Finding Greatness: Matthew Molina

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Monday, March 29, 2021 12:00 AM
Category: Pressroom

Macon, GA


An IT major in the software engineering concentration, Matthew Molina works as a volunteer with #MGA’s Center for Software Innovation on the Warner Robins Campus and served as a bioinformatics research assistant.

Full Name: Matthew Molina.

Age: 21.

Hometown & Residence: Warner Robins.

High School: “I graduated from Houston County High School in May 2017. During high school, I was in the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club, where I competed in accounting competitions and made it to state competitions twice. I was a member of the Yearbook Club and worked on several pages in the yearbook.”

Family: “My mother is Beth Molina. My father is Efrain Molina. My sister and fellow MGA student is Alexandra Molina.” 

Employment: Full-time student.

Degree Objective: Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in software engineering.

Class Rank: Senior.

Primary Campuses: Macon and Online.

Activities: “During my time at MGA I have been the president of the Rotaract Club since its founding in fall 2017. I am also a member of MGA’s CyberKnights. I have been volunteering at the Center for Software Innovation on the Warner Robins Campus since spring 2020. I also had an internship at MGA through the bioinformatics National Science Foundation grant given to the school, and I still contribute to this project.”

Career Goals: “I hope to one day become a lead programmer working with a team of software engineers to create innovative technologies. Software is ubiquitous and can be used to solve a wide array of complex issues. I hope to contribute to the field of computer science and be able to help people with the applications I develop.”

He chose Middle Georgia State University because … “The main reason was because it is close to home, allowing me to experience college through a commuter lifestyle. In addition to being close to home, I always heard great things about the IT program and the faculty and staff at the school. Another driving factor to attend MGA was its affordability. The ability to obtain my degree at a reasonable price was always important to me, and MGA was able to deliver all my expectations.”

The greatest thing he discovered about Middle Georgia State was …"How critical of a role my professors would play throughout my college career. At MGA, I was encouraged and motivated to learn and approach my professors with any questions or concerns I possessed. As I get closer to graduation, the professors have become mentors, who I can go to if I have any questions about my career or what courses I should take.

“The professors at MGA have given me so many opportunities to grow into the person I am today. During my first semester, Professor Ashford introduced me to the Rotaract Club, which has motivated me to continuously give back to the community and be an effective leader. Furthermore, Dr. Stines’ classes helped me broaden my skills to web development and security. I would not be as proficient in web development if it was not for Dr. Stines’ teachings that brought me to learning more about a field I thought I would not follow. All my professors have had a drastic impact on the person I am today and I could not be more thankful for the hard work they put in to ensure that I can fulfill my potential as a MGA student.”

His greatest academic experience as a Middle Georgia State student has been … “Serving as a research assistant to MGA’s bioinformatics National Science Foundation grant. I had heard of the internship opportunity at the school and applied for it. Although I was more interested in the programming aspect then the chemistry, the internship gave me a perspective on what life as a software engineer could be. Both Dr. Kwak and Dr. Wang served as the leads of the project, guiding the development team, and utilizing every opportunity to teach us more about software development. I was able to gain valuable experience in college and know that I can effectively contribute to a team of software engineers. Being able to see the application deployed and having the ability to show it to prospective employers fueled my desire to learn and contribute to meaningful projects whenever I could. I cannot thank Dr. Kwak and Dr. Wang enough for giving me the chance to be a part of the team and learn more about software engineering.

“Along with my internship, another great experience is the volunteer work I pursued at the Center for Software Innovation. In this development environment, I was able to work alongside my professors, including Dr. Jenkins, Dr. Kim, and Dr. Kwak, to create projects that met the requirements of stakeholders. The chance to brainstorm ideas and code alongside them was an opportunity I would not have imagined having in college. Both of my experiences have solidified my aspirations to become a successful software engineer, and I appreciate my professors for giving me the chance to show my potential and learn more through hands-on programming experience.”

To him, “greatness” means … “Being successful after working on an arduous project or problem. The times that I have been most proud of my work was when I accomplished a daunting task or contributed meaningful input to a project. Breakthroughs are not always easy to achieve and certain problems can require a massive amount of time and resources to solve. However, the feeling of successfully reaching that momentous breakthrough is worth all the hard work and determination it took to get there. Whether the greatness is recognized or is only known to yourself, that feeling is unsurpassable.”

In five years … “I hope to be in a software engineering position that is able to help me learn more about the field and be able to contribute meaningful work to the world. In the same way that I was guided by my professors to my career in software engineering, I aspire to one day be a lead developer on a team, working with team members and inspiring them in the same way that I was inspired. Along with my job, I hope that my desire to learn more about computer science and work on personal projects never dwindles in the future. The projects I can pursue are limitless and I cannot wait to see the innovations that I will make in the future.”