Director of Admissions Haley Whitlock Gyory shared a recap of the recent Darden Diversity Conference — which made the pivot to a virtual platform in its third year. The annual event is an opportunity for prospective students to experience how Darden embraces and celebrates diversity and inclusion. The multi-day event featured a special focus for prospective students from diverse backgrounds, including women, LGBTQ+ and members of under-represented racial or ethnic communities. The increased accessibility of the virtual event and key programming, including networking, learning team case prep, faculty case discussions and crucial conversations with current students, attracted a record number of applicants and attendees.
Director of Admissions Haley Whitlock Gyory:
Darden hosted a record 178 attendees at its annual Diversity Conference earlier this month. This virtual celebration of diversity and inclusion kicked off on 1 October with a welcome and opening remarks from Executive Director of Admissions Dawna Clarke. Current students hosted participants in virtual small-group dinners for a chance to network and get to know more about the broader community. The programming featured a variety of sessions including:
- Darden diversity leadership Q&A, hosted by Senior Associate Dean and Global Chief Diversity Officer Martin Davidson and Assistant Dean for Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Christie Julien
- Case discussions taught by Davidson, Professor Shane Dikolli and Professor Yael Grushka-Cockayne
- Alumni career panel
- Affinity club panels and breakout sessions, including a Pride at Darden virtual dinner event
- Keynote alumni speech from Kimberly Diaz (MBA ’18), co-founder of oneTILT
- Sessions featured discussions on:
The student panel was facilitated by current students and members of the Diversity Conference Student Planning Committee. Former Diversity Conference attendee and current Darden Student Association VP of Diversity Miranda Grueiro (Class of 2021) served on the student planning committee and shared a testimonial with participants, encouraging attendees to ask tough questions. She challenged attendees to ask whatever was on their minds and to really engage over the course of the conference — both to test out the case method and to learn how students engage with the Charlottesville community. Grueiro also pressed attendees to inquire about challenges and opportunities faced by students of color at Darden and how career exploration opportunities are supported.
Despite the virtual nature of the event, the intentional programming and small group networking opportunities ensured that the conference was still a meaningful way to experience Darden’s culture and community. Diversity Conference attendees were able to connect with peers, alumni, admissions staff, faculty, current students and School leadership during their whirlwind weekend.
Stay tuned for the 2021 Darden Diversity Conference dates, which will be released in a few months.
The energy of the conference, particularly the faculty, was amazing. Even in a virtual setting, I could feel the passion each of the faculty had for teaching and their students, and loved the way they engaged such large groups in their sessions. — 2020 Diversity Conference attendee
The Darden Diversity Conference is what made Darden my top choice for an MBA program! Getting to immerse myself in the community, case method, and opportunities convinced me that Darden is the best place for me to pursue an MBA. I left the conference with more enthusiasm for Darden than I knew was possible. — 2020 Diversity Conference attendee
Ready to learn more?
Sign up for a full-time MBA diversity recruiting coffee chat or 1-on-1 conversation with Marc Paulo Guzman, associate director of admissions for diversity recruiting, or attend a women’s recruiting coffee chat or 1-on-1 conversation with Darden’s admissions team.
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