Our Future Year Scholars Program (FYSP) is a deferred admission program for exceptional college students. Here’s how it works: Apply as a college senior or fifth year master’s student. Start school after two, three or four years of work experience. Interested in applying? Be sure to check out this year’s application deadlines

We recently caught up with Assistant Director of Admissions, Taylor Fisher, to talk more about why he’s passionate about FYSP, and his advice for prospective students.

A few things to know about Taylor: He’s a UVA grad, a UVA Men’s basketball enthusiast and an active reader (his recent selections include “A Separation” by Katie Kitamura and “Bright Dead Things”, a collection of poetry by Ada Limón). You can occasionally find him playing Chickapig, and he currently has the Crazy Rich Asians soundtrack on repeat. Check out Taylor’s answers below!

Why Future Year?

Beyond a dedicated scholarship, access to Darden’s incredible global network, and opportunities for mentorship, the Future Year Scholars Program provides college students a unique opportunity to eliminate some of the uncertainty surrounding the next chapter in their life and to feel confident taking risks in their early professional career. Knowing they have an offer from Darden in their back pocket, Future Year Scholars are free to explore different types of careers and further refine their passions, interests and goals.

Helping our students find careers that are purposeful and in alignment with their own values and interests is at the heart of what we do here at Darden. I think the Future Year Scholars Program allows students to begin doing just that—before these students even set foot on Grounds.

What do you enjoy about working with Future Year applicants?

So many things. First and foremost, I feel a personal connection to our applicants and their particular stage in life. It was not that long ago that I too was contemplating what my life after college would look like. I remember the excitement surrounding graduation and “adulting” (which I’m admittedly still learning how to do), as well as the uncertainty I felt around this next chapter.

I am also truly energized by these students’ drive and ambition. They are intelligent, empathetic and exceptional leaders, and I wholeheartedly believe many of them are not only going to make an impact at Darden. They are going to change the world for the better.

What are some good next steps for someone who is interested in learning more about Future Year?

I encourage any college student who is interested in learning more about FYSP to spend some time exploring our website and to schedule a conversation with a member of our Admissions Committee.

The website provides a lot of information about our program, our students and our community. Even if you are unsure if business school is the right path for you, our team is happy to speak with you about your background and answer your questions, big or small!

Any application tips you would like to share?

Be yourself. This is a tip we share often but one I think is really important. If you are not sharing an authentic version of yourself throughout the application process, whether it be in your essays, on your resume, or during your interview, it will be challenging for us to make an accurate assessment of how you will contribute to our community.

I think many applicants have these preconceived notions of what we’re looking for in an ideal student. In reality, we’re looking for all different kinds of people to build our class. I personally have an affinity for applicants with stories that don’t necessarily “fit the mold.” So be honest. Be yourself. Be “unapologetically you.”

What’s your favorite thing about Darden?

The community. I’ve found that members of the Darden community—our faculty, our staff, and our students—are all passionate about what they do and making Darden the best it can be. People here want to make an impact—both through their own individual work and by lifting up those around them. This culture of shared, mutual success is infectious, and it makes working here very special.