For new WTCS State Ambassador, MATC a Sound Life Decision

Audio Production student will represent college for the next year

Mark Feldmann,

May 02, 2023

I believe to be good in whatever you do, you should be a student of life. I’ve always desired a challenge, and change has never bothered me.

Garrett Grobschmidt MATC Audio Production student, WTCS State Ambassador

MILWAUKEE – Garrett Grobschmidt approaches life like one big Spotify list: so many choices available, so many directions to head, so many surprises in store.

When once asked what his ultimate career ambition was, the Menomonee Falls native gave three: to be a professional athlete, to conduct a research study in health and nutrition, and to win a Grammy award.

“I believe to be good in whatever you do, you should be a student of life,” Grobschmidt said. “I’ve always desired a challenge, and change has never bothered me.”

Grobschmidt’s eclectic life journey has led him to Milwaukee Area Technical College, where he is studying audio production. At MATC he has sampled even more of life, playing on the Stormers men’s soccer team last fall and being chosen to represent MATC as a state ambassador to the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) this spring.

Each of Wisconsin's 16 technical colleges selects one student every year to participate in a leadership development and recognition program in late April in Wisconsin Dells. Following that session, the students officially serve as WTCS Ambassadors for one year and, unofficially, for a lifetime.

MATC received 31 completed applications for the position, which includes a $1,250 scholarship, said Anne-Marie Bernard, MATC’s student life manager. Students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 and meet other criteria. A committee scores the applications and selects the ambassador. 

Grobschmidt, who made the Vice President of Learning list in the Spring 2022 and the President’s List in Fall 2022, received an email about the state ambassador program and decided to apply. 

“It sounded interesting,” he said. “I remember writing the essay and they had a 500-word limit. But I think I wrote like 800. I put a note at the end that I have a hard time expressing myself succinctly.”

In his essay, Grobschmidt had plenty of good things to say about MATC.

“Technical college is a worthy consideration that can likely not only save you from a great deal of stress and sleepless nights, but also can save you a considerable sum of money and perhaps more importantly, time,” he wrote. “The environment is much less stressful than a university, I feel I have more space and freedom to be creative and be myself, and the teachers are more empathetic and understanding of the fact that you have a life and interests outside school. 

“I have rarely felt that my time is being wasted on classes that aren’t relevant,” he added. “On the contrary, I am learning new, practical, and specifically relevant skills that will ensure my success in any work that I do in my field of study following graduation, whether working for others or in my own business.” 

After graduating from Menomonee Falls High School in 2012, Grobschmidt said he didn’t really know what to do. “I was clueless,” he said. 

He worked as a delivery driver for a few years, as a salesman at Best Buy, then at Brookfield’s Guitar Center. Grobschmidt played cello in middle school and high school, so his love of music re-emerged while working at Guitar Center. He enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s finger-style guitar program in June 2019. 

Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. His classes went virtual and he started to lose interest. He dropped out, leaving UW-M without a degree and with a load of student debt. Once the pandemic subsided, Grobschmit was anxious to find something new. 

“I had heard about MATC’s audio program and had heard good things about it,” he said. “I knew a lot about the performing side, but wanted to get to know the production side. At MATC, I knew I could learn what I needed to learn without putting myself into debt for the next 30 years.”

He enrolled in the spring of 2022. He also joined the men’s soccer team, despite never playing soccer in high school. “I had played a lot of rugby and done a lot of skateboarding — my body had taken a lot of hits,” he said with a laugh. “But I tried it and made the team.”

Grobschmidt is on track to graduate in the winter of 2023 and hopes to operate his own business mixing and producing music.

Find out more about MATC's Audio Production program

He certainly has the skills, temperament and life experience to be successful, noted Andrew Jambura, an audio production instructor at MATC since 2021 and co-owner of the recording studio Silver City Studios in Milwaukee’s Washington Heights neighborhood.

“I can think of numerous recording sessions where he has taken the lead and provided an excellent example for his fellow students on how to work with clients, which is an essential skill for an audio engineer,” Jambura wrote in a letter of recommendation. “I’ve also been impressed by his attention to detail. Each assignment is thoughtfully completed. I can tell he’s wrestled with every audio mixing decision and taken the time to finish each project as if it were a real job.

“In my view, it’s necessary for an aspiring audio professional to be well-rounded and develop interests outside of the field to gain perspective on his craft,” Jambura added. “He balances both endeavors wonderfully.” 

About MATC: Wisconsin’s largest technical college and one of the most diverse two-year institutions in the Midwest, Milwaukee Area Technical College is a key driver of southeastern Wisconsin’s economy and has provided innovative education in the region since 1912. More than 25,000 students per year attend the college’s four campuses and community-based sites or learn online. MATC offers affordable and accessible education and training opportunities that empower and transform lives in the community. The college offers more than 170 academic programs — many that prepare students for jobs immediately upon completion and others that provide transfer options leading to bachelor’s degrees with more than 40 four-year colleges and universities. Overwhelmingly, MATC graduates build careers and businesses in southeastern Wisconsin. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.