UW Football: Degree is just the beginning for Garret Dooley

BY MIKE LUCAS

UWBadgers.com Senior Writer

MADISON, Wis. — Since mid-January, the routine has been nearly the same for Garret Dooley. Four times a week, he has donned a dress shirt and tie and gone to work — leaving his apartment to the random "We'll see you later, Dad" catcall from roommates Troy Fumagalli, Jack Cichy and Joe Ferguson.

The "working man" smack was in good-natured fun and that's the way it was taken by Dooley, who served an internship this spring with Thrivent Financial. For three and one-half hours a day, he got a taste of "real-world" financial planning, advising and wealth management from the professionals.

"I was nervous at first; I didn't know what was going to happen or kind of what the job would entail," said the 22-year-old Dooley, a personal finance major from Rochester, Illinois. "But it was definitely a great semester and I learned a lot."

Beyond the standard intern-related assignments — "A lot of it is client and case prep and you're doing some of the busy work that the advisors want you to do" — Dooley got to sit in meetings where financial strategies were created for clients through life insurance, mutual funds and annuities.

"You try to help guide their way," he said.

That thought will have its own meaning for Dooley during Wisconsin's spring commencement, a four-year culmination of highs and lows whereby he found his way as a student-athlete. In the fall, Dooley will be a starting outside linebacker for the Badgers and working towards his masters.

"Honestly, I don't know what I'll be thinking," Dooley said of receiving his undergraduate degree Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium. "Something that will go through my head is, 'I can't believe this time has come.' It has flown by and the real world is almost here already. That's what is crazy."

Getting a college education has always been important to Dooley, a priority dating all the way back to February of 2012 when he verbally committed to former UW coach Bret Bielema and defensive coordinator Chris Ash. Dooley, at the time, had a 4.0 GPA on an accelerated scale in high school.

"Academics come first," he said. "It was something my parents always forced on me."

Read more at UWBadgers.com

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