2016 Best EMBAs: Matthew Stone, University of Michigan (Ross)

Matt Stone Michigan

Matthew Stone

University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

“The demands of the EMBA program on working professionals is always a challenge. Matt managed this challenge while taking on a larger professional role in a new organization, becoming a new father with the arrival of twins and completing a long-term corporately sponsored project! Matt has balanced it all with steadfast composure, an easy laugh, and continuous collaboration with his classmates.”

Age: 39

Location: Franklin, MI

Family Members: Wife, Jessica, and 4-month-old twin boys Simon and Van

Undergraduate School and Degree: Michigan State University, Accounting

Where are you currently working? Johnson Controls – Automotive Experience: Director, Financial Planning & Analysis

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Two blessings: Working with my team to deliver a high-quality Exec Map Project with significant value add for our sponsor.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? My experience leading over 90 Acquisition and Divestiture Financial Due Diligence Engagements during my time in Transaction Services at PwC.

Who is your favorite professor? Professor Duenyas: His approach to teaching operational analysis really captivated the cohort. The hands on paper house assembly line simulation really brought the core concepts together.

Favorite MBA Courses? All finance courses centered around capital allocation and value creation measurement.

Why did you choose this executive MBA program? The once-a-month residency format fit into my work/life schedule the best. Also, I targeted the general management focused curriculum to broaden my exposure to other functional business areas.

What did you enjoy most about business school? I enjoyed the professors and their teaching approaches which typically incorporated real world examples drawing on experiences from within the cohort.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from business school? I should be open minded to different potential execution paths and strategies that exist when arriving at a solution to complex business problems as opposed (as opposed to fixating on one correct solution).

What was the most surprising thing about business school? How quickly you can start implementing learnings in your work environment.

What was the hardest part of business school? I found prioritizing the large volume of assigned readings to be most challenging.

What is your best advice for juggling work, family, and education? Clear, frequent communication is critical to successfully navigate all three together. Also, when conflicts emerge between the three, leverage the strengths of your MBA team members to maximize efficiency.

What’s your best advice to an applicant to your executive MBA program? Clearly understand the time commitment and visualize how it will fit into your work and family life. Understand that everyone in your cohort may have much different levels of available time to dedicate to the program.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school …” When I was exposed to high-quality MBAs early in my career and was impressed by their capabilities and business acumen.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be …” Less informed on how to think through a wide variety of challenges facing a business.

Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? Walt Disney, because of his use of brands and franchises to not only generate profitable growth, but impact the lives of others through the use of entertainment.

What are your long-term professional goals? Continue to challenge myself and grow in various senior financial management roles.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My wife Jess for all her support over the past five years and my parents for opening the door to many opportunities for me.

Fun fact about yourself: I have been told I am a pretty good dancer

Favorite book: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Favorite movie: Good Will Hunting

Favorite musical performer: U2

Favorite television show: “Game of Thrones”

Favorite vacation spot: Mexico and the Caribbean

Hobbies? Working out, tennis, fishing

What made Matt such an invaluable addition to the class of 2016?

Matthew Stone exemplifies the type of student every MBA program would love to fill their classrooms. He is a CPA and finance executive on an upward career trajectory. Predictably, Matt has excelled in what is considered one of the most rigorous executive MBA programs in the market. He has the respect of his peers, Ross faculty, and the EMBA program office staff for his grasp of new knowledge, ability to communicate concepts, and leadership.

“Matt is always engaged, contributes to class discussions and strengthens insights for others. He is known for his commitment to helping others achieve success without forgetting his own personal objectives for coming to the program. He is collaborative in his work and a leader on his teams. In peer reviews, his team members commend him for explaining concepts and their pertinence to homework assignments as well as his willingness to reach out when he has questions about material. They comment that the way he asks questions about the material demonstrates leadership and maturity and tends to clarify everyone else’s thinking on the matter as well.

“The demands of the EMBA program on working professionals is always a challenge. Matt managed this challenge while taking on a larger professional role in a new organization, becoming a new father with the arrival of twins and completing a term long corporately sponsored project! Matt has balanced it all with steadfast composure, an easy laugh and continuous collaboration with his classmates. We are confident that Matt will continue to excel in his career and we are proud to have him represent the Ross School of Business!”

Izak Duenyas
Donald C. Cook Professor of Business Administration
Professor of Technology and Operations
Faculty Director of Executive MBA Program 
University of Michigan, Ross School of Business 

DON’T MISS: CLASS OF 2016: THE BEST & BRIGHTEST GRADUATING EMBAS