Augusta University's Fall 2020 commencement

Graduate Q&A:
Matt Brocato

Augusta University is celebrating its spring, summer and fall graduates this week.

The university is proud to present the commencement ceremony as a live webcast. View all three ceremonies Friday, Dec. 11.

Navy veteran Matt Brocato, who earned his bachelor’s in business administration this past July, is currently a full-time graduate student working on his master’s in business administration from the James M. Hull College of Business.

Where is your spot in jagNation?

“My name is Matt Brocato and I finished my bachelor’s in business administration in July. I’m currently a full-time graduate student working on my master’s in business administration.”

What's your favorite spot on campus?

“My favorite spot on campus is the third floor in Reese Library. I need a quiet area to study and complete assignments and the third floor has been my spot for the past two plus years. I have a routine of cleaning my spot and once that’s done, I can sit down and get to work without distraction.”

What are some gems you've learned as a student?

“I am a person who likes and thrives in having a routine. I’ve learned that this has given me the best chance to be as successful as possible. However, I have learned to adapt to change. Each semester my schedule has changed, and I have had to adjust and figure out my new routine each semester. This may not seem like big deal to most, but change is stressful for me, so a lot of energy goes into planning out my days and semesters. Another life lesson I learned is to not give up when things get hard. I have proven to myself that anything is possible if you really want to achieve something. I never thought I would graduate from college, but here I am a college graduate who just finished his first semester of grad school.”

What are you looking forward to after graduating?

“I would love to find a job here on campus somewhere. Since coming back to school and working part time in the Military and Veterans Services office, I have really enjoyed the college campus atmosphere. I like helping students like me and I have loved being in an environment of learning.”

What’s your favorite thing about JagNation?

“The people and professors I have met along the way are my favorite thing about JagNation. I can honestly say that everyone has been genuinely interested in seeing me succeed and that made me feel even more confident in going back to school as a non-traditional student.”

What's something the average person wouldn't guess about you?

“I was very nervous about going back to school. I attended ASU right out of high school, and didn’t take full advantage of that opportunity. I then joined the Navy, serving for almost eight years. Through my service, I earned the GI Bill, but it took seven years for me to decide to come back and finish what I had started. The memory of my first round of college haunted me until I got the first semester back under my belt. I gained more and more confidence with each semester.”

How do you like to spend your time outside of campus?

“I like working out and watching sports. I enjoy serving at my church as well.”

who would you credit for helping you navigate through college?

“My wife has been a big reason why I was able to come back and finish my degree. She has been my No. 1 fan, and I am thankful for her support.”

What would you recommend to students who are beginning their AU journey?

“Make sure you have your priorities in order. I didn’t make studying or class attendance a priority the first time I was in college, and my grades reflected that. I was worried about the wrong things in life. However, this time, I really viewed school as a second chance to rewrite part of my story. I have taken it very seriously, and I’m proud to say that it’s reflected in my grades this time, too. Since coming back to school, I have made 18 A’s and one B. My first semester in grad school I have a 4.0. I don’t say those things to brag, but if you were to look at my transcripts from my first college enrollment, you would have thought, ‘This kid just doesn’t have what it takes,’ or ‘He’ll never graduate.’ Don’t let negative voices or thoughts tell you who you’re going to be or what you can accomplish. And don’t let your past dictate your future.”

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Written by Stacey Eidson

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