Connect with Daniel Duhart on LinkedIn
Job: Assurance Senior, Clifton Larson Allen, LLP
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Remi, a recent YoPro interview, connected me with Daniel after the two met at Georgia State and it's no surprise these guys are friends. With their incredibly strong work ethic and drive, I was excited to learn about Daniel's path from GSU to his recent promotion at the accounting firm Clifton Larson Allen.
What is your background?
I'm from Miami, Florida, but I moved to Georgia when I was 11. I finished the rest of my schooling in Georgia, and attended Georgia State University, graduating in 2017. Originally, I was a philosophy major, with the hopes of becoming a history professor. When I describe my life, I would say a lot of things happened to me up until this point. I feel like everything worked out in the way it was meant to be. While I was still in school, I worked for two years at a small private accounting firm and immediately fell in love with my future career there. My professional journey started when I was a freshman in college, through mentorship. Towards the end of my sophomore year, I met my first mentor in the field, and he guided me towards accounting and it’s still helping me shape my career today.
How long have you been with Clifton Larson Allen?
I've been there for about 2 years now. The timing is crazy with how everything is working out because I actually just got promoted to Assurance Senior a few weeks ago. Compared to my job in college at the private firm, I jumped to a large public accounting firm, which was certainly an adjustment. I loved it because as a young professional, I have a voice in such a large firm, just starting out. I joined the leadership group that helps drive innovation in all 120+ offices. It's kind of like being the voice for the young people in the firm. In the 21st century, these companies really want to focus on younger people and find out what makes them tick. It has been a great opportunity for me.
How did your mentor shape your career path?
Mentorship is something that I feel like really changed the course of my career path. I really needed the guidance and I feel like God put amazing people in my life to help me with that. I met my mentor walking down the street on Edgewood and we just started talking. He took an interest in me because of my field and the things I was trying to accomplish. He took me under his wing and really brought me up to my career. I knew nothing about accounting. After all, I was a philosophy major. I would come to his office at seven in the morning, and then leave at 12 to go to my classes and we would really just sit and talk about life, talk about where I'm going and what I needed to do in order to be successful. He also ultimately led me to start my own side business. I'm always appreciative of that and based on that experience, I immediately started trying to mentor other people at my university. Based on my experience with my mentor, I feel like I have an obligation to do the same for others as a way to pay it forward.
Can you talk more about your side business?
Based on my work with the private firm, I eventually decided to start my own little side hustle, designed to help people who wished to start an LLC. A lot of people want to have their own business, but don’t know where to start. My side business consisted of sitting down with my peers and other professionals in college and explaining in detail, what starting an LLC entails. Now, two of my colleagues and I are planning on starting a website that highlights business. One day, while we were talking, we realized that there weren’t many outlets for young business professionals to talk about things that interest them. We wanted to create an everyday site for people to enjoy, which also isn’t related to social media.
What has been the biggest challenge for you as a young professional and how have you grown from that?
I would say my biggest challenge has been really trying to figure out where my career path is headed, and what step I should take next. I always tried to do the things I truly felt passionate about, but I saw so many options around me. I think at times it ended up blocking some of my opportunities because I was still in the process of figuring out what exactly those things were that mattered to me the most.
Where do you see yourself going next?
Right now, I’m focused on learning as much as I can in my field and gaining valuable experience. I have been concentrating on the construction industry, by doing senior audit work for my firm, CLA. I am very excited about what I am learning here, and my goal is to change the firm in some way before I leave. Afterwards, I want to challenge myself and find other ways to give back to my community. Another goal of mine is to get published in the AJC and speak on business topics or business developments, like my mentor. Down the road, I know I want to teach history and write about philosophy.
What's something that you like to do as a young professional outside of the workplace?
Outside of networking, I’m always studying or hanging out at my place or with friends. I know it might sound weird, but I want to master every aspect of what I'm doing. Like right now, I enjoy reading the accounting materials, even after my 9-hour long workdays. As far as hobbies go, I play the guitar and I take guitar lessons. Along with music, I also have a passion for the arts. I go to art galleries all the time, and I like to collect pieces, especially ones from young artists’. With this, I also try to find new ways to put myself out there by exploring Atlanta. Even though I’ve been here since I was 11, there are still things I don’t know about.
Any podcast or book recommendations?
My favorite podcasts are The Dave Ramsey Show and Fantasy Footballers. As far as books go, I enjoy reading philosophy books, and the one I’m reading right now is called The Power of Now. It’s about teaching people how to live in the present instead of always focusing on the past or future.
The YoPro Know's Takeaways:
-It's okay for your career path to change
-Small steps with the right people can help you achieve greater things later on
-Focus on gaining valuable experience and learning as much as you can in every field you’re in