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Rachel Pariso
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Rachel Pariso

Graduation year: 2023

High school: Conant High School

Hometown: Schaumburg, Ill.

Majors: Accounting, business administration-finance, business administration-management

Minor: Studio art

Activities: Sigma Pi Delta sorority, Mortar Board

Internship: Auditing internship at RSM (summer 2022)

Post-grad plans: I have accepted an auditing job with RSM.

Why Augustana?

I fell in love with Augustana immediately. I knew Augustana would give me opportunities for leadership and growth that big schools couldn't match. I felt so welcomed by the small school environment, and I could tell the professors genuinely cared about their students.

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

Definitely not. I had no idea what I even wanted to major in when I first got here. I wasn't confident in myself or my academics, and I didn't think I would be involved on campus. I have learned so much about myself and my strengths throughout my time here. I have been given so many opportunities to develop socially and academically, which have greatly impacted my self-confidence.

As a senior, I know now that I am walking out of Augustana as the version of myself that I always wanted to be.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

There have been so many people who have helped me get to where I am now. I have incredible advisors who encouraged me to major in accounting and finance and so many inspirational professors who have fostered my learning.

I have made lifelong friendships here with students who always have my back and have helped me become who I am today. I am very appreciative of the lovely members of Sigma Pi Delta, who have given me a family away from home and put a smile on my face every day.

Lastly, I appreciate my family back home who have always been there for me. They have constantly supported me in my academic career, and I attribute a lot of my success to them.

Peak experience?

My peak experience was being voted onto the executive board of my sorority as their treasurer. I have learned so much in this position, and I have gained valuable leadership experience. I am very thankful for this opportunity, and I know that it has helped me become a more well-rounded person.

What surprised you?

I was surprised by how much I changed within the four years. The liberal arts program at Augustana allowed me to discover passions in fields that I never would have known I would enjoy. Through this, I have definitely developed soft skills that will help me in my future career.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used Augie Choice to fund my accounting internship at RSM in the summer of 2022.

What will you miss the most?

There are so many things that I will miss from Augie that it is too hard to pick just one. I will miss walking the beautiful campus and studying in the library with my friends. I will also miss chatting with classmates in the Brew and hanging out in the ceramics studio with my friends. Lastly, I will miss my favorite professors who always brighten my day.

Advice for the Class of 2027?

College goes by so quickly so go to every event that interests you. It's also totally okay to not know what you want to do in life yet. You will figure out what path is best for you while you're here!

"Rachel is one of the most authentic, self-aware students I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. She is deeply committed and resilient and has worked harder than most for the opportunity to achieve her academic goals. Rachel has thrived in the areas of accounting and finance, no doubt due to her strong work ethic and pragmatism. What is most remarkable about Rachel, though, is her gratitude for the people and experiences that have led her to this point. Rachel stands out among her peers for all the right reasons!"

– Dr. Mindy Mahon, assistant professor, business administration