ABERDEEN, S.D. – Mike Bogdanovich came to Northern State University from California and found success. Now, his experience at NSU has prepared him for success back in his home state.
Bogdanovich will graduate May 10, and he already has a job waiting for him: a first-year audit staff position with Ernst & Young, a "Big 4" CPA firm, one of the largest and most prestigious firms in the world.
Having a job lined up before he even graduates is a great feeling, Bogdanovich said.
“The process of finding a place to begin my accounting career was a very a stressful time,” he said. “But once I landed a position, the sense of urgency dissipated, and now I have changed my focus on studying for the CPA exam.”
Bogdanovich is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in professional accountancy – a five-year, 150-credit-hour degree that is a requirement to work in public accounting.
Bogdanovich, who has a second major in finance, will work for Ernst & Young’s San Francisco office.
He is living proof that Northern graduates can go anywhere, said NSU’s Dr. Scott Peterson, a faculty member who directs the internship program in NSU's School of Business.
Peterson said Bogdanovich is tenacious, competitive and not afraid to change his mind or ask a lot of questions. He had no fear of trying or failing – he just pushed ahead.
“Mike looked at everything as an achievable goal, and not a barrier,” Peterson said.
A native of Windsor, Calif., Bogdanovich came to Northern because of athletics. He had originally committed to a school in Baltimore, Md., on a football scholarship. But when that situation didn’t work out, he contacted a former teammate, who notified NSU Coach Tom Dosch.
“Within one day of my release from Morgan State, I was on a plane headed to Aberdeen to play football for the Wolves,” said Bogdanovich.
What followed was a successful college experience at NSU, thanks in part to great connections with his professors.
“I feel that the combination of the small class sizes and the personable instructors were key factors in my education experience here at Northern,” Bogdanovich said. “The small class size allowed me to create relationships with instructors, which enabled me to ask the type of questions that I wouldn’t have asked in a class size of 40-plus.”
His work and internship experiences hve also have been invaluable. They included an internship with Cargill in Wichita, Kan. It was his first accounting-specific position, and he was able to make connections from school work to actual job applications.
Bogdanovich also spent a summer in North Carolina selling pest-control services door-to-door. He said his football experience of perseverance helped him get through the long days knocking on doors and being rejected.
“It was an incredible time,” he said. “I really learned a lot about myself.”
His overall experience at NSU, he said, was great.
“The instructors had invested their time and knowledge in me, and indirectly it gave me a sense of obligation in putting forth my best efforts toward my academics,” he said. “Because of this mutual connection, I felt that I was able to get the most out of my academics here at Northern.”
As he leaves NSU and Aberdeen, Bogdanovich said it’s the people he met that he will miss most. That includes his instructors and coaches.
“They really did help me push myself academically and athletically,” said Bogdanovich, who played football for the Wolves for two years and served as team captain both years.
Among those he will miss upon graduating, Bogdanovich includes his teammates and peers, with whom he was able to create long-lasting memories; and those with whom he interacted daily through his job at the Aberdeen YMCA.
“I feel I will miss the people I have interacted with the most because they really made my college experience more than what I expected it to be,” he said.