Matthew Dutkanych (BUS ’83; MBA ’94) established the Unique Insurance Company Scholarship for DePaul students in 2015. The $25,000 scholarship fund was awarded to accounting and/or economics students in the fall quarter of 2015. The scholarship awards ranged between $2,500 and $5,000 and were for students from Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.
“I established this scholarship because I want to give back to the community and every little bit helps,” says Dutkanych. “DePaul opened up many doors for me and I want the same thing for DePaul students. I can’t think of a worthier cause than helping someone get a strong education.”
Dutkanych, the president and owner of Unique Insurance Company, an insurance provider that serves hard-to-insure drivers, is a Double Demon graduate of DePaul. He received his bachelor’s degree in accountancy in 1983 and his MBA with a concentration in finance in 1994.
“There was never really a question of where I was going to go for college,” says Dutkanych. “Two of my uncles went to DePaul; one was a Chicago judge and the other was the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. If there ever were role models for a young man, these two were it.”
It was one of his uncles who thought Dutkanych should get into accounting. He said that accounting provides the backbone of an operation and that you can learn about every aspect of a company from the accounting area. After successfully earning his bachelor’s degree in accounting, Dutkanych started working in the insurance field. His company encouraged employees to go back to school and get their MBAs and offered to pay for tuition if employees received good grades. Dutkanych did not want to pass up this opportunity, so he returned to DePaul.
“An MBA was going to be something that would open more doors for me,” says Dutkanych. “I wanted to have that because you never know where things are going to lead you in your career. For anybody who plans to advance in their career, the MBA is the way to go.”
Getting an MBA was a lot of extra work, but to Dutkanych, the classes that he took were invaluable. The course that has had the biggest impact on his life was a business class on negotiation. It helped him understand that with negotiation, there are two parties looking to benefit. Dutkanych says the course was useful because his entire business is negotiating—claims settlements, insurance rates, negotiating with agent, etc.
Dutkanych believes that insurance is an accountant’s dream job. This is because the industry focuses on statistics, loss ratios and rates of return and risk—elements that appeal to an aspiring accountant. It is also a great industry for entrepreneurs and investors. Dutkanych says he loves going to work every day.
“I worked my way up the corporate ladder and eventually became a CEO,” says Dutkanych. “Suddenly, I found myself in a situation where I can give back. I am happy to give back and I want to give back. DePaul gave me many opportunities and opened so many doors for me that I can pay it back for the next generation.”