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Change in game plan leads to winning outcome

Matt Rall

Matt Rall
BSM ’12, MBA ’13

In sports, coaches often have to change or modify their in-game strategy to come up with a winning result. That's exactly what Matt Rall did.

Raised in Vero Beach, Florida, Matt was a two-sport athlete in high school. His parents were executives in the fashion and retail company Nine West, giving him an interest in business. As he began his career at Purdue, he thought a position in the sports management field might be right for him.

In addition to working in Purdue Athletic Promotions, Matt landed an internship with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He rubbed elbows with star running back Maurice Jones-Drew and coach Jack Del Rio during long weeks, often exceeding 100 hours, as he helped develop travel logistics for the team.

Another internship in the sports industry, with Octagon Financial Services, allowed Matt to work in investment, tax, and client financial management capacities with a clientele of mainly professional sports athletes. But his experience in sports, combined with a self-assessment through a tool called Career Leader, led him to believe his future may be best suited away from stadiums and arenas.

"As I sat down and looked at it, I realized there are relatively few jobs in the sports industry, and there are many more job candidates than there are positions," he says. "It also is an industry that requires frequent moves, and I'd like a career that is more family-friendly. I decided I was interested in doing a corporate-based career centered on finance and accounting."

Matt decided early in his Purdue career that he wanted both an undergraduate degree and an MBA, and he successfully applied for enrollment into Krannert's 3+2 program, where students can earn both degrees in five years. After the first year of his MBA studies, he worked through the Krannert Professional Development Center to land an internship in Doha, Qatar, with ExxonMobil.

"It was a great experience. I was somewhere I would have never traveled otherwise so early in my career, and I was working on very interesting projects," he says.

The internship led to a job offer, and in July he'll begin work in Houston as a financial analyst. Before then, he'll travel to Europe for a month and reflect on his time at Purdue.

"It was a life-changing experience," he says. "I came to campus not knowing a single person, and I left with experiences and friendships that will last a lifetime. I did my best to seize every opportunity I had."