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Tanner Augustine '17

First Generation College Graduate Pursues His Dream Job


When Tanner Augustine ’17 made the move from the mountains of Colorado to the corn fields of Iowa, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to study at Simpson College. The one thing he knew was that he loved sports, so he decided to pursue a sports administration major.

No matter what, as a first-generation college student, Tanner was determined to succeed.

“College is all about finding yourself and then developing into the best version of you possible,” he said.

And Tanner found himself in his first accounting class with Professor Mark Juffernbruch. Tanner had always been curious about the business world, but that interest grew when Juffernbruch showed him all the opportunities in business through accounting.

“You start to appreciate that every business has their own unique story,” he said. “Juffernbruch opened my eyes to the endless career possibilities that stem from accounting, including CFO of a professional sports team which has developed into my dream job.”

Now sure of his end goal and set up with another major in accounting, Tanner immersed himself in the opportunities already available to him, like the Simpson College Accounting Club, an Undergraduate Assistant position in the business office and networking whenever possible. That networking paid off when he was offered a job at KPMG in Des Moines following graduation.

“My professor had connections at KPMG from when he worked there and he passed my name along early in the recruiting process,” Tanner said. “KPMG has a rich history of Simpson College alum joining their firm so I believe that the coursework, the professors’ ability and the trust KPMG has in Simpson College’s accounting department separated me from the crowd.”

Tanner remembers touring campus and listening to his tour guide go on and on about how invested the professors at Simpson are in your success. Naturally, he was skeptical. A lot of schools claim the same thing, after all.

“After my four years here I am still surprised at how true that statement is,” he said. “If you put in the effort and are dedicated to your academics, the professors take notice and will then go the extra mile to provide you with some pretty amazing opportunities.”

Tanner didn’t let his busy schedule keep him from getting involved outside his studies and have a social life. He was an avid intramurals participant and fondly recalls simple memories with friends about living on campus.

“Just living in the dorms, meeting so many new people, always having your door open, having hallway chats with your CA and floor mates until the early hours of the morning, spontaneously avoiding homework to go play hide and seek on campus at midnight, ditching your responsibilities to go dance in the rain and slip and slide through Buxton Park, starting a random snowball fight on your way back from class, having an Olympics watch party in your room after stuffing your face right next door in Pfieffer,” he said.

“All of those little moments shared with some great friends will be my longest lasting memories.”