Darius Browne, native of North Wilmington, Del., earned his degree from UD in accounting and economics in 2014, before working as a financial auditor at KPMG for seven years. He earned his master’s in MSc International Business from Lerner in May, and shared why he returned to UD for his grad studies and his future plans.
Lerner: Why did you go back to pursue your graduate degree? Why did you choose the Lerner College for your studies?
Browne: Upon graduation in 2014, I joined KPMG and it was a great fast-paced learning experience; however, as I matured and rose through the ranks I began to desire something outside of the public accounting space. The thought plagued my mind for years and in 2022 I decided to make the jump. UD became my top choice because of my wonderful experience as an undergraduate and I wanted in-person classes to learn from my peers, and its proximity closed the deal.
Lerner: What did you learn through this opportunity that you wouldn’t have learned anywhere else?
Browne: The UD experience helped me to see and observe the global trends impacting the workplace and the wider world, which now helps me to position myself for future success.
Lerner: Please share an example of a course or concept that you were able to apply directly to your life and/or career.
Browne: Two of the earlier courses I took in my degree were Leading Across Boundaries and Managing People, Teams & Organizations. Both courses provided new perspectives on motivating people, creating a positive team culture, and understanding how the various global culture impacts how we interpret information. This proved helpful throughout my degree program as I participated in various group projects with people from different backgrounds. Moreover, it was beneficial to my role as a project manager at the Office of Economic Innovation and Partnership (OEIP) where I was consistently interacting with diverse students, start-up entrepreneurs, and other business stakeholders.
Lerner: Describe an important connection you have made through your graduate program (personal, professional, peers, mentors, professors, etc.)
Browne: During my degree I was a graduate assistant at the OEIP, working as a project manager. Through this opportunity, I was able to work closely with Amalea Rassias, Senior Assistant Director focusing on enhancing the collaboration between student teams and start-up entrepreneurs. I was able to implement different leadership and collaboration theories from the classroom and learn from various business experts at OEIP. It was a great experience seeing the practical aspects of learnings from the classroom.
Lerner: If you were to describe your classmates in one word, what would that be and why?
Browne: Driven. I was rubbing shoulders with people from different walks of life; there were other international students and people at various stages of their professional careers. However, one common characteristic was the driven nature of my peers to do well. Students were always willing to make sacrifices to go the extra mile or take extra time to ensure each person could add value to projects.
Lerner: How do you balance your career with your studies?
Browne: I desired in-person classes, so I became a full-time student to capitalize on the entire degree experience. I balanced the experience through detailed planning and setting a routine. Planning did not make the experience easy, but it made it manageable while enjoying other aspects of life.
Lerner: Fill in this sentence: “My graduate program helped me become…”
Browne: More deliberate in building my professional career. The program enhanced my understanding of the trends in the world around me which helped me position myself to be successful.
Lerner: What was the most impactful hands-on project or case competition that you were able to participate in?
Browne: BUAD648 – Future of Globalization & You with Daniel Sullivan. The course focused on analyzing global trends and their impact on us as individuals. We had to develop a presentation detailing our actions to remain relevant in a fast-changing world; it was a very enlightening experience. The course helped in mapping my other course selections as I identified specific skills I wanted to learn from the degree program.
Lerner: What are your plans or next steps for the future?
Browne: I plan to enter internal auditing where I can use skills from my experience as a financial auditor to help companies maintain compliance, enhance business processes, and make strategic decisions. Eventually, I would love to become a business consultant and an adjunct professor.