamenco Dance Museum) in Seville, Spain; tax intern at RSM in Davenport, Iowa; audit intern at Deloitte in Chicago

Post-grad plans: Auditor at Deloitte in Chicago

Why Augustana?

My sister, Megan, attended Augustana, and I saw what an incredible, well-rounded experience she had. I also wanted to continue with music, and Augustana allowed me to be in the top ensemble without majoring in music.

Are you where you thought you’d be when you first came to campus?

Not at all. I originally started out as a communication sciences and disorders major. The liberal arts allowed me to explore different disciplines and ultimately find the best fit for me. On a more personal level, I was extremely shy and reserved when I first came to college. Throughout my time at Augustana, I have grown to become more confident and well-spoken.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

Dr. John Delaney served as my advisor for the past four years. I remember going into his office as a first-year when I was deciding on what I should major in, and that conversation is the main reason why I pursued accounting. He helped me plan out my schedule right away so that I would be able to triple major, study abroad and still be involved in extracurriculars. He encouraged me to seek internship opportunities, and helped me land my internship at Deloitte.

Dr. Gregory Tapis taught me the importance of professionalism. Because of his guidance, I feel that I am fully prepared to enter the real world as an accounting professional. Dr. Tapis showed me that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

Dr. Chris Marmé and Mrs. Mamata Marmé pushed me to be the best I could be both inside and outside the classroom. They were very supportive in all of my endeavors.

Dr. James Lambrecht motivated me to be a better musician and a better person. He made me feel welcome at Augustana, even before I stepped foot on campus.

Lastly, I would like to thank my family. To my parents for their continuous support and encouragement, and to my sister, Megan, for being the best role model I could ever ask for.

Peak experience?

My study abroad experience in Seville, Spain. It was my first time out of the country, and my first time on an airplane. I lived with a host family, and had an internship at El Museo del Baile Flamenco (Flamenco Dance Museum), where I worked with other interns from all over the world. It was so interesting and special that we were able to communicate through our second language, not our first.

Touring with various ensembles. I have been on seven musical tours—four with the Augustana Symphonic Band, two with the Ascension Ringers and one with the Augustana Symphony Orchestra. I performed around the United States and in Spain with the Augustana Symphonic Band. With the Ascension Ringers, I performed in North Carolina, Minnesota and Wisconsin. I performed in Chicago with the Augustana Symphony Orchestra, which was the orchestra’s first tour in Augustana’s history. These tours gave me the opportunity to share music with audiences around the world alongside my best friends.

My internship and full-time offer from Deloitte. I enjoyed every minute of my internship this past summer, and I can’t wait to start my career in the fall.

What surprised you?

My ability to balance different aspects of life. Triple majoring, holding leadership positions, completing three internships, performing and touring with various ensembles, studying abroad and maintaining a social life is not easy. However, these experiences have made me an extremely well-rounded individual and taught me how to make the most of my time. Time management is a critical skill in college and beyond. I have also learned that hard work does not go unnoticed. If you put 100% into everything you do, no matter how big or small, you will be successful.

How did you use Augie Choice?

I used Augie Choice for the Augustana Symphonic Band’s tour to Spain.

What will you miss the most?

The people. Everyone on this campus is so friendly and welcoming. The professors really care about each and every student as an individual and want them to succeed. I will miss not seeing them on a regular basis. I will also miss not seeing my friends every day because I have met my very best friends at Augustana.

Advice for the Class of 2022?

Set goals, work hard and don’t forget to have fun along the way!

I met Michelle as a student in my statistics class. She is an excellent student who shows all the signs of being a lifelong learner. She is curious, open to ideas, and is one of the best listeners I have ever met. Discussions with Michelle are always surprising when you realize how observant she is. She is caring and patient with younger students even when her own schedule is very busy. She does not push herself to be the center of attention, but she has a strong enough presence to draw others to her.”

– Mamata Marmé, academic advising director and instructor, business administration