Maria Cecilia (Ceci) Figoli, currently a first year residential MBA student at Darden, is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She received her B.A. in accounting from Buenos Aires National University in 2013 and previously worked in corporate finance. Ceci is the recipient of a Darden Departmental Scholarship. During this year, Ceci has been involved with the Student Admissions Committee, Latin American Students Association, Graduate Women in Business, and Technology clubs.  She took a few minutes to share her reflections on her time at Darden thus far:

Could you tell me a bit about why you chose to come to Darden and how you heard about the school?

  • When my husband and I were doing research on schools, we went to many events in Buenos Aires and met Darden alumni. They were really helpful. We reached out to them and they took time out of their busy schedules to receive us and share their Darden experience. Afterwards, when we came to visit Darden, the first year students showed us around Charlottesville and it felt like we were home. It was the amazing community that made the difference for us.

What is the most unexpected thing you’ve learned from studying at Darden so far?

  • In our first ethics class, our professor Ed Freeman told us that the more experience he has, the less certain he feels about things. I think that this describes what I have experienced so far. In every class, I have learned a lot from my peers.  I have been surprised by the different ways of approaching a problem my classmates bring up that never crossed my mind. I am learning to feel more comfortable with complex and ambiguous situations and understanding those different perspectives is helping me prepare to face difficult decisions.

Have you had the chance to get to know any Darden alumni?  How has the network been helpful to you so far?

  • Darden alumni have been really helpful during the recruiting process. The best way to understand the opportunities and challenges of a specific company is to speak to alumni working there. When you are a Darden student you become part of a big family. I just reach out and they are excited to help me and tell me about their experiences.

What are your plans for the summer?

  • I will spend my summer doing a corporate finance internship at Microsoft. This is an exceptional opportunity for me to take on new challenges in an industry that I am really interested in. I feel confident that what I have learned during this year at Darden will allow me to make valuable contributions. I am looking forward to this experience!