Xin “Matt” Tao (Class of 2018)

Hometown: Shanghai

Pre-Darden University and Major: Fudan University, Electrical Engineering

Pre-Darden Employment: IBM, PwC Consulting


Why did you choose the University of Virginia Darden School of Business for your MBA?

Darden is a school that cultivates true business leaders, not just consultants or managers, which is the most important reason why I chose Darden. I talked to many alumni when I attended Darden’s information session in Shanghai, and I found that many alumni are successful leaders in different companies. Those alumni were all talented and humble, and I was convinced that Darden would help me become a great leader like them.

As a non-native English speaker, how have you adjusted to the case method and life at Darden?  First of all, my learning team helped me a lot in terms of case preparation. Every time I had some trouble understanding the cases, they would explain and help me gain insights through discussion. Second, the faculty is always there to help. I learned a lot from my professors after class when I had questions. They would also inspire me to think deeply during class when I expressed my opinions. Last but not least, Darden has the best students, who were all willing to help me adjust to studying and life at Darden. I often hang out with them to get more used to the life in United States.

How did Darden help you find and prepare for your internship? I focused on the consulting industry. The Career Development Center and the Consulting Club offered to help me prepare for recruiting. They organized events to teach students how to do networking and how to prepare for interviews. For example, they set up many workshops to help us learn how to do case interviews, which was really helpful.

What advice do you have for prospective students? Think through your future career path before going to B-school. A prospective student can get the best out of Darden as long as he or she is clear about the goal and is prepared to be a leader.

How did living in Charlottesville impact your MBA experience? Charlottesville is a peaceful and beautiful city. I can focus on studying and recruiting while still having lots of fun traveling around Charlottesville. I’ve been to many different cities in the U.S., but Charlottesville is my favorite place.