09:06 AM

Dark Magic Provides Boost to Student’s CIS Studies

By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager

What’s the secret to successfully navigating your Master’s degree program? It’s simple -- Dark Magic.

Matt Morris, a Developer Analyst III for Keurig Green Mountain, can attest to that. His company’s Dark Magic Extra Bold Coffee, described on the Keurig website as deep, dark, and intense with a spellbinding complexity, has provided the necessary boost to power through some weekend homework or to stay alert after a relatively sleepless night with a newborn.  That boost has Morris on track to graduate from Bellevue University in mid-2018 with his Master of Science in Computer Information Systems.

MattMorris_Cropped“I’ve been with the company for 10 years. I spent the first five as a non-coffee drinker, but converted as soon as my first child was born,” said Morris, who works out of the South Burlington, Vermont location. “As the sleepless nights added up, the average coffee intake also increased. These days, I usually keep it to just one cup a day.”

Morris might be able to slip in an extra sip or two this Friday, Sept. 29, to celebrate National Coffee Day.

A lifelong Vermonter, Morris discovered Bellevue University through some extensive research.

“I chose Bellevue University after evaluating many different programs. It seemed to offer the most rigorous and comprehensive technical training.  Most other IT M.S. programs were geared toward experienced IT employees that were looking to develop management skills,” Morris said. “I was in the opposite boat as my undergraduate degree was not extremely technical, but I was already in a management position.  While I was able to hone a lot of technical skills on the job and in self-directed study, I wanted to immerse myself in a technical program to fill in the remaining gaps.”

Morris is looking forward to graduation with only a few classes left to complete.

“I really appreciate the flexibility afforded by this program. Of course, there are strict deadlines and deliverables, but there is no need to show up to a class at a specific time. This has been critical to my success. With two small children, a wife, and a busy career, it would be hard to commit to a specific class schedule,” he said. “I’m able to learn and do the required work on my own schedule.”

In addition to the wonders of Dark Magic, Morris is grateful for the support he receives both at home and at the office.

“First and foremost, my wife and kids for putting up with many weeknights and weekend days of me doing homework instead of performing my other household and family duties,” Morris said. “Without their support, I could never have succeeded in this program. I’m also grateful for Keurig Green Mountain for paying for my degree and my manager for supporting me in this process.”

At Keurig Green Mountain, Morris’ duties include database development with a strong emphasis on marketing technology solution design and architecture.

“I support a marketing automation application suite that is used by Keurig Green Mountain to merge various sources of user data and provide a personalized user experience on site and in various marketing channels,” he said. “As you can imagine, specific tasks vary from day to day. Some days, I’m heads down writing code all day, other days I’m creating documentation or working with business team members to develop technical solutions to fit their business initiatives.”

An inquisitive mind has played well for Morris with both his academic and career endeavors.

“This position allows me to come up with creative solutions for technical puzzles all day long and requires that I develop a deep understanding of the underlying technology,” he said. “As a kid, I enjoyed disassembling electronics and then seeing if I could successfully put them back together, just to get some idea of how they worked. Radios, TVs, VCRs, Pocket Calculators, you name it, I probably took it apart and then put it back together, sometimes successfully, sometimes not.”

While Keurig Green Mountain keeps him challenged, an engaged corporate culture also contributes to his work-life balance.

“It truly is a great place to work. There is a palpable spirit of ownership and excitement in the employee base,” Morris said. “As an organization, we’ve got a rich history of corporate social responsibility and we’re pioneers in the fair trade movement. We truly do walk the talk and that’s evidenced by things like the organization paying employees 52 hours per year to perform community service, employee donation matching and various other programs aimed at improving our local communities and the communities from which we source coffee.”

With cooler temperatures around the corner, not to mention National Coffee Day, it might just be a good time to make Dark Magic a part of your study routine as well.