MBA Class of 2015

Now that you are in Charlottesville and about to begin Orientation and First Week, there is no longer a need to provide you with updates from Admissions. This is the final post on the Admitted Student Blog, and we will no longer be updating the Admitted Student Portal.

If you haven’t already, you should receive access to the Darden MBA Portal soon.

This blog will remain online in case you need to refer to it as a resource. To help you easily locate articles, we’ve providing links to important posts below.

Best of luck, and enjoy the next two years at Darden!

Kind regards,

Darden Admissions

Career Development

Clubs & Organizations

This list only includes clubs that submitted a blog post. To view a list of all student clubs, visit our website.

Advice from Current Students

Information for International Students

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Orientation Schedule

Ready to meet your learning team? Want to know which section you’re in? And what exactly are you doing during your first week at Darden?

The complete First Week schedule has been posted to the Admitted Student Portal. On this schedule, you can view activity times, descriptions and more.

Please plan to arrive at Darden no later than 8:15 a.m. on Monday, 19 August. All students are required to attend Orientation and First Week.

International Student Orientation Program begins Thursday, 15 August. Check-in is at 9:00 a.m. near the student mailboxes in Saunders Hall. All visa holding international students are required to attend.

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Plan to Attend the Club Fair on Wednesday, 28 August!

The 40+ Darden clubs provide career support, social outlets, and leadership opportunities for both First Year and Second Year students. We have three broad categories of clubs at Darden: Career, Affinity, and Social/Community Outreach Clubs.

Career Clubs help their membership (1) learn more about a particular career field through events such as information sessions and conferences arranged for their members and (2) help with the job search process through resume critiques, interview prep and advice throughout the process.

Affinity Clubs provide their members the opportunity to network with others who share their backgrounds and/or interests.

Community, Outreach and Social Clubs engage in activities that range from building a house with fellow Darden students on a Saturday in April (BGIA) to enjoying wine tastings at the various wineries around Charlottesville (WACC).

Find out more about the clubs from current members at the annual Club Fair:

When:     Wednesday, August 28th
Time:       6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Where:    Pepsico Forum

Each club will organize kick-off meetings in the days following the fair for those who express interest in them. For now, if you have any further questions, please contact Brandon Nelson.

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Welcome from the Darden Student Association

Hello Class of 2015!

We have already had the pleasure of meeting a number of you in February at Day at Darden, in April at Darden Days, and over the past few days around Charlottesville.  For those of you who are newly arrived, welcome!  We’re excited you’re here.  For those of you who haven’t yet arrived, we look forward to seeing you at orientation.

The Darden experience is a testament to how much can change in just a year.  We’ve gone from being incoming FYs at orientation to the Darden Student Association (DSA) President and Executive Vice President.  But that is what is so remarkable about Darden – it’s impossible not to get involved.  Both formal and informal opportunities abound, and you’ll soon realize that many students suffer from FOMO – Fear of Missing Out.

We ran on a platform of Student Engagement, International Integration, Community Involvement, and Career Development because we want to contribute to Darden’s practice of constant self-improvement. Together with the Executive Team, our Class of 2014 peers, and you – the incoming Class of 2015 – we hope to have an impact on the Darden experience for the next academic year, and for the students who come after us as well.

We feel passionately about the strength of the Darden community and believe it differentiates us from many other schools.  We look forward to meeting you over the next few days, weeks, and months!

Katherine & Himanshu

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Fall Diversity Career Fairs

The fall season for national diversity career fairs is quickly approaching. As a First Year student trying to get acclimated, this might seem a bit daunting. But these events are fantastic networking opportunities (especially for companies that don’t visit Darden) and present a chance to get a jump on recruiting. Imagine getting a lead on your summer internship or full-time offer before on-Grounds recruiting even begins!

Career fairs are part of each MBA organization’s annual conference and host hundreds of employers. The two heavy-hitters are the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) 12-13 September in Houston and the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) 11-12 October in San Antonio. Take a look at some of the employers already registered for NBMBAA and NSHMBA. Others to consider are Asian MBA, MBA Women International and Reaching Out.

The main goal should be to network with off-Grounds companies and possibly even interview. Some interviews are arranged in advance through job postings, while others are determined on-the-spot by recruiters on the career fair floor. Never underestimate the power of meeting face to face with hiring managers!

We advise all students who are ready and prepared to attend the fall career fairs. Some companies say that they are targeting a specific demographic while just as many others tell us that they are hoping to meet all top MBA students. Again, the key words are “ready” and “prepared.” The Career Development Center will help you get there.

Virtually every student who attended last year’s career fairs reported making a good contact at one or more of their target companies and would recommend the conference to classmates.

Interested in learning more? Come to the career fair prep session on 28 August. You may also contact Denise Karaoli, Associate Director, International and Diversity.

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Welcome From Your Darden Honor Representatives

Congratulations on your admission to the Darden School and welcome to the Darden community!

One of the greatest privileges of joining the Darden and greater University of Virginia community is that you are entering what is known as the “community of trust,” governed by the Honor Code. The University of Virginia’s Honor System is over 170 years old and is the United States’ oldest student-run Honor System. For those of you who are unaware of what the Honor System is and what it means at the University of Virginia, our Honor System is entirely student run, meaning that the system is upheld by a student-run committee made up of representatives from all of the University’s schools. Further, changes to the Honor System are proposed and approved by students of the University. There are three main areas that constitute an honor violation: lying, cheating and stealing. The Honor System is so important to the University that if, following an extensive investigation, a student is found guilty by his or her peers of committing an honor offense, he or she is asked to leave the University (a single sanction policy).

You will become accustomed to the honor pledge at the end of each test – “On my honor, I pledge that I have neither given nor received help on this assignment.” – that hangs inside every classroom at Darden. The Honor System fosters a sense of trust and respect across the community. As a result of this community of trust, students receive many everyday benefits, such as take-home exams and the ability to safely leave belongings, even laptops, around campus. We believe that the Honor System governs our actions at school and also teaches us invaluable lessons that we can carry beyond our time at Darden and that help us to become better citizens and business leaders upon leaving Darden.

We look forward to meeting you and telling you more about the Honor System at orientation in August. As your Honor Representatives, we are here to support you and provide a sounding board or answer any questions you may have about the Honor System. In the meantime you can check out the UVa Honor Committee’s website – http://www.virginia.edu/honor/ – for more information about the Honor System.

We are excited to welcome you in a few short months to campus!

Best wishes,

Jess Alvarez and Robert Carlisle
Darden Honor Representatives

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Darden Photography Club

Welcome Class of 2015!

Congratulations on your admittance to Darden! Darden is a wonderful community of diverse students with a broad range of experiences, backgrounds, and hobbies. One hobby that many students are passionate about is photography.

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Darden students have traveled to some far and exotic locations and have documented their travels through photography. If you have a passion for photography or creativity, or you simply would like to learn more about photography, we invite you to join the Darden photography club. Over the last year, we have held several exciting events including photography workshops and the Darden Art Project. The photography club officers are already busy planning fun and informative events for the next year, including outdoor photography trips and SLR workshops.

We look forward to seeing you on campus next year. If you have any questions regarding the Photography club, please reach out to club president Ankit Virmani: VirmaniA14@darden.virginia.edu

Sincerely,
Darden Photography Club

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Darden Students Travel Across the Country and Around the World on Job Treks

Each year, Darden Students organize “Job Treks” to various domestic and international cities in order to network with local employers and Darden Alumni. These student-led excursions enhance the recruiting process for those with geographically specific job searches, curiosity about a new metropolitan locale, or targeted interest in one or more area companies. Any student can lead a trek for their preferred industry or location provided they have the critical mass of fellow students to attend. Though they are organized independently, all treks typically offer:

  • 2-4 days for company visits (visits usually include panel discussions with recruiters and Darden Alumni, and tours of the facilities)
  • Key insight into company interview processes
  • One-on-one discussions with corporate recruiting team members
  • The chance to demonstrate commitment to/interest in a geography or company
  • A networking event with area members of the Darden Alumni Association

First Year “Trek Leads” volunteer to work directly with target companies and alumni to coordinate these trips, with assistance from Darden’s career development and alumni services departments. While job treks take place during winter break (some international treks occur around the Thanksgiving Holiday), the planning process begins early in the first semester.

For more information about participating in or leading a trek, find us at the Darden Club Fair on 28 August, or contact Kelly Conner (domestic treks) and Denise Karaoli (international treks). An open-invitation Job Trek Kick-Off meeting will be held in September.

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Your Career Kickoff Meeting

During the first three weeks of your arrival you will be given the opportunity to have a Career Kickoff Meeting with a Career Advisor in the Career Development Center (CDC). This 30 minute meeting is an opportunity for you to share information about your career goals and get answers to questions you have about recruiting and job search resources.

During your first week, you’ll receive an email to sign up for your Career Kickoff Meeting, and we encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to help build a successful career development foundation. We look forward to working with you to help you make the most of your First Year at Darden!

S. Kellogg Leliveld
Senior Associate Director,
Career Education and Advising

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International Students and Consulting: A Recruiting Manual for Internationals

Hi everyone. I hope you’re enjoying the last few days or weeks of your summer before arriving on campus. First year is an amazing experience full of making new friends and learning about why people named George shouldn’t make t-shirts (this will make sense at about 11am on August 27th). Even at this early stage, some of you are likely thinking about internships and the recruiting process. As VP of Internationals for the Consulting Club this year, I thought I might share some of my, and my classmates, thoughts and experiences on recruiting for consulting internships:

Aim for the stars — but pack a parachute.

I completely encourage you to go get that dream internship whatever it may be. However, make sure you have a plan B and C. If your dream is interning with BCG then remember that over 100 of your classmates may also apply for that same internship, with a limited number of places available, and only a few of these positions go to International Students.

I’m not trying to discourage you, but rather encourage you to think “If I don’t get my dream internship, how can I set myself up to get that dream full time position?”.  There are many options to consider including:

        • Off grounds recruiting – there are a vast number of high quality companies which don’t recruit at Darden. There is a bit more legwork involved but the time you invest in research and networking off-grounds will increase your chances of finding your desirable role.
        • Opportunities in your home country – now before you stop reading- yes, there are plenty of opportunities in the USA and many companies who want to recruit international students. However, domestic students always have an inherent advantage when being considered for job positions due to understanding of U.S. market; excellent command of “client acceptable” business English; and lack of need of visa sponsorship. So, don’t forget opportunities in your home country that are now available to you with that Darden MBA where the responsibilities and career trajectory can be much higher, especially in emerging markets.
        • General Management and Corporate Strategy – if you are focused on specialized consulting firms, then you might also consider these alternate paths. They are a great stepping-stone to build your soft skills and make you a stronger candidate for full time positions.

Networking

This is key to recruiting, especially in the USA. I have never experienced the level of networking in my home country, Australia, that I have in the US. Networking not only requires you to show interest in the firm and position, but also some personality so that recruiters can answer the questions ‘would I like to work with this person for 14 hours a day in a small windowless room’. It also goes both ways. This is a chance for you to gauge whether or not you would like to work at the firm. So, think about the type of environment that motivates you, and ask the right questions to see if it exists in the firm.

Culture and English

As an Australian I thought I spoke fluent English; my American friends tell me otherwise! Since you have been accepted into the best MBA program in the world, then your English must be pretty good. However, recruiters expect you to be able to communicate on the same level as Americans. So, make time to get to know the American slang. Interacting with domestic students is the best way to improve your English and understand American mannerisms.

Now, domestic students are certainly friendly, sometimes they don’t always make you feel accepted in their new culture, and they are just as stressed as you coming into the MBA environment and tend to group with students with familiar backgrounds. So it’s up to you to take up the social opportunities and get to know them and not fall in the trap of grouping only with your home country colleagues. It’s far too easy to stay in your comfort zone and interact with people you feel familiar with. But while you’re in an internationally diverse group of people, why not take the chance to challenge your comfort zone? That’s part of the reason for doing the MBA in the first place right?

Interview practice

Okay, case practice is very important, but do not forget the other parts of the interview process. This is very closely related to my points above, being able to communicate and interact with people outside of your comfort zone in excellent business English. During the interview process you will be stressed and speaking with unfamiliar people. Practice this by speaking to many different people in the very safe environment of Darden (FYs and SYs) and asking for their feedback. Getting an understanding of how you can improve is vital for securing that dream job!

So that’s it for now. The next six months will likely to be some of the busiest of your life. Make time to improve your weak areas and challenge yourself. Don’t be afraid of asking for help. Darden is honestly the most helpful place I’ve experienced. Everyone maybe after those prime jobs, but what sets Darden apart I think is our willingness to make sure everyone is prepared and able to do their best.

I wish you the best of luck for your first year, and I look forward to meeting you all over the next few months.

Tom Marshall
VP International, Darden Consulting Club

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