Anthony D. Smith’s career was already going well when he decided to attend college. He was employed at Children’s Wisconsin in marketing and community relations when he enrolled in 2010.
Going back to college later in life can seem daunting, but Smith enjoyed pursuing his Marketing and Communication associate degree at Milwaukee Area Technical College. The degree is one of more than 170 career-ready programs MATC offers.
“As an older adult, going to school and being in class with 19-year-olds, 20-year-olds, and trying to keep up with them was challenging … but I learned to appreciate my cohort. We traveled through that journey together and I’m very happy because I had that opportunity,” he said.
In fact, approximately 90 percent of MATC students come to the college as a working adult, while the other 10 percent come directly from high school. The college’s average student is 30 years old.
Smith was a marketing and community relations specialist at Children’s when he started at MATC. The college’s affordable tuition along with financial aid and payment plan options make it a smart choice. And for eligible students, the MATC Promise means free tuition. For Smith, a tuition reimbursement program at Children’s helped make college a reality.
After completing the associate degree, he attended Marquette University to earn a bachelor’s degree in marketing and communications. Smith, like more than 3,700 MATC students each year, took advantage of MATC’s transfer partnerships with four-year colleges and universities — including a guaranteed admissions agreement with Marquette.
This lifelong learner took additional courses at Marquette through its executive leadership program. In July 2018, he began a job with the Marcus Performing Arts Center in Milwaukee, where he is the director of community engagement and inclusion.
He and his wife, Wendy, who works for Milwaukee Public Schools, have one son. Smith is the pastor of Newport Missionary Baptist Church, where he also serves as the minister of music. In May 2019, Smith began serving as an MATC Foundation Inc. board member. He serves on several additional boards and leads some as the chairperson.
“I had a good idea of what I wanted to do and what my career was going to be, but after getting the education behind it, coupled with my career goals, it transformed me to be a better person, a better friend for others, be a better husband, be a better dad,” he said.