CSU Global’s youngest B.S. in Finance alumna shares how she overcame adversity to land a career at a top 10 wealth management firm.

Texas native Makayla Machacek enjoyed many aspects of a typical high school experience; she played the flute in the marching band, hung out with friends at lunch, and worked part-time. 

But unlike many high school students, Machacek also started taking college courses at age 14 – an impressive feat, especially considering how many roadblocks she encountered.

“Because of my age and because I didn’t yet have a high school diploma, most colleges wouldn’t accept me into their programs,” Machacek said. “I had so many people, counselors, and universities tell me I couldn’t [pursue a bachelor’s degree] at my age.” After multiple rejections, Machacek turned to community college and alternative credit sources until she discovered CSU Global, and shared she “was beyond thankful that I found a college that was going to help me get my degree.” 

Having not yet received a high school diploma, Machacek registered at CSU Global as a non-degree-seeking student, which allowed her to enroll in the courses offered as part of the B.S. in Finance program. The challenging coursework helped Machacek confirm her interest in pursuing finance – a passion that stemmed from her upbringing. 

“I wanted to go into finance to help break the generational cycle of not having a lot of money,” said Machacek. “My parents tried to help as best they could with funding my education, but college can be so expensive.” Machacek utilized CSU Global’s generous transfer policy to receive credit for her community college courses. 

While Machacek was simultaneously enrolled in high school and at CSU Global, she started applying for internships with major financial institutions. At 18 years old, she was offered an opportunity with Charles Schwab, a multinational financial services company.

Machacek encourages students to pursue college credits while still in high school. “I recommend this path to everyone,” she said. “It’s definitely not easy, and there will be a lot of sacrifices. But I’ve gained so much and set myself up very well for a career as a financial advisor.”

What’s next for the youngest graduate of CSU Global’s B.S. in Finance program? For starters, Machacek just accepted a full-time position with Charles Schwab and will begin training to become a financial consultant next month. Machacek  would also like to mentor and share her passion with finance students. And, of course, completing an MBA degree is on her to-do list. 

“CSU Global helped Makayla reach her dreams when other schools just looked at her as a young kid,” CSU Global Student Success Manager Alex Chace shared. “I think her story of hard work and perseverance is incredibly inspiring.”