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Real Humans of the UGA Terry MBA Class of 2025

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university of georgia mbaMatthew Blackburn, UGA Terry MBA Class of 2025

Age: 27
Hometown: Springfield, VA
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Virginia Tech, Political Science
Pre-MBA Work Experience (role, company, years): United States Army – 4 Years

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
Throughout my time in the military, I learned a lot about organizational leadership and how to manage people. I wanted to go back to business school to develop my foundational business knowledge to complement the skills from my time in the United States Army.

Why did you choose UGA Terry? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Choosing Terry was the easiest decision that I have ever made. Terry was my first choice for business school because of the location and small class sizes.

Location: While serving in the U.S. Army, I had the opportunity to be stationed at Fort Benning, GA. This quick, 1-year assignment was the only exposure that I had to the state, but I immediately fell in love with it. The weather is amazing, the people are so nice, and the economic opportunities are incredible. I missed Georgia the second I left and knew it was the place I wanted to ground my roots post-military.

Small Class Sizes: The University of Georgia has the perfect balance of having the resources of a large institution while maintaining small class sizes. Coming from a large undergraduate program, it was a refreshing change of pace to be able to develop relationships with all my professors and not feel like another face in the crowd.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2025?
My greatest contribution is my attitude. I am an optimistic person who believes that things are not always as bad as they seem.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that did not get included on your application:
I used to competitively skateboard as a kid and placed third at one of the regional contests.

terry ugaPost-MBA career interests:
Corporate Finance

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
I would reach out to as many current students and alumni as possible to see which programs truly fit what you are looking for. 

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I would have started the process of applying earlier. It takes time to write/revise your admissions essays, gather letters of recommendation, and achieve the GRE/GMAT scores you want.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
Nothing. All of it is part of the process and is what makes the MBA experience.

What is your initial impression of the UGA Terry students/culture/community?
Impressed would be a massive understatement. Terry places a high importance on being a good human and helping those around you. The sense of community has made the transition from full time work effortlessly smooth.

What is one thing you have learned about UGA Terry that has surprised you?
I was shocked by the number of resources that Terry has to ensure students success. Between the Career Management Center, Tate Student Services, and the Veterans Club I have felt looked after while I make this vulnerable pivot in my career.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
I am most anxious about maintaining a proper balance. Between schoolwork, part time jobs, social events, and job recruiting; it is easy to lose track of your priorities. Luckily, Terry has structure in place to ensure that all students can easily get back on path if you ever start to stray.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I am super excited about the networking opportunities that Terry provides. I have fostered meaningful relationships in and outside of the classroom.

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.