MBA Student Relishes Role In Summer Sports Camps

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It’s ironic that MBA candidate Matthew Kodweis ’21 is working as assistant operations manager this summer at Dominican University of California’s Sports Camps. It was a recreational sport and a chance meeting on campus five years ago that helped convince him to enroll at Dominican in the first place.

As a senior at St. Vincent’s High School in Petaluma, Matthew was considering several colleges. A random conversation with a Dominican student playing volleyball with a group of classmates on the Alemany Library lawn during Matthew’s campus tour with his family was his reckoning. Matthew was taken by the attention given to him by a perfect stranger.

“The students saw me and one of them immediately approached and asked if I was already declared to Dominican to which I replied `No.’ He then talked to me for a while about all the reasons he loved Dominican and what it meant to him attending the university. He also talked about his leadership role in the Barowsky School of Business students’ club and said if I go there I should join,” Matthew says.

“After we finished talking about his Dominican experience he invited me to join in the volleyball game with his friends. This was the moment I knew Dominican was the place for me. I had never felt so welcome by anyone at any other university before that moment.” 

Matthew majored in history, but during his sophomore year he declared a minor in business administration which allowed him to get acquainted with some of the professors, staff, and students in the Barowsky School of Business. A junior high school history teacher inspired Matthew to pursue history as a college major then subsequent relationships with Dominican history professors Dr. Jordan Lieser and Dr. Cynthia Taylor in the School of Liberal Arts and Education validated that decision.

“Dominican felt like a family and with everyone I interacted with this became more and more obvious,” Matthew says. “Everyone that works at Dominican or goes to Dominican wants to see you succeed and will help you in any way they can. Nobody I ever met was selfish or did not have time to help, if they could find a way to help you they would do it.”

Matthew had a goal to earn a master’s degree and realized he wanted to get it at Dominican. After Matthew earned his BA in history, he jumped at the chance to enter BSB’s MBA program.

 “The MBA has given me a lot of great skills that I did not have before and also enhanced skills I had prior to the MBA,” Matthew says. “I think that my bachelor’s in history and my MBA have complemented each other nicely and helped me expand my knowledge base and be better prepared for what lies ahead.”

Matthew credits Management professor Dr. Thomas Cavanagh and his executive business communications and strategic leadership courses plus professor Dr. Sarah Lee and her organizational behavior course for providing him with the tools that can easily translate into his role with the Dominican Summer Sports Camps.

An internship in the Dominican Athletics Department this past academic year was the key to Matthew earning his summer job. He worked closely with Pat Huser, Associate Director of Athletics for Facilities, and Aaron Fitzner, Facility and Athletic Communications Manager, serving a variety of roles in game day management for Penguins’ athletic events. They were so impressed that they recruited Matthew to be campus operations assistant manager for the summer camps.

 “The internship in game operations definitely helped me get this position by being able to show Pat and Aaron and the rest of the athletics staff my drive, passion, and dedication to everything I do,” Matthew says. “Having an understanding of leadership and how and why people react to certain types of feedback in unique ways will be vital for this position. I have to understand each person and their individual needs whether it be a camper or a coach.”

Matthew’s primary goal with the summer camps is to help create and nurture a safe and fun learning environment for a record number of camp participants this summer.

 “The team and myself need to show the children attending the camps a good time playing sports where they can gain confidence and hopefully grow their love of sport while also learning about important ideals like teamwork,” Matthew says. 

Matthew has spent a lot of time reflecting on his Dominican experience in recent months. He is grateful for the relationships he developed and the opportunities he was presented. He is ready to give back what he gained.

“Dominican really taught me how to grow as a student and a person,” Matthew says. “All of the knowledge I have been given has made me better in every way possible not just as a student being able to research better, but also how to take the Dominican ideals of study, reflection, community, and service and use them in my day-to-day life.”

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