Information Technology Alumna Named to Fab 40 List, Promoted to Assistant Vice President for PNC Alumni Profile
Meet Kenya Matthews
- Job Title & Employer
- Assistant Vice President, Product Manager II - Customer Experience, Retail Lending & Strategy, PNC Financial Services
- Information Technology
- Network security
- August 2014
- Pittsburgh, Pa.
- High School
- Connelly Technical Institute
- Now Living In
- Pittsburgh, Pa.
- Hobbies & Interests
I love working out, traveling, inspiring people to become their best self, making new memories while spending time with family and friends. "Live, Laugh, Love and Have Faith" is my mantra!
- Board Member of Gwen’s Girls
- Professional Development Chair of The African American Employee Business Resource Group for PNC Financial Services Pittsburgh Chapter
- Member of the leadership team for Pittsburgh Women’s Network
- Creator of Pearls with Power, Passion and Purpose
- Active member of Women for Economic Leadership and Development, Pittsburgh Chapter
"PNC is focused on creating and delivering digital solutions to improve our customers’ lives. We are looking for people who can help drive these innovations and changes quickly and successfully. Kenya’s background in technology and digital design aligned with these requirements. Also, Kenya’s degree provided her a firm understanding and foundation in systems, programming and digital design. All of this is critical knowledge that she leverages in her interactions with our digital, operations and back-end systems partners to deliver on projects."
"My degree focused in information technology management has helped me understand holistically what it takes to bring ideas to reality, and having that view has aided in my progression throughout my career. My education at Point Park University taught me how to leverage data to execute product decisions based upon in-depth requirements, user stories, wireframes, process flows, process mapping, project plans and budgeting."
Learn more about Matthews being named a member of the New Pittsburgh Courier's Fab 40 Class of 2018.
How has your information technology degree helped you reach the position of assistant vice president, product manager II at PNC?
My degree focused in information technology management has helped me understand holistically what it takes to bring ideas to reality, and having that view has aided in my progression throughout my career. My education at Point Park University taught me how to leverage data to execute product decisions based upon in-depth requirements, user stories, wireframes, process flows, process mapping, project plans and budgeting. Having the knowledge and experience contributing code to many projects in different languages that have brought ideas to fruition aids in understanding the complexities involved in overseeing design and development projects today.
Tell us about the work you do.
Currently I oversee agile projects to improve the customer experience across all of retail lending for PNC Financial Services utilizing human-centered design to understand the customer’s needs, identify opportunities and creating solutions to provide a best-in-class customer experience.
In this role, I have to keep a close eye on the marketplace to assess product experience trends in order to recommend new experiences to enhance our products and services. I manage the development, production environment, pricing and promotion of products and experiences.
Why did you decide to transfer to Point Park University?
I chose Point Park University because it offered a competitive degree in a field I was interested in while also providing the flexibility of working full time. The curriculum and schedule was aggressive and focused on skills that I knew were relevant in the market. Once I started my studies at Point Park, the faculty made me feel comfortable and capable. I am proud of the decision I made to attend Point Park University and I utilize the things I learned every day.
What are your favorite Point Park memories?
My classes were a little daunting and scary at first, but I wouldn’t trade my experience at Point Park University for anything. My favorite memories at Point Park are centered around my cohort. The support and camaraderie we had through the program made my time at Point Park fly.
Being part of the same cohort and being in the same classes enabled us to build a strong bond with each other — like a family. In fact, we are all still friends and keep in touch with each other. I loved and appreciated the thought and insight my professors provided from their own personal experiences working in their respective fields. Those real-world scenarios, combined with the curriculum context, allowed me to better understand how I would use my education after graduation.
What career advice do you have for our IT students?
Although some of the classes may seem as if they are not useful at the moment, over the course of my career I have utilized things from every course in the program. Stay the course, and don’t be afraid to ask questions — you are not the only person with that question. Ask how this would apply to your future. In that context, you will gain an understanding of how the content of what you are learning will benefit you and how it will guide you into that role and through your career.
Don’t put yourself in a box! I would never have expected to touch on business and systems analysis, project management in scrum and waterfall methodologies, along with my roles leading up to and as a product owner. Learn how to code. While I was never a full-time developer, understanding how to contribute code has enabled me to understand and assess project scope, feasibility and to provide alternate solutions to continue adding value. Most importantly, just ask questions and don’t be afraid to try new things!
My heart and soul are in Pittsburgh. I am so happy I chose to pursue my higher education and career in my hometown. Point Park University and PNC, that was once Pittsburgh National Bank, both have deep roots in the Pittsburgh region.
PNC has strong ties to the community with initiatives to improve education, health and human services in the Pittsburgh region, which are personal passions of mine. To work for an organization, and have attended schools that share the same core values, are priceless. Both places have made an impact on my life in ways that I will forever be grateful.