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Danielle Hall Named Poets&Quants 2023 Best & Brightest Executive MBA

Georgia Tech Scheller's Danielle Hall has been named one of Poets&Quants’ 2023 Best & Brightest Executive MBAs.
Headshot of Danielle Hall with Poets&Quants “Best and Brightest 2023” graphic

Danielle Hall

“I am a purpose-driven and authentic leader, passionate about the empowerment of women and girls.” 

Hometown: College Park, GA 

Family Members: Brodrick Hall (spouse), son Christian Hall (10 years), daughter Ellaina Hall (8 months), and Shotzi Johnson (mother). 

Fun fact about yourself: I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I started my first business when I was 13 – Dani’s Babysitting and Braids. Since then, I’ve owned two boutique consulting agencies, Infinitely Social and Digital Mavens. 

Undergraduate School and Degree: Emory University, Bachelor of Arts in Women, Gender, and Sexualities Studies 

Where are you currently working? Vice President of IT, Backoffice and Operations Applications at International Market Centers 

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles: 

Women in Technology, Volunteer Director, Pi Alpha Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc, Technology Chair, Atlanta Women’s Foundation, 2018 Inspire Atlanta Fellow, One IMC Cares, Atlanta Campus Co-Lead, Forté Foundation MBA Launch Class of 2020 

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of being named the Women in Technology (WIT) Volunteer of the Year in October of 2022. This award means a lot as it is a representation of my commitment and investment in the mission and vision of WIT. I was honored to receive this award and to have been selected from such a talented and dedicated group of peers. 

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am most proud of this chapter of my career. I have grown into a leader that is confident in taking risks and leading transformation in times of uncertainty. I am also proud of my decision to pursue my MBA and not allow external factors to delay or prolong this goal. Having a baby while in a senior management role and pursuing an MBA is no easy feat, but I am appreciative of each challenge and opportunity that has come with this journey. 

Who was your favorite MBA professor? There are multiple professors that have left an indubitable impact on my experience at Scheller. Dr. Frank T. Rothaermel is definitively my favorite. His ability to convey core strategy principles with his experience and knowledge, while also effortlessly weaving in the contribution of the students in his class, is unmatched. He is genuinely engaged with each of his students. Frank has a passion for teaching and connecting. I’ve also valued his vast background and experience. His case studies are current and intriguing, causing students to easily grasp the concepts he teaches through evaluation and application. 

Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? Scheller’s Executive MBA delivers a perfect marriage of tech and business. The program provides a great format for professionals to balance life and school. The 17-month program delivers the core business foundation, while also providing executive professionals the opportunity to have concentration areas and focus on new and emerging topics through electives. 

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? An MBA is more than just what’s taught in the classroom. It is important to make meaningful connections with classmates as well as faculty. What I enjoy about the EMBA program is that the class content is enriched with the work experiences and lessons learned from the diverse students and their various industry backgrounds. 

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? As I prepared for maternity leave in the Fall of 2022, I was also beginning my EMBA journey. Immersion week was held only a few weeks before the scheduled delivery of my daughter. I’d also just hired a new team member. This was the ultimate juggle of work, family, and education. I worked diligently to prepare a quality onboarding experience for my new hire, and I made a strategic effort to get ahead of readings and assignments. 

After I delivered my daughter, I had to prioritize my family. Both work and school were taken care of with proper preparation, and I was able to enjoy my newborn. I am extremely thankful for my professors and classmates that helped me stay on track with coursework while adjusting to new motherhood, and my family for supporting me. Two things I’ve learned from this are to lead and serve with grace and to remain present. 

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? Know your ‘why.’ It’s important that you understand why you want to pursue an MBA. It is a rigorous program, and you will get out what you put in. I would recommend attending info sessions, visiting classes, and speaking to current students to ensure your school and program choice can help you achieve your ‘why.’ 

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? “Going back to school isn’t worth the investment.” 

I believe this to be vastly untrue. Even without an immediate advancement in position or salary, the network, leadership development, business acumen, and experiences add to your confidence as a professional making business school well worth the investment. 

What was your biggest regret in business school? I have wanted to puruse this degree for many years, and I don’t have any regrets about my business school experience. I came into this program with intentions set on how I would show up and perform. My business school experience has been a string of many special moments in and out of the classroom, providing a life-changing experience I wouldn’t trade. 

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? There’s something that I admire about each of my classmates. However, the classmate that I most admire is Dennis Scott. As a former professional NBA player, and now an NBA TV anchor, he has an impressive career in sports. He’s also a serial entrepreneur having previously owned restaurants and established clothing lines. He is now venturing into tech startups. I enjoy the perspective he provides in the classroom and his entrepreneurial spirit. 

What was the main reason you chose an executive MBA program over part-time or online alternatives? The Executive MBA program has provided an elite business education, a strong alumni network, and a class format that allowed me more flexibility to balance my home, job, and community commitments. 

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? My ultimate long-term career goal is to lead a technology organization as a CTO for a Fortune 500 company. I also want to become a board member of Women in Technology. 

What made Dani such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?  

“Scheller Executive MBA students are terrific. All of them are high achievers that aim to make a positive impact to create shared value. Among this stellar group, Danielle (“Dani”) Hall stands out. Dani’s mantra is ‘There is never a perfect time for anything,’—so you need to just go for your goals. Dani combines a unique educational background (‘high touch, high tech’) with an undergraduate degree from Emory University in Women, Gender, and Sexualities Studies and a Scheller MBA from Georgia Tech. Dani is intellectually curious, intrinsically motivated, and a natural leader. She combines high social intelligence with a superb technical skillset, which she puts to work daily as Vice President of IT. In short, Dani is a ‘superwoman.’ She gave birth to her second child during the first semester of MBA school but never missed class or any assignments. Dani managed a demanding work schedule, MBA school, and family all in strides while always maintaining a positive can-do attitude. Dani’s ultimate professional goal is to land in the C-Suite to have an even greater impact on organizations and society. I do not doubt Dani will achieve her goals. More than ever, we need leaders like Danielle Hall. Go, Dani!” 

Frank T. Rothaermel
Russell and Nancy McDonough Chair
Professor of Strategy and Innovation
Alfred P. Sloan Industry Studies Fellow

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