University of Virginia, Darden School of Business
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: My friends compare me to Leslie Knope (Parks and Recreation), but more practical.
Hometown: Sioux Falls, SD
Fun Fact About Yourself: I love to sing! I’ve sung in choir for 22 years, from elementary school to present.
Undergraduate School and Major: St. Olaf College (Northfield, MN), Economics and English
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:
Target Corporation – Senior Manager of Planning
Target Corporation – Merchandise Planning Supply Chain Expert
Target Corporation – Merchandise Planning (Senior) Business Analyst
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I’m very proud of the professional growth I experienced during my nearly 6-year career at Target. It’s important to me to be challenged and to learn something new every day, and I’m proud to say I’ve achieved that in my career so far.
Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? Regarding the GMAT, don’t get too caught up in specific advice. Stay true to the study methods that have worked for you in the past. If you prefer to study a little bit each day, do that. If you prefer to concentrate your studying to an intense month leading up to the test, do that. As for study guides, I recommend taking a ‘test drive’ of each of the top 3 guides and seeing which best matches your learning style. Reading the first chapter of each gives you a great idea of their approach.
When it comes to writing application essays, set a schedule and stick to it. Writing five essays in one day is not a recipe for success, so enable yourself to take the time you need. Setting personal deadlines will prevent panic and allow you accurately express yourself.
Lastly, be true to yourself in all aspects of the application process (school selection, essay writing, campus interviewing, etc.). It’s a guaranteed way to end up at a school that values your unique background and expertise.
What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Among many reasons, I primarily chose Darden for its academic rigor, case-study structure, and tight-knit community. Darden is well-known for its immense first-year case workload, and that academic focus was a huge draw for me. I also love Darden’s pure case-study approach to teaching, which allows students to learn from their classmates and hear unique perspectives. Lastly, Darden’s tight-knit community was a huge selling point for me. The staff, faculty, and current students are all extremely warm and welcoming, and the size of the campus enables faculty to really get to know their students.
Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? My dream employer values collaboration and personal growth. I admire companies that foster a collaborative environment, where individuals are measured on their accomplishments but understand the value of helping and teaching others. In addition, my dream employer puts visible emphasis on personal growth. I’ve been fortunate to have managers who gave me feedback and challenged me to expand my horizons, and I will look for that in future employers. I seek these traits not only because I know they create an environment where I will thrive, but also because I would love to contribute by working as a team and helping others grow.
What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? “I hope I get to work with her again some day!”