Points of Pride

Matthew Lisak

Matthew LisakTwo-year internship leads to permanent positions at Parker Hannifin with increasing roles and responsibilities

Matthew Lisak has had a successful and somewhat atypical career path even before he graduated in Spring 2015 from Cleveland State University. He is currently a Senior Human Resources Representative at Parker Hannifin in the Precision Fluidics Division located in Hollis, New Hampshire.

During his time at Parker Hannifin, he moved six times in five years and has been promoted once per year in the past three years. A former Parker Hannifin Scholarship awardee, Matt credits these achievements to several factors.

Personally, Matt credits his mother as his biggest influence, “She’s the reason I have worked as hard as I have and why I continue to do so. She taught me not to sweat the little things… and just do my best in whatever it is I do,” he said.

“I also would not be where I am today without the help of Anne Nelson,” said Matt. “She put me in front of one of our former Vice Presidents of Human Resources at Parker, encouraged me to apply for scholarships and  this all led to the internship and job opportunities that I’ve had.”

“The best thing that current students can do is to talk with their advisors and professors and then use the resources available at the university and within the College of Business,” he added. The College has so much to offer in terms of job placement and career preparation and they want to help you succeed.”

In addition to the Parker Hannifin Scholarship, Matt was the recipient of the Monte and Usha Ahuja Endowed Scholarship and the CSU Scholars award from the University.

“I still appreciate the funds and the donors of the scholarships I received,” Matt said. “I hope that I am evidence that their money was well spent and that they are proud of my accomplishments thus far. For many students at CSU, this is the difference between staying in school and not completing their education.”

While at Cleveland State, Matt was a member of the Monte Ahuja Freshman Sophomore Business Association and a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon.

“The professionals that were brought in to speak to FSBA were inspirational and drove me to start doing the right things early in my academic career,” Matt said. “My advice to current students is to go to the engagement events the College offers, even if you feel like there is a million other things you should be doing because this is how you will build your network.”

Matt added that it’s not just about attending the events, but also being full present. “It’s about showing up, sitting in the front row, asking good questions and following up with an email to the speaker. This is a huge growth opportunity while you are here to get comfortable with yourself and others.”

 “I would not have had the career progression that I have had, if I would not have been able to be move locations,” he said.

Matt’s first internship was with Parker Hannifin in May of 2013. Most internships are a semester or a summer in length, but Matt continued to intern for over two years. At the end of the internship, he accepted a full-time rotational position at Parker. In the position, he worked in western Michigan for two separate divisions (Hydraulic Pump Division and the Hydraulic Systems Division (Aerospace) Group, then in Akron, Ohio for the Automation Group, Pneumatics Division, North America.

Matt then moved into a full-time position as Human Resources Representative in Kittery, Maine for the Pneumatics Division. In October 2017, he became a Senior Human Resources Representative in Hollis, New Hampshire for the Precision Fluidics Division of Parker Hannifin.

“Personally and professionally, I’ve learned so much about myself from moving,” Matt added.

Being far away from his hometown of Willowick, Ohio, Matt still gives back to CSU serving as a sounding board and providing general coaching and career counseling to brothers in Sigma Phi Epsilon.

Matt’s last piece of advice for CSU students is “Apply for internships early and often. The past five years of my success have been the result of that first internship.”


2015 Original photo and story by Sierra Swigert, Cleveland State University alumna