Student Profile - Darien Phillips

Phillips finds LU a perfect 'march'

Darien PhillipsDarien Phillips’ love for marching band is what drove him to apply to Lamar University. The sophomore accounting major from Houston has played alto saxophone since the sixth grade.

Phillips appreciates where the saxophone has led him. “It’s introduced me to friends, taken me out of state, and brought me here to Lamar University. For that, I am forever thankful.” 

“One of the things I looked at before I chose a university was being able to be in a marching band without being a music major,” said Phillips. “Lamar allowed me to do that.”

Joining the Showcase of Southeast Texas was a priority for Phillips and it eased his transition to university life. “Marching Band is something extremely familiar to me, so I thought being in the Showcase of Southeast Texas would allow me to make this passage from high school to college a lot smoother,” said Phillips.

“I made a lot of good friends and gained a lot of good experiences in the process. Lamar has always felt right,” he said.

The organization has opened up many networking opportunities.

“The Lamar marching band is home to many students of different backgrounds and majors,” said Phillips. “Being in this immense, active organization eventually enabled me to create unique experiences and make long-lasting friendships. There is so much motivation, dedication, and discipline from all students and I’m convinced that is what makes the Showcase of Southeast Texas great.”

Phillips says another benefit of participating in marching band is gaining responsibility.

“The marching band has a hectic schedule so it has been really good in helping me manage my time,” said Phillips. “If it weren’t for marching band I wouldn’t be as organized and I wouldn’t have set priorities as strongly as I do.”

Above all, Phillips enjoys the performance.

“There is something phenomenal about putting on the Showcase uniform, grabbing my instrument, and promoting school spirit in front of an excited crowd,” said Phillips. “What I find even more profound is knowing that every individual participating in the Showcase of Southeast Texas feels the same.”

"No matter where Lamar University leads me, I am thankful for the Showcase of Southeast Texas giving me a place to call home."  

Phillips says that his experience at Lamar has changed his idea of college.

“When I first came to LU, I was very nervous and anxious. I wasn’t really confident in myself,” said Phillips, “but after my first two semesters, Lamar gave me so much and boosted my self-assurance.”

“I thought that every professor had the mentality of ‘you’re going to succeed or you don’t, and I don’t care either way’,” said Phillips. “But actually every professor I’ve encountered has been kind, caring, accessible, knowledgeable and supportive, especially if you’re serious about getting a good education.”

Phillips took his experience to YouTube with a dorm tour video that brought in 16,500+ views. ‘“I was super excited about being here on Lamar’s campus and I just wanted to broadcast that to the world,” said Phillips. Students leave Phillips comments and questions and he gives feedback on what to expect at Lamar.

Phillips’ has a goal of attaining an MSA in accounting at Lamar, becoming a Certified Public Accountant and, ultimately, opening his own business.

“Whether I was working a shift at JC Penney, or I was watching my favorite show, Undercover Boss, I’ve always been really interested in business,” Phillips said, “I believe a degree in accounting will prepare me with the knowledge necessary to accomplish my goals.”

He has found a support group in the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA).

“The NABA motto is ‘lifting as we climb’, so the idea is that if I make a connection or get a job at a critical accounting firm, I’m expected to give assistance to someone else so we can all succeed as a unit. I think that’s very profound and that it’s going to be beneficial to me in making connections as I work toward my career.”

Phillips is also a Lamar Ambassador and a two-time member of the President’s List. He is a recipient of the Marching Band Scholarship, Bernie and Michael Cook Presidential Scholarship in Business, and the Calvin R. Keating Scholarship in Business.

“After two semesters, I know this is exactly where I’m supposed to be,” said Phillips, “Wholeheartedly, LU always felt right.”