Paving the Way to the Future

PROVO, Utah – Nov 17, 2020 – With an open road and more than two thousand miles ahead of him, Matthew LeBaron started a bike ride across the country to raise money for juvenile diabetes research. Such a journey would be daunting for even the most experienced cyclist, and LeBaron hadn’t ridden more than twenty miles in a day before he began the journey. However, LeBaron, a BYU Marriott School of Business strategy graduate, remained committed to his goal to bike from California to Florida.

LeBaron’s coast-to-coast effort was inspired by a sister’s fight with diabetes. Another sister joined him in his cross-country journey while his grandmother drove the route to carry the necessary supplies. “My grandma followed us in her pickup truck, and my sister and I biked about eighty miles a day,” he says. “We started out at forty miles a day and gradually built up our stamina.” LeBaron considers completing the ride to be one of his greatest learning experiences.

Just as he tackled cycling across the country with his family members, LeBaron’s academic experiences have included some inspiration from his family as well. During LeBaron’s two years in the strategy program, he was joined by other family members earning their own business degrees, as well as his father, a professor in another program. “My mom earned her MBA degree at the same time that I was in the strategy program,” he says. “Two of my sisters and two of my brothers-in-law were also at BYU Marriott with me.”

While at BYU Marriott, LeBaron decided that he wanted to work in business leadership, which is why he chose to study in the strategy program. “I was interested in strategy because it teaches you how to think and act like a leader,” he says. “Strategy determines what businesses are going to do and how they approach competition.”

 LeBaron hoped to specifically help businesses be successful by optimizing the potential of technological tools and online platforms. After graduating from BYU Marriott in 2013, he refined his skills in both areas at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned his MBA and a master’s degree of computer and information technology. “During my two years in Philadelphia, I decided to supplement my business degree with a computer science degree, which gave me the perfect educational combination for working in technology and business,” he says. “While learning how to code wasn’t easy, it has given me a valuable perspective as I work with technology companies.”

Since graduating from Wharton in 2019, LeBaron now lives in Menlo Park, California, and works with business and technology as a senior associate at Strategy&, a management consulting firm. In this role, LeBaron interacts with groups that make recommendations for the technology, practice, and strategy aspects of business. “Consulting has been rewarding for me because I've collaborated with senior executives and senior leaders to help their companies grow,” he says.

One of LeBaron’s most recent projects helped a retailer build their online business. “One retailer that I’m working with now has been around for a while, so they know their business very well,” he says. “Since businesses now need efficient online platforms to be able to operate successfully, my colleagues and I are helping them figure out how to transfer their business model to the digital world.”

As LeBaron tackles new projects in his career, along with personal goals like his cross-country bicycle ride, he hopes his efforts positively impact others. “Corporations are run by people, and those people make decisions that could potentially affect billions of lives,” he says. “If you're influential at a company, you determine what people around the world can see, hear, and do, so that creates an opportunity to do good and to make an impact on other people.”

BYU Marriott strategy alum Matthew LeBaron
BYU Marriott strategy alum Matthew LeBaron. Photo courtesy of Matthew LeBaron.

Media Contact: Chad Little: (801) 422-1512
Writer: Kenna Pierce