2024 Best & Brightest Business Major: Foster Lyman, University of Richmond (Robins)

Foster Lyman

University of Richmond, Robins School of Business

“Tall accountant with a commitment to his community and a passion for mentoring.”

Fun fact about yourself: I started singing in choirs when I was nine. In high school, I sang in a concert choir that traveled around the country for competitions. Currently, I sing in the school choir and the church choir.

Hometown: Palm City, Florida

High School: Martin County High School

Major: Accounting – Concentration in Finance

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course: Global Consumer Cultures with Dr. Dana Lascu – A first-year seminar where I was introduced to international case studies and learned how to write a research paper.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Dean’s List – All-A Distinction (All Semesters)
  • Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honors Society
  • Schola Cantorum Chorus
  • CCO Campus Ministry
  • Robins School of Business Student Government Association Senator (Junior Year)
  • Fundamentals of Financial Accounting Course Mentor
  • International Finance Research Assistant
  • Athletics Department Tutor
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistant
  • Richmond College Medal Finalist
  • 2024 Herb Peterson Award for the Outstanding Undergraduate Accounting Student Finalist

Where have you interned during your college career? Deloitte in Richmond, VA – Audit & Assurance Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? Deloitte in Richmond, VA – Audit & Assurance Assistant

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Success is not defined by the grades you get or the money you make. Rather, true success is found in the people you choose to surround yourself with. Studying business has allowed me to excel at networking and building relationships that will last beyond my time in college.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Network with your professors as much as possible. Many business professors have incredible professional experience outside of academia and would love to help their students land their dream jobs or internships.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? It was the willingness of others to help. Going to a competitive and academically rigorous business school, I expected more competition between students. Instead, I found an environment where I feel supported to succeed by peers, even by peers I’ve only spoken to a handful of times. Even though some of us are competing for the same job, there is always a positive sentiment among business school students to build each other up.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? Take more social science courses. As an accounting major, taking more than 150 credit hours in four years left me little time to explore courses outside of the business school. However, I truly enjoyed taking courses like Criminal Justice, Sociology, and European History in high school and Religious Studies in college. These courses allow for the development of critical thinking and deeper personal reflection when compared to business courses and, in my opinion, produce a more well-rounded student.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of being entrusted by my professors to tutor their courses. With small, intimate classes at the University of Richmond, it takes a lot of faith from a professor to name you their course mentor. When I was asked to be a course mentor for Fundamental of Financial Accounting I was honored, but I viewed it as a job. Looking back, I am profoundly thankful for the trust that my professors placed in me to work closely with struggling students which has evolved into a love for mentorship and teaching.

Which classmate do you most admire? I admire Zach Duray for his dedication and caring nature. Zach is completing 150 credit hours while graduating a semester early. In addition, he serves in numerous leadership positions throughout campus and still finds time to weightlift for hours every day. While we’re not best friends, I have grown to know Zach inside the classroom where he always brings a smile to everyone’s face. He also serves as an accounting course mentor and resident assistant, which illustrates his passion for helping those around me. Countless times, Zach has been there to chat about accounting methodologies, and career paths, or just have a good laugh.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank Jesus Christ for his sacrifice. He is the ultimate role model, and He is the reason I want to become a professor one day to give back and teach. My success is solely through the Will of God, and I am eternally grateful for the life and family He has granted me.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  • Return to the University of Richmond as a professor.
  • Be noticed in the professional community for the work I do outside of accounting.

What made Foster such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2024?

“Foster is clearly an intelligent and hard-working student, as evidenced by his 3.99 GPA within the rigorous accounting and finance programs at the University of Richmond. However, what truly makes Foster remarkable is that he pairs that drive for academic achievement with a genuine curiosity towards understanding the world and a passion for helping others.

I’ve had the privilege of teaching Foster in three different accounting courses. From the first introductory course, I knew he was something special when he’d ask questions that went far beyond the day’s topic, indicating he was thinking five steps ahead about the details/nuances of the more introductory material I was covering in class. And his questions would never approach the “let’s stump the professor” variety, rather his questions reflected critical thinking and an earnest interest in considering the implications of the topic.

Foster’s enthusiasm for learning has pushed me to be a better professor. In our third course together, I was teaching a new elective course, and as I created assignments, I sometimes found myself considering my plans and thinking “this is good, but will this interest and challenge Foster?” – he sets the bar high and I was inspired to make the course a valuable experience for him.

Outside of the classroom, Foster is equally impressive. He works as a tutor, patiently and effectively helping younger students feel more confident about their accounting and finance skills (he will make an amazing professor one day). He also serves his community – on and off campus – in his roles as an SGA Senator, voluntary tax preparer, and church choir leader. Even outside of those formal roles, I often see Foster informally helping his friends, his classmates, and his professors.

Regardless of the venue – the classroom, a Spider sporting event, or the Business School lounge – when you run into Foster, you’ll be greeted by a giant smile, an offer to help, and an insightful question. His passion for life and learning is truly contagious.”

Dr. Ashely Austin
Associate Professor of Accounting
Robins School of Business, University of Richmond


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