Accounting student grows with the WMU Haworth community

Contact: Janine Adamski

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University student Jake Passinault is making everyday count! The Grand Rapids, Michigan, senior is taking his education in stride as he prepares to enter the professional world. With support from the Haworth College of Business faculty, Passinault is excelling as he masters the use of spreadsheets and prepares for his future endeavors. 

Having started out as a finance major at WMU Haworth, Passinault has since found his true calling in accountancy, which opened a realm of professional possibilities.

“What excites me most about the accounting field are the options it provides. Through my experience at WMU Haworth, I have found that there are a multitude of career pathways available that all provide unique skills and challenges in accounting. Discovering what route might be best for me has been made easier by my professors and advisors at WMU Haworth. I’m looking forward to seeing where I end up professionally after I graduate.” Headshot of Jake Passinault wearing a suit with a plaid tie

WMU Haworth has provided Passinault with all the resources he has needed to develop academically, professionally and personally. “My professors challenge me to think critically about the course content, while career fairs and various other college-sponsored events enhance my ability to sell myself and stand out. Through all of this, I have grown to be a more prepared, confident student.”

As a result of the encouragement given to him by the faculty and his own efforts, Passinault secured an internship with Sparks Belting Company in Grand Rapids. Working as an accounts payable intern, Passinault was responsible for processing invoices and completing multiple projects related to the collection of various tax forms from vendors. He participated in meetings related to the company’s financials, as well as collaborated with other departments, which allowed him to gain a better perspective of how businesses operate. According to the latest WMU Career Outcomes Report, 100% of recent graduates participated in experiential learning while earning their degree—and Passinault is an example of that.

Now that he has accounting experience under his belt, Passinault is looking forward to what is ahead in his undergraduate education and beyond.

“After the spring semester, I plan on spending a month in Thailand through WMU Haworth’s Business and Culture in Thailand study abroad program,” he says. “Later in the summer, I will be joining EY (formerly Ernst & Young) as an assurance intern in their Detroit office to gain more hands-on experience in the accounting field. I plan to graduate in fall 2024 and obtain my certified public accountant license to then pursue a career in public accounting.”

As he completes his final semesters at WMU, Passinault shares some advice with his peers.

“I would encourage incoming students to get to know their professors! They are a great resource not only academically, but also professionally. They are always there to help, so take advantage of those opportunities. Through my experience, it is evident to me that the faculty’s top priority is to provide students with all the necessary resources they need to succeed. The sense of community among the students and faculty at WMU Haworth is second to none, and I am grateful to be a part of it.”

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