Applauding Alumni: James Knusalla

Applauding Alumni:
James Knusalla
Bachelor of Business Administration – Finance, 2008

Financial Applications Analyst
Greater Orlando Aviation Authority

When James Knusalla landed in Michigan to usher in the new century as a Y2K technician for Compuware clients, the auto industry was doing well. By the time he earned a BBA at Walsh in 2008, the bottom had fallen out and he was about to lose his job at Ford.

No worries, though. His Walsh degree in finance with a minor in accounting, combined with his IT background, made Knusalla very marketable. Knusalla sought work in Florida and was able to stay in the computer software industry. Now based at the Orlando International Airport, he specializes in financial applications.

Knusalla had tried a class or two at other area schools, but ultimately found that Walsh would be the best place to add business and finance to his associate’s degree. He worked out a plan to fulfill prerequisites at Oakland Community College and through his diligence, qualified for a Community College Excellence Award. As a Walsh alumnus today, Knusalla earmarks his annual giving for scholarship funds.

Distance hasn’t kept Knusalla from feeling connected to the school that gave his career a boost in a down economy. He and other Florida alumni look forward to the annual visit from Vice President and Chief Development Officer Audrey Olmstead at a spring training Tiger game in Lakeland. It is an opportunity to stay in touch with his alma mater while connecting and networking with other Walsh alums in his new hometown.

During his time at Walsh, construction of the Barry Center was completed on the Troy campus. Knusalla saw the curriculum expand into other business fields, such as management and information assurance, yet retain its rigor.

“Walsh worked wonders for me,” he said. “There’s no better place if you’re working and want to go back to school for a business degree.”

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