Matt Fritsch, 28, a LeBow MBA student at the Sacramento Graduate Studies in California, was recently awarded a $10,000 scholarship from Swim With Mike, an organization that hosts an annual swim-a-thon to raise money for the USC Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund.
Fritsch, an accomplished cyclist, became paralyzed after suffering a spinal cord injury during a mountain biking accident as an undergraduate student at Michigan State.
“There aren’t too many scholarships available for disabled students,” says Fritsch, who is expected to graduate with his Drexel LeBow MBA in 2012. “I applied for the scholarship not knowing much about the organization except that it awards money specifically for athletes who have had accidents. They do great work, and I volunteered to help with their events that raise funds for scholarships. I was thrilled when I was awarded a scholarship.”
In addition to his academic studies, Fritsch works as a marketing specialist for Pride Industries in Roseville, Calif., a company that delivers manufacturing and service solutions to businesses and government agencies nationwide, while creating jobs for people with disabilities.
“Getting my MBA will help me to transition from an employee to a leader in my organization,” Fritsch says. “After my accident my junior year in college, I took only one semester off; I pushed through. It really helped me to manage the disability by going right back to school.
“After graduating from Michigan State and gaining four years of full-time marketing experience, I applied to local MBA programs and weighed my options,” he continues. “The Drexel LEAD MBA was the best fit for me. I wanted to increase my competitiveness in the marketplace and pole vault my career. Since I work full time and attend school part-time, I am able to apply my business education to work immediately.”
Though work and school keep Fritsch busy, he still travels nationally competing in hand cycling events and triathlons.