Hanna - Pave Your Own Path

Hanna, Bachelor of Commerce

Hanna Daniel knew she wanted to go to business school, and was persuaded by the positive experiences of friends to choose the U of A. In her first year, she founded the Black Students' Association on campus, and in her third she enrolled in the School of Business' Leadership Certificate Program. Now in her final year of studies, Hanna's education—as well as her passion, self-direction and willingness to engage—has prepared her for the next stage of her life, whatever road she chooses to travel.

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Representation matters

Hanna Daniel barely has a spare minute on her schedule these days, so you wouldn’t blame her for easing up as she approaches the finish line of her undergraduate degree.

But Daniel wants to leave her mark.

“One of the things that pushed me when I came to university was to try to make a difference and create spaces for people where they felt welcomed,” said Daniel.

Growing up, Daniel struggled to see where she could fit in; she often stood out in her circle of friends and struggled to see herself represented in careers she wanted to pursue. Once in university, Daniel occupied as many spaces as possible to try and increase representation for the students coming after her.

“I thought that maybe students who are similar to me when I was in high school that are coming to university will see me and say: ‘someone like me is doing what I want to do.’”

The list of Daniel’s extracurriculars is extensive.

She competed on a debate team at JDC West—an annual business competition featuring some of the top business schools in Canada—where, as part of the first all-woman team, she placed in the top four.

In her role as a senior UAlberta Ambassador, she helps prospective students and their families by leading campus tours and different on-campus experiences and represents the university at various events on and off campus.

And in her first year on campus, she co-founded one of Western Canada’s first Black Students’ Association’s, providing a safe place for Black students on campus and creating a network of supportive members who connect on a professional, social and cultural level. As president of the group for two years, Daniel spearheaded community outreach events and mentorship opportunities where senior professionals would speak to members about their experiences and challenges in their chosen field.

“Human nature is so simple when you think about it,” said Daniel. “If you see someone that looks like you in a position you want to occupy, it makes you more motivated to actually achieve it.”

Her volunteer and not-for-profit experience extends beyond the university campus, too.

She worked as a court worker for the Elizabeth Fry Society of Edmonton, helping lawyers provide support to individuals going through legal proceedings in adult criminal court who can’t afford legal counsel or don’t have the knowledge to properly navigate the justice system.

Having grown up with parents who made sure she was well-versed in global current events, she’s known from a young age that there’s a disproportionate amount of injustices facing women of colour and visible minorities in the justice system.

“Injustice happens in Canada, especially towards our Indigenous community and people of colour,” she said. “I want to help and see what I can do to represent people as best I can.”

Daniel is also a community outreach coordinator with the Ethiopian and Eritrean Students’ Association. Currently, she’s involved with a project that’s bringing support and awareness to local Eritrean and Ethiopian businesses in order to help them through the pandemic.

Yet despite her hectic schedule, Daniel is focused on staying self-motivated and not allowing prejudices to determine her personal and professional successes.

“Focusing on yourself is a huge way to counteract all the people that want to see you fail,” said Daniel.

When she was younger, being underestimated used to make her feel sad and discouraged.

Now, it’s her motivation.


Leadership Certificate Program

The program brings students together for a unique learning experience where they are mentored by extraordinary men and women from all walks of life.

LCP Information
Student Clubs and Organizations

Our student organizations are renowned for a strong commitment to linking students to the business community and fundraising for charities.

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The University of Alberta Black Students' Association

The association's objective is to create a network of supportive members who connect culturally, socially and contribute to one another’s academic success.

UABSA Website