Matt Lynch was in high school when he began his college education as a post-secondary option student at Wittenberg. He knew it was a perfect fit for him and applied to only one other college. When scholarships allowed him the opportunity to choose, he chose Wittenberg, and although his home was in the local community, he opted to live on campus.
Lynch loves looking at the world in different ways, and from the beginning he knew he wanted to major in sociology. Soon he discovered he wanted to add something more to allow him to build a life that would better suit his energies, passions and needs.
"I've always liked to take theories and break things down," Lynch said. "But I soon realized the jobs available in the field weren't going to present the opportunities to change things from the inside. You cannot wait around for something to be done. You have to go out and do it for yourself."
The discovery led Lynch to declare a second major – management, which led to an internship with Next Edge Development Corp. Lynch adapted quickly to the challenges he met on the job through valuable hands-on experience, in the process finding a niche in which he could be successful doing work he loves.
While there Lynch had an idea that he developed into The Springfield Restaurant Guide. With the help of another intern, Ben Bozic '08, he went to local restaurants and hotels where they received a positive response from the community.
"I knew I was really on to something at that point," Lynch said. "With the help of (Professor of Management) Pamela Schindler, I recruited fellow management major Andrew Kent '08 to help develop my idea into an actual business. Kent has been a driving force behind much of the success so far."
Lynch gifted his business to Wittenberg, which led to the creation of WittEnterprises, an agency of Wittenberg that houses profit-making businesses, was approved eight months later. The agency is the umbrella for any student-initiated, student-run business in the management department.
"We worked with Prof. Schindler to further the business plan and create an infrastructure inside of Wittenberg for continued operation of the business," Lynch said. "The process of getting Wittenberg on board took numerous meetings, consultation with attorneys, approval of the provost and vice president of business affairs and the rewriting of the business plan."
Wittenberg's management department sponsors the Wittenberg Center for Applied Management (WittCAM). Teams of students, coached by management faculty, are assigned as consultants to work on projects for community organizations, businesses and government agencies. The programs include the Small Business Institute, the Creative Advertising Partnership, the Project Management Assistance Program and Management Internships.
"WittCAM is the best thing about the major," Lynch said. "Applied management is really awesome – not just learning about budgets and deadlines, it's all real-world experience. The program helped me develop my entrepreneurial skills."
Lynch plans to work for a couple of years before applying to grad school to get an MBA in financial marketing.
"I would like to run a successful business that allows us to change the way things work," he said. "It needs to be structured to pay enough to be able to make a huge difference. When you have the ability to help others, you do it. When you have the ability to give something, you give it."
- Written by Phyllis Eberts '00
- Photo by Robert Gantt