Guest blog by:
Gary P. Nowak
Walsh College Alumnus
How was I able to work a year in both Scotland & Singapore, negotiate multi-million dollar deals in New York City and London, and travel to over 30 countries representing many companies? Walsh College is the educational foundation that has provided me with the unique ability to leverage my education and travel the world doing what I love to do. Anyone who thinks Walsh College won’t help you outside the borders of the great state of Michigan is completely wrong. I’m living proof.
I grew up in Warren, Michigan, and attended Mott High School. Like so many of my peers, my college experience began at Macomb Community College with the goal to attend Walsh College. Walsh had a tremendous reputation within Michigan and I always knew Walsh was the place for me. My experience at Walsh was nothing short of life changing, I truly enjoyed the small classes, the adjunct professors and attending classes with people in all stages of their lives and careers. Walsh allowed me to work and attend school both full time while learning tangible things from professors and students. I learned some important and universal lessons, among them: maintaining a strong positive attitude: over-preparing for exams; and constantly recognizing what I enjoy doing.
Walsh College provided a way of learning that is still with me today. The professors and my fellow students all had real world knowledge to bring to the entire College experience. Time and again, professors taught the theories…..and then provided us with tools for applying theory to reality. I remember talking about the stock market crash of 1987, the political landscape of the day, and how businesses were truly operating. This real world experience bridged the textbook lesson to the real world lessons of the time. Today, I truly enjoy the global landscape that we live in and recognize how effects from 12,000 miles away can affect our daily lives. Shortly after graduation, I set my sights on seeing what else was out there. I went west. As my professional career continued its growth, I realized the skills I learned at Walsh were just as valuable as any I would have received from a Big Ten University. The comfort I had to engage professors after class, the study groups that we set up to learn prior to major exams, and the high standards required to prepare for discussions are all reasons why I’m so proud of my Walsh education. The biggest lesson I learned from my college experience didn’t come out of a textbook, but from the people that made huge impressions on me along the way. One of my professors - Dr. Hoffman - had a tough reputation. Rather than avoid him at all costs, however, I figured I’d try him out for one class, anyway. Turns out I loved his style and took almost every class he taught afterwards! The good Doctor made us read over 50 articles with his exam requiring us to provide summaries of 3 to 5 articles. His relentless emphasis on the importance of current business reading materials is the reason I can still vividly remember a WSJ article called “Not Yours to Give”, 25 years later!
I moved to Los Angeles in the 1991. I became a CPA to join Arthur Andersen and launch my career in the consulting practice. Establishing Shared Service Center organizations in the US, Europe and Asia was the opportunity of a lifetime and now I’m currently up for consideration to spend 2 to 3 years in China helping to grow the Shared Service Outsourcing Advisory practice in the Far East for KPMG. My role in China will be to develop business, train resources and manage projects for multinational companies based in Shanghai. This is a tremendous role with significant upside.
I’m traveling around the world, doing what I love and making a great living. And many of the tools which make this living possible were developed during my time at Walsh. Whatever your aspirations in life or your career, Walsh College can provide you with the foundation you need to succeed. The rest will be up to you.
Gary Nowak graduated from Walsh College in 1988 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance. Gary is currently the Senior Manager - Advisory at KPMG. LinkedIn Profile
Check out Gary's Blog post for KPMG, Look Out World Here Comes China.
If you have stories and memories to share or want to make your mark on Walsh College, please contact Duc Abrahamson at (248) 823-1298 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!