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John Hayes
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

John Hayes

Graduation year: 2021

High school: Cherry Creek High School

Hometown: Denver, Colo.

Majors: Accounting, business administration (finance)

Minor: Data analytics

Activities: Varsity baseball (Jack Swartz Award winner, All-CCIW, All-Central Region, Academic All-Conference)

Internships: Internal audit intern at John Deere Seeding Group in Moline, Ill.; risk consulting intern at RSM in Chicago

Post-grad plans: Work as a risk consulting associate at RSM in Chicago and pursue my CPA license

Why Augustana?

I chose Augustana because of its proud tradition of academic and athletic success. I wanted to be able to continue my baseball career, without sacrificing my education, and Augustana has allowed me to excel in both areas. The baseball team in particular has had many recent Academic All-Americans that inspired me to come here.

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

I did not know what to expect when I came to campus, but looking back, I am proud of how far I've come since freshman year. It's important to have an open mind and pursue anything that interests you because that's where you grow the most.

Who helped you get to where you are now?    

I'd like to thank all of my professors who shaped me as a person and helped me grow. Professors John Delaney and Olivia Melton laid the path for all my opportunities with internships and planning for the CPA. I wouldn't be here without them.

I wouldn't be here without Coach Wallace, Coach Hauer and all of the baseball coaches. They've supported me every step of the way and helped me achieve my goals as part of a large team. I have become a much more disciplined person because of them.

Peak experience?    

During my sophomore spring, I had a short internship at John Deere where I got to apply myself to real-world problems. I learned a lot quickly and interacted with many interesting people.

I also had my best personal baseball season at the same time, where I earned All-CCIW and All-Central Region honors. This is a great example of Augustana providing the opportunity for me to pursue both my athletic and educational goals.

What surprised you?    

I was surprised at the support network Augie provides both on and off campus. My professors and coaches were amazing, and I was able to connect with many people off campus, including alumni, who helped me reach my goals.

How did you use your Augie Choice?    

I used my Augie Choice to cover living expenses while working at my accounting internship at RSM.

What will you miss the most?   

I will miss all of the friends I've made on campus and, most of all, my teammates. The memories I've made will stick with me for the rest of my life.

Advice for the Class of 2025?

Four years goes by in a flash. It's important to step back every once in a while, appreciate how far you've come and enjoy all of it. All of your hard work will pay off.

"John has been a wonderful student and athlete at Augustana. He engaged in classes and was always willing to help the Accounting Department. He served as one of our first senior accounting mentors to incoming accounting majors, and we are proud to have him represent our department. John won the Jack Swartz Award for the spring 2020 season and received Academic All-Conference recognition three years in a row. We know he will do wonderfully in his position with RSM!"

– Olivia Melton, assistant professor, accounting