Focus on High-Demand Careers: Checks & Balances

Focus on High-Demand Careers: Checks & Balances

Spring 2018

| By: Britten, Casey

A retired army veteran balances a busy life while pursuing a double major in the financial sector. 

IN PHOTO: Michael Gawel with Accounting Instructor Tracy Kizewski

Completing a double major in Accounting and Banking & Financial Services at Fox Valley Technical College is the latest chapter in the life of 32-year-old Michael Gawel. “I served as a combat engineer in the Army and planned on a lifelong military career,” he states. “However, when I was injured and became medically retired, I had to change course.”

Although his military service had ended, the Wisconsin Dells native wanted to continue serving others. “I have an aptitude for accounting, so I enrolled to pursue a double major,” Gawel says. “I want to be a certified financial planner who can help others, especially veterans, successfully manage their money.”

Gawel is interning at Fox Valley Tech’s Veterans Resource Center in a brand-new position. “My job is to help future students find ways to finance their education,” he says. “I’m working in the Financial Services department as well, providing similar assistance.”

A busy man, Gawel also serves as president of the FVTC Student Veterans Club and Student Government Association, in addition to being elected Student Government president for the Wisconsin Technical College System. On top of everything else, he is working toward a bachelor’s degree in Accounting at Lakeland University.

Gawel believes there will always be a great demand for professionals with banking and accounting skills. “As a career number-cruncher, people rely on us to teach them how to understand taxes, financial planning, investments and more,” he adds. 

Quick Fact:

45 full-time career opportunities for accountants and financial professionals listed per month in the New North region

2017 FVTC Graduate Employment Research Report