Darden’s Future Year Scholars Program invites outstanding college students to join the ranks of a Top 5 business school, before ever gaining work experience. Admitted scholars may choose to begin their MBA after gaining two, three or four years of work experience.

Today’s post featuring Future Year Scholar Morgan Klausner (Class of 2022) was originally published on Forté Foundation’s Business 360 blog. UVA Darden is a proud partner of Forté, whose mission is to “Launch women into fulfilling, significant careers through access to business education, professional development, and a community of successful women.”

For many undergrad students, following a passion in academics can lead to incredible curiosity and self-discovery. But what happens when a niche area of study doesn’t point to a career that’s necessarily a good fit? Klausner shares insights about how her interest in the intersectionality of business, sustainability and corporate social responsibility ultimately led her to pursue a deferred enrollment program – which allowed her to secure admission to an MBA program while still in college, gain several years of crucial work experience and then attend business school to pursue her MBA.

  • Undergraduate School: University of Virginia
  • Undergraduate Graduating Year: 2017
  • Undergraduate Major: Environmental Thought and Practice

Q: Why did you decide to pursue a deferred MBA enrollment like Darden’s Future Year Scholars Program?

A: During undergrad, I studied a small interdisciplinary area of study, and I got to dive into topics that fascinated me; however, I didn’t want to pursue a career in environmental law or policy, which were two popular tracks after that program. During my third year, I took a class called Managing Sustainable Development. I found that I loved the intersection of business, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility.

It was too late to gain a formal business education at the undergrad level, so I started to look into Masters and MBA programs. Applying to the Future Year Scholars Program gave me the opportunity to secure a spot at an amazing business school, while still gaining some work experience during the deferral period.

Q: What were you most anxious about in your deferral period?

A: Going back to school after being in the working world for three years! It is such a different flow of life being in school versus working full-time.

Q: What were you most excited about in your deferral period? 

A: I was so excited to come back to Charlottesville, VA. Being a double Hoo (two degrees from UVA – go Wahoos!), Charlottesville holds a very special place in my heart and I’m so happy to be back!

Q: Did anything happen during your deferral period that reaffirmed your decision to stay on course to matriculate at Darden? (in other words, was there ever a time when you felt happy/comforted/excited that your seat at Darden was waiting for you?) 

A: While working, I developed a passion for the intersection of consumer goods and marketing. After applying to a few of those jobs, I realized I did not have the necessary skillset to make me a competitive candidate. Knowing that an MBA would help me pivot my career, I was excited to know that Darden was my next step through the Future Year Scholars Program.

On a recent panel discussion for admitted Future Year Scholars, Klausner shared the following:

“I know I’m really young, but [Future Year Scholars Program admission] was the best investment I’ve made in myself to date, and I just think having the opportunity to get admitted right after undergrad is something that, hopefully, people don’t take for granted. It is such a great thing to have in your back pocket to know what you’re working towards.”

Be sure to consult the Latest News regularly for the most updated news releases and media hits. Check out faculty thought leadership published on Ideas to ActionAnd stay connected with us via social media: FacebookInstagramLinkedInTwitterWeChat