Whether one seeks distraction from the day-to-day, or to find new, insightful ways to understand it, several colleagues on the UVA Darden Career Center team offered this list of multi-media content for students and peers to explore. Read on for the team’s top picks for recommended books (for readers of all ages!), podcasts, apps, documentaries and more that are especially relevant today.


How Will You Measure Your Life?

Written by Harvard Business School professor Clay Christensen, this book comes highly recommended by Jeff Tang (MBA ’13), senior director of marketing and general management careers.

“It’s the quintessential ‘finding your purpose’ book for me, and I re-read it every two years,” Tang said.

The Power of Now

Christy Gunville, senior director of consulting careers, called this Eckhart Tolle classic one of her favorite all team reads. She’s currently re-reading the piece as part of her book club, comprised of UVA alumni friends.

“I would recommend this book for anyone trying to find peace in their current lives during these turbulent and highly uncertain times,” said Gunville.

Man’s Search for Meaning

Sarita Soldz, Executive MBA career coach and associate director of career education and advising, offered this memoir by Viktor Frankl, a survivor of a concentration camp.

Designing Your Work Life: How to Thrive and Change and Find Happiness at Work

Soldz also recommended this bestseller, in which authors Bill Burnett and Dave Evans demonstrate how design thinking can transform one’s present job and experience of work.

The Alcohol Experiment: A 30-Day, Alcohol-Free Challenge to Interrupt Your Habits and Help You Take Control

Avid reader Jenny Zenner (MBA ’03), senior director of technology and startup careers, suggested this book by Annie Grace, which invites readers to opt out of alcohol consumption and rethink their relationship with drinking.

Building A Life Worth Living: A Memoir

Zenner’s next pick was this memoir by Marsha Linehan. Linehan is the founder of dialectical behavior therapy, a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that seeks to identify and change negative thinking patterns.

The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Anxiety: Breaking Free from Worry, Panic, PTSD and Other Anxiety Symptoms

In line with Linehan’s work, Zenner recommended this new Harbinger self-help workbook as a means to develop skills to better manage panic attacks, worries and fears.


Zenner’s last pick for adult readers was this New York Times bestselling memoir by Glennon Doyle, founder of the nonprofit Together Rising. The nonprofit’s mission is to transform heartache into action.

Children’s Books

As a mother of two twin boys in third grade, Zenner pointed to these two children’s books as great reads for younger audiences:

White Bird

It’s a graphic novel by RJ Palacio that tells the story of a girl who had to hide in a barn loft in France during the Holocaust – “higher stakes quarantine than our household,” Zenner said.


Another graphic novel, this memoir by Raina Telgemeier explores the author’s anxiety, which began during her childhood.


“Unlocking Us”

Brene Brown’s new podcast came highly recommended by Gunville, Soldz and senior director of investment banking careers Ed Yu. The podcast explains processes associating with getting through “TFTs”, or “terrible first times”.

Through Brown’s podcasts, Yu has learned that “People who know their self-worth had the courage to be imperfect… They fully embraced vulnerability and they believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful.”

Apps, Movies and Music

“Waking Up” app

Soldz and Kristen Anderson, program and office manager, both listen to this guided meditation app. The app provides 10-15 minute meditations, which Anderson said are easy to build into her day and help her manage stress levels.

Valerie June, “The Order of Time” record

Tang tries to begin each day with tunes from his record player. Right now, Tang is listening to what he called a “killer album by a genre bending, Appalachia-tinged roots soul musician.”

Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution”

Next up on Tang’s Netflix queue is this documentary produced by President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, which investigates how summer camp experiences shaped the disability rights movement.


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