Kirt Matthews, Jr: the new "Heavyweight GPA Champion" of BOP
Kirt Matthews, Jr. (BOP '15) had a stellar career as an undergraduate student in BOP. Graduating with a 3.98 GPA, Kirt finished #5 in the May 2019 Krannert graduating class, #3 among domestic students, and #1 among all male graduates. In an era of high international academic competition, a plus/minus grading system, and stringent rules regarding the Management Admissions Index, Kirt is affectionately known as the new "Heavyweight GPA Champion" of the Dr. Cornell A. Bell Business Opportunity Program. The School of Management selected Kirt as one of two students to represent Krannert in the Poets and Quants "Best & Brightest" release for 2019. Detailed below is his interview with Poets and Quants.
Fun fact about yourself: In high school, I was a part of the Macy’s Day Parade in New York City and the Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C.
Hometown: Elkhart, Indiana
High School: Concord High School
Favorite Business Course: Venture Capital by Fabricio D’Almeida
Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:
- Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (Gamma Rho Chapter), President
- Society of Minority Managers, Vice President
- Dr. Cornell A. Bell Business Opportunity Program, Peer Mentor
- Purdue University Residences, Student Office Coordinator
- United Way of Greater Lafayette, Tax Preparer
- International Studies Abroad (ISA) of Spain, Volunteer
- Hartford Hub Community Center, Volunteer
Leadership Development Programs
- Microsoft’s Finance Leaders of Tomorrow – Class of 2017
- Oliver Wyman’s Diversity Forum – Class of 2018
Where have you interned during your college career?
- 2016 – EY, Launch Intern – Indianapolis, Indiana
- 2017 – Morgan Stanley, Global Capital Markets Summer Analyst – New York City
- 2018 – Goldman Sachs, Investment Banking Summer Analyst – New York City
Where will you be working after graduation? Accenture Strategy, Strategy Analyst – New York City
What company do you admire most? Patagonia, because the company was founded on environmentally friendly principles and today continues to donate at least 1% of all sales to improving the planet.
Who is your favorite professor? My business law professor, Cara Putman. I really appreciated her simplistic teaching style and how she took a genuine interest in my career aspirations.
What did you enjoy most about your business school? The exposure I had to top executives throughout programs in Krannert, my internship experiences, and my various organization involvements.
What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The relationships you build are just as important as the work you produce.
What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Business teaches multiple transferable skills: teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, etc. Use these skills to pursue your interests in and out of the business world.
What has surprised you most about majoring in business? The diversity of learning. I did not believe I would get a comprehensive understanding of business by majoring in accounting because businesses are more than accounting.
If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying… Political Science, because I have a passion for governmental policy and the impact it has on citizens.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My counselor, because she believed my skills and interests aligned well with business-related fields.
Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Volunteering with the United Way of Greater Lafayette to do free tax returns for low-income families in the community.
Which classmate do you most admire? I admire David Day because of his academic success and diverse experiences at Purdue (football, Purdue Student Government, internships, study abroad, etc.).
Who would you most want to thank for your success? My mother, because without her encouragement and motivation, I would not be where I am today.
What are the top two items on your bucket list?
- Seeing all Seven Wonders of the World
- Meeting LeBron James
What are your hobbies? Playing sports and traveling.
What made Kirt Matthews Jr. such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?
“Kirt has an incredible drive to grow both scholastically and professionally. He sees each course as an opportunity to stretch intellectually and each internship as an opportunity to stretch professionally.
While taking my advanced financial accounting course, Kirt demonstrated an ability to work through complex financial reporting issues quickly and then, importantly, to follow through to their implications for business decision making. It was also clear to me that he is a natural leader and a generous peer. These qualities are further reflected in his active involvement in the Society of Minority Managers and his internships with EY, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.
Kirt does not stand still; he keeps moving forward. I can’t wait to see where he is in 10 years.”
Emanuel T. Weiler Chair in Management
Krannert School of Management, Purdue University