Category: Majors

Nathan Sodini Named Outstanding Man in Business

Nathan Sodini, a student dual majoring in engineering management and finance, is the 2022 Sam Tidwell Outstanding Man in Business. Roger Woods, College of Business faculty member, says Sodini’s involvement in campus programs defines what it means to be a Michigan Tech business Husky. “This is a student who from day one has engaged in all opportunities Michigan Tech has to offer—and his involvement has paid off.”

Back in high school, Sodini launched a profitable entrepreneurial endeavor with his passion for classic and performance automobiles. During his first year on campus, the scholar-athlete landed a paid internship as a production supervisor at General Motors’ (GM) Heavy-Duty Truck Plant. In his second year, Sodini took on a co-op with GM as a quality-operations supervisor, tasked with controlling the daily quality of T1 HD trucks with his team of more than 40 employees.

Student Nathan Sodini standing in staircase
Nathan Sodini

Adding to his already impressive resume, Sodini obtained a motorsports internship with Hagerty back in his hometown of Traverse City, Michigan, and last fall was back at GM in the body shop, orchestrating the procurement of pre-assembled trucks to support the Oshawa launch. His leadership skills were further honed on campus, where he served for two years each as elected president of the Society of Automotive Engineers student chapter and as business manager of Advanced Motorsports Enterprise—Formula SAE. For his final college summer, Sodini heads south to General Motors Defense in North Carolina where, as a business manager/shift leader co-op, he will support the production management of the Infantry Squad Vehicle being produced for the United States Army.

Being able to blend the worlds of engineering and business has been a dream come true, Sodini says:

“A business degree from Michigan Tech is more than coursework. It’s an experience preparing strategic leaders for tomorrow’s challenges.” 

Nathan Sodini, Michigan Tech Outstanding Man in Business

The Sam Tidwell Outstanding Man and Woman in Business awards, valued at $250 each, are presented annually to two current College of Business students who embody a dedication to academics, leadership, and extracurricular involvement within the Michigan Tech community.

About the College of Business

The Michigan Tech College of Business offers undergraduate majors in accounting, construction management, economics, engineering management, finance, management, management information systems, and marketing, as well as a general business option. Graduate degrees include the TechMBA®, a Master of Engineering Management, a Master of Science in Accounting, and a Master of Science in Applied Natural Resource Economics.

Mickus Endowed Faculty Fellow Awarded to Sonia Goltz

Sonia Goltz, Mickus Endowed Faculty Fellow in Business Impact

Through an estate gift from Albert J. and Rosella J. Mickus, Michigan Technological University has created the Mickus Endowed Faculty Fellow in Business Impact. Sonia Goltz, professor of organizational behavior in the Michigan Tech College of Business, is the inaugural Mickus Faculty Fellow.

The fellowship was created in order to attract, reward and retain highly talented faculty in the area of societal impact as it relates to business.

Goltz is a co-principal investigator of Michigan Tech’s ADVANCE grant, which promotes faculty career development and gender equity in STEM. She was a recipient of Michigan Tech’s Diversity Award in 2021 and was an active advocate, based on research data, in creating Michigan Tech’s Diversity Literacy Program. Goltz also serves on the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Sense of Belonging (DEIS) Positive Action Team.

“Dr. Sonia Goltz is a diligent faculty member who effectively blends her research, teaching and service contributions for positive societal impact.”

Dean Johnson, dean, Michigan Tech College of Business

For Goltz, the designation will help deepen her scholarly work on defining coercion and freedom within psychology and business, continuing to impact the field of behavior analysis. She says that funding will also be directed to campus initiatives that promote business skill development and those that support Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Sense of Belonging (DEIS) efforts at Michigan Tech, specifically those that directly benefit student development activities, organizations, and internships.

The late Albert Mickus earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Tech in 1949 followed by bachelor’s degree in business a year later. He also earned a master’s degree in business administration at the University of Michigan. After a career with Kohler Company he retired in 1990 as executive director of distribution for the US and Canada. Rosella and Albert’s son Michael, is also an MTU alumnus, earning a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1974 and a bachelor’s degree in business engineering administration in 1975.

About the College of Business

The Michigan Tech College of Business offers undergraduate majors in accounting, construction management, economics, engineering management, finance, management, management information systems, and marketing, as well as a general business option. Graduate degrees include the TechMBA®, a Master of Engineering Management, a Master of Science in Accounting, and a Master of Science in Applied Natural Resource Economics.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Returns to Michigan Tech College of Business

Two students in learning center

The College of Business is pleased to announce the return of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). Accounting majors provide free income tax preparation assistance for students and members of the community who could not otherwise afford the services of a CPA tax professional. This service has been offered at Michigan Tech for more than 20 years.

Assistance is being provided this year only by appointment via Google Calendar. Walk-in sessions are not available.

To schedule a 30-minute session, please visit the calendars listed below. Three appointments are available per hour. Please note: You may need to check all three calendars for an available spot on a desired date/time.

Appointments are held in the Tidwell Center Conference Room, AOB G010D. You should bring your W-2s, Form 1099s, Form 1098Ts, etc., to your sessions. Also bring a copy of last year’s tax return, if possible.

International students should first complete the federal Form 1040 using the Glacier Tax Prep software provided by the University, and then bring the completed federal forms to their appointment for assistance with state tax return preparation.

Appointments are available beginning today (March 22) through April 14 in 30-minute slots, during the following times:

  • Tuesdays — 3:30 to 5 p.m.
  • Wednesdays — 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Thursdays — noon to 2 p.m.

For more information contact Professor Joel Tuoriniemi at jctuorin@mtu.edu or 906-487-1877.

About the College of Business

The Michigan Tech College of Business offers undergraduate majors in accounting, construction management, economics, engineering management, finance, management, management information systems, and marketing, as well as a general business option. Graduate degrees include the TechMBA®, a Master of Engineering Management, a Master of Science in Accounting, and a Master of Science in Applied Natural Resource Economics.

Tomorrow Needs Accounting Analytics at Michigan Tech

Students sitting at table with professor

Accounting is a critical component of any successful business. Students interested in pursuing accounting careers need to be aware that the traditional study of accounting and accountants’ roles with companies are transforming.

Data Analytics Disruption

In a recent study by KPMG, a worldwide “Big Four” accounting firm, 99 percent of organizations indicated that advanced technology could enhance their financial reporting. However, 81 percent of CEOs stated that companies were not keeping pace with the emergence of these technologies, which could help them make more informed business decisions.

Accounting at Michigan Technological University responded by developing an updated, robust curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Our program prepares students to make immediate and valuable contributions in professional environments by instruction them in the core areas of accounting in addition to contemporary coursework in data analytics.

BS in Accounting

The Michigan Tech Bachelor of Science in Accounting offers an 18-credit concentration in data analytics. Students enrolled in this major prepare to sit for the CPA exam to become licensed accountants and complement their education with topics including data cleaning and visualization, programming, statistical analysis, and optimizations.

Measured against peers, Michigan Tech accounting students earn the second-highest CPA pass rates in the nation and achieve the highest average score.

MS in Accounting

At the graduate level, learners in the Master of Science in Accounting program can also earn certificates in analytical skills expected of them in today’s workforce: accounting analytics and forensic accounting

In a STEM-focused institution like Michigan Tech, the accounting program has the faculty and resources to provide students with an educational experience that bridges the gap between accounting and technology. Accounting analytics skills set our students apart.

Career Success in Accounting

Taylor Johnston
Taylor Johnston

For senior Taylor Johnston, finding the right major took a few tries. “I started in chemical engineering and switched to chemistry before classes even started,” she said. “I stayed in chemistry for four years before realizing that my heart just wasn’t in it anymore.” After moving to management information systems in the College of Business, Johnston found herself in Sheila Milligan’s Accounting Principles I course in fall 2020 and after two weeks of class, she ran to her advisor to add accounting with data analytics as a dual major.

“No one thinks of accounting as a glamorous career, but the passion and enthusiasm Sheila shows in her teaching lit a fire inside of me I never knew I had.

Taylor Johnston, Michigan Tech accounting student

Johnston spent last summer interning as a tax accountant with Freeport-McMoRan. In that role, she created a database from scratch and automated more than 20 calculations that were required each quarter.

 “I was the only person in the entire department able to do this since I had the accounting background and analytics skills.”

Taylor Johnston, Michigan Tech accounting student
Student Taylor Johnston snowshoeing


Now, she’s gaining attention from Silicon Valley corporations and Big Four accounting firms, but first has her sights set on achieving her MS in Accounting. “I’m committed to completing the accelerated master’s in accounting program to continue strengthening my skills in a subject I love.” 

About the College of Business

The Michigan Tech College of Business offers undergraduate majors in accounting, construction management, economics, engineering management, finance, management, management information systems, and marketing, as well as a general business option. Graduate degrees include the TechMBA®, a Master of Engineering Management, a Master of Science in Accounting, and a Master of Science in Applied Natural Resource Economics.

Scholarship Spotlight: Stephenson National Bank and Trust Annual Scholarship Award

The Michigan Tech College of Business boasts more than 50 donor- and industry-sponsored scholarships reserved exclusively for new and returning business students. These awards are offered in addition to competitive, merit-, and need-based aid. For 2020-21, total scholarships and grants awarded to undergraduate students in the College of Business exceeded $4.6 million.

This month we highlight the Stephenson National Bank and Trust Annual Scholarship Award.

The Stephenson National Bank and Trust Annual Scholarship Award, valued at $2,000, is available to incoming first-year Michigan Tech College of Business students majoring in finance who have earned a minimum GPA of 3.0. Additional criteria include being a US citizen and having graduated from one of the following high schools of the Upper Peninsula or northeastern Wisconsin: Oconto, Marinette, Delta, Baraga, Houghton, Marquette, or Menominee.

Mike Kolasa

In this Q&A, we hear from Mike Kolasa, vice president and trust officer for the Marquette, Michigan, office of Stephenson National Bank and Trust, headquartered in Marinette, Wisconsin. Kolasa is also an instructor of personal finance planning in the College of Business.  

Q: How did the Stephenson National Bank and Trust (SNBT) Annual Scholarship Award come to be?

SNBT has several core values, one of which is supporting communities and institutions where we do business, including the Copper Country. We also believe in a strong work ethic, self-responsibility, and entrepreneurship. The College of Business is a natural fit for us to support, as we have overlapping geography and values.

Q: Why is supporting students through college scholarships important to Stephenson National Bank and Trust?

I wasn’t poor growing up, but we could see it from the back porch. Scholarships made a big difference for me. We want to encourage successful students who might not otherwise pursue business degrees. Besides, we want to hire some of the best students that I teach!

Q: By day you work in the financial services industry, and by night you teach the foundation of finance to the next generation of advisors. How does your work influence your teaching?

In my experience, academic texts are valid, but can be esoteric, and students may not learn as effectively. By mixing in stories from the industry, students can attach their new knowledge to applied and practical situations. As a result, I believe they retain that knowledge and have an advantage when embarking on their careers.

I tell my students they can be in the top 10 percent of their field, or the bottom 90 percent. Getting into the top bracket takes deliberate effort, but the rewards that go with it are theirs for the shaping.

I tell my students they can be in the top 10 percent of their field, or the bottom 90 percent.

Mike Kolasa, instructor, Michigan Tech College of Business


Q: The College of Business prides itself on preparing students for the technology needs of business. How is technology disrupting the world of finance?

Technology can be both wonderful and evil. It certainly lends itself to efficiency, but we need to remember we buy technology to serve us, not the other way around. I see too many advisors using technology as a crutch or substitute for old-fashioned common sense and in-person time with clients.

We need to remember we buy technology to serve us, not the other way around.

Mike Kolasa, instructor, Michigan Tech College of Business


Q: What are key takeaways college students should consider regarding their own personal finance?

Students and new graduates should consider their own finances first. Utilizing a budget and spending less than they make is a solid lifestyle that will give them flexibility in their future. It also sets them up as credible advisors; if you’re not practicing the basics yourself, no one is going to respect your advice. Beyond that, continuing education, which can look like advanced degrees, new professional designations, or simply reading a few business books a year, is a must. My goal is to have our students be in the top tier of whatever career they pursue, and staying fresh with knowledge is critical.

Prospective students who qualify for the Stephenson National Bank and Trust Annual Scholarship Award should connect with Shannon Rinkinen, director of outreach for the Michigan Tech College of Business, at smrinkin@mtu.edu.

About the College of Business

The Michigan Tech College of Business offers undergraduate majors in accounting, construction management, economics, engineering management, finance, management, management information systems, and marketing, as well as a general business option. Graduate degrees include the TechMBA®, a Master of Engineering Management, a Master of Science in Accounting, and a Master of Science in Applied Natural Resource Economics.