By Lauren Wallace
Yuvraj Datt, currently a second year residential MBA student at Darden, is originally from India although he spent the last ten years in Singapore. He received his B.E. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Nanyang Technological University in 2010 and previously worked in banking at Credit Suisse. He began researching top MBA graduate programs in the U.S. knowing that he wanted a change in lifestyle and, coming from the big-city feel of Singapore, Yuvraj loved the transition into the smaller-community of Charlottesville.
Yuvraj is the recipient of the Sydney F. Small Memorial Fellowship. Outside of classes, he has gotten involved in the Technology Club, the Darden South Asia Society, and the Global Business and Culture Club where he serves as the VP of Events.
Yuvraj took a few minutes to share his reflections on his 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?
After spending 5 years in the banking industry, working in finance, operations, and technology roles, I wanted to expand my skillset to be able to contribute across a broader range of contemporary industries. I began reaching out to alumni and students from the top MBA schools in the U.S. to refine my business school search. I looked at the academic curriculum, faculty, and career development center of each school, and Darden stood out in all aspects. Darden students went out of their way to connect with me on their educational experience and personal development. I was able to develop a holistic understanding of the Darden classroom experience, realizing the many merits of the case study method towards building practical knowledge of academic concepts. I also met with extremely helpful Darden alumni in Singapore and received invaluable mentorship and advice. Darden soon became my top choice and I was fortunate enough to get in and become a part of its community!
Have you had the chance to get to know any Darden alumni? How has the network been helpful to you so far?
I met with alumni from a few schools before applying. Those interactions played a huge role in shaping my perspectives about each school’s community and network. As I met with Darden alumni, I was enamored by their humility, intelligence, and willingness to help. My interview was with a Darden alumnus with whom I am still in touch and who I constantly look up to as I proceed with my education and career. At Darden, I have received immense help from alumni at the companies where I was recruiting. One specific alumni interaction comes to mind: When I travelled to Seattle for a company interview, a Darden alumnus at that company reached out on his own to provide helpful feedback on the process. He even invited me home after the interview to talk about future career prospects to see if there was any other ways he could help me. When I eventually joined the company for my internship, his constant guidance and advice helped me put in my best work and secure a full-time job offer. The Darden network is everywhere and every student and alumnus can look forward the lifelong support structure that it provides.
What are your plans for after Darden?
I came to business school looking to transition from banking to the consulting or technology industry. Darden provided me a myriad of opportunities to network with top companies and through this process I was able to build a deeper understanding of the roles, functions, and culture at the firms where I was recruiting. The steep learning curve during the first year at the Darden ensured that I was well prepared and confident during the interview process. I eventually decided to join Microsoft for my summer internship, in a Finance Manager role, where I worked on revenue and pricing strategy for Microsoft’s cloud platform. This was a perfect combination of my passion for technology and aspiration to work cross-functionally at a major company on initiatives that are making a big impact on the world we live in. I loved my summer experience and am planning to return full-time to Microsoft.
If there were one word that described your Darden experience, what would it be?
When asked to expand on why his Darden experience has been ‘exhilarating’, Yuvraj described how Darden enabled him to experience and learn from so many different perspectives and, ultimately, empowered him to see his own full potential. “Through everything [at Darden] you become open to so much more and you feel that you can accomplish so much more.” After he graduates next spring, Yuvraj is eager to participate in the alumni network and hopes to create more opportunities for Darden engagement worldwide.