Meet Virginia Darden’s MBA Class Of 2020

Adam Miller

University of Virginia, Darden School of Business

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: I desperately want everyone to like me, but I don’t care if no one does.

Hometown: Milwaukee, WI

Undergrad: Carleton College, Northfield, MN, Economics

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: 

Thrivent Financial

Fortune 500, Non-Profit

Nudges Americans to be wise with their money & live generously

Innovation -> Strategy -> Diversity & Inclusion

Relish Careers Inc.

Tech Start-Up

Matches business school students to top employers

Pre-MBA Intern

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? I recommend applicants listen to my podcast on iTunes called, “The MBA Candidate”. In the show, I interview other incoming business school students from all of the top 25 programs and ask them that very question.Their answers are much better than mine.

Fun Fact About Yourself: I memorized the first 30 digits of pi in my high school calculus class to win an extra piece of pie…


Watch this: 3.14159265358979323846264338327

(Just like with anything else, all you’ve got to do is break it up into manageable chunks)

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: A colleague confided in me that she disliked her job. The work was objectively boring. She was fulfilling 1-way IT requests all day. So, she decided to quit without a backup plan!

Over the course of 6 months though, I successfully involved her in the creation of an exciting new project where we launched an informal mentorship program for hundreds of our coworkers. And ultimately, I helped her slide into my amazing job as I was leaving the company for business school.

Getting three separate thank-you notes from her really meant a lot to me.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? I chose Darden for two reasons:

1) The culture. When I visited UVA the summer before applying to business school, I happened to fly in during The Darden Cup! The current students were competing in lawn games (sack races, egg toss, 3-legged races), and I was encouraged to join in.

2) The professors. You can expand your network and find a great job at any top business school. But I want to actually learn something. And no MBA program in the world has better faculty than Darden.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? My dream is to have a FUN career.I am willing to pass up on a lot of money and a lot of prestige for an enjoyable series of experiences at work.

I suppose I’m spoiled though… I was very lucky to have an absolute blast in a corporate setting before entering business school. I’m used to seeing the impact I’m making in the world. So, I don’t want to compromise on that after I graduate in two years. I want to have a career where I’m excited to go into the office at least… 75% of the time.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? “Adam helped us get through business school.”