Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Khaliyah Legette, University of Virginia (Darden)

Khaliyah Legette

University of Virginia, Darden School of Business

“I’m a driven, determined, passionate, empathetic, and curious young woman eager to make the world a better place.”

Hometown: Teaneck, NJ

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m passionate about reading: even amidst a busy schedule, for the last two years I’ve managed to read at least one book a month

Undergraduate School and Major: Georgetown University; American Studies major

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: United States Senate, Deputy Special Projects Director

What makes the case method so attractive as a means to learn and become a better manager? I truly believe it is more effective to learn by doing instead of just learning through lecture. From day one, students at Darden are immersed into the case method. We’re not just learning for the sake of learning, but learning to put theory and formulas immediately into action. I believe this makes Darden students better managers because we don’t have to wait until day one on the job to put our education into a real-world scenario; we’ve been practicing this all two years of our MBA program.

Aside from your classmates and the case method, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? For me, it was the global aspect of the Darden program. I loved that each student could use the Batten Foundation Darden Worldwide Scholarship program to participate in a global academic experience. I knew that I wanted a global experience to be part of my MBA career and the fact that Darden provided a scholarship to all students just for this purpose stood out from the other schools I was considering.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Genuine! Everyone I’ve met so far has been genuinely nice—whether it be helping with prep for summer conferences (Consortium OP and Forte Women’s Conference), talking through options for apartments when I was going through the search, or just spending time on the phone to chat about life. Every single classmate I’ve met so far has been such a joy to interact with and I’m so excited to continue developing relationships with them.

What makes you most excited about starting business school here? What makes you most nervous? I’m so excited for all of the new opportunities Darden will provide! The Darden network is incredibly strong and I cannot wait to learn ways to continue benefitting from it. I’m also very excited about the ways I can leave an impact on the Darden community.

What makes me most nervous is there’s so much I want to do, and so little time! Darden has such a wide array of ways to get involved and I’m interested in so many of them. I’m hoping to strike the perfect balance of schoolwork, recruiting and extracurricular activities.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment in my career so far has been leveraging my network to create my career path. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do as a career after undergrad. aA a result of a chance meeting with Senator Booker while interning for a nonprofit in Aspen, Colorado, I was able to establish a formal relationship with the Senator’s office which led to me being hired full time a month later.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I knew I wanted to pursue an MBA at this point in my career because I felt I had reached a plateau in my last position. I thoroughly enjoyed the work I was doing, but had reached a point where I felt like I couldn’t continue to grow professionally in the ways I wanted to do. I wanted to take on more challenging problem-solving opportunities, develop my quantitative skills, and broaden my network, and knew that I could achieve those by getting an MBA.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I also applied to three other Consortium schools: Georgetown McDonough School of Business, Yale SOM, and Dartmouth Tuck. Additionally, I also applied to Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? If this question is referring to my admissions process in its entirety (Darden and non-Darden schools): “If you were in my shoes, why would you accept yourself to this program?”

If this question is referring specifically to the Darden admissions process: I always find it challenging to answer questions about my strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes I find the two quite interchangeable. Because I’m constantly growing, I’m always adding or taking away from those lists.

Since being accepted, what have you been doing to prepare yourself for business school? Since being accepted to Darden, I’ve been preparing myself in multiple ways: professionally, academically, and socially.

This summer I participated in several pre-MBA opportunities, including McKinsey Early Access, Experience Bain, BCG Unlock, and Goldman Sachs Virtual Roundtables. In addition to formal programming, I also reached out to several consultants that presented during these virtual events to schedule coffee chats. This way, as I head into fall recruiting season I already have begun to develop my network. Additionally, I’ve worked on polishing both my resume and my 2-minute pitch.

Academically, on my own, I’ve begun to prepare for business school by working through Case in Point by Marc Cosentino, reading The McKinsey Way by Ethan Rasiel, and strengthening my math with Interview Math by Lewis Lin and Case Interview Math. Of course, I’ve also worked through the two suggested finance courses in Coursera and am currently participating in Darden before Darden.

I’ve also made sure to prepare myself socially for business school. Before COVID-19 limited in-person gatherings, I made sure to attend admitted students’ events in DC and attended Day@Darden in February. I’ve also participated in Darden Doubles—an informal program set up by one of my classmates that matches each of us with a different incoming student on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to spend some time getting to know each other via FaceTime.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? My defining moment was the day I graduated from Georgetown. As a first generation college student, it was tough for me to conceptualize a day when I would have a college degree. The magnitude of opportunities I now had access to as a result of that degree truly amazed me and fueled my passion to constantly achieve new goals. From that moment on I knew that with the right amount of hard work and determination, I could accomplish whatever I set my mind to doing. After a few years of working I set my mind on achieving an MBA and with this new outlook on life, I knew that I would be able to make this goal a reality.

What is your favorite company and why? My favorite company is a relatively new company: Daily Harvest. Founded in 2014, Daily Harvest delivers organic, thoughtfully sourced fruits, veggies, and grains in a direct-to-consumer-method in the form of smoothies, harvest bowls, oat bowls, and other meals. The meals are delivered frozen and only take minutes to prepare—the ideal type of meal for a busy, health-conscious vegan millennial like me!

In addition to the quality of the product and constant innovation from the company, I also enjoy Daily Harvest’s marketing strategy, which I would describe as simple, effective, and relatable. I’ve enjoyed all my Daily Harvest orders so far and plan to continue ordering so I can ensure I always have nourishing meals even as a busy, time-crunched student!


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