Early career spotlight: Entrepreneur credits DSU for his successful startups, career
Tell us about yourself, including where you are from, why Dakota State University was the right fit for you, and what led you to pursue the major you selected at DSU.
My name is Matt Paulson. I grew up in Mitchell and was exposed to technology at an early age. My parents bought us a family computer when I was in 4th grade, and we were one of the first families to have cable internet in our community around 1997. I took all the technology classes available at Mitchell Middle School and Mitchell Senior High School. I helped build the first website for Mitchell Middle School, and I even built a little website about the video game SimCity 2000 that was generating $25.00 per month in advertising income while I was in middle school.
When it came time to pick out a university to attend, I knew I wanted to pursue a technology degree. Dakota State University was a natural fit. It had a strong reputation for its computer science and information systems programs even then and was much more affordable than other out-of-state options I had been considering. It was also an hour away from my hometown, which made selecting Dakota State an easy decision.
It wasn’t immediately clear to me what type of technology career I wanted to pursue, but Dakota State created many opportunities to try different aspects of technology so that students could figure out if they wanted to be a network security specialist, a programmer, a business IT manager or something else. I was able to get an internship doing IT and programming work with the South Dakota Unified Judicial System because of Dakota State. Professors Josh Pauli, Wayne Pauli and Tom Halverson were also able to help line me up with some website development and programming work through a business they were running called Logic Lizard at the time. These experiences helped me identify that web programming was the specialty I wanted to pursue, and I continue to use those formative skills at MarketBeat today.