Before he was a student in the Flex MBA program, Daryl Harlow ‘19 was a postal carrier who often drove past the Raymond A. Mason School of Business on his mail routes. “I thought how great it would be to go to school at William & Mary. And look! Six years later, I’m a proud alum. It’s remarkable.”
After earning his Associate and Bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration from Thomas Nelson Community College and Old Dominion University, Harlow began the pursuit of his Master’s degree at W&M in the fall of 2016. “I was fortunate to be part of an incredible cohort of students, people that will be lifelong friends. The professors really set me up to be successful and helped me get to where I am now. I just had such a great experience with the program that I would recommend it to anyone.” Harlow graduated from the Flex MBA program this past May with a concentration in Management of Engineering and Technology Development and has since been serving as the Chief Executive Officer of Built to Last, a recycled plastic outdoor furniture company based in North Carolina.
Built to Last, which first began operations in 1999, was purchased by Harlow and his business partner this past September. “It’s actually kind of a funny story! I told my wife that I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do [after I graduated from W&M] because I was so used to working on homework and projects until one o’clock or so in the morning. But she handed me a folder and asked me what I thought about a company she’d identified, and I said that I thought I could run it. Four months later, I was.”
Since then, Harlow has been very busy – implementing managerial changes, remodeling the company showroom, and making an improvement to Built to Last’s storage capabilities. But amid the hecticness of his new career, Harlow still made time to give something back to the Raymond A. Mason School of Business and the Flex MBA program: he donated new furniture for the building’s main entrance, as well as tables, Adirondack chairs, and benches for the back courtyard. “I wanted to give back and say thank you for everything this school has done for me. This furniture provides students and faculty members with a space to work on projects, socialize, and do whatever they need to do throughout the day. Plus, the other furniture was getting old, and the administration was receiving complaints about splinters (our furniture won’t do that!). It just seemed like the perfect solution and a great way to give back.”
Harlow credits much of his success to William & Mary. “It was kind of a dream come true – I loved my time here. I wouldn’t be where I am right now without this school, so donating this furniture was the least I could do.”
“For anyone who’s thinking about going back to school, don’t stop believing that you can get somewhere – if you really want something, you can do it. And W&M and the Flex MBA program will give you the tools to do so.”