Live To Inspire: Demetrius Hardeman ’06

August 1, 2014

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Not everyone can say their job is sometimes like an episode of “Breaking Bad.” Demetrius Hardeman can. Hardeman is a special agent for the IRS’s criminal investigations unit. If it’s a crime involving money, the 2006 accounting major is on the case. From white-collar crimes like tax evasion and fraud to taking down the financial infrastructure of drug cartels, Hardeman said his profession is one of purpose.

“I feel a responsibility at my job,” Hardeman said. “You know some people might see the government or the IRS negatively, but we’re really here to help. I never thought I’d be in law enforcement, but I’m very happy where I am. No two days are alike and I get to see things that most people never will. I’ve seen half a million dollars in cash and I work directly with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). It’s exciting. I mean, there are times when I’m behind a desk pushing paper, but then the next day I might be on a flight to Puerto Rico. No two days are the same and I love that.”

While he never planned on going into law enforcement, Hardeman always knew he wanted to work with money. When he arrived at TLU in 2000, he was drawn to the high percentage of business and accounting students who became employed before or shortly after graduation. As an accounting major, Hardeman was also heavily involved on campus as quarterback of the football team, a founding member of Alpha Phi Alpha, a member of Student Government Association and an admissions ambassador.

“I was more than a name and number at TLU; I was a person,” Hardeman said. “TLU is a great training ground for the real world, especially for a minority student like myself. The professors enjoy teaching and they recognize students who can do the work. Professor Ron Huntsman and Professor Melanie Thompson really pushed me and didn’t let me slide just because I was a ball player. Dr. Citzler and Dr. Cook also really helped me. The professors at TLU not only teach you, they correct you before you get out in the real world.”

At TLU, Hardeman had an internship with the Hanke Group followed by one with the IRS. It was during his internship with the IRS where he was offered a full-time position.

“I initially thought I’d go into accounting, get my CPA and go to work for one of the Big 4 [accounting firms],” Hardeman said. “The chance to intern with the IRS changed that and that opportunity was because of TLU.”

Now as both an alumnus and TLU Board of Regents member, Hardeman said it’s important to promote the benefits of a TLU education and the type of students the university produces.

“When you’re at TLU, you immediately realize what’s different about it,” Hardeman said. “It’s important for alumni to pay it forward and share experiences. We shouldn’t live in isolation. We should help each other. I paid for an education and I know I got a good one. People at TLU were instrumental in my development.”

This story originally appeared in the Fall 2014 edition of TLU's Torch magazine.

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