Darden’s deferred MBA enrollment program, the Future Year Scholars Program, recently launched its application for 2021. The program offers graduating undergraduate and fifth-year master’s degree program students the opportunity to apply for admission into a future Darden full-time MBA class.

If admitted, individuals complete two to four years of professional work experience before joining a Darden class. In keeping with Darden’s mission to make the MBA as accessible as possible, applicants to the Future Year Scholars Program can now submit an application with just an ACT or SAT test score — no GRE or GMAT is necessary, though applicants examine if the GRE or GMAT will be beneficial for future career paths (for example, consulting or investment banking), as well as merit-based scholarship consideration. Check out the FAQs, including more information about test requirements on the Future Year Scholars webpage.

Future Year Scholar and Darden MBA First Year student Lindsay Bralower (Class of 2022) shared insights into the deferred enrollment program and why she knew Darden was the business school for her.

Lindsay Bralower

Undergraduate School: University of Virginia

Undergraduate Graduation Year: 2017

Darden Graduation Year: 2022

Lindsay Bralower (Class of 2022)

Why did you decide that a deferred enrollment program was the right path for you?

The Future Years program provided me with an amazing opportunity to hedge my career. When starting my first job in consulting, I knew that if I didn’t see it as my long term path I could pivot through business school, and if I did, I could accelerate it through business school. In any case, it would always be a win win and allow me to take more risks early on.

What’s your favorite part of the Darden experience now that you’re here on Grounds?

One of the biggest differentiators of the Darden experience is the support of the Learning Team. Not only are my learning teammates some of the best people I have met at Darden so far, but they are the reason I feel so grounded and secure. Whether it be an academic challenge, a recruiting question or a friendly face on a hectic day, I know I can count on this group.

Favorite class so far?

My favorite class right now is Strategy. Engaging with my peers, from a spectrum of backgrounds, in open and challenging conversation has shed new light on topics I previously thought I had mastered. The class is lively, engaging and extremely relevant to what’s unfolding in the world right now.

How did you decide when was the right time to start your MBA?

While consulting gave me a great foundation in strategic thinking and problem solving, I felt that I wanted to shift more into the entrepreneurial world and develop myself as a leader in this space. Not only does an MBA provide the necessary business acumen, but also provides an incredible network, resources and mentorship that will be invaluable in my entrepreneurial pursuits.

How did Darden differentiate from other MBA programs you applied to?

After exploring other schools and gaining several years of work experience, I felt Darden would provide the best overall opportunity for my personal and professional growth. The case method and core curriculum put you in the driver’s seat for a wide range of problems, the alumni base is extremely supportive, and both Darden and Charlottesville have a budding startup community and a growing entrepreneurship curriculum that met my interests. Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t say that life in Charlottesville itself played a role in my decision. Between the food scene, the access to the outdoors, and the expanding list of breweries and vineyards, it truly cannot be beat!

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