Our Stories

Learning What It’s All About

Before choosing a business career, freshman wanted to know what it meant

Danielle Chari
Corps Member, Teach for America

Vanderbilt Accelerator 2018

Before Danielle Chari committed to a career in business, she wanted to better understand what business actually involved.

As she began college, Danielle explains, “I was confused about what I wanted to do. I thought I might be interested in business but never really knew what it meant. I wanted to see if it was something I was genuinely interested in, instead of just doing it because everyone does. I wanted to see all different aspects of business.”

So, for the first part of the summer, before she embarked on a trip to Peru as part of the Human Rights program at SMU, where she was a rising sophomore, Danielle decided to invest 30 days in Accelerator at Vanderbilt.  The program seemed like an excellent fit for her situation. Nashville not only is her home, but because her father is an Owen alum, she says, “I knew it would be a polished, serious program.” In addition, she notes, “Especially after freshman year it can be hard to find an actual internship because it is still hard to know what I am interested in.”

Just as Danielle had hoped, Accelerator provided “a 360 view of what ‘business’ is. I was relieved because I could feel myself getting more and more excited,” she says. “[The program] really helped me figure out my future and what I actually enjoy doing.”

For now, Danielle’s plans involve joining the Peace Corps after college, then pursuing a joint JD/MBA degree. With that as background, she can follow her interest in startup culture — “a creative environment where ideas are heard and can thrive,” she calls it. And she credits Accelerator for helping recognize the direction she now wants to take.

*This article represents our previous 4-week programming. We’re excited to offer an accelerated 3-week experience in 2022.

Fun Fact: Danielle wants someday to become certified to teach yoga classes.

“[The program] really helped me figure out my future and what I actually enjoy doing.”