Real Humans of the Darden Class of 2019
Every fall, a new class of first-year MBA students steps onto campus at leading business schools around the world. The hard-nosed competition and nail-biting anxiety of getting in is behind them. The adventure of transforming themselves and their careers while benefiting from the best graduate education imaginable is ahead.
The schools are proud of the classes they curate and eager to tout what makes them special. At the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, for example, the full-time residential MBA Class of 2019 of 326 students boasts the highest average GMAT school in the school’s history (713) while tying the record for the highest percentage of women (39 percent). Domestic minorities make up a full fifth of the class, 36 percent were born outside the United States, and 36 countries are represented.
But beyond a bunch of numbers, who are these students who will spend the next two years at Darden? Where are they from, what paths led them to business school and to Darden specifically, and where do they hope to land? In this new series, we seek to provide more of a sense of what it’s like to be a student at a specific school by getting to know some of the actual students at that school. And, as an added bonus, we’ve also asked them to reflect on their application process and share some tips for those still in the thick of it.
At Darden, we’ve found that the statistics don’t lie. This is an accomplished, exceedingly diverse class. Their work experience ranges from finance to healthcare venture capital, automotive engineering to nonprofit management. Of course, there also just so happens to be a former assistant public defender in the mix, as well as a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine officer. As for what beckons beyond business school, there are some early trends toward consulting, entrepreneurship, and social impact. As for why Darden, the sense of community at the school was immediately evident to everyone we spoke to and quickly drew them in. And in their earliest days on campus, that community has more than lived up to their expectations. The case method and the rigorous course load Darden is known for seemed as much a pull as a potential detractor for some of these newest students—but both also tie back to the strong community, which is supported by and provides support through both that daunting case method and all that hard work.
We’re so grateful to these Darden MBA Class of 2019 students for taking time out of what quite likely may have been some of the busiest weeks of their lives so far to share their process and offer guidance to those who follow in their footsteps. Read on—we think you’ll learn a lot.
Read on to meet several members of the Darden MBA Class of 2019.