“Take advantage of every opportunity that is presented to you.”
That’s the advice Matt Thome ’17 offers to Carthage students. By following that advice himself when he was a student Mr. Thome now has an exciting and rewarding career with the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.
Throughout high school, Mr. Thome expected he would become a choir director, but the experiences he had working in athletics and communications led him down a different road.
“My role on the athletic communications team allowed me to have experience with media relations, event coordination, fundraising, press writing, event management, and video production,” he says. “While working for the Men’s Basketball team I was not only able to gain valuable event management, travel coordination, budget management, and coaching skills, but this is also where I found some of my closest friends.”
He credits many members of Carthage’s faculty and staff for giving him opportunities and continuing to support him along the way.
“Even when my career aspirations led me away from studying music,” says Mr. Thome, “my professors were extremely supportive as they knew I had found my passion.”
“Take advantage of every opportunity that is presented to you. It’s the best way to help shape your path for how you want to live your life both professionally and personally.”
What have you enjoyed most about your career?
“What I enjoy most about my career is how I am able to use my position as an agent of change in my community. The impact that a professional sports organization can have is profound in regards to community improvements, non-profit assistance, and youth development. I’m encouraged and empowered every day to take time to inspire positive change. I also have the opportunity to create life-long memories for our fans. Every single person will have a memory of spending time with friends or family at an event when they were growing up. I get to have a direct influence in this for the next generation so that they can continue to have memories that last a lifetime. One of my favorite things to do is stand outside the arena after a game and watch the expressions and interactions between people. If everyone is leaving with a smile and a desire to return then we’ve been successful in our efforts for the day.”
How did Carthage prepare you?
“Everything that I was involved in at Carthage helped bring me to this point in my career. Every professor and every supervisor I ever had at Carthage encouraged me to take control of my education and experience. They allowed me the chance to take on additional responsibilities that would usually be reserved for a full-time staff member, take internships even if they sometimes interfered with our weekly class schedule, and helped me prepare for national conference presentations that helped propel my brand.”
How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?
“I think that Carthage has prepared me to see all sides of an issue both big and small. It’s not always about who the issue directly impacts. You also have to pay attention to the ripple effect and how your decisions can affect seemingly unimportant stakeholders and groups.”
Tips for current Carthage students:
“Take advantage of every opportunity that is presented to you. It’s the best way to help shape your path for how you want to live your life both professionally and personally. Don’t be afraid to ask if you can be involved in a project that interests you. Professors are more than willing to accept some help and are happy to teach you what they know outside of the classroom. Take a trip! J-Term is the perfect opportunity to get out and see the world while completing some graduation requirements!”
Favorite Carthage memories:
“My J-Term with Carthage Choir in Spain is where I bonded with people who are still my best friends to this day and it helped me discover my love of traveling the world.”