The Oppy staff is proud to continue a new feature for the paper called “Stern Somebody”, telling the stories of remarkable classmates and how they became the exceptional people they are today.
Many people have stories to share of how they overcame life obstacles and achieved success, but they don’t all publish books with steps on how to get there. Then again, Matthew C. Meade is not the average MBA student. During the week, Meade is a VP at JP Morgan Chase & Company, where he leads a team that covers multiple trading desks across various industries. On the weekends, he is getting his Executive MBA here at Stern. In his free time, he is a motivational speaker, philanthropist, mentor, and activist. Oh, and did we mention he wrote a book? Casual. In the past month, Meade has been featured in Business Insider, Efinancial, Poets and Quants, and Yahoo! Sports. The Oppy board is honored to spotlight the author of Wisdom on the Way to Wall Street: 22 Steps to Navigating Your Road to Success, Matthew C. Meade, as this month’s Stern Somebody.
Matthew, it’s an honor! We can see you are in high demand. Thank you for taking time to interview with your beloved school newspaper! When was your book published?
No problem, anytime. Thanks for having me. The book was published August 22nd.
Wow! Hot off the press. What was your motivation behind writing a book on 22 steps to success? And why 22 steps? If I only did 20, would I still get there?
The 22nd is the day I was born. Twenty-two was always a special number to me, I wore it in soccer and basketball as well. If you did 20, it might work, but each principle is important, as I’ve heavily scrutinized the placement and the lesson behind it.
How did you discover these steps?
The principles were all taught at home through my mother, five brothers and two sisters, work experiences, building and transforming global teams, and life experiences through authentic interactions with people.
Can you tell us a bit of your career path and how it led to your current position?
Sure, I did a program in college, called “Inroads”, that granted me an opportunity to intern as a freshman and sophomore in college at CIT Bank in treasury cash and risk management. My junior year, I did a program called Sponsors for Educational Opportunity where I interned for Bank of America in Debt Capital Market (DCM) Sales. I joined Bank of America to start my career as an analyst in DCM. I transitioned back to CIT group after a few years when they became a Bank Holding Company and was building out the Enterprise Risk Management franchise. I went to JPM after contributing to building the business out. I’ve been at JPM for 10 years in a couple of different roles. I’m currently focused on risk innovation where we look to work with technology and market risk to build digital dashboards across the organization to review firmwide trading metrics that are sent to regulators.
How has Covid changed your workflow? I can imagine the current economic climate has led to stressful days.
Certainly, it was significantly busier because there were large market swings. When that occurs we have to monitor our reasonably expected near term demand and trading limits closer. Also, business priorities, similar to a lot of companies have changed.
Why did you decide to get an MBA?
I wanted to get my MBA because I wanted to continue to endlessly educate myself, which is a principle in the book. It’s vital to make sure you continue learning, networking with your peers, and hearing diverse perspectives. Because who you know will get you in, but what you know will keep you in.
What are you hoping to do next in your career? How will an MBA help?
I’m going to transition into fintech. Digital transformation is happening across several industries but financial services have been slower to adapt. Roles such as product management, cloud, and digital payments will continue to grow overtime. My MBA is focused on Analytics, Strategy and Leadership, so the skills I’m learning in this space along with my financial services background in sales, finance and risk will be a strong pivot into the fintech space.
I know that you are passionate about serving the community and are a mentor, philanthropist, and activist. How are you hoping to create change?
I hope to continue to provide opportunities for strong individuals that haven’t been recognized. I have the Matthew C. Meade scholarship, where I provide funds for students from my high school to attend college. I mentor each student that receives my scholarship. I am an ambassador of Advancing Black Pathways at JP Morgan Chase & Company, where we look to career, educate and wealth build in black communities. Also, I want to continue to be a steward for diversity and inclusion.
I read an excerpt of your book and I couldn’t help but think if I had written this book, I’d use passages as homework assignments all the time. I don’t think NYU’s code of conduct states anything about plagiarizing yourself and I’m pretty sure each chapter could be a paper for Leadership in Organizations. However, I digress. You clearly have very high EQ. Is that something you feel is innate or is it something that you developed over the years?
I pride myself on surrounding myself with diverse individuals so that I better understand people. It also comes from having eight siblings with everyone having different personalities. Lastly, when working with global teams and hiring talent it’s important to get EQ right for the overall benefit of the team structure.
What advice would you give to classmates who are trying to start off their careers?
Be willing to adapt to change, work diligently because good words come from good work, and if you make an error – fail forward, learn from it and move on.
Matthew, it has been a pleasure! Thank you for taking time out of your busy day. If you see Matthew in (virtual) class, feel free to say hi but the answer is no. You cannot get a discount off his book.