One on One with Matthew Nissen
Matthew Nissen ’08, M.B.A. ’09
Matthew Nissen ’08, M.B.A. ’09, oversees the accounting and internal audit functions at Verus Claims Services, LLC, a mid-size company located in Lawrenceville, N.J. Verus is a non-public company specializing in claims administration and management services.
Prior to joining Verus in 2011, Nissen worked in public accounting as an audit senior associate with the audit, tax and advisory firm of KPMG, LLP in their New York Financial Services practice. During his time at KPMG, Nissen focused on both public and non-public clients, and his engagement portfolio included banks, leasing, and investment companies.
Nissen is a fully licensed certified public accountant in New Jersey and holds a New Jersey School Business Administrator Certificate of Eligibility. He is currently a member of both the AICPA and NJSCPA. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a MBA with a concentration in Finance from Rider University.
How did you choose to attend Rider?
I chose to attend Rider University because of its reputation as a top ranked business school where I knew I would gain a wonderful educational foundation. With the vast Business majors Rider had to offer, I was confident that I would have the resources necessary to find a major that was perfect for me, which I did. Additionally, as a Central Jersey native, I was looking for a local, suburban school with small class sizes and a strong student-centered philosophy. Rider appeared and proved to be a perfect fit for me.
What skills, other than technical, are necessary to succeed in the business world ?
I don’t believe there has ever been a more pressing need to ensure you have strong interpersonal skills, a diversified network, and “big picture” perspective. Strong interpersonal skills are critical in a demanding workplace where employees need to communicate and demonstrate to their employer an ability to grow with a company and offer more than just technical expertise. A diversified network will help you to keep informed of new opportunities for personal and professional growth as well as resources you can introduce to your company in order to improve processes or reduce expenses. Finally, a “big picture” perspective is necessary, as businesses exposed to the current economy are relying on their employees to understand the way their position impacts the overall success of the company and its future growth.
What are your thoughts about the internship/co-op program at Rider?
As a member of the first Accounting co-op class at Rider University, I thought the experience was unlike anything I had experienced up to that time and the single-most important event in my college career I accredit for my professional success. From the co-op experience course with Mark Kasrel to my opportunity at KPMG, I learned a number of the skills I have been able to apply to my daily life as an accounting professional. My co-op experience was one I will never forget.
Is there any advice you would give to students about college, education, or the workplace in general?
The most important piece of information I can give to any student is to always remember their values and to never allow anything in their education or professional life come between themselves and what is truly important to them. Sometimes, success and aspirations can cloud the reflection of the individuals we truly are.
What are some of your fondest memories of Rider?
My three fondest Rider memories, in no particular order, are having the opportunity to meet wonderful people and best friends like my longtime girlfriend, graduating from the undergraduate program with the knowledge I learned and the honor of calling myself a Rider alumnus, and watching my sister start her freshman year while I was a senior, and finally seeing her receive her diploma and join me as a fellow alum.
How do you believe Rider’s Accounting program helped you in achieving what you have in your professional career?
Rider’s Accounting program, with its small class sizes and experienced faculty, afforded me the tools necessary to be a successful professional and helped me to pass the CPA exam. The faculty provided real-life experiences in the classroom and first-hand examples of textbook lessons. Finally, the Accounting program gave me the network and confidence that I could be successful in the accounting profession. It also gave me the reassurance that I had friends and faculty who would be there to support me throughout my professional career.