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Meet Virginia Darden’s MBA Class of 2019

Ashish Singh 

University of Virginia, Darden School of Business 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: An eager beaver who loves food, anime, movies, working out, and challenges of any kind.

Hometown: Gwalior, India

Fun Fact About Yourself:  I have a twin brother who is also lefty like me and we both can cook more than 30 types of Indian curries and more than 8 types of Indian bread.

Undergraduate School and Major: 

B.Tech (Electronics and Communication), VIT University, Vellore (India)

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: 

  1. iWMSIndia Pvt Ltd , HighJump Consultant
  2. Sears Holdings Corporation, Senior Technical Associate
  3. Lister Technologies PvtLtd, Senior Software Engineer

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In the second year of my career, I volunteered to undergo training to see if it was possible to get trained and work on a warehouse management software through remote learning. I was the first one in my company and one among probably 50 developers in the whole country to clear HighJump Warehouse Management System (WMS) certification, an intense two-month training that introduced me to supply chain and warehouse management. It was a high visibility experiment as the CTO of my client company was directly in touch with me throughout the duration of training and I had to give him weekly updates on my learning. After the successful completion of my training, we got the project and the client agreed to grow the whole account to a 24 member team. This training was a crucial foundation in my career and helped me to become an expert in WMS, helping various clients to save millions of dollars every year in warehousing costs. My last WMS implementation helped saved a South African retail chain client around 3 million USD per year in warehousing costs.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? The GMAT scores are playing a crucial role in the business school applications and the average scores for the leading business school keeps going higher every year. In the early stages of my GMAT preparation, I received two very valuable piece of advice that helped me to balance my prep with my other commitments. The first was to choose a period of time when I can be consistent with my preparation. The second was to choose the right material to prepare from. In order to be consistent while preparing for the exam, you need to have the least distractions and should be able to handle your workload and personal commitments properly. There is tons of material available for GMAT preparation in the market. So make sure to consult your friends who have written GMAT before and choose the best material. The GMAT requires more quality preparation than quantity. The official material and test series from GMAC are the best and most accurate source of the types of questions you would see in the real exam, so you should use them wisely.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you?  The key factor for me in choosing Darden was the community strength. In all my interactions with the alumni and faculty, the friendliness and warmth was very evident. Darden has a strong community structure and extremely helpful students and faculty. It’s been only few weeks since I moved here, but I can already experience it. The relatively small size of batch helps in forming strong bonds with the fellow batchmates and the ever-helping nature of the teaching staff just brings out the best in every student.

I have been a member of a running group for the past 4 years and have witnessed the positive impact of community on my life. I wanted to have the same support and camaraderie when going for a business school.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? If I could know the story behind each and every student in my section, be friends with every one of them, and be able to take up a leadership role in either my section or any student club, I would consider my first year of business school to be a successful one.