2020 MBAs To Watch: Chloe Stegeman, University of Virginia (Darden)

Chloe Stegeman

University of Virginia, Darden School of Business

“Eternally optimistic, service-minded, fueled-by-pizza-and-sunshine, healthcare leader hopeful”

Hometown: Bethlehem, GA

Fun fact about yourself: I re-discovered my love of rollerblading while in business school – catch me on the trails or at the next surprise event at Darden!

Undergraduate School and Degree: Vanderbilt University; Major: Medicine, Health, and Society; Minor: Corporate Strategy

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Compass Professional Health Services (now part of Alight Health Solutions); Senior HealthPro Consultant

Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? DaVita; Denver, CO

Where will you be working after graduation? Undecided

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

First Year:

  • Section E Outreach Representative: Planned and executed in-section service and culture-building initiatives; sat on Executive Outreach Committee.
  • FY Student Admissions Committee – Social Chair: Sat on board to plan and execute Day @ Darden and Darden Days admitted student events.

Second Year:

  • Vice President of Outreach, Darden Student Association: Plans school-wide service programs and initiatives. Manages Executive Outreach Committee and sits on the Darden Student Association Board.
  • School Was Awesome Today (SWAT) Team Captain: Plans and executes school-wide events with the goal of infusing joy and serendipity into the Darden student experience.
  • SY Student Admissions Committee and FY Student Admissions Committee Advisor: Interviews prospective students for admission into the Darden School of Business; supports FY SAC team to plan admitted student events.
  • Orientation Committee Representative: Planned and executed FY Orientation Week events.
  • Darden for CHS Mentorship Program: Facilitator for mentorship/career exploration sessions for Charlottesville High School juniors and seniors.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? This year, my Outreach Team planned and executed Darden’s first-ever Darden Day of Service. The event was created to help cultivate meaningful ties between the Darden and broader Charlottesville/UVA communities while providing an accessible means for Darden students to partake in community service initiatives. On August 30th over 120 students volunteered with eight community partners in the Charlottesville area; service activities included everything from cooking and serving lunch at the Charlottesville Ronald McDonald House to helping with various tasks at a local organic farm. All in all, the service day inspired students to pay it forward, build community with each other, and learn more about the special city we get to call “home” for two years. I am incredibly grateful for the immense amount of support our team received to get this initiative off the ground and to set a new precedent for how service can be integrated into the MBA experience while at Darden –cheers to the many Darden Day of Service events to come!

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? While it was an absolute honor to receive several official awards and recognitions during my professional career, the achievement I am most proud of is simply the work I was enabled and empowered to do each and every day – help others. When a health event strikes, it can be extremely stressful and burdensome for patients and their families. In my role as a HealthPro Consultant, I had the privilege of supporting my clients during these stressful times and served them as an advocate to connect them with resources, solutions, and information to make life a little easier. I can’t think of a more meaningful way to have spent my working days, I look forward to having the opportunity to continue to integrate people-centered service into my work post-MBA.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? This is an impossible question to answer. Darden has the top Educational Experience ranking for a reason – our professors are world-class educators and (more importantly) world-class people. Someone whom I think embodies the essence of this day-in and day-out is First Year Core Marketing professor Kim Whitler. Kim brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the classroom that can only be described as “electric” when we deep-dive as a class into conversations about empathy, the consumer mindset, and the dynamism of marketing in business. What has had the most impact on me is Kim’s unwavering passion and dedication to her students both inside and outside the classroom – she has pushed me outside of my comfort zone, challenged the way I think about the world, and she supported me through the peaks and valleys of life and the MBA experience. I am eternally grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from and have been led by you, Kim Whitler – thank you, thank you, thank you.

Why did you choose this business school? I am lucky enough to be reminded of why I chose Darden each and every day: the people. Rankings, the case method, and the opportunity to build my general management toolkit aside, the people — students, staff, and professors — make the Darden experience truly one of a kind. From the first moment I stepped into Saunders Hall, I was met with a warmth that can only be described as reminiscent of home, and that feeling has truly never left me since. I knew I would leave the MBA experience with new skills and new knowledge, but I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would leave my program with 700+ people I now call “family” — what a gift this Darden journey has been.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Network, network, network! People are at the heart of what makes Darden special — the more you can talk with alumni, admissions officers, and current students, the better sense you’ll have of Darden’s unique offerings and experiences that you can’t find on paper or read on a website.

What is the biggest myth about your school? As any past or current student would acknowledge, there is a peculiar lore around the First Year Core experience and the academic rigor of the program in general. In truth, Darden’s academic environment serves up its fair share of challenges and growth opportunities. However, it provides equal amounts of support systems and tools to help students adjust to carrying the “weight” of learning new content via a unique teaching style within the typical MBA time-crunched environment.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Rachel Southall is, simply put, one-of-a-kind. The seeds of our friendship were first planted during Darden’s pre-MBA program, Darden Before Darden — we sat terrified in the front row of an arena-like classroom and bonded over the fact that we had exactly zero Excel skills to offer our respective learning teams. We’ve come a long way since August 2018, and I am incredibly proud and in awe of the dynamic leader, woman, friend, coach, and Beyoncé fan extraordinaire in Rachel Southall who has and will leave an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of every single student and professor at Darden. She is not only a leader by name, serving at the Executive Vice President of the Darden Student Association Board and coach of the UVA Dance team, but she embodies growth and resilience, confidence and humility, and a distinct “realness” that invites, cultivates, and inspires those around her. She is a force of nature, and I am so excited to see where this next chapter of life takes her. Continue to shine on and shine bright, my friend!

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? While my dad will always be my life-long inspiration for my educational and business endeavors, my decision to stick with it was reinforced by one of my undergraduate professors, Garnett Slatton. I took his Introduction to Managerial Studies course with limited business knowledge and no idea what to expect. The first few sessions of the case-method course felt intimidating. As the semester progressed, I finally found my voice in the classroom and received much support and affirmation for doing so. Sometimes, it takes the extra metaphorical “high-five” to unlock inner confidence, but once I was able to overcome the initial mental hurdle, the floodgates of possibility were opened.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. Write a children’s book: I LOVE to read, and children’s literature will always hold a special place in my heart as my initial foray into learning and understanding more about the world.
  2. Start my own non-profit: Ideally something healthcare or education-related working to support underserved youth populations.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I want to be remembered for bringing joy and light to the places and spaces I’m in and for having a heart and mind for others.

Hobbies? Volunteering, crafting/creating, reading, rollerblading, boxing

What made Chloe such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“Chloe is, in a word, special. There are those few, rare students who make every group interaction better. Chloe emits positivity, caring, and a genuine, supportive community spirit that makes every class experience better. It is one thing to contribute valuable comments to a case discussion — which she does. It is a whole other thing to make the community richer, more connected, and at peace. How Chloe does this is a mystery. But when you watch her enter the classroom — and see the love, joy, and admiration that her classmates have for her — you know you are observing one of those rare students that helps build the type of culture we aspire for at Darden. If I were still a Chief Marketing Officer, Chloe would be a must-hire because of her intellect, ability to build the business, and ability to build the right type of organizational culture. I am delighted to be able to provide an endorsement of the highest order for Chloe Stegeman.”

Professor Kimberly Whitler


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