Darien Williams is an alumni of Kelley’s 3/2 MBA program (2018). Darien previously served as a Postgraduate Technical Assistant at the FASB, and currently works in San Francisco, CA, as a Senior Associate at Connor Group, a professional services firm that provide solutions in areas such as financial accounting and operations, IPO and M&A services, digital solutions, and managed services.
Why did you choose to major in accounting?
I chose to major in accounting because of something my high school accounting professor, Mr. Donigan, said to me: “Accounting is like a puzzle. You have all the pieces, so it’s just a matter of figuring out how it all fits together.” I liked the idea of having a job where I would be mentally challenged all the time, so it seemed like the perfect fit for me. So far, I haven’t been disappointed.
Was there a course/project/group/interaction, etc. at Kelley that has been particularly helpful to you in your career?
The group/interaction that has been the most helpful to my brief career has without a doubt been the 3/2 program. During one of the first courses you’ll take in the program, Professor Greene introduced the class to the idea of being a postgraduate technical assistant at the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) and then this idea was again floated to me by Professor Hopkins. Without the 3/2 program, I would have never known of this opportunity and would have never ended up working with Connor Group in San Francisco, California.
What was your favorite part of being an accounting student at Kelley?
My favorite part of being an accounting student at Kelley was the relationships I was able to form with my fellow classmates. There’s a certain bond formed when you collectively share the experience of grinding through courses together that friends in other majors can’t quite understand. While there were many memories that came with being an accounting student, my friendships are always the first thing that comes to mind.
Drawing on your career experiences, what advice would you give to future Kelley Accounting students?
My one piece of advice to future Kelley Accounting students is to make sure you decide what is a healthy balance of school-stuff and “having fun” for YOU. A lot of business students are very driven, but that often leads to committing too much to our studies (at the exclusion of having adequate self-care time). I was fortunate enough to have friends who made sure I wasn’t spending too much time in the books. Like all things in life, just make sure you have a good balance.
What was your favorite accounting class at Kelley?
I’m not sure what the class is currently called, but my favorite accounting class was A202 – Managerial Accounting with Professor Biagioni [Editor’s note: this class is now A306 – Management Accounting and Analysis]. Managerial accounting was different from my accounting courses up to that point, but Professor B made sure to make every class fun. I was then lucky enough to come back and be a Graduate Assistant during my time in the 3/2 program, so I was able to help other students learn the material and eventually pass the course.
Learn more about Darien on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darienwilliams/