When Matthew Sheehan attended new student orientation as an incoming freshman, he participated in a session called ‘We Are Monmouth.’
“‘We Are Monmouth’ challenges all the individuals in the room to allow themselves to become vulnerable with the people they are just meeting during those two days, and to be open about who they are and where they come from,” Matt explains. “The session promotes inclusion and diversity as a positive aspect of life. Students connect at a deeper level during this session and show incredible power in their words and their actions.”
This meaningful orientation experience left a lasting impact on Matt as he began his Monmouth journey. Over the next five years, he would go on to earn his bachelor’s in accounting as well as his MBA, be elected as senior class president, participate in service learning in Guatemala, and graduate with honors.
With such an impressive list of accolades, it would be easy for Matt to choose one as his favorite Monmouth memory—but instead, he prefers a moment that brought his journey full circle. Inspired by the inclusive community that he built with his peers during ‘We Are Monmouth,’ Matt became an orientation leader, where he helped incoming freshmen acclimate to their new home by delivering the same session that captivated him from the very beginning.
“That particular session will forever be my favorite,” Matt says. “Being able to facilitate it from the other side as the orientation leader was a powerful experience.”
Now a graduate of the Leon Hess Business School and preparing to begin his career as an Audit Associate at Deloitte, a management consulting firm in NYC, Matt reflects fondly on his journey as a Hawk.
“Monmouth prepared me extremely well for my career. If it was not for the Business school's challenging curriculum and Career Services’ extensive effort, I do not think I would have gotten my first internship,” Matt explains, recalling a pivotal interaction with Will Hill, Assistant Dean for Career Services, that helped him secure an internship. After leaving his resume with employers at the career fair and not hearing anything back, Matt stopped by the Career Services office and was introduced to Hill, who called the firm’s recruiter directly and set up an interview.
“If it was not for the wholehearted support from Monmouth's Career Services, my career would have never taken off,” Matt affirms. “I not only matured as an individual, but I learned the workings of large accounting firms and how to properly handle myself in the office setting.”
In addition to Monmouth’s career resources, Matt also took advantage of extracurricular opportunities, participating in more than six different clubs across campus. As senior class president, he encouraged his classmates to be vocal about what they wanted out of their final year on campus.
“Although I was an officer of the class, I was still a part of the class, not above it,” Matt says about his role. “I found it was most important to encourage those in my class who were generally very quiet. Some of the ideas students came up with were surprising yet enlightening.”
Matt also participated in two service-learning trips to Guatemala over his spring breaks, assuming the role of Team Leader for his second excursion after falling in love with the experience. While in Guatemala, Matt bonded with a child named Miguel, and he currently serves as Miguel’s sponsor.
“Not only did I build a relationship with him as a friend, but I also pay for his schooling, school supplies, and anything that comes with it every year,” Matt explains, citing his friendship with Miguel as his proudest moment from his time in Guatemala.
With diverse extracurricular involvement under his belt and a strong academic foundation, Matt feels ready to embark on a new journey with Deloitte. His goals are to earn his CPA license and ultimately be promoted to the manager level so that he can travel abroad for work. But wherever his journey takes him, he will always be grateful for the opportunities he was given at Monmouth.
“College was an exciting and challenging time where I was able to lean on special people in the campus community to get me through it all,” Matt says. “Some of my greatest memories were formed during my time as a Hawk, and I believe the Hawk Family will be a part of some of my greatest memories in the future as well.”
Faculty Member Influence
"A few faculty members that influenced me the most were Corey Inzana, International Student Advisor and Alternative Break Program Advisor; Katherine Browna, Coordinator of Transitions and Leadership Programs; Kristin Waring, Admission Counselor; Michele Kaplan, Assistant Director of Student Activities for Fraternity and Sorority Life; Jeffrey Christakos, the Chair of the Accounting Department; and Professor William Gorman.
Each of these faculty members contributed to a different yet equally important portion of my journey throughout Monmouth. Through their influence, I was able to discover different passions of mine, and each helped me to bring out the best in myself so that I could bring out the best in others. Their passion for their jobs and the student body is unmatched. They always knew how to bring a smile to my face regardless of circumstances, and never put themselves before others."
How Monmouth helped me achieve my goals
"As a junior in high school, I already knew what major and career path I wanted to pursue. As an AACSB-accredited university with a prestigious five-year MBA program, Monmouth was the perfect fit. With the help of Associate Dean Gilda Agacer and Assistant Dean Janeth Merkle, paired with an incredible array of professors, I experienced great success within the program.
Outside of academics, having the opportunity to be a part of more than six clubs/organizations and to work within many different offices throughout the campus, such as the President's Office, allowed me to meet faculty members as well as other students, who ultimately became family and my biggest supporters."
Organizations that helped me as a student
"Being heavily involved on campus allowed me to participate in many events throughout the year, from kicking off the semester with Welcome Week as an orientation leader to closing out the year with Senior Week as the senior class president. Some of my favorite activities to participate in on campus revolved around my time as an executive board member of the Student Activities Board (SAB), DJ'ing the Trunk or Treat event hosted by the First-Year Service Project, and the Student Government Association's (SGA) Big Event.
I also enjoyed going to the many Annual Award Receptions where students are recognized for their achievements throughout the year, where I personally won awards such as Outstanding Student of the Year in the accounting department and was also a finalist for the Outstanding Student of the Year for the entire university my senior year."
Collaborations that I've been involved with
"As an undergraduate, I was involved in the IM HOPE Group thanks to Chris McKittrick in Counseling and Psychological Services.
IM HOPE, Innovative Mental Health Outreach by Peer Education, was formed to allow for an inclusive and supportive facet of student life in an attempt to promote positive mental health and to support others regarding mood, emotions, actions, and thoughts. Being given the opportunity to be a founding peer educator of this group with the main goal of promoting mental safety throughout campus and to be a figure to lean on for others facing internal conflict was extremely special.
As a graduate student, I worked in collaboration with Dr. Gene Simko. We spent the academic year preparing for the facilitation of an interactive strategic planning consulting and training session in Portland, Oregon for a premier society of andrology, ultimately forging a positive relationship between the society and Monmouth University."
Why I'm proud of Monmouth
"Being a Monmouth Alum is something to be proud of. It is extremely difficult to find a university with incredible Division 1 athletics that also prides itself on having small class sizes. The faculty and staff at Monmouth continue to amaze by going above and beyond just the duties listed in their job description. Everyone understands the importance of higher education, but the campus community dives deeper than that by getting to know you as a person, to learn about your goals, and to help you reach those goals.
There is more to a college experience than just textbooks, and Monmouth is the best place to get that. I feel extremely prepared to join the workforce because of what I learned during my time at Monmouth University both inside and outside the classroom."