The best way to build confidence in and out of the workplace? “New experiences that get you out of your comfort zone,” says Second Year Coach Andrea Kovacs (MBA ’21). As she prepares to begin her post-graduation role with Wells Fargo, Andrea brings with her a refined skillset in self-advocacy and self-reflection. Learn what else she gained through her experience mentoring Darden First Years as a SY Coach.


Where are you from?

Niceville, Florida


What was your role prior to coming to Darden?

Commercial Banking at Bank of America


What was your FY summer internship?

Investment Banking Summer Associate at Wells Fargo


What are your post-graduation plans?

Investment Banking Associate, M&A Team, Wells Fargo


Why did you become a SY coach?

I enjoy career planning and am passionate about helping people recruit into their dream jobs. It can be challenging to recruit during your first year at Darden, and I love having the opportunity to share my experience and be a source of encouragement for First Year students going through the process.


What have you learned about yourself and your coachees as a SY coach?

To be an effective coach, it’s important to identify the unique needs of each of your coachees. Everyone is different in how they approach career planning and there is no one-size-fits-all coaching strategy. I made it a priority to get to know my coachees individually and ask them how I could best serve as a resource for them during recruiting.


What is a powerful question you have asked your coachees to invoke discovery for themselves?

Recruiting is a two-way street. Make sure you are vetting the company just like they are vetting you. When recruiting for a new role, it’s easy to get caught up with trying to impress the team you are recruiting with and land the job. I think it’s equally important to take a step back and ask yourself “Do I like this company or team? Is this a group of people and a culture in which I can thrive?” Make sure the answer is ‘yes’ before you take the role.


What’s your favorite piece of career advice?

Learn how to advocate for yourself. Even though I believe all great work should be recognized, your manager will not always realize how much you do and contribute. Make sure you are tactfully informing your manager of all the great work you’re doing, and keep them updated about your goals and career aspirations.


Any other thoughts you’d like to share?

In work and in life, try to seek new experiences that push you out of your comfort zone. This is the best way to build confidence in both professional and personal situations.