Matt Thompson | Economics & Biology
From: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, currently living in Los Angeles, CA
Pomona Days: Class of 1996 | Double Major in Economics and Biology
Current Employment: SVP at Skyview Capital Ventures
Past Employment and Graduate School:
- VP - Private Equity at The Gores Group (2009 - 2012)
- Director - Business Development at Sony Pictures (2006 - 2009)
- Senior Associate at Alvarez & Marsal (2004 - 2006)
- MBA at Stanford Business School
- Manager Corporate Development at Flashcom (1999 - 2001)
- Manager at PwC (1996 - 2001)
Matt is a member of the Pomona College Board of Trustees and is the President of the Alumni Board.
I have always wanted to be a technology investor. I started as a consultant and investment banker, moved on to doing mergers and acquisitions at Sony Pictures, then did private Equity at the Gores Group, and now do technology investing at Skyview Capital. I also assist startups with advice and mentoring. I also am very involved as a member of the Pomona College Alumni Board and Board of Trustees.
I advise students interested in ultimately entering business or finance to do several things. First, get to know the Career Development Office. Understand all of the great tools and resources that are available. And then use the tools to reach out to alumni in those fields. LinkedIn is an amazing way to connect with Sagehen alumni everywhere in every field. Also, try to build up an expertise as you are looking for new opportunities (read books and articles about the industry that you want to enter, sign up for coding academies, or take an accounting class at community college, attend some free trade shows). This shows interest and helps you learn the jargon of the field. While in school, if you are interested in getting into business, I recommend that you can major in anything but perhaps consider taking one economics class and one accounting class and one computer science course. Having this basic knowledge also shows interest and provides the foundation for learning more on your own. I also recommend to get quality internships as early as possible. Internship experiences compound, so the earlier you start the better. Unpaid internships with interesting companies can be a great way to enter exciting industries; since unpaid (for academic credit) internships are more flexible, one can supplement earnings by working more traditional summer jobs at night. Get connected with the right clubs. Pomona has some clubs such as Sagehen Capital Management, Consulting Club, Pomona Ventures that provide very practical experiences that are relevant to any business-related career. If you want to go to business school, start your planning early (visit schools when you are nearby, take the GMAT early, take a GMAT prep class, foster relationships with your bosses and peers which turn into recommendations, and excel in some area of community service).