By: Dezaray Barr
Darrian Mikell graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2013 with a degree in Finance and Entrepreneurship. “I honestly kind of stumbled into attending IWU,” Mikell said. “Out of high school, I thought I wanted to become an engineer, so I started off at Purdue. After my first semester, I realized that it wasn’t for me, and I decided that I wanted to change majors to focus on business. When I was in high school, Coach Tonagel and Coach Clark recruited me to play basketball… Long story short – I reached back out to Coach T and Coach Clark, and I was enrolled and in class by the next week (I hadn’t even taken a visit to IWU yet).”
Mikell said his time at IWU was great. “I’m most thankful for the relationships that were built there. I met my wife there, as well as some of my closest friends to this day. I grew so much as a person while at IWU. Part of it was just being on my own for the first time, but the environment IWU created allowed me to grow in so many different ways.”
Mikell is now the Vice President of a quickly growing startup called Viral Launch. “As a company, we help brands launch and grow their businesses on Amazon through software, data and creative services. I oversee a lot of the business functions, including the Finance and HR departments, as well as work closely with our CEO to help set the overall strategic vision,” Mikell said.
During Mikell’s time at IWU, his faith deepened and became more personal. “I had been in Christian schools for most of my life, but this was the first time that I had really been challenged to grow spiritually. I always had multiple people that could hold me accountable and present challenges to me that were designed to help me learn or develop my walk with Christ in one way or another,” he said.
If Mikell could encourage students of one thing, he would tell them, “Build lasting relationships. Find people that you can love and grow with, that will challenge you and pour into you as much as you pour into them. You won’t always remember that lesson from your professor, but you’ll remember and hold onto the strong relationships that you are able to build here.”
Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication, Journalism and Honors Humanities triple major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. At IWU, Dezaray runs both the JWHC Blog and her own blog. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.