CHICAGO — Most DePaul University students end their college career by walking in one graduation ceremony to receive a diploma. Greg Kulasik has earned the opportunity to walk and celebrate twice.
This June, Kulasik will receive a Bachelor of Science in business with a major in accountancy honors from the Driehaus College of Business, as well as a Bachelor of Science in computer science from the College of Computing and Digital Media, with a focus in web development. He will have earned this rare combination of a dual degree in only four years.
“Each college has its own graduation, so I will be walking in two commencement ceremonies,” Kulasik said.
Accounting meets computing
A commuter student from Algonquin, Illinois, Kulasik knew early in his time at DePaul that he wanted to be involved on campus.
“I chose DePaul for a lot of reasons. One primary reason was the welcoming atmosphere,” said Kulasik. “I felt like a student and not just a number.”
During his first year he was a member of the Accounting Club and Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA). He began studying accountancy, but a data structures class, taught by professor James Riely in the School of Computing, shifted his focus.
“It was a really hard course, but I loved it,” said Kulasik. “I spent hours learning the material and understanding the concepts. I have always been interested in technology, but I was never serious about it until coming to college.”
He declared a double major, then focused on work and an internship that would help him combine his studies.
Kulasik landed an internship at Retrofit, a Chicago startup that uses technology to incorporate weight-management solutions in the workplace. He found the work engaging and plans to continue at the company full time after graduation.
“I utilize what I learned from the College of Computing and Digital Media to pursue my personal interests and work on industry-changing projects at work,” said Kulasik. “It feels good to know more than how to just do my job. My degree in accountancy allows me to also understand how technology impacts businesses on a larger scale.”
Kulasik also intends to study for the certified public accountant exam after graduation.
“It is a goal of mine to make my college journey come full circle, and passing the CPA will mark the completion of my collegiate accounting studies,” said Kulasik. “Professionally, I feel that it will set me apart and make me a valuable asset at any company or position to have that designation.”
Mentors open doors
In addition to his heavy workload as a double major, Kulasik was in the honors program and enjoyed his classes with philosophy professor H. Peter Steeves.
“Professor Steeves changed the way I view the world, in that I should always be inquisitive, dig into facts and realize the world may not be as it seems,” said Kulasik. “He could explain complex topics with simple terms and vivid examples.”
Another influential person during Kulasik’s studies was Brian Maj, the program director for the School of Accountancy and Management Information Systems.
His second year, Maj helped Kulasik get his first campus job as a front desk receptionist. This position opened doors for Kulasik and transitioned into a role with the International Association for Accounting Education and Research. With his newfound interest in computer science, he also helped the association build a new website.
“Brian has been a valuable resource navigating the administrative part of college and the city for me,” said Kulasik.
Now, Kulasik is very familiar with the city and has become a commuting pro, having spent hours each day on the train studying and doing homework. He holds a 4.0 GPA and attributes his success to his family and his roots. “My parents came from Poland as immigrants and they’ve given me everything they could. Without them and their support, I wouldn’t be here.”
Reflecting on his time at DePaul, Kulasik said his classes and professors not only made him feel welcome, but truly prepared him for life after graduation.
“DePaul’s classes have elevated my professionalism and ability to succeed.”
Kristin Claes Mathews