Gathering Together Again

There is a distinct joy in being able to resume in-person interactions which are the hallmark of MBA recruiting relationships. When the venue happens to be Kimpton’s brand-new Forum Hotel at Darden against the verdant backdrop of springtime in Virginia, the renewal of human connection is even more gratifying. On May 10 and 11, Darden’s Career Center hosted a recruiter roundtable with some of its closest recruiting partners in attendance, including representatives from all major industry sectors. For most of these guests, the roundtable provided a first taste of The Forum Hotel’s state-of-the-art amenities, world-class design, and outstanding hospitality.

Kevin Kennedy, the Career Center’s Managing Director for Employer Engagement and Recruiting, spearheaded the team effort to bring recruiters, Career Center staff, and students together after the 2022-23 hiring season. Of the recruiter roundtable goals, he says, “We wanted to create a welcoming space to debrief on this past year and look toward the future of MBA recruiting. We also aimed to connect with one another on a personal level as we exchanged innovative ideas, all while showcasing Darden’s newest option for recruiting events.”

Connecting and Exchanging Ideas

The two-day event kicked off on Wednesday with a casual welcome reception on the graceful Camelia Promenade, where guests enjoyed a view of the nearby Arboretum, followed by dinner. Thursday morning began in the sunlit Oak Boardroom with a case-inspired discussion on the “Strategist’s Challenge” led by Professor Mike Lenox. In time-honored Darden fashion, Professor Lenox “cold called” his audience (several of whom were Darden alumni) and engaged them in Socratic dialogue, inviting their thoughts on a wide range of recruiting-related topics, including AI and the implications of Chat GPT, and the evolution of hybrid and remote work options. Next up were tours of the hotel and the Darden Grounds.

After an al fresco lunch on the Promenade, attendees spent the rest of the afternoon diving into the details of the 2022-23 recruiting cycle and discussing what 2023-24 will look like. Finally, the student panel gave recruiters the chance to hear directly from a diverse group of First and Second Year students.

Darden Recruiter Roundtable Student Panel Participants.
Darden Recruiter Roundtable Student Panel Participants. Andrew Shurtleff Photography, LLC.

Meaningful and Actionable Feedback

The invaluable feedback received from students and employers alike will help recruiting partners and the Career Center enhance MBA recruiting for the 2023-24 season, and beyond. We asked company representatives what keeps them coming back to recruit Darden students, and recurring themes in responses included:

  • Smart, well-rounded students from diverse backgrounds with outstanding problem solving skills
  • The unique culture of community fostered by Darden and the value placed on authentic relationships
  • Enthusiastic and devoted alumni who are excited to recruit on Grounds each year
  • Engaged, responsive, and friendly career services partners

The Career Center looks forward to hosting many more events at The Forum Hotel in the years to come. Similarly, we anticipate that our recruiting partners will also take advantage of The Forum’s impressive offerings for their employer-hosted events in Charlottesville.

Contact Information:

  • If you are curious about holding events at Kimpton’s The Forum Hotel at Darden, please contact
  • If you are interested in recruiting Darden students for internship or full-time roles, please contact and our Employer Engagement and Recruiting team will be happy to assist you.
  • If you have opportunities for Darden alumni, please see helpful resources from the Armstrong Center for Alumni Career Services.