Celebrating our Graduates: Monica Matuszak

Celebrating our Graduates: Monica Matuszak

| By: Haase, Elijah D

Career Program: Therapeutic Massage
Originally From: Wausau
Current Residence: Plover
Age: 38
Years of Attendance at FVTC:Spring 2022 - Fall 2022

Monica Matuszak will provide the student address at the FVTC Winter 2022 Commencement Ceremony on Friday, Dec. 16.

After abandoning her high school dream of studying massage therapy years ago, it took a cancer diagnosis during the pandemic to force Monica Matuszak to prioritize herself and her career.

Monica knew she wanted a career in therapeutic massage but also knew she needed a flexible educational experience to accommodate her roles as wife, mother and student. In researching which college would be the best fit, she was drawn to Fox Valley Technical College for two reasons: having Trilogy Salon and Spa on campus would give her important hands-on training; and, she’d learn from faculty who have real-world experience in the massage therapy industry.  

When Monica started the Therapeutic Massage program, she envisioned one day working in a spa. But as she did her coursework at FVTC she became aware of the growing demand for massage therapists in the area of hospice care. Upon graduation, Monica hopes to work with a team that allows her to support individuals in their final stages of life by providing them peace and dignity through massage therapy.

Why did you choose to study this field?

After experiencing my own health crisis through a cancer diagnosis, I knew I wanted to provide care for others while remaining in the service industry. Massage therapy allows me so many options for my future, I'll never be boxed into one specialty. I love that I'll have choices and be able to continue to grow throughout my career.

Tell us how you came to choose FVTC for your education.

I needed a school that understood I am more than a student, that I'm a mother and a wife first. Thanks to FVTC I was able to balance my family and schoolwork. FVTC was also able to provide me with hands-on experience in the Trilogy Salon & Spa, which is something future employers will be looking for.

What's been the most rewarding part of your educational journey at FVTC?

The growth I've experienced has been unmeasurable. As an adult, we often feel at a standstill when it comes to personal growth, but my instructors and the program format didn't just allow for growth, they encouraged it.

What was the most difficult part?

The most difficult part was relearning how to be a student. I had been out of school for almost 20 years. I had to reintroduce myself to the student I used to be and embrace those old study habits.

What Will You do on Graduation Day or in the Future to Celebrate Graduation?

I am going to celebrate my graduation by taking my family on a trip to Riviera Maya Mexico. It will be our first international vacation as a family.

Tell us about your plans after graduation.

I will be working for Radiance Spa where the owner is very supportive of my future plans. I will continue my education by training to work with oncology patients and becoming certified in Thai Massage. This will allow me to help people not only feel "normal" for a moment during a difficult journey but to also help their bodies heal from that trauma after they've won their cancer battle.

One last parting thought or words of wisdom to share with others.

"We can make ourselves miserable or we can make ourselves strong. The amount of effort is the same." - Pema Chodron