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Meet Our 2019 Cohort of Fellows: Matt Carroll

Cornell University, Johnson Graduate School of Management

I was born and raised in a northern New Jersey and attended college at Bentley University, where I majored in Economics-Finance. After graduation I started work in Boston as an account manager for Brown Brothers Harriman's client service group. After doing that for a few years I moved to the Jersey City office and took on an operational role as the lead specialist for international trade settlements. In this role I was fortunate to work closely with our Polish and Indian offices, as well as service providers in over 90 markets. Additionally, I headed an initiative to relaunch my office's Toastmasters chapter, for which I acted as president until I left the company.

What made you consider business school?

I really enjoyed my previous work, however, I couldn't see myself being fulfilled following that career path in the long term. After a lot of research and reflection I decided that, for me, pursuing a full time MBA was the most efficient way to achieve my career goals. I'm not aware of any other opportunity where you are able to completely immerse yourself in honing a new skill set, while also being surrounded by an incredibly diverse and talented group of peers. It was a opportunity that I could not refuse.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?

I'm very excited to be able to work in a collaborative environment with a group of people that have backgrounds and worldviews that are different from my own, both at Cornell and across schools. While the lessons we learn in the classroom will be integral to gaining employment, I'm willing to bet it's the lessons we learn from each other that will really shape our MBA experience. I know how cliché that sounds, but I like to say that things usually sound cliché because they're true!

Who are some leaders (in the LGBT community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?

Who can help but be inspired by Malala Yousafzai? If more people had just a small fraction of the perseverance and compassion she posseses, the world would be a better place. I am also a big believer in her stance that improved access to education would precipitate an improvement to many other problems society is facing. Truly, I'm inspired by anybody who uses their position to fight for the rights of others, from Lady Gaga to Elizabeth Warren.

What's one thing everyone should know about you?

To the extent that it's appropriate, I try to find humor in every situation. So far that hasn't gotten me into too much trouble. I just believe that life is better when you're laughing.