At Xavier, Matt Lucas was known for his pitching arm. Now as a vice president for Morgan Stanley in New York City, Lucas is pitching a different kind of game.
Working in the area of legal compliance, Lucas’ team develops the technology that ensures companies stay within the regulatory requirements of the financial industry—including his own.
“All major financial regulators oversee the bank, but the functions we put together ensure our internal functions are aligned so we pass muster with those regulatory functions,” Lucas says. “So when they come in and perform their audits and exams, we're confident we can meet those obligations.”
The Big Apple may be a long way from Cincinnati, but it’s not such a stretch for Lucas, who credits his Xavier education and his degree in Computer Science for his rapid career success.
“Xavier prepared me very well for the pace of New York and the need to be perform and show results,” he says. “Xavier put a lot into my growth and enabled me to be successful in this type of atmosphere.”
His success started soon after he graduated in 2006, when he went to work for a small startup software company in Boston. When that company was bought by IBM in 2010, he got picked up as well, working for IBM for about eight years before joining Morgan Stanley. Now 33, he commutes into the city by train from his home in Connecticut where he lives with his wife and daughter.
Two things stand out about his Xavier education, he says. His computer science professors taught him how to take on a challenge and succeed; and his coaches always emphasized the importance of academics over athletics.
“I see my baseball career as a vessel for me to get to where I am and my computer science major as competitive and challenging,” he says. “I spent more hours in the classroom than on the baseball field, and I have no regrets.”
All that studying paid off. His liberal arts background combined with his technology degree gave him the skills to take on new challenges and execute effective solutions while also being able to adapt to a changing career field.
“Where a lot of programs fail is they are singular focused on programming language development. But a Xavier education is broad, focusing on theory and science, along with the architecture behind computer technology," he says. “What that gives you is the ability to think across the entire spectrum of your career. Our exposure to so many different things and the ability to take a challenge and figure it out is so critical and is what allows Xavier’s students to be successful.”
Lucas played ball throughout his four years at Xavier and remains in touch with many of his teammates as well as the coach. It’s like an extended family, he says. But his baseball career is over, and he's okay with that.
“I knew college would be the end of baseball, and I think I did pretty well overall,” he says. “But my priorities were to graduate with a degree and get a good job out of school, which I did.”