As a young freshman intent on becoming an architect or civil engineer, Matthew Jay quickly realized he had a problem: he hated math. Ironically, a two-step equation ultimately led Jay to a career in the print industry.
Step 1: Develop a love for building catapults. Step 2: Make sure your dorm room is in close proximity to the Graphic Communications (GC) building.
On his way to and from classes, Jay observed students inside the GC building running small AB Dick presses, washing out silkscreens, wearing aprons and "making things." "I can remember thinking, 'Great, I'm on my way to Calculus 4000 and these guys are in here playing,'" he recalled. "Little did I know that a short while later I'd be spending countless hours in that exact lab diving feet first into the printing industry."
Jay currently serves as business development director of Greenville, South Carolina-based growll.com.
Here, he shares his thoughts on the industry.
Print Professional (PP): Tell us about your background.
Matthew Jay (MJ): My hometown was great. [You could] drive down a dirt road on a lazy Sunday to catch a polo match, head downtown for a great meal or spend a day enjoying nature at the local gardens or hiking trails. As far as education, I'd say I started life going to the Old School. My grandfather had a big impact on my younger years and we hung out a lot. After high school, I went to Clemson University [where] I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Communications and a minor in Business Administration.
PP: What is the best business advice you ever received?
MJ: My dad once told me that you can never buy back your character or integrity, so you must never allow it to be compromised. This advice has served me well thus far. It has taught me to deal with things straight up and on the table, although that doesn't always allow for easy decisions or discussions. And I can always defer to the simple, yet effective, advice of my grandfather, "Give 'em hell"—because sometimes you just have to.