2019 Best & Brightest: Ashley Daniels, Emory University (Goizueta)

Ashley Daniels

Emory University, Goizueta Business School

 “Looking for adventure, I’m eager to learn, explore, and try new things around the world.”

Fun fact about yourself: I got scuba certified in Austria over the summer between my sophomore and junior year.

Hometown: Chesterfield, MO

High School: Marquette High School

Major: BBA – Finance, Strategy and Management Consulting, Entrepreneurship

Favorite Business Course: Venture Capital and Private Equity taught by Klaas Baks

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Women’s Varsity Swimming and Diving – Captain (NCAA All-American, All-UAA, CSCAA Scholar All-American)
  • BBA Council – VP of Finance
  • Relay for Life – Sports Chair
  • Omicron Delta Kappa – Member
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes – Leader
  • Eagles Swim Team – Instructor

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • SunTrust Robinson Humphry – Acquisition Finance Execution & Structuring Summer Analyst (Atlanta, GA – Summer 2018)
  • voestalpine – Corporate Development Intern (Linz, Austria – Summer 2017)

Where will you be working after graduation? SunTrust Robinson Humphry – Acquisition Finance Execution & Structuring Analyst

What company do you admire most? I have always been a big fan of Patagonia. I was first drawn to the company because they created some of the best outdoor apparel on the market. Upon further research, I learned of the company’s dedication to sustainability and employee satisfaction. Both of which I value as particularly admirable. Overall, I believe the company has found a niche market that it can thrive in while also remaining socially and environmentally responsible.

Who is your favorite professor? Mark Bell. As a current member of many boards and a leading investment manager, Bell brought current examples to every class, pushed us to think of more diverse investment strategies, and found time to individually get to know each student.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? A unique tradition at Goizueta is Kegs. Every week, the entire BBA class is invited to attend a social event coordinated with a theme, sponsor, food, and beer. This has always been a fabulous end to the week as well as a welcomed opportunity to relax with my classmates and professors.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? While at the Goizueta business school, I have spent a lot of time working with other people on larger projects. I have learned that every problem has multiple solutions which can be both challenging and exciting. Working with groups has taught me to combine ideas and to understand that everything can be improved upon with the additional insight of another individual.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Each semester, new students join the Goizueta business school and I am given the opportunity to speak with them. One thing I always try to convey to them is that a well-functioning group can always create a product better than each individual. I advise all business students to develop technical skills but to also learn how to communicate and delegate work in a way that fosters a productive team environment. Being able to recognize the value of each additional individual and then understand how to best work as a unit are essential skills in the business world.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I am constantly shocked with how much of an influence a business can have on the lives of employees, friends, admirers, and the general public. By recognizing the social, economic, political, and environmental footprint a company has, I have become much more interested in observing how to make all those positive. Leaders of all sized companies have the opportunity to positively impact a community and I am excited to potentially have such an impact on people.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…Psychology. I have always loved learning how the brain works and people think. While at Emory, I have gotten to take a few psychology classes and even some sociology classes that have given me more tangible examples, studies, and definitions of observable naturally occurring phenomena pertaining to individual behaviors.”

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? Both my parents are involved in the business world. Therefore, I was exposed to business at a young age. My dad specifically has always enjoyed sharing his business knowledge with me and now constantly shares business news he thinks pertains to me. Being surrounded by business from a young age absolutely led me towards business, but I have found that business can be quite broad and I am more specifically interested in the non-traditional forms of business. I really enjoyed learning about new, innovative ideas and emerging investment opportunities that are more creative and interesting that traditional investment classes.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am very proud of my collegiate career. I have gotten to develop athletically, academically, socially, professionally, and through so many other avenues. For this reason, I am most proud of the creation of the Goizueta BBA Creed. As a junior, I was asked to create a creed with little guidance. I pulled upon my involvement and development within all these communities as well as peers and advisors to identify the most important qualities of Goizueta students. I believe the Creed is very reflective of my own experience at the Goizueta business school and I am very proud that this document will outlast my time at the University.

Which classmate do you most admire? Lauren McBride is an incredibly caring, dedicated, creative, compassionate individual. She and I have become very close friends ever since we went to Austria together for an internship before our junior years. The first striking thing about Lauren is her ability to connect with anyone. She has incredible listening skills and finds ways to remember and stay invested in an individual’s interests. She is also brilliant and hard-working. She balances a business and physics major while remaining involved in her leadership roles in various extracurriculars. She loves to travel and has a desire to learn more about the world. Overall, Lauren is the type of person I strive to be: thoughtful, smart, adventurous.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I want to thank my swim team. Of course, this is a collection of people so I feel as though I have cheated on this question. However, I believe that the atmosphere and history of the team have truly driven me to become the person I am today. The Emory Swim and Dive team is made up of incredibly hard-working and supportive people. I was led by passionate seniors; I watched teammates go on to impact the world; coaches told me I could achieve anything that crossed my mind; my classmates became my closest friend; our underclassmen showered me in support and taught me how to lead; and alumni have continued to remain connected and involved in my life. Without this group, I would have never thought I could balance so many different things and grow in so many directions. Since coming to Emory, the Emory Swim and Dive team have pushed me to look for ways I can find and fulfill passions. Because of this group, I have done so much more with my collegiate career that I would have imagined and I am eager to do the same throughout my professional career.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

  • Scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef
  • See the Northern Lights from an igloo

What are your hobbies? While I love and spend a lot of time swimming, I wouldn’t consider it a hobby. When I have a free afternoon, I enjoy listening to music, spending time with my friends, trying local restaurants in Atlanta, and doing anything in the sun. I also really enjoy traveling (across the world or just a weekend road trip), scuba diving, playing golf, and have recently begun playing the piano.

What made Ashley such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

Ashley brings unwavering dedication and infectious passion to everything she undertakes.  It comes as no surprise that she is now captain of the 9th-consecutive NCAA-D III Championship Swimming and Diving Team on which she has been a four-year varsity athlete. She models a tenacity, collaborative willingness and team spirit that ideally position her to make significant and meaningful contributions in the pool, in the classroom and across a variety of organizational environments. While she is naturally gifted, she augments her talents with a work ethic that moves her achievements to a higher level.

I am most grateful for the Goizueta BBA Creed that Ashley authored and helped institutionalize during her tenure here. This task was outside her assigned role on the BBA Council but was clearly and obviously close to her heart.  While her authorship was eloquent and foundational to the outcome, her willingness to solicit input and seek editing was equally valuable in assuring a representative and inclusive document. Following the Creed’s ratification,  Ashley has led a series of sessions with incoming business students each semester during Orientation, helping them not only to understand the intention and meaning of the core values but also to think about ways to authentically incorporate them into their own business school experiences.  I firmly believe that Ashley Daniels has fundamentally and permanently positively impacted the culture of the Goizueta Business School BBA Program.”

Andrea Hershatter
Sr. Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education
BBA Program Director
Goizueta Business School

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