The definition of success differs for each person, John Veihmeyer told a room of professional program students and KPMG employees during a recent visit to Mays.

“It not only depends on one’s aspirations, but also their stage in life,” explained the world-renowned accountant and current chairman and chief executive officer of KPMG LLP, the U.S. member firm of KPMG International. Veihmeyer has been named as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting by Accounting Today magazine and has spoken to numerous university classes and audiences across the country on the critical role of ethics and integrity in leadership.

John Veihmeyer with current and former KPMG interns from Mays
John Veihmeyer with current and former KPMG interns from Mays

Veihmeyer’s discussion with students and professionals was one of inspiration, encouragement and leadership.

When asked about the best aspect of his job, Veihmeyer responded with, “being able to work with amazing people every day.” Growing with others through their experiences “has provided the most rewarding and educating moments throughout my career as a partner and in executive leadership.”

The foundation of Veihmeyer’s dialogue was based on the initiatives of ethics, social responsibility and diversity that he has advocated while leading KPMG LLP.

Veihmeyer has implemented numerous diversity programs that foster a spirit of unity through individuality. Specific to college students, Veihmeyer created the Future Diversity Leaders, an initiative that identifies and mentors students early in their college career. Another program, The Key Accounts Rotation, ensures that young professionals at KPMG encounter a broad range of experiences early in their professional career through unique client exposure.

Students in attendance enjoyed hearing Veihmeyer’s stories of success and encouragement for the future professional workforce.

“It was a phenomenal experience to listen to John Veihmeyer,” said Young Kim, a senior in the Mays Professional Program. “I was inspired and educated on accounting and life at the same time.”

Throughout the day, Veihmeyer spoke with many groups of students and faculty, including current KPMG interns, accounting professors and Group XXI of the Professional Program.

Several topics and experiences were addressed during the discussions; however, one theme resounded throughout many of the dialogues – the necessity of enjoying your occupation.

“Follow your heart and find a job that excites you everyday when you wake up. No amount of money is worth the strain of unhappiness.”