Teenaged College Grads: The Amazing Mathew Siblings
By Ann Marie Aliotta
Spring is the time of year when many families are bursting with pride about their children’s academic accomplishments. But few have as much to crow about as the Mathew family.
The three Mathew siblings—Royce, Roshen, and Ryan—are among the youngest to graduate from the School of Business Administration. This month, 17-year-old Ryan and 18-year-old Roshen will receive their bachelor’s degrees—an age when most are graduating from high school. Older brother Royce will finish his MBA this summer at the ripe age of 21 (he received his BS online from Strayer University at 18).
Their accelerated education began when they were very young. Schooled at home through distance-learning programs at Pensacola Christian Academy in elementary school and North Atlantic Regional High School, they galloped through courses at a pace that fit their intellects and desires.
“Our parents come from an Indian background and in that culture education is valued so much,” Roshen said. “They really wanted to give my brothers and me a great opportunity. They found a route that we could excel to meet our ambition.”
Roshen’s major is marketing and advertising communications with a minor in psychology. The creative one in the family, she likes “artsy stuff like drawing and writing.”
“My parents are from a business background and encouraged me to find something where I could get a stable job,” she explains. “Marketing seemed like the perfect route.”
Ryan, who big sister says is the “super genius in the family,” majored in finance and minored in economics. In his spare time, he likes to play video games like Ikariam, a strategy-based game.
Both plan to pursue MBA degrees at Wayne State in the fall.
“Especially now, getting a job would be pretty hard to do,” Roshen said. “I might as well get something done in this time.”
Royce hopes to land a job in IT and consulting fields, but says he’s “really open to anything relating to business and the opportunities technology offers for business.”
But after working for a while, he plans to go back to school for his PhD in business management. “I’d like to be able to teach, but also to use my knowledge in the actual business world and to be able to conduct research relevant to the biz world,” he said.
He’s actually already done that when he was asked to conduct beta tests for a number of software applications and services before they were released to the public. The companies include Writely (acquired by Google; now Google Docs), JotSpot (acquired by Google), and Grandcentral (acquired by Google, now Google Voice). He also reviewed Microsoft Office 2007, MS Vista and the Nokia N800 web tablet device.
With all that brain power under one roof, sibling rivalry could easily run rampant. “We are competitive in some ways,” said Roshen. “The competition is there to go and do our best, but we don't go out of our way to prove to the other who is superior. Just friendly competition to keep us all motivated.”
Big brother Royce concurs. “We don't like to lose. That said, we keep it friendly. Our objectives are all generally in sync so there isn't any reason to be competitive outside the short term.”
“We are siblings so, although we don’t get along every second of the day, we still know that when it comes down to it, we are family,” Roshen adds. “So we help each other out when we can.”
And though they plan on going their separate ways after finishing their studies, a Mathew-family partnership could develop sometime in the future. “Between us we have one in finance, one in marketing, and one in management so it lends itself to working together,” said Royce. “However I think that would be at least a decade or so into the future. Right now we all still have many things to learn and experience.”
As Roshen said, “We all want to get out there and see what the world is made of. See how different businesses work and the different ways people see the same issue.”
Their education at Wayne State prepared them well for those goals. “What I really enjoyed about WSU is the diversity. We have ethnic and age diversity just like how it is off campus in the business world,” said Roshen. “In group projects you get a great real world feel because your group members come from different backgrounds. Not many universities offer this kind of environment.”