Meet Matthew Wong
There can be a negative assumption that insurance is boring, especially for young professionals that dream of working for exciting big tech companies. The reality is the total opposite! Insurance has something for everyone, no matter your interests. My passions for work-life balance, team work and technology are all present, and I have been able to bring it into my work every day at Arch.
I graduated from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, with a degree in Accounting. After graduating on a Sunday, I woke up Monday morning and immediately went after my CPA license. My first full-time job was at PricewaterhouseCoopers, working in public accounting. Most of my clients were insurance companies. I was responsible for looking at their financial records to make sure they were free from material misstatement. It was a great opportunity, and I turned it into a nice silo for myself to be an expert. I worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers for seven years, learning a lot during that time and gaining valuable and transferrable experience.
Taking Chances for Positive Change
I needed a change. I wanted a culture that valued a work-life balance, and I saw this opportunity at Arch. I asked my colleagues for their opinions. They all said good things about Arch, the culture, and that Arch was heavily invested in using and leveraging technology to understand data. In addition, people said Arch had a friendly and positive work culture, with approachable colleagues and superiors, and a good work-life balance.
So, I took the leap. I moved to Arch, soon after the pandemic started, in the summer of 2020. Arch sent me a laptop and a desk, and I got started. My manager, Jim Steinman, set me up with my colleagues Lailani Almeria and Izabella Gillon to shadow and they were great at walking me through everything.
“Arch is a great company that is well balanced: It has all the benefits and resources of a larger company, with the opportunity for improvement and ability to change quickly like a smaller company.”
Pursuing Better Together by Raising My Hand
I became an Arch Experience Captain soon after I started. The Arch Experience Captains help reinforce and formalize the Arch Behaviors and Values that make us such a successful company, by leading group activities and discussions with colleagues. As a new hire, it made sense to raise my hand, get some exposure and meet some co-workers. What was the most valuable for me was finding new and inventive ways of communicating the Arch Behaviors and Values. For my group, I challenged participants to remember and recite a long grocery list. We found that most people remembered the first and last items on the list but not the middle. We then discussed how to apply this to our jobs — prioritizing a few items and maybe giving someone a call instead of sending a long email. It’s one example of a quick exercise I got to lead that exemplified the importance of good practices that contribute to The Arch Experience.
At Arch, Change Is Mine to Own
If I could go back in time and give myself advice before I made the leap to Arch, it would be: stay hungry and stay eager. It’s what gave you success so far and will continue to be the key. I would also assure myself that Arch is a great company that is well balanced: It has all the benefits and resources of a larger company, with the opportunity for improvement and ability to change quickly like a smaller company.
At a large company, enacting change can be a big process, and even if you get through that, changes may not happen immediately. At Arch, change is mine to own. If I see that a process has pain points, I feel empowered to reflect, suggest and try potential solutions.
An example is when I wanted to introduce a new piece of technology that could handle large amounts of data. I brought it up to my manager; he liked the idea, but he needed to see more from me to know it was worth introducing. I kept pursuing it because I believed there was a place for it and a business reason for it. I kept asking questions and eventually, I had enough information and data to justify using the new tool, and we brought it on. I set up demonstrations for my team, and I am now the go-to person for this tool, called Alteryx, which helps us meaningfully use all of the data we collect. This change happened because I owned it and eagerly went after it.
Find your passion, and there will be a place for it in insurance. It’s a growing industry with many different aspects, and I am excited to grow and learn with Arch in the coming years!
Arch Insurance | Jersey City, N.J.