Former ELC Spotlight: Matt Getz
When most of us begin a trip, it is easy to quickly click on the fastest route Google Maps has to offer. While shaving off the minutes, the quirks and the stories of the backroads are lost.
Matt Getz (ELC 1991-1993) was not about to lose the experiences of backroads USA. Following his graduation from Mercer University, Getz faced a similar problem many graduates still face today: what to do with the next phase of his life.
Getz loved the idea of touring the country and feeding his inner history buff, something that Lambda Chi Alpha would be able to provide.
So, another ELC was born, another chance to give back to the fraternity.
During his time traveling, Getz visited 126 different schools, all the while using his backroads method. When asked if he ever felt as though he wasn’t using his time effectively, he laughed knowingly and assured that some of his favorite stories came from avoiding the main roads.
“I needed a way to slow myself down, but I also wanted to see the country,” said Getz. “I wanted to spend time in some of the places that no one ever gets to see, so I was very deliberate about getting off road.”
As Getz recalls, he was once driving through a snowstorm that had left the roads dusted in white. Getz was craning to see the few inches ahead of him that he desperately needed, when he realized he was the only one on the road. With a sense of wonder, Getz got out of his car and took a look around, marveling that he could experience this phenomenon.
Just an example of one of many memories Getz has from his days as an ELC, he went on to serve the fraternity as the Associate Director of Risk Management and Housing. He soon became the Chief Financial Officer shortly after and stayed on staff until 1996.
For Getz, as well as many other ELCs before and after him, the position was a time of personal growth and exploration. As he puts it, there is not another soul in the world that can understand the position quite like those traveling beside you.
“It’s the hardest job in the world to explain, and no one really understands it quite like the people you travel with,” assured Getz. “Even though you only see them really 9-5 during the summer, we didn’t have cell phones, so those friendships that you build are great.”
Now, Getz serves as the Chief Human Resource Officer for the global media company, Encompass Digital Media. Though it is not exactly a walk down a snowy road, Getz agrees that his time as ELC was a key factor in his success today.
“There will be no job that will better prepare you for the professional world,” stated Getz. “There is nothing that will surprise you, you see it all in two years; it is the one job that has prepared me for every job I’ve had since then.”
Through all of the heartaches, joys, and life on the road, Getz has this advice for current or aspiring ELCs: use this as an opportunity to learn about yourself, explore different opportunities you have, and try to make a difference.
“This is an important group of people, it’s not one to take for granted or let go,” said Getz. “It is a true support system of folks who can only understand what you have been through in the way that you understand it.”
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