Darden FAQs - Pt 4: Closing Thoughts

"Moving to a new place, starting a new chapter in your life, exploring career options and new academic areas requires a LOT of vulnerability. Give yourself grace, be okay that things take time."
  • Be intentional about your priorities and what you want to get out of business school. Darden hits hard and fast and the more you can outline what you care about and why you are here before you actually get to Grounds, the easier it will be to prioritize when you're pulled in a million directions.

  • A second year once told me “you are currently the closest to the person you were before Darden” this might sound a little hokey, but the farther you get into the process the harder it might be to have clarity about what motivated you to go to school in the first place and the values that mattered before Darden. Take stock of where you are and what you want. Yes, things will likely change but it is also important to keep that broader perspective and remember what really matters to you.

  • Building meaningful relationships takes time. Darden is a super social place but it can sometimes feel at the beginning that you have a million friends but few people who you really know well.

    • Everyone feels awkward building new relationships/friendships. Do the things that can feel uncomfortable: ask for people’s cell #s, text people, invite people over for dinner or before TNDC, share Ubers to events and plan to walk over to things with people!  Little steps can go a long way in building early relationships and making you feel more comfortable.

    • Let your guard down and you will open yourself up to the opportunity to forge genuine relationships with everyone - first years, second years, professors, staff, etc.

    • Adapting to Darden is exciting but challenging - some people look like they can handle it better than others but make no mistake, everyone is challenged by the transition in different ways. Once you realize that and realize you don't have to pretend to have it all together, you can be more honest and open.

    • In our experience (especially at the beginning) when something is happening around Cville all are welcome. You don't have to be explicitly invited; people generally operate by the more the merrier.

  • You’ll often hear that the 3 pillars of business school are recruiting, social, and academics and that it's impossible to do all 3 well - something has to give. I would amend that and say, at any point in time, something has to give. You can do all 3 well, but not at the same time, likely not even in the same week. And that's OK.