Admissions, Full-Time MBA

Get to Know Marc Paulo Guzman, Associate Director for Diversity Recruitment!

By Brett Twitty-

Today on the blog we catch up with our Admissions colleague, Marc Paulo Guzman! Marc Paulo is Associate Director for Diversity Recruitment at Darden, and we recently sat down to talk with him about what brought him to the business school, why he’s passionate about diversity and his advice for prospective students. Check out Marc Paulo’s answers below! Pro Tip: We highly recommend connecting with Marc Paulo on LinkedIn. His posts are a great way to keep track of Darden’s diversity recruitment efforts! 

What is your current role?

I am the Associate Director for Diversity Recruitment. While I serve on the larger admission committee, and I recruit, read applications, and interview applicants just like everyone else on our team, my main focus is diversity recruitment. As part of these responsibilities, I interface with a number of diversity-related organizations and pipelines, including the Consortium for Graduate Students in Management (CGSM), Reaching Out for MBA (ROMBA), Management Leaders for Tomorrow (MLT), the JumpStart Advisory Group, as well as other programs that support diverse MBA candidates.

What led you to Darden?

I’m fairly new to Darden – I actually just celebrated my 8-month anniversary in this role! However, I’ve been at the University of Virginia since graduating from my bachelor’s and master’s programs at the University of Delaware in 2012.

I previously worked in UVA’s undergraduate student affairs office, starting as a program coordinator and eventually serving as Assistant Director for the Multicultural Student Services unit. In the latter role, I worked closely with cultural affinity clubs and multicultural initiatives, and I assisted undergraduate admissions in recruiting underrepresented student communities.

I came to Darden for a few reasons. First, I heard great things from colleagues about the tightknit community at the business school, and I was drawn to the opportunity to work with a different group of UVA students. I was also excited to be a part of a smaller community where I could more directly see the impact of my diversity efforts.

Tell us more about your personal story. 

I identify as Filipino-American, and I was born in Kuwait right around the time of the Gulf War, so I had a very interesting early life. When the war broke out, we were forced to evacuate Kuwait City, so we moved to the Philippines, where my parents are from.

After a few years there, we moved to New York City where my father was working. We later moved right across the Hudson River to a very diverse area of northern New Jersey, where my friends and classmates were from many different races and ethnicities. I was heavily influenced by the many different cultures, languages and cuisines I encountered during my time there.

Why are you passionate about diversity?

My life experiences of living in different countries and interacting with so many different kinds of people have shaped my passion for diversity.

Throughout my life, I have been surrounded by people from different backgrounds and points of view, and, as I got older, I became more keenly aware of the differences between my experiences and those of my friends and neighbors. I have also come to understand how systemic challenges negatively affect the opportunities available to people from underrepresented backgrounds and identities.

While I was initially drawn to diversity roles because of my love for cross-cultural exchange, it is my passion for equity and inclusion that sustains me. I want all students to have the opportunities I have had, and I firmly believe in the power of diverse perspectives, backgrounds and experiences in the classroom.

What do you want students to know about Darden?  

One thing that cannot be quantified in any ranking or any statistic about Darden is the value of the Darden community. The strong community dynamics at Darden are heavily influenced by instructional design (the Case Method, section-based classrooms, learning teams), the many opportunities for student leadership and the commitment of faculty and staff to know each and every student.

What advice do you have for applicants?

In the application process, just be yourself. Applicants often focus so much on their technical or professional endeavors that it can be hard to get a feel for the person behind the application. We want to know about YOU – your passions, your hobbies, your interests, your goals. We are seeking students who have just as much passion outside of the classroom as they do in the classroom. Keep this in mind when putting together your application.

What next steps do you recommend?

Connect personally with students, alumni and admissions staff from schools you’re considering. This can take many different forms – events, class visits, webinars, coffee chats, etc. – but supplementing your research with more personal interactions will help you get a feel for the personality and culture of a school.