One day, he is seated on the ground, feasting on goat and rice with his hands and discussing viewpoints on women with Saudis while a belly dancer performs nearby. Another day, Matt Davies (VU ’07) is floating on a bamboo raft off the coast of Thailand, savoring a lavish luncheon of fish and seafood, and occasionally glancing at the nearby, 2-story golden Buddha.
“Everyday is ridiculous,” says Matt of his exotic experiences as International Marketing and Sales Specialist for the car wax and automotive products company, Meguiar’s International. “Today in Bangkok I’ve already been interviewed by television stations and the major automotive magazines and stuffed myself with an enormous lunch while floating in the ocean. Tonight I’ll return home to Hong Kong for a few days then travel to Malaysia on Monday and Jakarta next Thursday.”
And just how did this VAN member and graduate of only two years land a position handling global marketing plans and sales for the above-mentioned countries as well as for Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Egypt, and Dubai? Matt credits the VU network.
His journey to international success and adventure began when Matt operated a car detailing business in the Boston area as a teen-ager; one of his customers was Cary Conrad (VU ‘79). Later as a VU marketing student, Matt learned that he shared an interest in automobiles with Professor Frederick Langrehr. Langrehr put Matt in touch with a former student who was a managing director for Meguiar’s.
Co-incidentally, Matt re-connected with former customer Cary Conrad when the alumnus presented a lecture on campus. Conrad introduced Matt to his friend Steve Bottom (VU ‘80), a writer for an auto magazine. Bottom in turn secured coveted tickets to the Auto Week Design Show in Detroit for Matt, where he met many of the top design people in the automotive world and--Barry Meguiar.
Meeting Mr. Meguiar resulted in an Asian internship for Matt. In Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China, he learned the basic sales tools, how the products worked, and how to adapt to doing business in different cultures. He so impressed his mentors that he was hired before his senior year and began his Hong Kong assignment immediately after graduation.
Now Matt himself is expanding the VU network, having brought Anthony Lance (VU ‘06) to join him in Hong Kong and utilize his VU master’s degree in Chinese to promote Meguiar’s automotive products.