The exams we deliver at Pearson VUE have a direct and positive impact on communities around the globe, driving progress and helping our clients deliver on the promise of their industries. In this series, we’re taking a deeper look at the ways we make that happen, by speaking to people from around our business who are making a lasting impact in a particular area of assessments.
Our leader for this Q&A session is Matthew Poyiadgi, Pearson VUE’s Vice President for the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region. People who have worked with Matthew say that “[He] is a lot more than a manager to me; he is a mentor, and a motivator,” and that “[his] diplomacy is unrivaled.” That is high praise for the industry veteran, who oversees the sales and operations for this region, but let’s get to know him better, learn what inspires him, and discover what industry advancements he’s looking forward to.
Q. Matthew, could you please tell us a little about yourself? What drives and inspires you?
People inspire me; my colleagues and clients across the world whom I work with daily and my family, especially at weekends sitting around a large table surrounded by food and loud conversations! I don’t think you can beat the satisfaction of great people talking and working together whatever the objective.
I assign a couple of hours a week to catch up on trends at the intersection of technology and education – clients love talking about this.
Q. Please briefly describe your typical day.
I am pleased to say we are once again spending time meeting with our clients in person. My typical day will involve talking to my team and helping clients to move forward with plans for their programs, but I also try and carve out time to exercise 3-4 times per week and I read constantly. I previously used the commute to London to read around 20 books a year, but these days I assign a couple of hours a week to catch up on trends at the intersection of technology and education – clients love talking about this.
Q. What hobbies / activities do you enjoy, and how do you like to unwind?
I still run, although not as fast nor as far, and I follow most sports, especially Premier League football (Liverpool) and the NFL (the long-suffering Chicago Bears). I also drive an old classic Mercedes SL car (Bobby Ewing’s car, for those who watched “Dallas” in the 1980s) that drains both time and salary to maintain!
Q. What about your region, in terms of opportunities or advancements, excites or inspires you?
More than ever before, we have a chance to shape the future. There is a real willingness from all sectors of industry to look at computer-based assessments to drive their business forward and this is a huge opportunity for us. Entrance exams, selection tests, professional certifications, and the education arena are all interested in what we have to offer. New trends such as the metaverse, learning playlists, ambient testing, and stackable credentials are some of the things for us to think about – it is a massively exciting time.
Q. What have been the most significant / important lessons you have taken from the events of the past few years?
Our “emotional bank account” with our clients is the most important thing – we work hard to build credibility over many years to earn their trust. We are in the business of building trust and long-term relationships with clients.
When we experienced the pandemic and clients needed help with online proctoring or other ideas with the learning ecosystem to help them get through it, we were there to assist – our relationships carried us through. Equally, when competitors knock on the doors of our clients, our clients are loyal and committed to the point where the vast majority don’t want to move elsewhere.
Q. What do you hope to achieve over the next couple of years?
Growth, for our people and for Pearson. To give people opportunities to grow in the company and embrace new challenges; to continue the path of sales success for the EMEA region. Plus, to contribute to getting Pearson VUE on the road to a new world of assessment and be front-and-center of that change.
I want us to be the world authority on trends in the tech-ed space and I want to be on the stage telling our story.
Q. What achievement on behalf of the business are you most proud of?
When I joined, we assembled a team to take us on this journey and they are superb. That is what I am proud of and enjoy the most – this team of people.