When Megan Fitzpatrick crosses the platform at this spring’s University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee commencement ceremony, she will be the last of three Fitzpatrick siblings to complete their business education at the Lubar School of Business. Megan is earning her MS in Professional Accounting (she received her bachelor’s degree in accounting last spring). Her brother David graduated with a BBA in supply chain and operations management in 2009, and brother Paul graduated with his BBA in finance and an investment management certificate in 2013.
The sibling connection is strong in the Fitzpatrick family. While growing up in Waunakee, Wisconsin, eldest brother John often paired up with David, and Paul and Megan were close. “But all four of us bonded while bartering for the pick of the daily chores around the house,” jokes David.
“I wanted to do whatever my brothers did,” says Megan. “If they were learning to skateboard, I wanted to learn, too. If they were climbing trees, I was up there with them. We had a lot of fun growing up together.”
As they got older, that sibling influence continued. David was the first to come to UWM, selecting it because of the Lubar School’s proximity to business and its Business Scholars program for high achieving students. (He was accepted to the first Scholars cohort that the Lubar School offered, beginning in 2006.) As a student, he was president of the Lubar School’s Black & Gold Committee, and was one of the first Lubar students to pursue an overseas internship, working for Brady Corporation in Shanghai, China.
Paul came next, having watched his brother’s success and the opportunities he had at the Lubar School. Paul quickly embarked on his own path and interests, and was accepted to the highly-selective Investment Management Certificate Program. He interned at Ziegler, an investment bank and wealth management firm, during his final year of school.
Finally, Megan got in the game. “I definitely saw how successful my brothers were attending UWM and afterwards,” she says. “But they also showed me that college is about what you put into it. If you want to learn and be challenged, join Business Scholars. If you want to be involved and be a leader, join organizations on campus.”
Now all budding young professionals, the siblings’ mutual respect and support of one another remains evident. Megan is proud that her brothers are all high achievers, quick learners, and great role models. “Their successes push me to be a better me.”
And her brothers shine the light right back on her, noting her accomplishments as a teaching assistant, accounting program ambassador, and intern, in addition to passing all four parts of the CPA exam this year. “Megan was by far the best at seizing every opportunity that was out there,” says Paul. “She finds a way to maximize her potential in everything she does.”
Today, David is a financial advisor with Robert W. Baird & Company, and recently earned Certified Financial Planner designation.
Paul is a commercial banker with US Bank in Minneapolis, where he has received the Pinnacle Award for being among the bank’s top performers nationwide.
As for Megan, after a few weeks of well-deserved R&R, she’ll join the assurance (audit) team at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She interned with the company as a student, and received a full-time job offer even before entering her master’s program.
Those Fitzpatrick kids sure are something, aren’t they?