We continue our Darden Partner posts with a conversation with Darden Partners Association (DPA) President, Sara Portman. Fun fact – Sara works with our Admissions team as a greeter, so if you come to Cville for a visit you may very well get to meet her in person. Lucky you! See Sara’s answers below. New to the series? Be sure to check out our earlier conversation with Darden Partner, Chloe Gonzalez

How did you decide to move to Charlottesville? Where did you move from?

The decision to move to Charlottesville was easy. We were living in Charleston, South Carolina, and, at the time, my husband and I were engaged. We thought of a new adventure in a new city as exciting.

What do you enjoy about Charlottesville?

Charlottesville is a small town with a big heart. We enjoy the farmers markets, the beautiful seasons, the food scene and the never ending list of events that flood this small town. Concerts, wineries and hikes fill most of our free time.

How has your experience been as a Darden Partner?

I have loved being a Darden Partner. When my husband and I decided to make this major life change, we agreed to make the most of it. For me that meant getting involved. I am currently the President of the Darden Partners Association (DPA), which has enabled me to not only be involved with partners but also with students, faculty and staff.

I knew that my husband was going to be very busy with class, learning team and recruiting, so I knew that I would need to find meaningful ways to fill my time. The DPA has an active social calendar full of book clubs, happy hours and community service events, so there is always something to do in the partner community.

Have you found a new job in Charlottesville? Can you tell us that story?

Finding work was my biggest concern when leaving South Carolina and moving to Charlottesville. I worked for a restaurant group as an administrator and event coordinator for five years, and I knew if I took a job in the same field here, I would see very little of my husband.

During my first year in Charlottesville, I worked at the School of Medicine and was placed there by UVA Temps. The Temps office is an incredible resource for partners, and they help find jobs at UVA that are compatible with your work experience. This year, I’m working for Darden Admissions, also through the Temps office. I have so enjoyed getting to know prospective students and partners!

Do you intend to stay in Charlottesville after Darden graduation, or do you have other plans?

As much as we love Charlottesville, we will most likely be heading to the Midwest after graduation in May. The exact location is still up in the air, but we hope to be close to family and friends in the region.