Three Degrees of Success: Matt Foley, BBA, MBA, & MSM

Walsh alumnus Matt Foley (BBA, ‘04; MSM, ‘09; MBA, ‘12) took the invaluable skills he learned in college and is now applying them back in the classroom as an adjunct professor of finance at Walsh.

Foley wanted to be a math teacher in high school. After graduation he played Division III football at a small college in Virginia before deciding to move to Michigan. He attended Macomb Community College for one year and then transferred to Walsh.

After earning his Bachelor of Business Administration in 2004, Foley’s goals were to refine his skill set and narrow his career focus by continuing his education. When it was time to choose where to earn his master’s degree, Walsh was the perfect fit due to the college’s excellent reputation in the business community.

“As I was looking around and talking to people and telling them I wanted to go to business school, the recommendations were for Walsh. And not only that it’s a good school, but because there are so many Michigan employers who have hired Walsh alumni,” he said.

Foley earned his Master of Science in Management (MSM) in 2009 and completed his Master of Business Administration (MBA) in 2012 -- both at Walsh. He said his master’s degrees took what he learned from his bachelor’s program to the next level while the MBA also helped him hone his knowledge and skill set for his career.

Juggling multiple roles

Like many Walsh students, Foley worked full time while pursuing his degrees. For the past eight years, he has been employed by Marsh & McLennan Agency in its Troy, Mich., office. Marsh & McLennan is the ninth-largest insurance broker in the United States with annualized revenues of approximately $1.2 billion. Currently, Foley has two roles at the company: managing a team of 40 financial analysts and working with a growing book of business -- his own clients, guiding them in choosing healthcare plans, and making other budget decisions. Although he has a hectic work and teaching schedule, Foley said he’s intentional with his time to ensure he has plenty of time to spend with his family. “There is no wasted time and there is no down time,” he said.

He credits Walsh with helping give him a strong sense of discipline and organization. “I finished my MBA when my daughter was six months old,” Foley said. “I was very busy but very focused. Every minute was accounted for. It was a great lesson for me as I transitioned to the working world.”

Real-world applications

As the capstone course for his MBA, Foley participated in the ACG Cup® and counts it as a tremendous educational experience for him. The ACG Cup is a case study competition designed to give students from leading MBA programs across the country real-world experience and invaluable insights into mergers and acquisitions, investment banking, financial advising, and private equity. Foley and a team of Walsh MBA students competed against students from the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University by presenting a business case study to mergers and acquisitions professionals. The experience, Foley said, mirrors the work he now performs daily.

Back in the Classroom

The opportunity to teach at Walsh stemmed from conversations with his former professor of finance and economics, Dr. John Moore.

“When I look back at the professors I held in the highest regard and clicked with, it was those who let their personalities show through in their teaching.” Foley said. “I try to do that too. My students are busy; they work all day. I bring energy and real stories to my classes to engage students and get them to buy in. I love to teach and have always had success with it.”

Why Walsh?

To anyone considering attending Walsh, Foley has simple advice: Do it!

“Get ready to put in some hard work and that’s a good thing,” he said. “People who are good candidates for an MBA program, like the ones at Walsh, have hard work in their DNA.”

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