University of Mobile Graduate Encourages Current Students

Amber Kelley Business, News

Matthew Smith-Cook

MOBILE, Ala. – Matthew Smith-Cook did not let his 2015 graduation end his time at University of Mobile. Instead, it was the start of a lifetime of involvement as an alumnus. He still makes it to home basketball games, is a part of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, helps mentor current students and comes back to campus to speak to other first-generation college students at the university’s RamLegacy events.

While Smith-Cook was a student, the faculty and staff at UM poured into his life, whether it was helping perfect his resume or giving advice about job offers.

Matthew Smith-Cook graduated from UM in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in accounting and business administration, and was a student-athlete on the basketball team.  He is now an accountant at Pilot Catastrophe Services in Mobile. He is also an entrepreneur as the co-founder and CFO of T-minus Watches and SquareBox Visuals.

When he returned to campus on March 21 to speak to first-generation college students gathered for the monthly RamLegacy meeting, Smith-Cook encouraged UM students to take advantage of all of that the Christ-centered university offers.

Smith-Cook explained that UM’s culture changed his perspective of things. UM’s professors and faculty members chiseled away to make him the best he could be.

He says, “UM changed me; if I can help in any way, I will.”

He recently helped a basketball student-athlete learn how to do his taxes on his own. He is also helping graduating seniors on the basketball team get their resumes ready.

Smith-Cook had many bits of advice for current students, which include:

  • Send resumes to jobs before graduation. You do not want to send it when every other graduate is sending them in April. Get them out there early.
  • Represent yourself on social media in a way that makes your parents proud. When people want to hire you, they will check your social media.
  • As a student-athlete, you need to prioritize. You are a student-athlete, not an athlete-student. Being a student comes first.

RamLegacy is led by Assistant Professor of French Barbara Brousseau and is a community that supports first-generation-to-college students at UM. The support group meets monthly to host inspirational speakers. Students gain access to peer mentors, alumni, and a support network of faculty and staff through the organization.


For more information about becoming a first-generation-to-college student at University of Mobile, visit or call 251.442.2222.

 About University of Mobile

University of Mobile is a Christ-centered liberal arts and sciences institution with a vision of higher education for a higher purpose, founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions through rigorous academic preparation and spiritual transformation. Core values are: Christ-Centered, Academically-Focused, Student-Devoted and Distinctively-Driven. The university offers on-campus and online bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs in over 90 areas of study. Founded in 1961, University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres.

For more information about University of Mobile, visit the website at or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.

About the Author

Amber Kelley

Amber Kelley is the marketing communications specialist for University of Mobile. Amber received her Bachelor of Science in Communication from UM. As marketing communications specialist, Amber writes press releases and other content for UM. She is passionate about serving in her youth group at Redemption Church. She enjoys spending time outside, reading a good book and watching romantic comedies on Netflix.