Admissions, Application Tips, Executive MBA, Full-Time MBA

Darden Admissions Team Shares Stay-at-Home Activity Recommendations

By Maggie Dodson-

We know you’ve likely made it through some of the Netflix standbys by now, so if you are looking for even more suggestions to keep your mind busy while you’re doing your part to stay at home, take a look at Darden Admissions’ latest recommendations — we hope it inspires something new!

Dawna Clarke, Executive Director of Admissions

Homemade Granola recipe

Brett Twitty, Director of Admissions 

  • Watch: I’m a movie enthusiast, and while I generally prefer the big screen, I will watch a movie anytime, anywhere. Lately, I’ve been returning to several smaller films from the past few years that I really enjoyed:  Shoplifters, Leave No Trace, Lost City of Z and The Rider.   
  • Listen: I make way too many Spotify playlists, so of course, I put together a telework playlist. You can stream it here. I also enjoy podcasts: The Ringer’s The Rewatchables, Oxford American’s Points South, and Aquarium Drunkard’s Transmissions are a few personal favorites. 
  • Curated, you guessed it, longform articles from across the Internet. Selections span fiction and nonfiction, and I find the site to be a constant source of interesting and thought-provoking stories. For example, check out this recent Bon Appetit article exploring the industry and food science behind making foods “crispy.” 
  • Application Tip: Think about how the Employment Section of your application and your resume can work together. Applicants often ask if these application elements are duplicative, but they don’t have to be! 
    • The Employment Section is your opportunity to highlight the basic “nuts and bolts” of your career progression, which leaves your resume as a space to detail your leadership and impact. And did you know, your resume can also showcase your personality and interests? True story. What languages do you speak? Where have you traveled? What podcast(s) are you listening to? What are you reading? All are potential fodder for your resume.

Catie Yeilding, Director of Admissions

  • Watch: JoJo Rabbit and The Morning Show were two of my winter favorites; highly recommend both!
  • Listen: The New York TimesThe Daily is my go-to for staying informed at the start of each day. For “fun” (is a true crime podcast fun?), Monster: DC Sniper has kept me pressing refresh every Thursday morning of the last few months.
  • Application Tip: Show some personality in those short answer questions. There are no right answers, and they aren’t trick questions. We genuinely want to understand more about who you are and what you think. Let your flag fly!

Whitney Kestner, Director of Admissions

  • Watch: The 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship! I have two children who are huge sports fans. We have enjoyed rewatching the men’s hoops tournament from last season, including the highlights from UVA’s journey to a national championship! I can’t believe how nervous I still get watching the UVA vs Purdue game!
  • Listen: My husband is a big podcast junkie. I just try to keep up! Recent favorites include This American Life, Live from Here, Dolly Parton’s America, 13 Minutes to the Moon and Reply All
  • Activity: I have lived in Charlottesville for 12 years and am still finding new trails to explore with my family and our two dogs. We have a new black lab puppy who has a LOT of energy. Fortunately, the Rivanna Trail, Observatory Hill and Foxhaven trails are close to home so everyone can get a little exercise!
  • Application Tip: Step away from your application for a few days and then come back to it with fresh eyes before you submit!

Maggie Dodson, Degree Program Communication and Marketing

Distractions are very welcome right now! I’ve been checking out all the online recommendation lists —there’s a “to watch/read/listen” list on my phone that just keeps growing. But first, time to channel Marie Kondo and clean out all my closets.

  • Watch:  Space Jam just came to Netflix! I’m also a fan of the Harry Bosch series by Michael Connelly, so I think it might be time to dive into the namesake series, Bosch, on Amazon Prime. 
  • Listen: Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend is a quirky, funny podcast that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Highly recommend! The John Oliver and Paul Rudd episodes were recent favorites. The Harry Potter series on Audible is also an absolute classic and is just over 116 hours of listening time! 
  • Application Tip: The Darden Admissions team prides itself on being accessible to applicants. Get to know more about the application process and the Darden community by scheduling an MBA Conversation with one of our committee members.

Kate Anderson, Administrative Assistant

  • Watch: Ozark (just returned to Netflix!) Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu), The Durrells in Corfu (PBS/Prime), Last Tango in Halifax (PBS/Prime) – I love shows that connect me back to my home in the UK
  • Listen: I usually listen to true crime podcasts like Morbid and Wine & Crime. I also like The Try Pod and Drunk History.
  • Read: I just started reading We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter
  • Activity: Being new to Charlottesville, I love exploring the area and going on drives and seeing where it leads me. One adventure led me to a winery on top of a mountain. The road was gravel, very steep and barely wide enough for two cars with a sheer drop on one side!

Markie Weidman, Admissions Coordinator

  • Nonfiction Read: I read Factfulness by Hans Rosling last year when I was feeling overwhelmed by the state of the world. Not only did it fill me with hope for the future, but it allowed me to see how human nature was working against me in terms of my perspective on the world. If you don’t trust me, maybe Bill Gates can convince you.
  • Fiction Read: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace is an all-time favorite of mine. Truth be told, it is not an easy read. It took me six months to get through its dense 1,079 pages. But its chaotic narrative is balanced out by the calming clarity of life lessons learned while reading it.
  • Watch: If you’re not ready to commit to Infinite Jest, you should at least check out The End of the Tour (2015) on Netflix.  This movie tells the story of journalist David Lipsky’s five days spent on the road interviewing David Foster Wallace. It is so incredibly tender and heartfelt and will give you just a peek into who Wallace was behind his iconic prose.
  • Application Tip: Remember to have fun! Think of this process as a journey that will lead to incredible professional development and personal growth. You’ll meet interesting people and have memorable conversations along the way!

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