Kellogg | Mr. MBB Private Equity
GMAT TBD (target 720+), GPA 4.0
INSEAD | Mr. Media Startup
GMAT 710, GPA 3.65
Yale | Mr. Yale Hopeful
GMAT 750, GPA 2.9
MIT Sloan | Mr. MBB Transformation
GMAT 760, GPA 3.46
Wharton | Mr. Swing Big
GRE N/A, GPA 3.1
Harvard | Mr. CPG Product Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. MedTech Startup
GMAT 740, GPA 3.80
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Triathlete
GMAT 720, GPA 2.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. Startup Founder
GMAT 700, GPA 3.12
MIT Sloan | Mr. Latino Insurance
GMAT 730, GPA 8.5 / 10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Tesla Intern
GMAT 720, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Supply Chain Data Scientist
GMAT 730, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Global Consultant
GMAT 770, GPA 80% (top 10% of class)
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB/FinTech
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Digital Indonesia
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Equal Opportunity
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB to PM
GRE 338, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. LGBT Social Impact
GRE 326, GPA 3.79
Stanford GSB | Mr. Nuclear Vet
GMAT 770, GPA 3.86
Stanford GSB | Mr. Oilfield Trekker
GMAT 720, GPA 7.99/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. SpaceX
GMAT 740, GPA 3.65
Kellogg | Mr. Big 4 Financial Consultant
GMAT 740, GPA 3.94
Stanford GSB | Mr. Mountaineer
GRE 327, GPA 2.96
Harvard | Mr. Tech Start-Up
GMAT 720, GPA 3.52
Rice Jones | Mr. Simple Manufacturer
GRE 320, GPA 3.95
Columbia | Mr. MD/MBA
GMAT 670, GPA 3.77
Darden | Ms. Inclusive Management
GRE 313, GPA 2.9

From Financial Collapse to Pandemic: 2008 MBA Grads Offer Advice To This Year’s Grads

A case discussion extends beyond the classroom at Darden

2008 MBAs Offer Advice To The Class of 2020

It’s an unprecedented time for MBA grads.

With many students hopeful for entering a strong job market, the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked feelings of uncertainty and anxiety.

In a report by Data for Progress, more than half of respondents under age 45 have lost jobs, lost hours, or been put on leave.

In a blog post by the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, Darden alumni who graduated during similar times of crises such as the dot-com bubble, 9/11, and the ’08 Recession offered a few pieces of advice to those entering the job market with uncertainty.


Shelley Reese, an ’08 Darden alum and principal product manager at Amazon, said it’s important to see your career from a long view, rather than an immediate.

“It might not pan out that you get your dream job in the next one to two years. By no means should that stop you from positioning yourself for that dream job,” Reese says. “Use it as a springboard. You’ve taken two years to invest in yourself, so take the next two years to continue investing in yourself.”


The biggest benefit of an MBA is perhaps the network you gain.

Sap Sinha, an ’08 Darden grad, recommends grads to lean into their Darden network in their job search.

“All of my career changes are because of Darden people,” Sinha says. “Interviewers select you because you have Darden on your resume. Graduating in 2008 as an international student, we leaned on people through no fault of ours. Don’t be afraid to go for positions that say they don’t hire international students. If there’s a Darden alum, they will find a way.”


While it may be hard with all that’s going on, alumni say it’s important to stay optimistic and confident in times of crisis.

“Darden is all about problem-solving, networking and teamwork. That’s ultimately what people want,” John McCann, an ‘08 Darden alum, says. “It’s not about who can build the best financial models or has the best business acumen. It’s about who can roll up their sleeves, get creative and hustle. Approach problems with confidence. Know that you have something special you can put to work and that distinguishes you as you move forward.”

Sources: UVA Darden, Data for Progress