Diversity of Thought at Darden

The case method’s success stems from the diverse range of backgrounds and views in the classroom. In the guest post below, Second Year Bill Besash discusses what diversity means to him as a student leader:

Bill Besash MBA Class of 2014

Bill Besash
MBA Class of 2014

“I came to business school with a couple purposes in mind. First, I wanted the ability to switch careers, moving into a strategy consulting or internal strategy role as I had been focused on the finance side of a business up to that point in my career. Second, I wanted to immerse myself in a rich experience for the next two years, becoming a part of a strong network and community. I found this in Darden and continue to be amazed every day.

While at Darden I have had the opportunity to be involved in a number of student-led organizations and clubs. During my First Year, I was nominated and elected as my Section Representative and served on the Darden Student Association. In addition, as a Second Year I have had the pleasure of serving as a VP of Finance for both the Consulting Club and Wine and Cuisine Club and VP of Events for the Adam Smith Society. Also, as a member of the MBA Program Advisory Committee, I have been involved in the planning of next year’s full-time MBA program schedule and curriculum. Lastly, my role on the Diversity Student Advisory Group has been the most interesting and rewarding, as I see diversity as a crucial piece of the community at Darden.

Diversity is incredibly important to me. Diversity is not just a person’s background, ethnicity, or gender. I see diversity much more in the diversity of thought. I believe that everyone’s experiences, opinions and thought processes are things that I can learn from, and I will continue to absorb and learn from throughout my life. I believe this is important for any individual, and especially important in an MBA program.

Darden’s diverse community offers exactly this and creates an environment I truly appreciate and enjoy every day. Inside the classroom, I have had the pleasure of hearing opinions on domestic and international issues from a wide range of nationalities and backgrounds. These conversations have opened up my eyes to how others perceive issues that I had before thought of more as black and white. The gray is much more fulfilling to investigate and ponder than strictly looking at a problem as a yes and no.

Outside the classroom, I love conversing with my fellow European and Latin American football fans everyday about games, players and news. In fact, I love it so much I will be traveling to Brazil for the World Cup this summer with many of my classmates. This is just one instance of how diversity has impacted me at Darden and what it means to me.

In the end, I can’t say enough about the Darden community and the way diversity is such a strong part of it. I try to bring my experiences, interests and views to the community as I know everyone else does as well. This is what makes Darden such a great place to continue to learn and grow as an individual and member of a larger team. I look forward to welcoming future candidates to join in on the experience as well and hopefully become future alumni and friends.”

Bill Besash was raised in the suburbs of South Jersey in a small town called Voorhees. Upon high school graduation, he ventured south and attended Wake Forest University. While there, he studied finance and accounting, and enjoying the adaption to the southern lifestyle. Post Wake Forest, Bill moved to Washington, D.C. for the next five years working his first three years in a mid-size litigation consulting firm called Navigant Consulting and then spent two years working at Fannie Mae. 

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