Charting a course to Intel

by Tom Morlan,

  • cordarryl hall header

CorDarryl Hall MBA’19 braved stormy seas en route to a promising career as a data analyst.

He survived the rough streets of Chicago, served in the cramped quarters of a Navy sub and navigated his way to the high-tech world of Intel. Meet CorDarryl Hall MBA’19, who’s receiving his degree from the Atkinson Graduate School of Management this month.

As a data analyst for Intel, Hall helps the company identify and hire the best talent possible. The position became permanent in March following a yearlong internship, and now he’s turning numbers into images that are more powerful than words.

“I like data analytics because of storytelling,” Hall said. “With statistics, you can tell a story just by analyzing data and putting the results into a graph. I feel like everything and everyone has a story.”

Hall’s story began in a troubled home on the south side of Chicago. The third of eight siblings, he had to contend with parents who struggled with substance abuse. He assumed the role of family provider in high school, working three jobs to make ends meet.

“It was really difficult,” Hall said. “But I kept my head in the books and became really successful in high school. I saw what my parents were doing and flashed forward 10 years, 15 years, and I just had to be different. I’m not ashamed of where I come from, but I have to do better and help my family see a different side of life.”

After graduating in the top 10% of his class, Hall followed his own path to the University of Arizona. He earned his bachelor’s degree in public administration one semester early, but the timing was far from ideal. It was 2011, and the nation was still reeling from the Great Recession.

Hall surveyed the employment landscape, did some soul-searching and decided to join the Navy. He served the country with distinction, earning four letters of commendation and a Navy Achievement Medal during his four years aboard a submarine.

But Hall wanted to do something else with his life. He knew an MBA would expand his career options, and he’d developed an affinity for the Pacific Northwest when he was stationed in Bremerton, Washington. He quickly narrowed his choices to two schools in Oregon before settling on Willamette.

“I chose Willamette because the MBA career management team really stood out, and Atkinson has a great job placement rate,” Hall said.

A career in human resources appealed to him because he enjoyed interacting with people. And after talking with Lisbeth Claus, Atkinson’s professor of management and global human resources, he saw an opportunity to put his love of numbers to work.

“Speaking with her made me look deeper into HR, and it made me think about where I would end up,” Hall said. “Data analytics stuck out to me because I was always a fan of numbers.”

Professors Robert Walker and Mike Hand gave Hall a firm foundation in data modeling and storytelling, while professor Larry Ettner taught him how to make effective presentations in a boardroom setting. Now Hall is comfortable sharing his insights with Intel’s executive team.

“I didn’t think that was possible for someone like me who’d never seen a boardroom before,” Hall said. “The professors at Willamette are brilliant, but they meet us where we’re at. That’s something I really appreciate about Willamette.”

Hall also appreciates the relationships he’s forged with faculty, staff and alumni. Those connections led him to Intel, where he’s embarking on the next chapter of a remarkable story.

“Prior to coming to Atkinson, I didn’t know how to network,” Hall said. “Networking, along with the tools I developed at Willamette, helped me get this job. Now I’m working with data inside of human resources, where I eventually wanted to end up. It just happened sooner than I thought it would.”

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