School of Business and Law

Inspiring journeys to work

Picture of Marvin Okai and Denzil Lawrence

Black and in Business

After their parents were quick to dispel their idea of becoming professional athletes, Marvin Okai and Denzil Lawrence chose to focus their attention on becoming Accountants.
Picture of Marvin Okai and Denzil Lawrence

Marvin Okai (left) and Denzil Lawrence (right), Black and In Business

Whilst studying at Accounting and Finance at Brighton, they developed their blog, Black and In Business, to document their journey to becoming Chartered Accountants. Now graduated, they are continuing to produce their blog, with the aim to  encourage diversity in the world of Finance and to share with other students how they overcame some of the obstacles they faced, and still face.
Marvin and Denzil talked to us about how they started their blog and what they would like it to achieve:
Marvin: “Me and Denzil would always talk in the library about life inside university to what life will be like after, when we should have been revising.”
Denzil: “It provided us with a platform to simply vent and voice our opinion using our experiences to date. Especially underlining the lack of diversity in corporate London which is becoming increasingly evident.”
Marvin: “Thinking about it, it was probably a safety mechanism to make sense of the changes in our lives, and we figured maybe some people could relate. We looked to see if we could find similar blogs that fit our native but we found nothing – something we considered an important topic and no-one was talking about it.”
Denzil: “We are merely exploring and witnessing first-hand our experiences with people from different backgrounds. However, the blog isn’t just about being black and in business as the title suggests, as we feel there are aspects of our journey that is relatable to people of all sorts regardless of their ethnicity.”
Marvin: “We had an idea that maybe people could benefit from our stories and guidance, something we didn’t receive at the time when we really needed it. We aim to provide this service as long as we possibly can, to anyone will to listen.”
Denzil: “We hope this blog can provide a sense of awareness and inspiration and some laughs along the way!! It’s our journey featuring our peers.”

Denzil and Marvin would love for more students to engage with their blog, as they both think there are aspects of their experiences that can relate to all students and trainee accountants, regardless of their background. Especially if they work in a corporate organisation.
If you want to get involved, you can contact Denzil and Marvin via their blog or email them directly:
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Accounting and Financealumni

Clare Prust • December 20, 2017

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