A Conversation With Darrin Lilly
Darrin Lilly is currently a Junior at William & Mary, majoring in Computational and Applied Mathematics & Statistics. He previously interned at Granahan Investment Management as an Equity Research Analyst and spent this past summer interning at Credit Suisse in their Investment Banking Division, a part of their Financial Sponsor Group. He plans to spend this upcoming summer interning at a top private equity fund focusing on the technology sector and currently is a Venture Capital Spring Analyst at Greycroft. After graduation, Darrin hopes to start his career as a technology investor in the buyout/growth space. Darrin currently serves as a junior mentor for GenUnion, helping students from all backgrounds break into Investment Banking and Private Equity.
Pranay: Hi Darrin! You have had some incredible experience so far in your college career, from Equity Research to Investment Banking to your future in Private Equity. As a valuation expert, can you please tell us about the values your upbringing instilled in you?
Darrin: Fortunately, I grew up with two very supportive parents that had two different parenting ideologies, and I tried to take the best of both and combine them to form who I am today. There are a few values that I took away from my father: strong work ethic, accountability, and mental toughness. The values I took away from my mother were being an independent thinker, entrepreneur, and financially literate. These values truly compromise who I am today.
Adam: Don't mind Pranay's awful sense of humor. That being said, financial literacy looks to be the key to wealth in today's information rich world, and it's great that it was instilled in you from a young age. I wonder if that kickstarted your journey in finance!
Darrin: As previously mentioned, financial literacy is something my mom takes very seriously, and that's where my passion for finance came from. She had me taking personal finance courses and investing in the stock market since I was in 8th grade. During my senior year of high school, 4 of my peers and I co-founded a financial literacy company called F.L.I.P. Financial, where our goal was to spread the importance of financial literacy. Going into college, I knew I wanted to have a career in finance, and with the help of some great mentors, I managed to land internships in equity research, investment banking, and private equity.
Pranay: Wow, F.L.I.P. Financial sounds like a wonderful idea, and certainly of you channeling your mother. On the flipside of your victories, can you think of any moments of blood, sweat, and tears that were part of your journey? How did you dust yourself off after that?
Darrin: Going into high school, I broke my knee and tore my patellar tendon while training over the summer for the upcoming basketball season. It halted all progress I made over the summer. After a full year of arduous physical therapy, I was able to return to full strength and continue playing sports.
Adam: Really happy to see you persevere through that. Given your background with F.L.I.P. Financial, I'm sure you have a north star of impact that you hope to achieve in the future. What does that look like?
Darrin: Focusing on teaching the importance of financial literacy and obtaining financial freedom. The other co-founder and I are planning to expand our products and outreach.
Pranay: Is there anything you are passionate about that you want to share with the world?
Darrin: I am very passionate about Kanye West, the NFL, and the NBA.
Pranay: Donda>Certified Lover Boy, that's the tea. Thank you for your time Darrin!
Adam: It was great speaking with you!
Darrin: Thank you for having me, take care!