Be empowered and energized. Learn how others like you have shaped their futures, their careers, their world — and ours.
Back to All ProfilesDanielle Akins


Danielle Akins

Vanderbilt MS Finance 2009
Financial Risk Management Analyst, Tennessee Valley Authority

Making the Numbers Work

Akins Learned to Master—and Enter—a New Field

Danielle Akins, a math major who had prepared for a career as a teacher, knew all about numbers. Finance, however, was a different matter. Developing skills in that area, she believed, would help advance her career.

At the same time, her lack of experience with finance made the subject a little daunting. Initially, she says, "it was easy to feel intimidated among students who already excelled in finance and had worked in the financial industry." But the experience of working on group projects with open, supportive colleagues helped Danielle quickly overcome her unease.

By the time she graduated from the MS Finance program, she had gained key skills in working with financial time series in econometrics and navigating financial models in Excel. She employs those skills continually in her position with the Tennessee Valley Authority, where she evaluates and forecasts trends in commodity prices and analyzes the financial impact of several energy efficiency and demand response programs.

At Owen, says Danielle, "I knew I'd be challenged in ways I'd never been challenged before. But I also knew I'd be surrounded with people who'd do everything they could to help me get the most from my education. The skills I've gained have helped me successfully transition into a new career."
Since 1969, Vanderbilt Business has been building a new kind of business leader. The kind who aren't afraid to challenge old ways of thinking. Who don't think they've heard it all before (or pretend they will ever know it all). The persistent kind. People who are ready to work harder and dig deeper, and who put ideas over ego and performance over pedigree.

We attract the kind who are looking not only to succeed in the business world but to shape it for the better. While also shaping their skills, their careers and their futures. All while shaping our own community in ways that make a lasting difference for themselves and others.

You'll find stories here of Vanderbilt Businesspeople, people much like you, who have done all these and more.

We invite you to become a World Shaper yourself. Or to recruit one. And, most of all, to read how Vanderbilt Business has become such a richly shaping experience for so many. Close