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Real Humans of the UVA Darden MBA Class of 2020

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MBA LiveWire has seen a streak of green recently with plenty of reports of candidates gaining acceptance at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business as part of its inaugural early action decision round. If this means you—CONGRATS!

Understanding the current first-year class makeup at Darden provides a glimpse of what next year might be like. And that’s true whether you’re already in, applied as part of Round 1, or are still contemplating applying as part of a later round. If you fall into any of those categories—or even if you’re just curious about Darden—read on.

We’re pleased this week to feature the Real Humans of the UVA Darden MBA Class of 2020. In the pages that follow, you’ll get to meet a handful of the impressive individuals who make up the first-year class. Among them, a five-time champ on a Korean academic quiz TV show, a dual-degree student specializing in diversity while also pursuing a Master of Education, and a geology-undergrad-turned-tech-consultant who wants her post-MBA role to be with a company where social responsibility is a core value.

Average GMAT Jumps 5 Points to 718
For a sense of the overall MBA class as a whole, we dug into the class profile information published by the school as it welcomed the incoming class back in August. In case you missed it, the headline news was that the average GMAT score jumped five points, from 713 last year to 718. Average GPA remained constant at 3.5 for a fifth straight year.

The 355 students in the Class of 2020 will be the first to benefit from the Batten Foundation Darden Worldwide Scholarships, announced last March. These new awards will enable every Darden student to have a global learning experience at no additional cost.

In terms of diversity, the Darden MBA Class of 2020 is 38 percent women, 29 percent international students drawn from 36 countries, and 18 percent domestic minority students. Each is off from the year before, women down 1 percent, domestic minorities down 2 percent, and international students down 6 percent (although the number of countries represented remained the same).

But average GMAT score was not the only record-setting statistic of this class. It also includes more company founders than any before it. And at 27, the number of students pursuing dual degrees is also an all-time high. The school’s MBA/MS in Data Science welcomed 14 students this year, twice the number in last year’s inaugural class.

“Our goal is prepare you, the future leaders of this world, the Class of 2020, to lead in the complicated context we face in the world,” Dean Scott Beardsley said as welcome to the new class.

Clear Admit spoke with five of Darden’s future leaders to learn more about what brought them to Charlottesville and what they’ve found upon arrival. They also share some of the best advice around for navigating the Darden admissions process. Don’t miss out.

Jonathan Pfeffer
Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as Contributing Writer at MetroMBA and Contributing Editor at Clear Admit, he was also a co-founder of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.