Last year, PRWeek named Matthew Card ’00 as one of the best young professionals in his field naming him to its annual “40 Under 40” list. His rise to Senior Vice President of Media and Communications for Bank of America’s Global Wealth and Investment Management division wasn’t an easy journey — including taking on a key role in explaining the company’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch in the tempest of the 2008 financial crisis.
But Card has been making a difference for his clients throughout his career. For instance, you will have seen his influence if you’ve watched TV in your taxicab. One of his early coups was securing a Wall Street Journal article for the startup that developed technology to beam video to screens in taxis.
“In this case, when you have a startup doing something very cool,” he recalls, “such a story was a big win for them.”
Card says his York College education provided a firm foundation for upward trajectory in his field, including his time as a student ambassador to prospective undergraduates on campus tours. “It gave me experience presenting to large groups of people, thinking on my feet, and being a spokesperson,” he says. “All three of which are skills I use every day in my career.”
Internships were another valuable element. Card, a Communications major, worked at public relations jobs in the College’s Athletics Department and at a local Easter Seals chapter (now known as Easterseals). “Internships solidified my interest in public relations as a path,” he recalls. “My time at Easter Seals gave me a view into what creating a communications plan was all about.”
York was not all work and no play, however. In addition to being a Resident Assistant for the College his sophomore and junior years, Card was a member of the College wrestling team for two seasons and worked as a DJ at WVYC. He celebrates lifelong friendships that he forged at the College.
“Many of the best people in my life today came from [friendships forged at] York College,” Card says. “My life would be a lot less complete without those friendships.”
Success in the highly-pressurized world of public relations requires many skills, but Card says an ability to prioritize and adjust on a dime is key. “Sometimes you need to be nimble enough to drop everything if something important comes in,” he stresses.
Writing well is also essential. He says, “Being able to write in ways that influence people and get them to take action is a skill that’s valuable to have and [worthwhile] to improve upon.”
Card sees his work for Bank of America during the company’s $50 billion acquisition of Merrill Lynch — in a period of economic tumult — as a key moment in his career. He recalls answering press calls “in the wee hours” about the deal.
“It wasn’t the most enjoyable six-to twelve-month stretch of my career,” Card recalls. “But I thought at the time that this was a great way to establish myself among the people who were watching. Embracing that challenge as an opportunity is one of the reasons I’m sitting where I am today.”
written by Richard Byrne