2011Oct 5

To the Olympics and Back: The Story of Matthew Jackson SPAD’96

By SPAD Blogger Andy Leach

Nick Arruda SPAD'13 thanks Matthew Jackson SPAD'96 for sharing his experiences with students

On October 3rd, the SPAD students and professors were pleased to welcome 1996 graduate Matthew Jackson to the stage for a presentation about his experience as a major events consultant. In his early years, Mr. Jackson dreamed of working at the Olympic Games. It was this dream that led him to SPAD; the course that he believed would allow him to have the best shot at achieving these ambitious career goals. Once again, SPAD came through, and thanks to the internship program which Mr. Jackson now speaks so highly of, an internship with the Atlanta Olympic Games came into existence.

This was just the start of Jackson’s Olympic experiences, with his hard work and valuable networks allowing him to gain the relationships necessary for him to advance yet further still, even at his young age. Throughout the presentation, Jackson was sure to stress the “importance of personal relationships”, something that he admittedly underestimated the importance of during his time at Laurentian. It was these personal relationships that opened the door for the next step down his Olympic path; Sydney. It was here that Jackson was stationed for 3 years and where he was part of one of the most successful Olympics in modern history. From there, Mr. Jackson’s journey took him to the Salt Lake City Games, the Torino Games, and finally, the Vancouver Games in 2010. This is an exceptional chapter in his life and he now feels it is time to open up a new chapter, and with that, his career as a major events consultant was born. However, his Olympic connections do not end there, with two of his current projects being a consultant for the organizing committee for both the 2014 Sochi Games as well as the 2016 games held in Rio.

One of the concluding messages Jackson wished for the students to take away with them was to “know what you want and don’t be afraid to go after it… even if that means following another path”. He also encouraged the students to keep their eyes open towards the option of working in the events field for a career; one he feels is often overlooked. On behalf of the entire SPAD community we would like to once again thank Mr. Jackson for taking the time out of his schedule to speak with us, and we wish him all the best in this new chapter of his life.

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