Learning through a leadership lens

February 15, 2021

College of Business student Ryan Matey continuously sought leadership roles on campus. Now, with graduation only months away, he's landed a competitive post-graduation professional development fellowship that gives him the opportunity to stand out as a leader while starting his career.

Opportunities open doors. Knowing this, College of Business student Ryan Matey made the most of his time on campus. Matey joined business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi and served as president — a position he held during the pandemic. He organized leadership training workshops through student organizations like the Society for Human Resource Management. And the UM-Dearborn senior discovered the power of internships.

“I’ve had great professors here. They go beyond the textbook to connect us to industry professionals and knowledge. We also have several student organizations and there’s always something new to learn through involvement in those,” says Matey, who also joined the college radio station WUMD when he first came to campus; he’s currently the student director of marketing and sales. “I kept seeking out opportunities to help me become the leader I dream to be.”

Photo of COB student Ryan Matey
Photo of COB student Ryan Matey
Ryan Matey

So Matey got career connected. He landed a public policy internship with the city of Detroit and a marketing placement at Roche Diagnostics. And after those experiences, an emailed opportunity appeared in the senior’s inbox. 

It offered him a chance to apply for a two-year Orr Fellowship where he’d get regular professional development experiences alongside a full time job. Orr is a post-graduate leadership program in Indianapolis — the same location as his Roche Diagnostics internship — that places high-achieving college seniors in full-time, paid positions at dynamic companies and organizations. Of the nearly 1,300 applicants, 79 individuals received job offer calls. And Matey was among them.

Matey was matched and received a job offer from the analytics and automation consulting firm Kinney Group. During the placement, which begins in June, he’ll have opportunities to network and attend talent-honing workshops (remotely, of course) through Orr. 

“It was a good, but intense, process. We did the typical stuff like give our portfolios and resumes to Orr for review, but then there were several interviews with companies whose needs matched my skill set — I believe I had six in one day,” says Matey, a Human Resource Management and Marketing double major. “I’m grateful that the process was so involved. I know this is an HR thing to say — but it’s all about finding that right fit.” 

One of Matey’s long-term goals is growing into “a principled business leader who fosters unity, integrity, knowledge and service.” He speaks passionately about this — and ties it back to having great coaches as a child in hockey.

“From age four until 19, I played hockey competitively three or four times a week. It taught me a lot about leadership and winning teams. A leader doesn’t score every time — they set up their teammates to score goals too. Leaders create strong teams through example and encouragement,” he says. “That’s the person I strive to be and this fellowship will help me continue working toward that goal.”

Matey graduates in May. He credits UM-Dearborn for helping him make the transition from college student to professional. And, in the future, he’s hoping to pay it forward through connecting students to opportunities like the Orr Fellowship.

“It’s good to have outreach that exposes people to opportunities that they didn’t even know existed — especially since there are even more available than before with the business world evolving to allow for remote work situations,” he says. “I’ve had a lot of people help me get where I am today and I’d like to do the same for others.”

Back to top of page