Danielle Quint on how a Leadership EMBA Boosted Her Confidence and Propelled Her Career

Posted by Albers School of Business and Economics on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 at 1:00 PM PST

Albers School EntranceMany paths can bring someone to an executive leadership MBA program. For women in male-dominated spaces, a Leadership EMBA can be a tool for boosting credibility and learning to amplify their voices. Danielle Quint ’18 chose Albers for just that—arming herself with the education, tools, and confidence to grow as a leader in the fields of venture capital and private equity.

After the EMBA, Danielle’s career changed drastically. She was promoted to  Head of Operations and then to Senior Director of Business Development for Intellectual Ventures, Invention Science Fund. Today, she’s the Global Head of Sales Operations for Mangata Networks.

Read more about how the Leadership EMBA at Seattle University’s Albers School of Business prepared Danielle for leadership and career growth.

Strengthening Her Professional Toolbox

Danielle often managed projects and people indirectly in her role as an analyst. Being introverted, she found it challenging to assert herself. “I wanted stronger leadership skills to boost my confidence,” says Danielle. “I also wanted to make sure I had the techniques and tools in my toolbox to succeed in my role.” Because of this, going into her EMBA, Danielle’s goals were to learn to use her voice and expand her business acumen.

 Danielle’s accelerated professional success as a business analyst at Intellectual Ventures also led to her considerations of what a more advanced and discerning business education could make possible. This led her to the Executive Leadership certificate at Seattle University’s Albers School of Business. When she saw first-hand how transformative the coursework is, she knew she wanted more. The next step? A Leadership EMBA.

“In particular, I wanted to dig into how you value an opportunity, set strategic vision, evaluate a business plan, and implement strategies,” she says. Continuing to work full-time while completing her degree, she was able to apply her learning directly back to her professional work.

The Capstone Project at Albers

Leadership EMBA students create and implement a capstone project as part of their curriculum. These projects bring together the knowledge, skills, and experience students develop throughout the program, which students then apply to business solutions.

For her capstone project, Danielle and her teammates created a pitch for solar-powered sunscreen kiosks called No Fry Zones, which would allow beachgoers to purchase sunscreen as needed without bringing bottles themselves. Danielle’s team competed in the Seattle University business plan competition, earning 4th place.

This wasn’t just a homework assignment; Danielle ended up actually starting the company—and it’s still running today. She pitched the project to Sentosa Resorts in Singapore, who worked with her to create and implement the pilot, collect feedback, and test the business plan. The partnership between Sentosa and No Fry Zone was the first of its kind. Due to the success of this partnership, Sentosa developed a start-up incubation program with No Fry Zone as the first participant.

Today, these kiosks still exist, eliminating single-use plastic waste from sunscreen bottles. As with most luxury tourism-related businesses, the business was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and is currently positioning itself to thrive in the new semi-post-COVID world.

Benefits of the EMBA Program at Albers

1: Knowledgeable Faculty

For Danielle, one of the most significant advantages of Albers was a faculty knowledgeable in the industry. Because most Albers faculty work within their respective fields, they are familiar with current practices and market trends rather than teaching outdated material. “It’s not just information from a textbook. The faculty teaches the concepts, sure, but then they also provide real-world examples,” she says. “It felt authentic, current, and very applicable.”

2: A Dynamic Learning Environment

Hands-on learning opportunities also help Albers students digest and apply course teachings. Danielle notes that her coursework provided her with ample opportunities to give presentations in class and solicit feedback from her cohort. “At Albers, we work in a learning laboratory,” she says. “This means you’re practicing what you’re taught every time you’re in class. Getting up in front of people and presenting helped me grow immensely.”

Homework was different than what Danielle expected, too often, students would be asked to bring a problem from their workplace to the table. This allowed them to practice applying their learning while receiving feedback from their knowledgeable classmates, who often had insights from working in different industries.

3: Executive Coaching and Professional Development

Executive coaching was another way Albers created opportunities for practice and self-reflection. During the first six months of the EMBA program, students are matched with an executive coach to provide valuable one-on-one mentorship. With her coach, Danielle focused on how to find her voice and influence others. “I wanted to determine my leadership style and practice leading with it,” she says. “Through coaching, I was able to work through specific problems I was dealing with at work while learning how to grow into the type of leader I wanted to be.” Danielle found the executive coaching experience so beneficial that she still uses it today. 

4: A Supportive, Diverse Cohort

That’s not to say the environment can’t be competitive. A room full of accomplished business professionals is bound to foster competition, but it also pushes you out of your comfort zone. “My cohort challenged me to work harder, and they brought new perspectives I wouldn’t otherwise experience,” says Danielle. “We were all there to learn and grow.”

Cohorts at Albers are made up of business professionals from a range of experience and industries. In Danielle’s graduating class, students came from careers at Costco, Expeditors, Boeing, Paccar, Expedia, and the healthcare industry.

The diverse industries represented in the cohort at Albers led to productive problem-solving. With different leadership styles in the room, students can learn from one another as much as they learn from the instructors. “We shared a challenge we were facing, then collectively tried to offer solutions that weren’t just coming from the semester,” says Danielle. “It was a mind meld: Have you tried this? What about that? The problem-solving aspect was extremely helpful.”

Danielle Quint
Why Choose a Leadership EMBA: Confidence, Introspection, and Commitment

Danielle highly recommends a Leadership EMBA for leaders who are looking to develop their leadership skills and find their voice. She credits her time at Albers with providing her with the knowledge and experience necessary to boost her confidence and amplify her career trajectory. “When you spend 22 months in a room full of people who are senior managers and take in the leadership principles from the program, you’re forced to grow,” she says. “Then, when I went outside of IT into business, my exposure to executive leadership grew exponentially. I learned from both my experience in the industry and my experience at Albers.”

For Danielle, confidence came from the knowledge and experience she received in the LEMBA program. Regardless of your reasons for pursuing an EMBA, the program at Albers will challenge you to be introspective and vulnerable as you learn more about your leadership identity. “You will need to do the inner work in order to succeed,” she says. “It’s about the entire experience, not just the academic portion of it. You can get the MBA initials anywhere, but you come to Albers to develop as a leader and strengthen your business acumen.”

To incoming Leadership EMBA students, Danielle emphasizes the commitment necessary to making the most out of the experience. “Make the time to do the work,” she insists. “It’s not just about the assignments; you need space to set aside for the development. Take time to practice, reflect, practice, reflect—it’s a cycle you need to go through in order to transform.”