2024 Best & Brightest Business Major: Matthew Hovelsrud

Matthew Hovelsrud is one member of this year’s 100 Best & Brightest Business Majors from Poets&Quants. Now in its ninth year, the Best & Brightest honors seniors whose infectious energy and unrelenting commitment to personal growth represent the best of their cohorts. To compile this list, P&Q invited each of the Top 50 undergraduate business programs to nominate two seniors. The Raymond A. Mason School of Business chose Matthew Hovelsrud and Fiona Basewitz.

Matthew Hovelsrud – Raymond A. Mason School of Business, Best & Brightest Business Major

“I am an oatmeal connoisseur and unexpectedly fell in love with accounting.”

Fun fact about yourself: I was on my high school’s mountain biking team.

Hometown: Edina, Minnesota

High School: Edina High School

Major: Accounting

Minor: Finance

Favorite Business Course: Financial Reporting & Analysis

Extracurricular Activities:

Gibbs Accounting Society (VP of Outreach)

Habitat for Humanity Club (President)

Accounting Teaching Assistant (TA)

Orientation Aide

First-Generation and Limited Income (FGLI) Mentor

Interfraternity Council Conduct Board (IFC)

The Delta Chi Fraternity (Community Service and Career Chairs)

W&M Branchout Fall Break Service Trip


Beta Gamma Sigma

Alvin P. Anderson Scholarship

IFC New Member Scholarship

Dean’s List (All Semesters)

Deloitte Audit Innovation Campus Challenge Finalist

Where have you interned during your college career?

S. Senator Amy Klobuchar’s Office (Minneapolis, MN, Congressional Intern)

CliftonLarsonAllen (Minneapolis, MN, Healthcare Audit Intern)

Where will you be working after graduation?

Ernst & Young (FSO Audit Intern)

Who is your favorite business professor?

While the Raymond A. Mason School of Business has a phenomenal faculty, my favorite professor has been Professor Marc Moyers. I had Professor Moyers for my favorite, yet most challenging course, Financial Reporting and Analysis. Professor Moyers combines a genuine excitement for accounting with a long and successful career in industry. The result is a classroom that elicits excitement from students to understand and apply challenging concepts, but in a way that is useful in the real-world of accounting. Professor Moyers goes above and beyond to not only teach his students, but support them in their academic and professional lives outside of the classroom. There is always a smile in Professor Moyers face saying hello to his students and that positive energy radiates through Miller Hall.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field?

Do not go into a business school with the idea you know what you want to do academically and professionally right out of high school. Set yourself up for success, but challenge yourself to explore areas you never considered and be open to discovering your passions versus planning to define your current ones.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why?

Looking back, I would have gotten more involved with non-business areas of the school in order to encourage people to expose themselves to the reality of business school and not their perceptions. I came into college with no interest in accounting or business, but took principles of accounting as a freshman to expose myself to something new and beneficial. If I had not taken that chance, I would not have found a new passion of mine that helped define my college and early professional experiences.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of?

The personal achievement I am most proud of is not a grade, award, or recognition, but the happiness I get from understanding how sad I will be leaving William & Mary upon graduation. I have joined a unique community that fosters belonging, support, and enrichment. I am proud that I have been able to create and contribute to a place that I will miss. I am proud to have the opportunity to experience a place that I will never return to but will always be a home.

Which classmate do you most admire?

I have always admired Jacob “Jake” Bole because he has an academic and personal authenticity that is hard to come by. He is always himself and does nothing to try and be anyone but that. In academics, he is drawn to his interests in Chemistry, always challenging himself and looking for new learning opportunities. But he never lets his goals cloud who he is. Jake does not let stress or a heavy workload change his attitude and positivity and that is a valuable lesson. I admire the courage he has to challenge himself and not lose sight of his authentic self and his values in the process.

Who would you most want to thank for your success?

I would thank my parents for the unconditional support and guidance they have offered me through the years. They never promoted specific expectations, but helped me and my siblings craft our own values and understand the implications of our decisions. Having a support system that trusted me to define my own values and aspirations organically has allowed me to grow an intrinsic motivation for my goals.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

My professional bucket list is long as a college senior with my whole career ahead of me. My top two bucket list items, as of now, are to become a partner as a public accounting firm and be able to serve the William & Mary community as alumni as others did when I was an undergraduate.

Professor Insights: What made Matthew such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2024?

“Matthew’s academic ability is exemplary, evidenced by his outstanding 3.97 GPA. His commitment to academic excellence is complemented by his contribution to the 2022 Deloitte Audit Innovation Challenge as a member of the W&M team, which advanced to the finals. Beyond academics, Matthew dedicates substantial time and effort to various volunteer and community initiatives, such as Habitat for Humanity, Lafayette Kids, IFC Conduct Board, Gibbs Accounting Society, Mason Investment Club, and the Consulting Club.

Matthew has also gained practical experience through internships at several prestigious accounting firms, which has expanded his professional growth in the real world. His broader perspective extends to public service, as evidenced by his role as a Congressional Intern for a U.S. Senator, demonstrating a commitment to civic engagement and understanding the intricacies of government.

Notably, Matthew’s achievements have been recognized through the prestigious Alvin Anderson Scholarship Award for the academic year 2023-24. His multifaceted contributions and accomplishments make him an exceptional candidate and a valuable addition to the class of 2024.”

-Professor Marc Moyers

“Matthew is an outstanding student, showcasing exceptional brightness, diligence, and conscientiousness. His proactive approach to learning is commendable, as he consistently seeks out opportunities and embraces challenges, demonstrating a solid commitment to personal and academic growth. As a valuable Deloitte Audit Challenge team member, Matthew represented William & Mary at a national level admirably. His achievements and dedication make him an invaluable member of the class of 2024.”

-Professor Jamie Diaz

This story was written by Jeff Schmitt and originally appeared in Poets & Quants on March 28, 2024.