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Danielle Musa T'17

“I will leverage my Tuck degree to connect business success with people’s wellbeing—to stand up for voices that are not represented.”

Read My Story

VALUES-DRIVEN BUSINESS

The central thread in my Tuck experience is what I’d call values-driven business. I believe most people would like to “do well while doing good.” I wanted to dive deep into what that meant, understanding the many ways businesses aim to do this, and developing my own definition.

Experiential courses were a powerful way for me to explore this topic. For my first-year project, I worked with an outdoor apparel manufacturer to develop a sustainability marketing and communications strategy. They were already focused on sustainable and responsible business practices, but were unsure of how to communicate their values to customers. A key experiential course during my second year was an independent study where I wrote a case on NPR  for Tuck’s core strategy class. It was a great opportunity to explore how a not-for-profit organization can sustain competitive advantage in a rapidly transforming industry.

Both of my Global Insight Expeditions (GIX) supported my goals as well. During my first-year GIX to Brazil, we studied resiliency from the perspective of business, government, and social services. We spent a lot of time discussing how to build systems that build more vibrant and resilient communities over the long run. My second-year GIX explored a similar theme, but focused domestically on the Deep South and regional economic development. It was one of the most challenging and thought-provoking experiences I’ve had at Tuck—and it was created by a fellow classmate!

EXPLORING THE ENERGY INDUSTRY

Before orientation, I attended an energy career trek in the Bay Area. This trek covered a broad spectrum of careers in energy—from a small startup in project finance, to a mid-sized clean-tech company, to a large utility or power generator. I love the complexity of the industry, especially as it’s undergoing so much technological change today. Combined with the potential for social and environmental impact, this was an area that I wanted to explore in more depth, so I applied to the Revers Center for Energy as a fellow. Our new mentorship program pairs each fellow with an experienced manager or executive who has worked in the energy industry. I’m paired with Elyse Allan, CEO of GE Canada. Not only has she been a tremendous resource in thinking about my career, she is also a wonderful person. The Revers Energy Fellowship has also introduced me to other exceptional leaders in the energy industry and it has allowed me to attend an amazing set of conferences, case competitions, site visits, and workshops.

A GLOBAL CONSULTING PROJECT

My OnSite project offered another perspective on using business to transform people’s lives and is definitely one of my top Tuck experiences. I was really drawn to this project because of its social impact focus. My client’s mission is to help people who have been out of the workforce for an extended period of time transition back in. The company originally provided employment services in the UK and Australia, and had more recently entered Asia by opening its South Korea business. My team’s project answered two questions: how to grow the South Korean market, and how to expand into Singapore. We learned so much from being on the ground in both countries and, as a result, were able to provide valuable recommendations to the client.

In addition to the excellent project experience, this project was also a great opportunity to learn about business and culture in a part of the world I’d never visited. South Korea and Singapore were such different places that it made the cultural learnings from each place even more distinct. The other element of the project that made it so special was the great team. We each brought diverse skills and we created a team culture that was high-achieving, fun, and supportive. As the team coordinator, I reflected a lot about how best I could support my team. As I look ahead, I am confident that the experience will make me a stronger global leader.

GROWING AS A LEADER

Business school offers a unique opportunity to explore and develop leadership skills. In addition to the case discussions and projects, I’ve learned so much from conversations with classmates and visiting executives, as well as reflecting on my own skills and experiences. I’m currently serving as a Dean’s Fellow on a leadership development task force. My team has interviewed top organizations to study how they develop leaders. We’re now developing recommendations to incorporate the best practices here at Tuck.

I believe the impact a business can have is directly related to leadership within the organization. In the long term, I see myself in a general management role at a company that is committed to improving people’s lives. My goal is to demonstrate how business can be responsible to its community and its shareholders.

For me, it’s always been about connecting to people and making an impact. My undergraduate degree gave me a strong set of quantitative skills that I employed as a consultant, but I realized this wasn’t enough. Pursuing my MBA has provided another set of skills—managing organizations and reaching people at scale. I’m focused on becoming the most effective leader I can be by empowering those around me and positively impacting the communities that we touch through business.

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