YCP@Work: Dillon Weitkamp, Lefever Electric, Inc.
Dillon Weitkamp graduated from York College in 2017 with a B.S. in Accounting. He is currently President and Owner of Lefever Electric, Inc.
What made you choose to pursue a degree in this field?
I had a great professor during my first year who taught a basic Financial Accounting course. I knew I wanted to own and operate businesses, but I was just a general Business Administration student at the time. I did well in the course and discovered how accounting is truly the backbone of every business. That professor encouraged me to pursue Accounting as a major, and I am glad I did. It has been invaluable during my time in private wealth management and now in owning and operating my own business.
How have you used your York College education since graduating?
My ability to read and understand financial statements, both simple and complex, has been critical. I previously worked with business owners in the private wealth management space, and being able to understand their financials and talk intelligently about them makes all the difference in creating confidence in your abilities. This is crucial when gaining trust from your clients.
Now, as a business owner myself, I rely heavily on my financials when making decisions. Even before making decisions, I spend plenty of time doing accounting work and working with our financials. I do this because without good numbers and data, you are essentially making blind decisions and hoping for the best, which is a completely inefficient and unsustainable way to run a business. Putting in the work allows me to be more accurate and informed as I operate.
What is most challenging about a career in this field?
Even though I am a business owner and not an accountant, there are ways in which the accounting aspect of my job presents its own challenges. On any given day, there can be many financial decisions to make, and you must be able to rely on yourself. It is a balance between the confidence to persevere and make decisions and the humility required to gain information, ask questions, and know when to seek help. If one aspect is too heavy one way or another, it can prove fatal to a business—it is never just about the numbers.
What do you like best about your career?
I love being able to make a difference and enact change. Not only can I impact the lives of our customers, but those of our team members as well. We have a great culture and know this business is valuable not only because of our bottom line, but also because of the quality of team members we have onboard. It is absolutely crucial to realize that, but even more so to express it. The value we have for our team gets expressed through benefits and payroll, but also verbally with great intention. People need to hear that they do a good job and are important. They matter and they know it. This makes our company a great place to work, and those are the moments I really enjoy. EQ really is the new IQ for businesses.
What advice would you have for a student who is just starting out in this major?
Accounting can be difficult, but it is helpful to think about the application in the field. You can go so many routes with this degree. You can focus on strictly accounting, whether for a private organization or in the world of public accounting, or you can go the finance route. You can also decide on an entirely different route, but understanding the underlying financials of a business is always a strong competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Accounting doesn't only help business owners—we all have our own "brand," so to speak, and we are more marketable based on our abilities. Therefore, no matter what you specifically decide to do in life, accounting is a great foundation to understanding business, companies, and how to become a valuable member of an organization, which results in the potential for an incredible future for yourself. Lastly, when you are taking the classes, focus intently on getting the basics right because the more difficult classes build on those foundations, and if you do not understand them as second nature, you will have difficulties later.