Graduate experience opens doors to future

McHenry County native Matthew Kostecki was looking for two things when researching a college for his master’s degree in social work; a great program with supportive professors and a location to which he could easily commute. He found both in George Williams College, and graduated from the program in spring 2012.

“I’ve been in the social work field for nearly twenty years and I really absorbed new subjects through the master’s program,” said Kostecki. “George Williams College is so unique, just the location alone from the lake to the trees was amazing. I really enjoyed the classes, GWC has some incredible instructors.”

Kostecki’s positive experience began at the master’s student orientation. “At orientation you could tell that the faculty and staff cared for what they did and for the students,” he said.  “This helped me make my decision to attend GWC.”

For many students, time is essential when going through a master’s degree program while balancing a full-time career, and having the option to commute is part of that notion. “I was happy that I could commute since I’m only twenty-five minutes away from the campus,” said the Harvard, Ill. native. “The drive wasn’t that far at all.”

As the newly appointed executive director of the Urban Muslim Minority Center (UMMA), Kostecki focuses on the center’s mission of assisting low-income individuals in Illinois’s Lake County area by providing educational support and community resources. “Thus far my master’s degree has opened many doors for me in my career, and I feel it will continue to do so throughout my future,” he said. “It was the best decision I made in my life.”

Kostecki encourages others to consider George Williams College. “The best advice I can give to future students is to have a balance in your life. Enjoy the beautiful campus, learn from the GWC faculty and be certain to make time for family and friends.”

For more information about the Master of Social Work program, visit