Sofia Scott (Class of 2019) came to Darden with a background in economics, mathematics and finance. Before Darden, Sofia spent four years working at Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO) as a senior associate in the business development group, overseeing the completion of investment portfolio proposals for institutional investors in the U.S. and Latin America. Prior to PIMCO, she worked at Chubb Tempest Re in Bermuda as a reinsurance analyst, focusing on property casualty reinsurance in the U.S. and Europe. Sofia received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Puget Sound.
At Darden, she stepped into a student leadership role as one of five senior portfolio managers for Darden Capital Management (DCM), the student club that manages more than $18 million of the Darden School’s endowment. After her First Year at Darden, Sofia spent her summer in New York as an Investment Banking Summer Associate in Barclays’s Financial Institutions group, where she will return to a full-time job in July following graduation.
As she prepares to graduate in May, Sofia spoke with us to detail “why Darden,” share her experience at the School and explain what’s next.
Why did you choose Darden?
I chose Darden because of the case method curriculum and strong finance program. I knew I wanted to spend time getting to know all aspects of finance, but I was especially focused on courses in the investment management and investment banking discipline to help prepare me for my career after business school.
I also love the location of Charlottesville and its driving distance from Washington D.C. (where I have a big extended family). I viewed it as a great two-year break from the metropolitan city life with the beautiful hills and restaurants and vineyards to enjoy on the weekends.
What is your role in DCM? What do you do and how much do you manage?
I was the 2018–19 senior portfolio manager of the Monticello Fund, which is the internationally focused fund among the five funds managed by Darden Capital Management. As of 31 March, the assets under management were $3.36 million. The total assets under management in Darden Capital Management as of 31 March 31 were $18.32 million across the five funds. As senior portfolio manager, I was responsible for managing the team of three portfolio managers and building consensus and idea generation, which led to long-term investing buy/sell decisions in the portfolio. For the 12-month period in which we ran the portfolio, our performance was about 380 basis points above the fund’s benchmark.
DCM has been the most enriching part of my business school experience, providing me opportunities on Grounds to manage the Monticello Fund alongside bright classmates. Also, I have loved the opportunities DCM provided to travel across the U.S., visiting other business school for investment conferences. Through DCM opportunities and support from the Mayo Center for Asset Management, I traveled to Michigan Ross to compete in an investment competition with a team of three classmates (we placed third of 12 business schools), attended the Harvard Business School Investment Conference with other Darden Capital Management portfolio managers, and a group of 10 Darden Capital Management students will be headed to Omaha, Nebraska, to attend the 2019 Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting shortly.
What are you passionate about, and how do you see that playing into your career?
I love working in groups of interesting people, solving problems or creating new ideas to bring innovation and enhancements to organizations. Investment management and investing banking can be very creative. They both require the inputs of different people with different viewpoints to reach meaningful results.
I want to be a leader that brings diversity of thought and perspective into play to create the innovative ideas and solutions that clients will find valuable. In the immediate future, I see this playing out in my investment banking career helping clients think creatively about the next step for their organization and what financing, merger or divestiture should be considered to move the organization to its next generation of success.
What are you doing after graduation?
I will be joining Barclays as an Investment Banking Associate in New York City. I knew prior to Darden that I wanted to stay in financial services because I love the combination of economics and financial planning when considering investing in a company into the long term. I view investment banking as my second MBA degree because of the depth and intensity of learning that takes place during the associate years. Additionally, out of all the finance roles out of business school, investment banking is a phenomenal way to get a high level of exposure to senior business executives, as well as insight into the long-term strategic views of management that drive M&A activity.