Published on March 20, 2024 by Sofia Paglioni  
Matthew Madden DR10192023747

Samford University senior Matthew Madden’s journey through Brock School of Business has been nothing short of transformative. As an economics major, Madden’s experiences have opened various professional doors.

Madden said, "The plan right now is to pursue flight school. I have always been interested in aviation, and internships have made it clear that there are lots of opportunities in that industry. I am still not closing the door on working in sports, though."

Samford is currently ranked #10 of all colleges and universities in the United States for career preparation according to The Wall Street Journal. It’s no surprise that students are actively experiencing that career preparedness in their classes, internships and various other professional development opportunities. Madden’s experience stretches far beyond being a student athlete. He has also been on the Leadership Team for Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) for the last two years and participates in a mentorship group with the Atlanta Braves through the sports marketing and analytics program. Madden also does strength and conditioning analytics for Project SAMson, blending his two passions for athletics and data right on Samford’s campus.

Madden attributes much of his preparedness for these different career paths to Brock School of Business. "Whether it is an interview for an internship or a presentation for a group project, I have always felt prepared," Madden noted. "I think Brock School of Business does a great job of teaching us what we need to know for our careers. It is impossible to know everything going into an internship or job, but it makes it easier when you have a solid foundation in business."

Madden is also an athlete on Samford’s golf team. However, being a full-time student, athlete and future aviator is no small feat, and it certainly isn’t a journey he walked alone. "Academics as a student-athlete can be like playing catch-up 24/7," Madden admitted. "When you have a community within your classes, it makes it much more manageable. I am fortunate that I always had classmates who were willing to send me notes and recap what I missed and professors who would sit down with me and work through examples until I understood it."

As he reflected on the past few years as a Brock School of Business student, Madden offered advice for fellow student-athletes who are balancing, sports, social lives and academics. He reiterated the impact of Samford’s community, saying, “Your professors should become your friends, and your friends need to become close friends. Good people are not hard to find at Samford, but make sure to go find them. It is impossible to do it alone.”

As Madden’s future takes flight, he took a moment to appreciate the support system and educational foundation that Brock School of Business provided him. Madden concluded, "I am thankful that we have administrators who build high-quality academic programs, advisers who want the best for us, and professors who care about teaching and want to engage with students. Brock School of Business is a special college at a special university, and I am thankful that I got to be a part of it.”

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.