First-ever grad of new King’s-Notre Dame accounting program heads West

By Mark Guydish - [email protected]
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PLAINS TWP. — You hear “accountant” and your eyes likely glaze over, but Michael Post sees golfing in Pebble Beach, snow-boarding in the West Coast mountains, and a career of boundless opportunities as the first person to graduate from a joint program between King’s College and the University of Notre Dame.

Not bad for a guy who admits he lurched toward becoming a slacker in his second semester.

“I did pretty well the first semester,” the Coughlin High School graduate (Class of 2013) said of his freshman year at King’s. “Then I did pretty poorly the second semester. That’s when they implemented the Notre Dame Accounting program. I learned I would have to have at least a 3.4 GPA (Grade Point Average) to get into it. With my GPA taking such a big hit the second semester, I had to shift into a pretty high gear.”

“High gear” as in keeping his GPA around 3.8 for the rest of his time at King’s, which — along with meeting several other stringent qualifications — landed him an acceptance into Notre Dame’s Master of Science in Accountancy program. After finishing his four years at King’s, Post traveled to South Bend for a year to earn that degree. The extra work paid off. He nabbed a job in San Francisco with Ernst and Young, one of the “Big Four” accounting firms in the world.

He’s looking forward to the relatively mild weather of the Bay area, especially after a year at a university in a city that averages 64 inches of snow a year. “I thought the Northeast winters were bad, but out there they get all that lake effect snow,” he said. “And the wind is so strong, there are no mountains to stop it.”

Post admits accounting wasn’t his first ambition. He’s an avid golfer and for a while at Coughlin hoped to parlay that at least into a college scholarship, if not a career. When that didn’t pan out, he turned to math. “I like knowing the numbers behind the business, I like reading into things like that.”

He opted for King’s because of the reputation of its business program, and got into accounting with a minor in economics because, as he sees it, “It kind of opens up the doors to a lot of options.”

It also opened the door to a trip to China courtesy of a Notre Dame immersion program. He spent two weeks seeing iconic sites like the Great Wall and the Forbidden City, and less traditional stops like Beijing offices of Internet streaming giant Hulu (a word derived from Mandarin Chinese). Plus, he got to ride a bullet train. “That’s an awesome experience.”

‘See you in California’

A trip with his dad to look for housing was Post’s first visit to San Francisco, and rents were so high he shopped online and found a place he’ll be sharing with seven other “young professionals.” He already has a long to-do list for his spare time, including Alcatraz, the redwood forest, wine country, snow-boarding, Giants games and, soon, trips to the Golden State Warriors new arena being built “blocks from where I’ll be living.” Oh, and golf. “I hope to be able to take a trip to Pebble Beach, maybe Spyglass.”

Working for a global company, he hopes, will also mean a lot of international travel. “The headquarters are in London, I would love to make it to Europe.”

All this for a guy from modest Plains Township who found himself in South Bend heading for the Pacific Coast. Yet somehow, he said, it almost seems like destiny.

“I never planned to be in San Francisco, but it’s weird. When I was young, people would say ‘I can see you in California’ for some reason.”

Well, now they really can.

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By Mark Guydish

[email protected]

Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish

Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish