COO of Sustainability & Center for Inclusive Growth at Mastercard Nicole Lindsay (MBA/JD ’00) joined Senior Assistant Dean of Admissions Dawna Clarke for a Q&A session, in which Lindsay shared how the Darden experience has impacted her confidence, career trajectory, opportunities in her current role leading a global team and more. A Darden alumna, Lindsay lends her experience in strategic advising and governing through her roles as a trustee of the Darden School Foundation and vice chair of the Dean’s Diversity Advisory Council. View the event recording here.

When asked about the lasting value of her Darden MBA, Lindsay shared: “When we go to business school, often it’s very tactical. ‘I want to get these foundational skills and information to be able to launch my career in X.’ But what I didn’t realize when I went to business school is that there’s so much value to be leveraged afterward, that has truly been just as instrumental at getting me to this point in my career.”

Lindsay shared many pearls of wisdom for future MBA students, especially around relationship building and creating an environment of inclusivity.

“The first piece of advice is showing up, especially as yourself,” said Lindsay. “We have to show up and be open to using ourselves in our most effective way possible. There are times when the most effective way is not to say anything in a meeting, and there are times to speak up. We have to be constantly thinking ‘in this moment, in this situation, how can I be most useful to advancing the purpose?'”

In her current role, Lindsay oversees the philanthropic activities of the Mastercard Impact Fund. She began her career in corporate and community development finance at Wachovia Bank, before transitioning to career and leadership development roles at the Yale School of Management and Goldman Sachs. For the last 15 years, Lindsay has held several executive roles in the social impact space, including deputy director of the ZOOM Foundation, founding executive director of New York Needs You, a nonprofit that helps first-generation college students realize their career ambitions, and vice president of talent development at Management Leadership for Tomorrow. She is also the founder of DiversityMBAPrep and the author of The MBA Slingshot for Women, Using Business School to Catapult Your Career.

Lindsay was also the keynote speaker at the recent Black Excellence Gala, an inaugural event in the Washington, D.C., area hosted by the Black Business Student Association. The event welcomed over 100 students, alumni and staff. Lindsay “urged attendees to take the time to cultivate their own joy, happiness and resilience, and reminded them that while achievements and accolades are important, they aren’t the only ingredients necessary for a fulfilling life and career.” Read more about the Black Excellence Gala on the Darden Report.

UVA Darden Black Business Student Association Celebrates the Black Darden Experience