Attending St. Thomas Aquinas College presented new possibilities for Matthew Dybus, BS ’15, who considered becoming a priest during his high school years at Cathedral Preparatory School and Seminary in Queens, New York. But he followed a different calling.
Matthew studied finance and economics at STAC’s School of Business, a path that set the foundation for his current role as a senior underwriter for Liberty Mutual. However, when he graduated, an unexpected opportunity temporarily led him in another direction. He returned to his high school alma mater, this time as an associate development officer and recruitment assistant.
“St. Thomas Aquinas College opened my mind to taking any opportunity thrown my way, and taught me that being uncomfortable in your career path means growth,” Matthew said.
As a student, Matthew put his skills to the test and completed an internship at North Western Mutual Insurance. He was also active on campus, serving as a Student Ambassador and a Career Ambassador, and participated in the Outdoor and Adventure Club.
A few months into his job at Cathedral, he met a board member of one of the largest insurance brokerage firms, Marsh Inc. Two years later, that connection led to a job offer that pointed Matthew back toward the insurance industry. After working at Marsh Inc. for two years as a broker representative, he moved to Liberty Mutual Insurance Company’s Marine Group as a senior underwriter where he has worked since April 2020.
Because he joined the firm during the COVID-19 pandemic, Matthew has spent the first year of the job working from home. As offices are reopening their doors, he looks forward to connecting with coworkers and clients in person.
Matthew’s role involves communicating with brokers who assist in ensuring companies’ products while they are in transit. “I enjoy the people I work with and the relevancy of my job, as every item, whether it is the clothes you wear, the appliances you use, the computer you read your emails on, the lumber that helps build homes or a vaccine that saves lives is moved throughout the world and we can assist in insuring those goods,” he said, adding that the Suez Canal blockage was something that directly affected his industry.
Matthew credits Professor of Economics Meghan Mihal, Ph.D., and Assistant Dean of the School of Business Professor Christine Cahill, J.D., in part for his success. He said that they challenged him to overcome his initial shyness and to work hard to reach his full potential.
“I would be in their offices weekly conversing about personal life, campus life, and the business world. Both of them were amazing in balancing their roles in those conversations,” Matthew said. “They were sounding boards and great mentors.”
STAC not only jump-started Matthew’s professional career, but through the friendships he made as an undergraduate, he was able to meet someone very special in his personal life, too: his fiancé Erin.
“My [resident assistant], Lauren, said ‘You’re going to marry my sister one day,’” he said. “I never thought it would be the case until I met Erin at a Zac Brown concert with a few STAC friends.” The two got engaged in October 2020.
When he’s not working, Matthew, who lives in Ozone Park, New York, enjoys trying out new recipes and cheering for the Mets. He also volunteers his time to both of his alma maters. At Cathedral, he sits on the board of trustees and teaches a personal finance elective, and he happily makes his way back to STAC’s campus to attend various panels and events. He encourages future graduates to remember their roots in the STAC community.
“STAC has provided you a tremendous, treasured opportunity of receiving a college education,” he says. “Now it’s time to give back, whether it be your talents or time.”