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Alumnus Profile: Michael Gagnon

By: Darcy Vines ‘15

Published on

Michael Gagnon at microphone

Michael Gagnon ’14 took on the role of business owner while at Aquinas College, and has since found work using his well-cultivated marketing talents with Stryker Medical, a Fortune 500 company.

Gagnon, who graduated with a double major in math and international business with a Spanish focus, is no stranger to leadership roles. At Aquinas, he was a four year starter and two year captain of the men’s soccer team, which was largely successful under his direction. Gagnon also found the time to hold three on-campus jobs, including the coveted position of student ambassador, as well as spending time working on two different internships to prepare him for the world outside of Aquinas.

What Gagnon is most proud of, however, was his independent business venture, which he took on as a 19 year old. He was inspired by hearing the quote that Harvard students aren’t given jobs, but rather create their own. Why couldn’t he?

"What makes Harvard students better than me?” said Gagnon. “Why couldn’t I create my own job? So sure, Harvard is in the Ivy League, but hey, at Aquinas we have lots of ivy on our academic building.”

Pursuing that goal of becoming an entrepreneur and combining his leadership skills with his talent and knowledge of soccer, Gagnon found a community need that he personally could help to fill.

“I created College Prep Soccer LLC, a small business that has been profitable in each of its three years,” said Gagnon, “but more importantly helped many athletes from my home town achieve their goal of playing collegiate soccer.”

Despite College Prep Soccer’s successes, Gagnon has since moved forward to Stryker Medical as a marketing associate, which already appears to be a perfect fit for his interests and skills. Being in his position, “I provide product expertise and marketing support to 100+ representatives across the United States,” said Gagnon. “I have a lot of responsibility and autonomy in the role. My job description says that the role is 80% travel which makes it very exciting.”

His roles as a leader at Aquinas, as well as his own personal motivation and perseverance have led him to this self-determining, decision-making role at Stryker.

“Aquinas was the perfect school for me in terms of preparation for my current role,” said Gagnon. “The professors and staff really do empower you to think creatively, act independently and to solve problems.”

Editors Note: Michael is currently pursuing his MBA from University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.