Matt Ames - Columbus State Community College 50th Anniversary

On the surface, Matt Ames' job seems a little paradoxical - combining down home country music with cyberspace.

But, that's what he does on a regular basis as the digital marketing manager for the Country Music Association.

Ames earned his associate degree in Network Administration from Columbus State in 2004. He currently resides in Nashville where he works for the association on web design and development. A veteran of the U.S. Army, Ames also holds a bachelor's degree in digital communications from Franklin University

"Columbus State provided me a stepping stone of confidence that I needed to get over any fear of academic failure," Ames says. "I was able to take a range of general technology classes that provided me further insight into what I really wanted to do for work. I took two classes in advertising design that made me realize that I did not want to be purely a network administrator, but more of a digital marketer and web designer."

"Columbus State provided me a stepping stone of confidence that I needed to get over any fear of academic failure."

Prior to joining the Country Music Association, Ames worked with the Tennessee Medical Association for three years as a project manager, overseeing two website redesigns. During this time, he also taught introductory web design and advanced desktop publishing classes at National College of Business and Technologyin Madison, Tenn.

He also led a website redesign for Union Sportsmen Alliance, and worked for Quadrant Technology, a web design company in Columbus, Ga. Matt managed the e-commerce store for the Columbus Gourmet, and created packaging designs for the Aunt Pearlie's frozen food containers.

Ames says his time at Columbus State not only built up his confidence, but it helped him to make valuable connections.

"Attending Columbus State enabled me to see the bigger picture and set my goals higher," he says. "Not only did I make contacts with my professors, but I also made contacts with other people who were pursuing the same or similar degree as me."

Images: A Year in the Life of Columbus State