Performer at Universal Studios Beijing
Matthew Pakkebier ’23 is a performer at Universal Studios Beijing in China. “I entertain guests of all ages in family-friendly shows around the theme park.”
He graduated from Carthage in 2023 with a degree in musical theatre.
“Continue to seek your education through all the dance, voice, theatre, and music classes. Look for opportunities and classes that you will feel uncomfortable in that will push you and help you grow as a performer.”
What have you enjoyed most about your career?
“I enjoy inspiring children to perform and seek music in there everyday life.”
How did Carthage prepare you?
“Carthage really gave me the stage time to explore and enhance my skills and craft in an educational setting that has helped me in my performing experiences today.”
How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?
“The liberal arts skills I gained at Carthage have helped me the most in my move to China. The ability to adapt, see other people’s perspectives, and look for educational opportunities in my everyday life has helped with the ability to live and work in a foreign country that has different beliefs, perspectives, religions, and cultures. This type of education has no doubt helped me adapt and thrive in a nonwestern society.”
Why did you choose Carthage?
“Carthage offered a learning environment that was not crowded with students. Therefore I was able to have one on one connections with my professors and create the type of focused education that I wanted to pursue.”
What opportunities were made possible because of your Carthage experience?
“Carthage offered me the unique opportunity to perform professionally while still being a student. At most schools, students are not allowed to seek out professional opportunities while still being involved in their musical theatre program, but at Carthage, professors helped and provided an environment and worked with me and my schedule to ensure that I could perform at school to gain my educational knowledge while also performing professionally on the weekends to gain that professional experience.”
What Carthage professors played a part in your success and how?
“Professor Matthew Hougland was a huge component in my educational journey, and no doubt has helped me succeed in my performing career. The amount of growth my voice was able to do under his teaching is tremendous, and the knowledge he instilled in me in school is still being developed and looked upon and relevant every day in my performances.”
Were you an award recipient? If so, tell us about the awards you received and what they meant to you.
- Dean’s List
- Alice Mack and Neill O. Rowe Scholarship
What role have the values in Carthage's mission, "Seeking Truth, Building Strength, Inspiring Service — Together" played in your life?
“These values are seen in my life by the opportunities I take and the people I surround myself with. I constantly put myself in environments that will help me learn and grow, whether that be moving to China, running a marathon, backpacking and exploring the West on my own down to the classes I took in school and the roles I took on in productions. These challenging moments in my life have only helped me learn about myself, the world, and other people around me and have helped me see all of them in a different light. These moments help me seek truth, build strength, and inspire service together with the community that is built around me.”