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It is no secret Nabal Jefferson excelled on the football field during his NIU days. A two time MAC champion, starter on the Orange Bowl team and Academic All-American, he made the most of his opportunities. Nabal integrated into his football family rather quickly. “Support, trust, and loyalty” are words he used to describe his teammates. “They were like family to me,” explains Nabal. “We lifted each other up.” Coaches, fans, and teammates were his primary NIU support until he began his major courses within the College of Business. At that point, his extended NIU family grew even larger, and stronger.
Growing up on the south side of Chicago with three brothers and seven sisters, Nabal had no shortage of family support. But when it came time to make a decision about college, Nabal couldn’t imagine how he was going to fund his education. “None of my older brothers and sisters were able to complete college due to the overwhelming amount of loans needed to attend school. NIU changed my life. It was a perfect fit with the perfect offer – a full scholarship with room and board. I knew it was the right place because when I went to visit I saw something different. I saw people who truly cared. I saw coaches, faculty, and alumni who contributed exponentially to the university and athletics.”
A successful athlete and student, Nabal didn’t waiver from his studies. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Accountancy and his Masters of Accountancy Science while at NIU. “I was incredibly lucky that NIU has one of the top business schools and accountancy programs. I was always interested in accounting.” Nabal calls the professors and instructors in the college “helpful and friendly” and saw firsthand how their efforts landed him his first internship. “The college works hard to bring in extraordinary opportunities for the students. Because of the firms coming to recruit there, I was selected to participate in multiple internships with KPMG, LLP.”
Through his many positive experiences, Nabal credits NIU Business professors for preparing him for a successful career. “Tammy Waymire made class fun and made her students want to learn. Kate Mantzke came to class excited and presented interesting topics that were related to what was going on at a local, regional, and national level. Don Tidrick was a huge athletic and academic supporter of mine. Tim West was my confidant and trusted advisor, always there if I needed to talk. These experiences helped me move along in the right direction while at NIU.”
Nabal recently started his job at KPMG where he is working in the tax practice. He continues to cheer on the Huskies and hopes to one day to be in the position to give back to the university that gave him so much during his time there.