Today’s #MBAoftheWeek is Bar Botzer (Class of 2023). Botzer is a First Year student at Darden, and is native of Israel who grew up in Tel Aviv. He came to Darden through an unconventional path, one outlined in a recent profile on Virginiasports.com.
Military service is compulsory for most Israelis, and after graduating from high school Botzer served in the Israel Defense Forces. When he left the military, he still had aspirations to play tennis in the United States, and in the summer of 2017 he enrolled at Wake Forest as a 23-year-old freshman where he joined the tennis team.
Because of the COVID-19 waiver granted to student-athletes by the NCAA, had two seasons of eligibility left, and after being accepted to Darden, he decided to join the UVA tennis team.
On his experience so far at Darden: “It’s been going well. Darden’s definitely been tough, tougher than I think what we expected, me and the coaches and the team. But at the same time I think we’re done with the most difficult part, which is the first semester, and I think from around March things will calm down significantly. But I enjoy it a lot. I’ve got great classmates, great professors, school’s amazing. I’m very lucky to be where I am.”
Over the years, many former UVA student-athletes have returned to Grounds to attend Darden. Botzer, however, is believed to the first student-athlete to compete for one of UVA’s varsity teams while enrolled at Darden.
Looking ahead, Botzer shared, “I’ll be 29. I’ll have a top MBA degree under my belt, and Darden opens a lot of doors. I’m currently interviewing for a summer internship, and I’m going to try and interview next year to get a full-time job. Again, I’m extremely lucky to be a part of this school. The best companies in the world come to recruit on campus and want the talent that Darden has to offer. I’m looking at my classmates, and they’re all really, really, really impressive. Sometimes I’m asking myself, ‘How did I get here?’ I’m just super lucky to be here.”