Career and Post-Graduate Development

  • Matthew Schmitz

Matthew Schmitz

Post-Graduate Plans: Accepted to Graduate School at University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN; Juris Doctorate (JD); Law/Legal Studies

Major(s)

Educational Studies and Psychology

About

I came to Ursinus planning both to study educational studies and psychology and to teach elementary school. While I still love working with kids and would thoroughly enjoy teaching someday, I am incredibly excited about the possibility of working at a level that might allow me to make more wide-reaching change in the world of education. Certain courses in the education department as well as our pre-law advisor, Anna Marks, have helped me in this process.

UCARE and the education department have given me countless chances to pursue my passion for education. In addition to this, I have also found opportunities to explore painting, writing, poetry, and tap dance, as well as continue my baseball career and interests in community service.

Favorite Ursinus Memory

I have so many, but Dr. Mackler’s “Liberal Education” course. The wonderful readings, discussions, assignments, camaraderie, and essays helped give me crucial structure during the beginning of the COVID pandemic and fundamentally changed how I view education. Shorris’s Riches for the Poor and the documentary “College Behind Bars” will be foundational texts for me going forward as I work at the intersection of education and the law.

Impact of Ursinus

By exposing me to a selection of fantastic curricular and extracurricular discussions, experiences, and texts, Ursinus has changed how I understand work itself as well as what I want to work towards. Both Dr. Mackler and X (Coach Exeter) have left a lasting impact on me! I have been most inspired by the question “How should we live together?” I think this is the most other-oriented and empathetic question and really highlights how my time at Ursinus has shaped how I understand empathy, diversity, communal life, the value of the local, and the importance of firm home lives and traditions. This question has inspired much of my shift from wanting to teach to wanting to become a lawyer.

Piece of Advice

Freshmen, throw yourself into the experience, but don’t lose sight of yourself. It can be a difficult line to walk but will be a richly rewarding one. Sophomores, never burn a bridge. Relationships change and end naturally, something you’ll understand well by senior year, but you never know who might come to be your closest friends down the road. Juniors, don’t look ahead too much. This year was where I grew the most, had some of my best memories, and found some of my closest friends. Consider taking advantage of UCARE service programming, intramural sports, and introductory studio art and/or dance classes.

Tip for Future Grad School/Job Search: It’s cliché but do everything you can to keep as many doors open for yourself as possible. If you do that, you won’t put yourself in a box and limit yourself as you think about the future.