Matt Olmsted graduated from Gillespie High School (GHS) in 1996, earning a Partnership for Educational Excellence Scholarship. He used the $500 award at McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois.
Matt earned two full degrees at McKendree: a Bachelor of Business Administration with a focus on marketing and a Bachelor of Arts with a focus on music history. He graduated magna cum laude in both and commencement speaker at his 2001 graduation.
During his McKendree years, Matt studied off campus as an exchange student at Letterkenny Institute of Technology in Donegal, Ireland, and as a cultural exchange student for one summer at the Japan Technos Institute in Tokyo.
Two summers were spent at an internship with Walt Disney World’s College Program in Orlando, Florida, and a third summer was spent in Singapore doing an internship with Allied Pickfords, an international moving firm.
Currently Matt is director of sales for Donnelly Financial Solutions in Hong Kong, China.
“We develop and grow business within the global capital markets industry specific to financial printing and financial communication solutions,” he says. “My clients are investment banks, law firms, and corporations who tap the global capital markets through debt and equity issuance as well as mergers and acquisitions.”
He routinely visits clients in Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Philippines, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. “I also often travel into mainland China, pitching for new business,” Matt says.
Calling himself “Single and Available,” Matt spends his spare time entering 10 to 15 kilometer races in Hong Kong, traveling occasionally to races in Cambodia, North Korea, and
Australia. He also does trail runs: the latest a night run of 30 kilometers to a peak in Hong Kong of 1,000 meters.
He also enjoys leisure travel, movies, reading, water skiing, and socializing with friends.
Next on his agenda: “To see where life takes me. Life is not about the destination; it’s about the journey, as they say!”
As to the role of post-secondary education in his life, Matt says, “If it were not for post- secondary education, I would not be where I am today. My education gave me exposure to both personal and professional development. Coming from a small rural community in southern Illinois, it is unimaginable to think that I have traveled to more than 30 countries around the world! These global experiences have opened doors to amazing people, ideas, and opportunities.”
Along the way, his Partnership scholarship “absolutely helped,” he says. “I feel strongly about education and support any person or organization that supports this endeavor. For me, The Partnership gave me opportunities and self-confidence that I may not have otherwise developed. Throughout life, many things can be given and taken away. However, no one can take away the value of an education.”
Matt is the son of Karen Ogden of Titusville, Florida, and Rich Olmsted of rural Mt. Olive near Eagarville.