Matthew spent most of his childhood in Ciudad del Carmen, a small island off the Gulf of Mexico known regionally for its booming oil industry. It was there that his parents worked in the field until relocating to the U.S. in 2000 to better serve the schooling needs of their daughter with a developmental disability. It was then that Matthew learned English and developed a strong passion for tennis. By the age of 12 he found himself traveling around the country playing at the national level.
Despite holding extensive conversations with numerous college tennis programs, Matthew could not resist the unique opportunity that the Huntsman Program represented. Seeing his father build businesses from the ground up, he aspired to follow suit one day. In Matthew’s mind, an interdisciplinary education emphasizing both general business acumen and a global perspective would be invaluable as an entrepreneur. Also, Matthew had been born in Pennsylvania Hospital and had a lot of family in Philadelphia, so the city always had a great deal of sentimental value. Although he would not join the men’s varsity tennis team, he would remain physically active, training and running a marathon his sophomore year!
Exploring Diverse Interests
Throughout his career at Penn, Matthew has embraced the numerous opportunities on and off campus available to the enterprising and ambitious. As a freshman, he worked part-time for a community development corporation—fittingly headed by a Huntsman alumnus —that provided technical assistance and capital access to small businesses in Western Philadelphia. There he spent the lion’s share of his time assisting the Executive Director in applying for grants to fund the first kitchen incubator in the city of Philadelphia. Matthew recalls feeling deeply honored when asked to represent the CDC at a town hall meeting on the city budget. Simultaneously, Matthew also worked as an equity research analyst for an investment portal based in San Francisco, offering financial and business analysis on individual corporations; he would hold this position for three years. His sophomore year, he joined the Wharton Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), providing free on campus consulting services alongside fellow students and MBAs, a humbling experience that elucidated to him the complexities and difficulties of being an entrepreneur.
Matthew’s chosen Wharton concentrations are Finance and Statistics, and in the College he’s earning a minor in Mathematics. He was drawn to Statistics after taking a class on probability and realizing how intellectually stimulating it was. His favorite class thus far has been "Applied Probability Models in Marketing" with Professor Peter Fader, teaching Matthew a powerful suite of tools through which to analyze customer bases. He enjoyed the class so much that he asked Professor Fader to advise him in a customer analytics project as part of the Wharton Research Scholars program.
Study Abroad and Beyond
Matthew spent a semester in Madrid, which he considers in many ways the highlight of his Huntsman Program experience. Not only was it a great opportunity to decompress, but it was also what he calls the most introspective period of his life. He fell in love with European art and anchored many of his weekend trips around museum visits, his favorite being the Dalí museum in Figueres. “Western Europe has such a powerful appreciation for its history and the arts that even as an outsider you can’t help but get sucked in.”
Having forfeited many of his responsibilities upon studying abroad, Matthew returned to campus with a much lighter workload, and made finance his exclusive focus. He helped co-manage an investment fund backed by Huntsman student capital, and took part in case competitions around the country, twice winning the largest intercollegiate stock pitch competition, hosted by the University of Michigan.
Every summer since starting Penn Matthew has worked in investment banking. After graduation, Matthew intends to join Evercore Partners as an M&A investment banking analyst. At some point he hopes to branch out on his own and pursue his deep passion for finance from the investing side.