2018 MBAs To Watch: Matthew Lyde-Cajuste, North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)

Matthew Lyde-Cajuste

University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School

A tenacious solution finder who competes with himself and has fun while he does it.”

Age: 26

Hometown: Mount Vernon, NY

Fun fact about yourself: I played four years for the Syracuse University Men’s Basketball Team

Undergraduate School and Degree: Syracuse University, Mechanical Engineering

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? JP Morgan Chase & Co., Software Infrastructure Engineer

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017? Wells Fargo Securities, NYC

Where will you be working after graduation? Wells Fargo Securities – Technology, Media, and Telecom Group, Investment Banking Associate

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Elected as MBA Student Association Executive Council President
  • Selected as one of two Curriculum Advisory Board Members
  • Served as volunteer mentor for the College for Every Student (CFES) Program

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? As one of my first acts as President of the MBA Student Association (MBASA), the MBASA Executive Council and I laid the foundation for an industry and career path overview document designed to provide incoming MBA candidates with detailed information on the different industries, career paths, and recruiting processes available to them once they arrive on campus. With the understanding that the first year of an MBA can be readily described as “drinking out of a firehose,” we distributed this document to the incoming class over the summer approaching enrollment, allowing incoming students the opportunity to better plan for the year(s) ahead.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? While at JP Morgan, I co-chaired the Global Technology Infrastructure (GTI) Philanthropy Division for the New York Metro region, comprised of 500+ individuals.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Shawn Munday, Professor of the Practice of Finance. Professor Munday brings to class a wealth of knowledge of the financial services industry as a whole, preparing students for the current state of the industry and equipping them with tools to make a positive impact on day one of the job.

What was your favorite MBA Course? Negotiations opened my eyes to the fact that we negotiate more times a day than we’d often think. While many view a negotiation as an opportunity for personal gain, this course taught me that proper negotiating holds the power to build relationships while you win.

Why did you choose this business school? The term “community” has been used so often that it has become somewhat of a cliché. However, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School takes this term to heart and seeks to embody all that it is intended to mean. There are many excellent programs where I’m sure I would thrive, but the focus on team building, leadership, and family deeply resonated with me at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Be yourself. I believe that the admissions department does an excellent job of identifying those who will not only fit well within the program, personifying the core values that we hold dear, but also identifying those who will be additive to the community in a number of ways. The best thing an applicant can do is allow their true self to shine through the formality of the process.

What is the biggest myth about your school? That a business or quant background is necessary. Since I began business school, nearly half of my learnings have come from my classmates and the sharing of their experiences inside and outside of the classroom. As someone who identifies himself as a quant-focused person, I’ve learned much more from my non-quant classmates than those who I may identify with.

What was your biggest regret in business school? I’m not sure I would characterize this as a pure regret, but the thing that I believe that I truly missed out on was studying abroad. I’ve traveled a decent amount in life and did not make studying abroad a priority, though this will likely be my last opportunity to do so.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? As a career switcher with little to no finance background prior to business school, I have a deep respect for those who have followed a similar path with success. However, my classmate, Tom Rockford, was able to accomplish this, securing an investment banking internship and offer from a top bank, while orchestrating the move and assimilation of his wife and two sons. Though impressive on their own, the truly impressive part is that he did this with a perpetual smile and without signs of fatigue.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? Not fully knowing whether I wanted to pursue a career in engineering or finance, I studied mechanical engineering in undergrad with the understanding that I could potentially move from engineering to finance via business school, but the reverse was much more difficult. For this decision, both my mother and father were instrumental. For the decision of when and how to pursue an MBA, my college mentor, Willie Reddic (at the time an accounting PhD at Syracuse Whitman School of Management), was invaluable.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…a propulsion engineer for a major aircraft manufacturer.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? Though I understand the challenges of filling a class and the movement that occurs during the application process, I would like to find a way to reach students over the summer before fall semester with a robust set of resources to help undecided students more quickly and efficiently map out their recruiting game plan.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? Build a ’67 Shelby Mustang GT500E (Eleanor from Gone in 60 Seconds) and survive taking it to the race track.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I’d like to be remembered as someone who always had a solution and saw things through to the end.

What is your favorite movie about business? Barbarians at the Gate does an excellent job of detailing many of the intricacies that are overlooked when analyzing what was one of the largest deals of its time yet are vital to the execution of any transaction.

What would your theme song be?New York Soul – Pt. ii” by Jon Bellion

Favorite vacation spot: Asa, Sweden

Hobbies? I enjoy building and racing gas powered radio control cars, traveling, and playing basketball.

What made Matt such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?

“Being a student leader is never an easy job – and being the president of a student body of almost 600 fiercely intelligent, highly driven and passionate individuals is always going to be an opportunity to truly test your leadership skills. Matt rose to this challenge brilliantly, with an easy grace, and always a huge smile on his face. Through his abilities to influence and communicate effectively, Matt was the key student who led the MBA Student Association executive council and the leaders of over 45 clubs successfully navigate significant organizational change during his tenure. This restructure led to new and more effective working relationships with the club advisors resulting in a more streamlined and enhanced student experience. In addition to building strong working relationships, Matt worked closely with students and staff to develop the career-path overview document, a tangible and actionable framework that has clarified the path to translating our powerful degree program to the careers students dreamed of when they decided to pursue an MBA.

Matt has also been a leading voice in amplifying issues of the day and empowering his peers to strengthen the impact and reach of education in the areas of workplace diversity and inclusion. Under his leadership, critical topics were addressed by student-driven initiatives and actionable educational sessions such as Gender Issues in the Workplace, Male Allyship, Race Matters, Out in the Workplace, and several others. Because of these, UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA students are better prepared to enter the workforce as impactful leaders in business.

Beyond his formal roles, Matt has been a tremendous mentor to scores of students. He helps them craft resumes, prepare for interviews and makes connections. I experienced his commitment to help others succeed first-hand when I joined the UNC Kenan-Flagler team last summer. Amidst his demanding investment banking internship, Matt took a great deal of time to facilitate my on-boarding and making connections with other students in advance of the academic year.

It is Matt’s true desire to enhance the MBA experience for students, grace under pressure and ability to stay focused on the goal that truly makes him special. As someone who has worked with thousands of students, Matt is a true standout.”

Kara Kravetz Cupoli

Director, Full-Time MBA Program





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