Fridays from the Frontline: Darden MBA Student Molly Deale Shifts from Making Hats to Managing Finances
It’s Friday—which means it’s time for some perspective from the MBA community. Today it comes from Molly Deale, a rising second-year MBA student at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Deale’s pre–business school work experience is pretty unique: She managed a New York City millinery studio, creating hats for film, TV, and Broadway clients including Hamilton and Wicked.
In the interview that follows, she reveals how she took that experience and married it with Darden’s case-based MBA curriculum, the strong Darden alumni network, and the resources provided through the school’s career services offices to land a summer internship in investment banking at Credit Suisse. Talk about a career change.
Our thanks to Darden and to Deale for allowing us to share her insights with the Clear Admit community.
The following post has been republished in its entirety from its original source, “Discover Darden,” the Darden MBA Admissions Blog.
Q&A with Darden Rising Second-Year MBA Student Molly Deale
by Sydney Sfreddo
Molly Deale, a rising second year and Forté Fellow at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, came with the goal of making a major career change. From managing a millinery studio in New York City and creating hats for film, television, and Broadway clients like Hamilton and Wicked to landing a summer internship in investment banking at Credit Suisse, Deale shares how the Darden journey has helped her work towards obtaining her career goals.
Why did you choose to pursue your MBA at Darden?
After going to NYU for my undergraduate degree, I knew it would be beneficial to gain an alternative experience in a place like UVA. When I started researching MBA programs, Darden’s case method was a huge selling point for me. I knew that I wanted to make a career change from fine arts to financial services and that gaining a strong business vernacular quickly was critical if I was going to succeed. I didn’t want to be sitting in the back of a lecture hall and I knew the case method would require me to stay on my feet and jump right in during class. Darden also has a very strong community mindset – I wanted an environment that would support me throughout my career switch. Both of these proved true and I was able to hit the ground running when I got here in the fall. Darden’s beautiful campus in Charlottesville was the perfect cherry on top of it all!
What will be your summer internship role at Credit Suisse?
I will be an investment banking summer associate at Credit Suisse in their Global Industrials Group. I will be joining their current deal teams working on projects that involve financial modeling and developing pitch books, along with other various tasks. I will also be supporting their senior leadership and learning about the company and its environment.
What tools and resources did you use at Darden to have a successful recruitment process?
My classmates, Darden alumni and our core classes proved to be some of the most valuable resources in the recruitment process. Many of my classmates came from corporate finance and investment banking backgrounds and proved to be a great sounding board for working on my story and prepping before interviews. I also leveraged Darden’s strong alumni network throughout the process. From job advice to mock interviews, I could tell alumni were committed to growing the Darden network at their companies. Additionally, my classes in finance, economics, and accounting proved to be extremely valuable as I was able to take the content I was learning in the classroom and apply it to the technical part of the interview process. Our professors are incredibly accessible in and out of the classroom and are always available if I ever have a question or even just to talk about life.
What is your favorite club that you are involved with at Darden?
Hands down Darden Capital Management (DCM)! We are a student run investment club with five different funds totaling about $11 million assets under management (AUM). Next year, I am excited to be a part of our leadership team as CFO after spending this year as the VP of Corporate Relations. As I’ve always been interested in investing and markets, DCM has been a great way for me to get involved and learn more about it before I even got to our first finance class. We welcome members from all backgrounds and though we always love beating our benchmarks, the club was created to provide a hands-on asset management learning experience for any Darden student. This year I was incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to go to Omaha with a group of 20 club members in January to attend a Q&A session and lunch with Warren Buffet, and tour a few of the Berkshire Hathaway subsidiaries. It was a surreal to hear Mr. Buffet discuss his story and investment philosophy in person and then see how his companies are implementing those philosophies. Truly a once in a lifetime opportunity!
What words would you use to describe the Darden community?
Supportive, intelligent, fun, and diverse.
What do you do in your spare time to remain balanced?
I joined the Darden Racquets Association in the fall and enjoy playing tennis a couple times a week in addition to learning how to play squash. I also enjoy the Charlottesville restaurant scene, local wineries, and hiking.
What advice would you give to the future students joining the Darden community this summer?
Be yourself. As you begin the recruiting process, it is so important to stay true to yourself in order to find the right company that’s the best fit for you. Don’t be scared to put yourself on the front line and know that your story is what makes you stand out as the interesting candidate they want on their team.