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Student Profile: Matt Jackson, Bachelor’s in Computer Systems
Matt Jackson graduated from City University of Seattle in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Systems, with a concentration in project management. Through his own consulting firm, he serves as an operational turnaround expert for organizations around the greater Seattle area. Matt found some time to chat with us about his time in school, and what he’s accomplished in the 12 years since graduating.
City University of Seattle (CU): Tell us a little bit more about yourself. What did you earn your degree in at CityU?
Matt Jackson (MJ): I grew up in Minnesota and joined the Navy right out of high school. My last duty station was north of Seattle at the Naval Air Station on Whidbey Island. I like to sail, ski and travel with my wife and three kids. I’ve also been to more countries than I can count…
CU: Why did you decide to enroll at CityU?
MJ: While in the Navy, I completed my associates. I knew I needed to earn my next degree, but doing that while working and raising a family was nearly impossible. I needed a university where if I took time off work I could focus, work fast, and get it done, while at the same time getting a great education.
CU: What was your experience like at CityU?
MJ: My experience was a mix of both in-class and distance learning. I did distance learning for the subjects I knew well from work experience. In-class courses were for subjects where I benefited from the experience of the teacher, as well as the chance to meet face-to-face with other students.
CU: What have you done since graduating? How did you degree from CityU help you achieve your professional goals?
MJ: My education was a huge part of my career and personal success. I live an unusual life. I am a consultant that uses project management techniques to help turn around software companies that are in trouble.
What’s unusual about my life is that for about the past 10 years, I have been able to work about nine months a year, spending summers traveling with my wife and kids – really living out my personal priorities. The education I received at CityU gave me the credentials and the confidence to continue on that path since I graduated.
CU: Was your degree something you felt you needed to obtain in order to take a professional step forward?
MJ: Absolutely. My career started out by turning around troubled software projects, so as someone with a degree in Computer Science and Project Management (and a PMP) I was perfectly suited to have the knowledge and credibility needed to help my clients.
CU: Any advice for future graduates who might be traveling the same path you are?
MJ: Take business and marketing classes, as well. We are living in a very different economy and the understanding how to manage a business, market and sell are important.