“Educate yourself. Lead with heart. And always be the best you can be.”
Matthew’s career started while participating in a Union Bank Student-run Branch Program when he attended McLane High School in Fresno, CA. This year-long internship not only started his financial career but also made invaluable connections along the way.
Matthew is now a branch manager. “Working for the bank at such a young age, it forces you to grow up, but in a good way.” He’s from a large family, with 6 siblings, and he’s the first person in his family to have a career in finance. And they all look to him for financial advice, especially after his greatest accomplishment to date of purchasing his first home at 24. One of the things he's gleaned is that “financial literacy is not being spread enough in schools. Things like how to save money, buying a home, and even getting into the stock market. That early start with the bank opened my eyes.”
Growing up, Barack Obama was someone he admired and looked at as a role model. But his day-to-day mentor is his Frank Robinson, Diverse Markets and Community Based Programs Executive at Union Bank. He credits Frank with the motto, “You never stop learning; you always try to achieve and be the best you can be.”
Early memories of Black History Month were spent together as a family in Oakland. Matthew says they would go to parades and watch the Black Cowboys perform, and the family would have conversations about where they came from. He credits this experience with his drive for excellence. "It’s many of the same lessons I plan on teaching my daughter to help keep black history alive."
“One of the best parts of my job is establishing and maintaining relationships as a mentor to various high school students. The connections I’ve made over the years range from Interns at the Union Bank Student-run Branch Program or just the kids I meet on campus. I offer my advice from my work experiences or just act as a sounding board for them to talk to someone who has been in their shoes. I enjoy giving back and helping my community. I have Volunteered for several non-profits like Habitat for Humanity (store Volunteer) and Wings Advocacy (refurbishing and delivering furniture for people in need). I also speak and teach a little about Financial Literacy to help educate the young men in our black community at my barbershop.”
Matthew’s sage advice is for people of all ages. “Educate yourself. Be a role model. Lead with heart. Save sooner and invest in yourself, and [takes a deep breath], always be the best you can be.”