By Jacqui Lazo

Name:  Wenxin “Patrick” Liu (Class of 2018)

Hometown: Fujian, China

Pre-Darden University and Major: Xi’an International Studies University, Marketing

Pre-Darden Employment: Jiangxi Jiangling Motors Import & Export Co. Ltd.


Wenxin “Patrick” Liu (Class of 2018) fondly remembers the day he got his offer letter from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. “I was so excited I could not sleep the entire night,” he said. After sharing the good news with friends and family, he immediately began the pre-matriculation process.

During Liu’s first days on Grounds, he quickly acclimated to the Virginia fall weather and enjoyed walking from his apartment to Darden. He also celebrated his birthday while immersing himself in the Darden before Darden program. From Day One at the School, he pushed himself to speak up in class. He managed to participate every day and his diligent efforts paid off. “Now I feel more comfortable expressing my ideas,” said Liu.

The case method was the main reason why Liu chose Darden, and the approach offered him more than just an opportunity to perfect his English. “This method provides every student with the chance to participate, share and show who they really are,” said Liu. It made him appreciate the collaborative nature of the Darden culture, and he began to realize how much each of his classmates could teach him.

“I am so happy to get the opportunity to be at Darden,” said Liu, who grew up in a small county of Fujian province, China. Although both of his parents were uneducated and could not help him cultivate his interests, they were very supportive of Liu’s desire to pursue his own education. He was resourceful, teaching himself Chinese calligraphy, how to play chess and how to sing.

When Darden presented Liu with his biggest challenges, he had a plan. “I found it useful to be open and proactive — it helped me go out of my comfort zone,” he said. Always upbeat and enthusiastic, Liu quickly earned the friendship and respect of his classmates. He even ran for section representative, which surprised and delighted his peers, as he was the only international student to participate in the election.

“Charlottesville is such a quiet and beautiful place, and I could completely focus on what I needed to do here,” he said. “Time goes so slowly on Grounds, but so fast on the road. The leaves of the trees by the road are the best sign of the time, turning from green to yellow just overnight.”

No matter where he lands, Liu plans to take what he’s learned at Darden about himself and the world to create a future career that will bring out the best version of who he has become.