Accountancy student relishes promising career spurred by WMU’s opportunities

Daniel NonatoAs a young child growing up in Michoacan, Mexico, accountancy student Daniel Nonato knew he would pursue a career in business. “I used to resell my toys to other kids at my school and save up to buy the things I wanted,” he says. “The first thing I bought from the money I saved up was an inexpensive phone that cost me 800 Mexican pesos.”

Making that business career a reality began to materialize when Daniel relocated to Kalamazoo in 2013. Daniel had learned about the Kalamazoo Promise Scholarship—an opportunity to realize that childhood dream of pursuing a career in business.

And a visit to Western Michigan University solidified his decision to attend.

“Since I was in middle school I have heard about the great support and aid WMU offers for students. When pursuing higher education, I wanted to be in a place where I felt safe with a variety of opportunities for career development,” he says. “For me, that place is WMU.”

During that college visit, Daniel met a business student who inspired him. He also heard about the many career development programs available to him. The Haworth College of Business Student Professional Development Series (SPuRS) was an important part of his decision.

“I learned SPuRS would allow me to network with business professionals and recruiters,” says Daniel. “I also wanted to improve my interview and communications skills, which I was able to do by attending SPuRS events.”

When Daniel began researching careers, he quickly landed on accounting. What excites him about the field is that it challenges accountants to be lifelong learners. As rules change and new ones are introduced, Daniel will have to stay current on information to provide the best service to clients. But Daniel welcomes these challenges and the unique opportunities the field offers: flexibility of remote work, opportunities for advancement, the ability to start a business, and different job opportunities.

“Having the ability to help people in my community through my career excites me as well.”

So far, Daniel has completed two internships—as an accounting intern with the Kalamazoo Public Schools and as a tax intern with BDO USA. At BDO, he worked with tax professionals preparing returns for clients and learning many of the technical aspects of the field. He also developed professionally.

“This was a learning experience that allowed me to interact with a caring, talented, and passionate group of people,” says Daniel. “I gained a lot of knowledge and confidence and created many long-standing relationships. Overall, the internship helped me grow as a professional and as a person.”

Next up, a second, semester-long internship with BDO beginning in January 2023.

“In the short term I will continue to apply all the knowledge I have acquired during my coming spring 2023 internship with BDO,” says Daniel of his career plans.

So how does Daniel see his future developing? “While finishing my last undergraduate courses, I will dual-enroll in the graduate program to pursue a Master of Science in Accountancy,” he says. “I hope to apply accounting to my future career by preparing to sit for the CPA exam to become a public accountant and work for a CPA firm and to keep growing and learning as a professional. Down the road, I want to use my accounting skills to help people in my community here in Kalamazoo.”

And, that promise is something we can count on.