Alum Ron Williams shares advice to current students and his unique career journey: September’s aMaizeing Alumni

Ron Williams graduated in 2022 with a MBA from the School of Management. His career path started in banking, then the army and finally Senior Vice President and Controller at Printwell Acquisitions.  As our alumni spotlight, Ron talks about the importance of mentors, some of his favorite classes and his long-term career goals.

Q:Were you involved in any clubs or extracurriculars during your college experience? If so, what organizations/clubs?
A: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., The Strategy Institute

Q: Where are you currently working and your title? How long have you been in this position or at this organization? 
A: I accepted the role of Senior Vice President & Controller at Printwell Acquisitions Incorporated in July 2022. Before assuming the position with Printwell, I served as Chief Financial Officer of WGS Global Services from 2017 – 2022.

Q: What is your job like day to day?
A: My daily tasks include working in collaboration with other Senior Leadership Team members to create short and long-term business goals leading to increase profitability and sustainability efforts.

Q: Why did you choose to attend UM-Flint for your degree(s)?
A: Convenience and value.

Q: Share your best college memory
A: Easy, my best memory was graduation as I have been adequality prepared to lead and provide value in any business climate.

Q: What is the most important thing you learned while you were at UM-Flint? 
A: Negotiations and organizational behavior are among the most importance things learned in the program as they helped me develop a more objective management view.

Q: How did your education at UM-Flint prepare you for what you are doing today?
A: UM-Flint helped me learned to complete and manage projects, think more critically, solve complex organizational problems, and gave me the capacity to learn new things.

Q: Who influenced you most during your time at UM-Flint and why?
A: Difficult to say, each Professor in my program provided a unique view and challenged me academically which culminated in a rewarding experience. I can add though, Professor Blume’s course provided the most insight into organizational culture and how I may affect change as a business leader.

Q: What is one of your favorite events you attended or classroom experiences at UM-Flint? Why?
A: My favorite classroom experience was the weekend class meetings as it facilitated professional interactions with my classmates and professors which enhanced my understanding of certain material.

Q: Describe your career path.
A: My professional career began in banking with Comerica following an honorable discharge from the United States Army. Upon completion of their credit college and successful rotations in commercial leasing, traditional small business, and middle market as a credit analyst, I held numerous industry positions ranging from staff account to my current role as Senior Vice President.

Q: Why did you choose to go into the career path you are currently in?
A: I worked as a 92Y while in the army which is a position close to accounting. With my assignments in 13th COSCOM and JTF160, I grew to understand financial management and the skills necessary for budgetary cohesion. These skills were transferable to the business community on the civilian side, so I continued the progression leading to an accounting degree and subsequently an MBA.

Q: What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?
A: Mentors. No matter where you are in life, mentors are essential in growth and development. They can offer valuable insights and advice simply not found in textbooks.

Q: What is a long-term career or professional goal you have for yourself?
A: In pursuit of a Ph.D., my ultimate professional goals include working as an FSO (Foreign Service Officer), business ownership and ultimately teaching collegiate-level courses.

Q: What is one of your proudest accomplishments so far?
A: My proudest accomplishments include being awarded the meritorious service medal in the army, being conferred with the ROAR (Recognition of Outstanding Achievements and Results) Award from Comerica in serving on the AML (Anti-money Laundering) project and obtaining the MBA as a working professional.

Q: Fun Facts! (Examples: sports fan, long-term goals, favorite vacation, future travel plans/ideas, or come up with your own!)
A: I enjoy golfing, nature walks, and museums.

Q: What is something people may not know about you?
A: I’m a first-generation college student with a son whose a graduate of the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor (Justin). Justin now works in public policy with the District of Columbia and is a current graduate student at George Washington University.