Taking a Risk

Matt Cambria

Matt Cambria is ahead of the game. Most students are lucky to have a job lined up for after graduation, but Matt still has a semester left at RACC and is already working full-time. He was able to turn a contracted position into a full-time job with a nice salary and benefits.

A Website Development major, Matt is working as an Engineering Technician at an Air Products facility in Trexlertown. He supports the engineering departments with various information technology tasks. Matt said it was RACC instructor Liz Dentzer, who he had for Programming and Networking, that started the ball rolling for him with Air Products.

"Last April I got an e-mail from her asking if I needed a new job," Matt said. "I sent my résumé and went through the interview process and became a contractor working for an outside company at the Air Products facility.

"I started pushing several months ago for Air Products to hire me on with a permanent position," Matt continued. "Once it was decided that they would make my job a permanent position with the company, I had to go through the interview process again, which was extremely nerve-racking. Having to interview for my own job was a risk, but I took it and it paid off."

In his new position, Matt works full-time Monday through Friday and then comes to class at RACC on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. While he's happy at RACC and now has a clear career path, Matt said it wasn't always that way.

A 2007 graduate of Exeter High School, Matt spent a semester at a four-year college, but wasn't sure what he wanted to do. Instead of continuing down an undecided road, he opted to take time off and travel as a missionary. He spent two years living in the area around Mexico City working with other missionaries to help local residents make changes in their lives.

In addition to his own work, Matt picked up other responsibility including the financial operations of the entire mission.

"My experience as a missionary helped me more than I could ever explain, and I continue benefiting from those experiences each day, most notably my ability to communicate fluently in Spanish," Matt said.

"I also have a deep understanding of the comings and goings of an office environment and the need for effectiveness and precision in a workplace due to my missionary experiences. I also have a profound love for anything and everything that has to do with Latin culture," he added.

That love for Latin culture carried from his spiritual work into his personal life. Just two weeks after returning from Mexico, Matt attended a church function where he met his future wife, Maria – who is originally from Honduras. The couple now has an infant son, and she was supportive of his decision to return to school.

While Matt knew he was ready for school, he was not ready to spend an unnecessary amount of money on an education. He looked into RACC not only because of the cost, but because his father had attended RACC for a degree in Computer Networking after being laid off from the textile industry.

Matt enrolled for the 2011 fall semester and said two of his web professors have made a tremendous impact on him. "Dave Mollura and Marty Kelly have taught seven of the courses I have taken at RACC," Matt said. "I have been able to build an excellent relationship with both of them through the numerous hours we've spent together.

"I know you can't include the names of all of my teachers here, but I really haven't had a teacher who hasn't influenced me in a positive way," he added.

Down the line, Matt said he'd like to start his own website design business, "I love what I do because I enjoy helping people and teaching people how to make their own job a little easier. I enjoy working on websites in my free time, but with this job, I don't have to fully rely upon that as a source of income."

To learn more about RACC's website design program, please visit our website.