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Danesha Chisholm, ’22

Executive DBA

After a decade spent working in both the public and private sectors, Dr. Danesha Chisholm, DBA ‘22, knew that in order to take the next step in her life and career, she needed to set herself apart. To do that, she enrolled in Drexel’s LeBow College of Business Executive Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) program in 2019.

“As a person who is thirsty for knowledge and always wanting to learn more, I wanted to pursue this degree, and Drexel had the program that spoke my language,” said Chisholm. At the time of her enrollment in the DBA program, Chisholm was juggling working full-time as a Risk and Compliance Manager in Washington, D.C.. A year later, in 2020, she accepted a new job in government as a Financial Analysis, Audit and Compliance Manager for Montgomery County, Maryland. Changing jobs while also a DBA student proved to be challenging for Chisholm. Fortunately for her, she received the support and motivation she needed from both faculty and her cohort members to help push her across the finish line.

“The difference between Drexel and other programs is the fact that you are going to have someone that’s going to help guide you through this process,” said Chisholm. “Drexel stood out to me, and I can say I would not have made it through this program had it not been for Lauren D’Innoncenzo, PhD, my dissertation chair and associate professor.”

Chisholm graduated with her Executive Doctorate in Business Administration in May 2022 from Drexel’s LeBow College of Business. She credits the DBA program with providing her the edge she needed to acquire her current job; global senior compliance manager at Microsoft.

Dissertation: Words and Actions Matter: The Link Between Symbolism & Organizational Recruitment

My research takes an in-depth look at how words and actions of senior leaders’ impact recruitment and retention. In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in 2020, multiple well-known and highly regarded companies made social justice and diversity pledges. The purpose of my research is to understand how the words and actions of these organizational leaders has a downstream effect on organizational recruitment and to understand how executive symbolism can be used as a strategy to recruit, attract and hire diverse candidates. This topic became a passion of mine in 2021. I got laid off from my government job due to the pandemic and when I was looking for my next place of work, it was important to me to work for a company and for people whose principals were aligned with my own. It was Microsoft’s commitment and action to invest in social justice and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion that led me to applying and accepting the job I have with them today. It is my goal to bring awareness and to positively impact society with my research.

Why I chose Drexel’s Executive DBA program:

When I did my research on where I wanted to pursue my Executive DBA, I was very interested in finding out about the faculty; to learn who I would have access to and who would be teaching and guiding me through this process. DBA faculty members are world-renowned professors that come with real-world industry experience. Not only was I able to pick their brains, but the level of support they gave me and my classmates was an added bonus. To get through this program you need that support from faculty to help you sharpen and grow your skillset.

The Drexel Network:

The Drexel network is invaluable, and it is more expansive than I could have ever hoped for. Right away, I made connections with other students in my cohort, and I still have and value those relationships today. In this DBA program you meet and interact with other leaders who bring their own experiences and expertise to the table. While I was challenged during this program on many levels, I always had my cohort and the faculty to lean on, and having that support helped me achieve this degree.