Alumni Profile: Matt Donlan

“Success is not measured by the heights one attains, but by the obstacles one overcomes in its attainment”- Booker T. Washington

Matty Donlan, MBA
Program Director
River Oaks Treatment Center American Addiction Centers
Tampa, Florida

As a person in long-term recovery from addiction and a newly-hired Addiction Counselor, Cape Cod Community College was an essential step in my mid-life career change. While working full-time as a Union Ironworker with Local 7- Boston, I completed my Addiction Counselor Education Certification program at UMass-Boston at night and on weekends. When I obtained my certificate, and passed the licensure exam, I was hired as a Counselor at Gosnold at Cataumet. Once I got settled in as a Counselor, I realized that nearly everybody around me had advanced degrees and that I needed to start taking steps to continue my education.

I enrolled in CCCC and was able to take a lot of my initial coursework online. When the time came that I needed to attend classes that were only held on campus, I adjusted my work schedule to make sure that I could meet my academic goals. There were classes that I knew I needed to take in person, like Statistics. It had been over 15 years since I had taken a math course, but Professor George Bent made Statistics a fun learning experience. I was encouragement from people like George that made me stride toward excellence, which led to my graduating with honors and receiving multiple scholarships to complete my Bachelor’s degree at UMass-Amherst’s University Without Walls program.

In 2015, I found myself struggling for opportunities for advancement at Gosnold, so I took advantage of an offer to relocate to Florida and join American Addiction Centers in opening River Oaks, a new 162-bed luxury Addiction Treatment facility in Tampa. I moved my family south and began a new chapter in my life in the Sunshine State. After graduating in 2016 with a Bachelor’s in Mental Health Studies, I was promoted from Program Manager to Program Director, opening the door for leadership opportunities. This promotion brought forth the offer that the company would assist with paying for an advanced degree, if I chose to pursue it. I immediately enrolled in the Florida Institute of Technology’s MBA in Healthcare Management program and dove head first into my coursework.

Fast-forward to 2018.

In May, I was presented with the Florida Institute of Technology’s Outstanding Graduate Business Student of the Year and Phi Kappa Phi National Honors Society’s FIT Chapter Scholar Award. In June, I graduated with my MBA, keeping a 4.0 GPA. I was recently accepted into Arizona State University’s Doctor of Behavioral Health program, which I plan to begin this Fall. I have come a long way from sitting in Grossman Commons between classes cramming for tests, and have worked hard to reach the point in my career where I can make a significant difference in the lives of those struggling with addiction and mental health issues. My recovery and my educational endeavors both started on Cape Cod, a place that I will hold dear to my heart forever.

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