Matthew Allen had landed some interesting business roles despite having a liberal arts background, but decided to boost his skills on the Duke - Fuqua School of Business daytime MBA to increase the opportunities open to him.
Matthew’s background is in literature, art and languages. He graduated from Davidson College, North Carolina in 2006 and immediately joined Paystar Logistics as a consultant. The job came about as a result of a meeting with his first mentor who was the father of one of the girls on a soccer team he was coaching.
He was put through an assessment and when it turned out he would be a good fit for the company he was offered the job fresh out of college. At Paystar Logistics, Matthew worked with a range of Fortune 500 companies to provide comprehensive transportation and supply chain services.
Immediately prior to joining the Duke MBA he was a Project Leader for The Forum Corporation, an organization that designs and delivers skills development systems for companies. There, Matthew was in charge of performing diagnostic work to provide solutions to clients’ needs.
When we spoke with Matthew a few days ago, it was in his first week of a summer internship at Deloitte. He will be an associate working on a project in the healthcare sector.
Matthew fell in love with the idea of helping companies solve problems and wanted to move his career in forward in that direction. Management consulting is an industry he wants to stay in and experiencing the industry for himself during this internship has been a bonus for him.
He has already spent a large amount of time travelling as part of the orientation programme and has enjoyed every minute of it. It's Matthew’s first time in Atlanta and so the experience is entirely new for him and his fiancee Laura.
He says, “I’m recently engaged and my fiancee is from the South East. The Atlanta office is one of the biggest in the area so we wanted to check out the city, try things out and see how we would do with it.”
Coming on the Duke MBA has allowed Matthew to gain insights into industry areas that he wasn’t familiar with. “The MBA was a decision I made because of the academic grounding I would gain in terms of business knowledge. My primary aim is to learn and get involved in as many extra-curricular activities as possible because that is another channel for learning”, he says
The choice of Duke was a combination of a place that felt like home and the calibre of school, says Matthew. Laura’s parents went to Duke and so she’s a diehard Dukie but apart from that Duke also sports a Partners Network which has been incredibly useful for his fiancee to connect with partners of other Duke MBAs.
Matthew says that there are more than 20 Fuqua MBAs at Deloitte’s Atlanta practice alone. Deloitte is one of the biggest recruiters at Fuqua he says. He also knows of a classmate interning with Delta Airlines who has can travel for free to any destination that the airline flies to during the internship period!
Being a Summer Associate at Deloitte means that Matthew can enjoy some weekends off, and get to know the city. He says, “So far life in Atlanta has been great. I haven’t spent much time in the city yet but on the weekend we arrived, there was a huge summer fest in the neighbourhood and Red Bull soapbox races in the park next to my apartment.
Matthew is looking forward to the rest of his time with Deloitte and also to starting the second year of his MBA this fall. “I’ve been humbled by getting to know the amazing people in my class. It will also be great to jump back into my role as Cabinet Member with the Net Impact Club, taking on first years as new members.
"I’m also looking forward to taking a deeper dive into social entrepreneurship and finance classes", he says.
Matthew says he has taken advantage of the “amazing practitioners” at the Centre for Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE), Duke Fuqua’s research and education centre aimed at promoting the application of business skills in social impact initiatives.
CASE is strongly affiliated with the teaching at Duke and he is excited about the prospects of further engagement with the centre.
And what will he miss most about Fuqua over the summer? How aggressively people take their outfits for theme parties, and the face--offs at basketball games!