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Honors Graduate Profile: Mckayla Garski Starts Her Career at Wipfli

| Deyne Yarrington

Honors graduate Mckayla Garski is preparing to make the leap from university life to the professional world, and she’s doing so with a clear plan in mind. 

As an accounting major with an information systems and business finance double minor, Garski is no stranger to keeping herself engaged and busy.

A major step in her college journey was her opportunity to spend an entire semester as an intern at accounting and business consulting firm Wipfli, where she is preparing to return as a Staff Accountant after graduation. At the same time, she is studying for her CPA exams.

While looking forward to the future, Garski is also able to look back on her time in the Honors Program with fondness. She feels she was able to meet other high-achieving students like herself in her various honors courses.

A particular aspect of honors that she particularly appreciated was the opportunity to take honors colloquia that deviated sharply from her major, such as Demanding to be Seen: Representation in Pop Culture—with Professor Jamie Browning, students in this course explore the depiction of people of marginalized identities within of film, television, music, and other forms of media. This course and other honors colloquia were of particular note for her due to their largely discussion-based approach that was different from the lecture-based outlook that she was used to in her other classes.

On top of her academic achievements, Garski has also been greatly involved in extracurricular activities during her time at UWEC. She served as a donor recruiter with UWEC’s Colleges Against Cancer organization for their “Hope in Motion” fundraising event, raising money for the Marshfield Cancer Clinic.

Garski is moving into a new phase in her life while taking with her knowledge and experience from honors. In her seniors honors seminar, she explains, she was able to learn more about the dangers of burnout in professional careers and the importance of caring for one’s mental health—invaluable information when stepping into her future profession.

Speaking on what she would personally miss most about UWEC and the Honors Program, Garski continued to emphasize the people and the welcoming atmosphere. She has fond memories of working on homework in the honors lounge and having meaningful heart-to-heart chats with honors staff, such as Pam Golden, former Honors Program Associate.

One major lesson Garski has learned from her time here at UW-Eau Claire and in the Honors Program is to “say yes to as many things as you can.” Her advice for students looking to get the most out of their college experience is to take advantage of all the “rare opportunities” that college has to offer—living with friends, attending various events free of charge, and taking courses outside your main field of study. On top of this, she also recommends searching for further opportunities within one’s major to gain valuable experience, like an internship.

As graduation draws near, Garski’s ability to make the transition to life outside of UWEC can, in part, be attributed to the unique opportunities and experiences she took advantage of as a student, along with the drive and high-achievement mindset characteristic of an honors graduate like herself.