Terina Matthews-Davis (MA ’96, MLHR ’98) is a double Buckeye whose enthusiasm and support for Ohio State knows no bounds. Mathews-Davis, who early in her career worked at Fisher and the Office of Student Life, is now a senior vice president and head of Corporate & Investment Banking Program Management at Wells Fargo. She shares the story of her success as a student, why she gives back and why Ohio Stadium continues to occupy a special place in her heart.
Graduating from Ohio State meant...
Graduating from The Ohio State University meant adding a brand to my resume that would take me around the world and keep me forever connected to my hometown. Graduation from The Ohio State University meant allowing my family to enter the Horseshoe not just to see a football game but to see their daughter, granddaughter and niece receive two graduate degrees.
My graduate degrees from The Ohio State University provided proof to my mom that a young, single mother could see her child earn undergraduate and graduate degrees without any debt and that her sacrifices for my academic success paid off.
Graduation from The Ohio State University has provided me with friends and colleagues all over the country and around the world that I have remained in contact with throughout my life.
My degrees from The Ohio State University have provided me access to leaders in industries all over the country and has opened doors for me to join companies such as L Brands, Yum! Brands, JPMorgan Chase, S&P Global and Wells Fargo. I am a true example of the phrase “But for Ohio State!”
Tell us about some of your recent accomplishments.
As a corporate HR leader, part of my job is leading campus recruiting and ensuring that students from The Ohio State University are always on our consideration list. I continue to mentor Ohio State students by conducting resume reviews and mock phone interviews to prepare them for full-time and internship interviews. I recently finished a six-year term on The Ohio State University Alumni Advisory Council. I joined Wells Fargo as the head of its Corporate and Investment Banking Program Management where I lead junior talent engagement and experience for all of our campus hires at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
How have Ohio State and Fisher equipped, prepared you or made a difference in your career?
My experience at Ohio State has provided me with the courage and expertise to speak with leaders at all levels. My experience working at the Office Student Life and Fisher College of Business prepared me to be a better professional within corporate America. My ability to balance multiple tasks and responsibilities and my desire to give back to my alma mater helps me develop current students to make a greater impact in corporate America. My goal is to give Ohio State students some of the insight and wisdom I’ve been fortunate to gain throughout my 14-year corporate career.
Do you have a favorite business faculty member or mentor who helped shape who you are today?
David Harrison and the Office of Minority Student Services (now the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Student Services and Corporate and Community Outreach) at Fisher assisted me in pursuing dreams that I did not see for myself. David inspired me to keep on going even when it got tough, and he also kept in contact to bring me back to campus to inspire other students of color at Fisher so they could see it was possible to achieve success in corporate America.
What is your favorite business school-related memory from Ohio State and Fisher?
My favorite memory is the move from Hagerty Hall to the Fisher complex. I saw the move as an expansion of my brand and an increase in the value of my degree. I love returning to see the Fisher campus. When asked ‘Where did you go to graduate school?’, I am proud to say ‘Fisher College of Business!’ I am also ecstatic that Neeli Bendapudi, one of my faculty members from Fisher, is now the president of the University of Louisville, my undergraduate alma mater. Her success at Louisville continues to drive the point home that a Fisher foundation can take you anywhere!
What service did you participate in at Ohio State/Fisher?
Community service is in my DNA. As a student and a professional at Ohio State, I gave back to the undergraduate and graduate communities as a mentor to student organizations such as Olentangy Black Student Association (OBSA), North Campus Black Student Association (NCBSA), South Campus Black Student Association (SABSA), African American Student Services, Council of Black Students in Administration (CBSA), the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) and the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA). Additionally, I was and am still very active in raising money for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Columbus. I served on The Ohio State University Alumni Advisory Council, representing the Office of Business and Finance for 10 years, and I am committed to giving back my time and resources to make Ohio State better.
What advice would you give to a current student or recent Fisher graduate?
I would stress the importance of networking, of working with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Student Services and Corporate and Community Outreach, and of taking advantage of the services offered by the Office of Career Management. All three are instrumental in helping you find alumni in the geographic and professional areas where you thrive. Use those resources to set up phone calls or coffee meetings and start networking before you need it. Fisher alumni can take you places; I am a living testimony of that. Additionally, I encourage students to remain connected with Ohio State after graduation and the importance of reaching back and bringing other Ohio State alumni to the table wherever you land.
Did you have a favorite spot on campus? Why was it special?
My favorite place on campus may seem cliché but I LOVE OHIO STADIUM! I went to my first football game at the age of seven with my grandfather, where we sat on the bleachers on the Jesse Owens track, which have since been removed. I participated in two high school state track meets in the stadium where my high school track team (Bishop Hartley) won the state championship in 1986.
The countless Ohio State football games — wins and losses — are memorable. And in 2009 I was awarded the Josephine Sitterle Failer Award from The Ohio State University Alumni Association for my dedication to helping young people as a corporate recruiter for Yum! Brands.
But, the most important moments in the stadium were the two days I received master’s degrees. I was born and raised in Columbus, and I am the proud product of a single parent who managed to put her daughter through 13 years of private education, an undergraduate education and two master's degree with zero student loan debt!