Suzanne Matarese: Financial Administrative Coordinator, Penn Libraries

7/24/2014 4:59:05 PM

A few years ago, Suzanne Matarese signed on as a temp with the Penn Job Center, managed by UA Staffing. Now she holds a full-time position as the financial administrative coordinator for Penn’s extensive library system.

SuzanneM

When Suzanne Matarese worked in the corporate world, the focus was always on the bottom line. After being an executive assistant to two vice presidents and a CFO, she was looking for a change. The academic world—with its emphasis on learning and service—appealed to her, but she was unfamiliar with its ins and outs. Then, a few years ago, she managed to get her foot in the door at the University of Pennsylvania by signing on as a temp with the Penn Job Center, managed by UA Staffing. Now Suzanne holds a full-time, permanent position as the financial administrative coordinator for Penn’s extensive library system.

“One of the good things about UA Staffing was that they coached you before the assignments,” says Suzanne. “That gives you the faith that you can walk in and say, ‘I can do this.’” She also appreciates that UA Staffing is a woman-owned, minority-owned company.

Suzanne’s supervisors encouraged her professional growth. While her first temp assignment at Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine was brief, the next one led to her current full-time staff post at Penn Libraries. “If you give 100 percent, it's recognized here. That's what's different with Penn. It makes you want to strive to do better,” she says.

Even though she’d spent years working for corporate financial professionals, she didn’t picture herself “crunching numbers.” But after she received training in Oracle and Ben Financials (Penn’s enterprise resource planning system), she saw numbers—and her analytical abilities—in a new light. Equipped with advanced skills and deeper knowledge, she took on a wider variety of projects.

Suzanne’s learning didn’t stop at accounting. She’s also taken part in Penn’s wellness programs to discover more about healthy living. “It's wonderful that there's so much support for taking care of your health.”

As a mother of four who’s watched her own children graduate from high school and college, Suzanne takes pride in supporting Penn’s students in their research. She loves to hear about students' successes.

Her work has introduced her to students and coworkers from many different cultural backgrounds, and has been an eye-opening experience in ways she never predicted, even when she made the bold leap from the corporate environment to academia. “Being a part of Penn, you get to see the world differently.”