2023 MBA To Watch: Megan Huntsinger, University of Virginia (Darden)

Megan Huntsinger

University of Virginia, Darden School of Business

“An enthusiastic leader driven by her love of community.”

Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama

Fun fact about yourself: I love woodworking and DIY projects—I’ve built furniture, installed hardwood floors, and dabbled in plumbing and electrical.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Vanderbilt University, Bachelor of Engineering (BE) in Civil Engineering

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Alabama Power Company, Project Engineer

Where did you intern during the summer of 2022? Chevron Corporation, Houston TX

Where will you be working after graduation? Chevron Corporation, Finance & Commercial MBA Program

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

Leadership Roles:

  • Vice President of Leadership, Darden Student Association
  • Section Representative
  • Class Engagement Committee Co-Chair


  • Jefferson Scholars Foundation Fellow
  • Forte Foundation Fellow
  • First Year Academic Achievement Award recipient

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Darden’s social and extracurricular experiences are largely student-driven, and for many students this responsibility can feel overwhelming at times. Serving on the Darden Student Association, I worked with Darden’s Office of Student Affairs to revamp many of our club processes and develop resources to help clubs acquire funding and plan events. It has been incredibly rewarding building a system to ease the burden on student leaders.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? At Alabama Power, I had the opportunity to mentor a powerplant operator in a developmental maintenance specialist role. It was incredibly rewarding to see him grow and develop, both in experience and confidence, as we worked together. Furthermore, it was a valuable lesson for me in recognizing others’ strengths and weaknesses and looking for opportunities to help them grow. The day he permanently earned that role was one of the proudest of my career.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Darden because of its strong community. Because Charlottesville is smaller than many business school cities, students are very plugged-in to the MBA community. Moreover, UVA and Darden are built on traditions that create a strong culture, from the annual Lighting of the Lawn at UVA to Darden’s first-year sections, which each have their own colors, mascots, and cheers and compete against each other in the Darden Cup. For me, the Darden community just felt like home.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite professor was Luann Lynch, who taught Section A Accounting during first-year core. We often looked at Luann as our “section mom” — she cares deeply about her students, checking in regularly and inviting us to brunch at her home. She is also a wonderful teacher who can direct a case-method classroom like an orchestra conductor.

What was your favorite course as an MBA? My favorite business school course was Paths to Power, taught by Professor Peter Belmi. The course focuses on how people acquire success and influence in organizations and how we, as future business leaders, can learn to use that power effectively. I found Paths to Power to be incredibly valuable because it helped me become more comfortable setting boundaries and taking up space, both in and out of the workplace.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? If I could do one thing differently, I would have thought more about what I wanted to get out of my business school experience and been more intentional about attending those events throughout my two years here. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of recruiting and social events and forget about the excellent lectures or beautiful hikes you always wanted to attend. 

What is the biggest myth about your school? Darden is known for its academic rigor and unique case-based learning experience. However, many people fail to recognize what a collaborative environment the case method creates, particularly during the first-year core classes. I learned so much from the experience of my learning team members and section classmates as we helped each other grasp difficult concepts. Furthermore, I found the case method to be an effective way of internalizing subject matter, even in quantitative classes like finance and accounting.

What did you love most about your business school’s town? I joked during the application process that I had to find a school my dog would enjoy, and Charlottesville certainly fulfilled that requirement. From the Blue Ridge mountains to the region’s 40+ wineries, Charlottesville has no shortage of picturesque views and outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy.

What surprised you the most about business school? For me, the most surprising thing about business school was the diversity, both in background and thought. I have learned just as much from my classmates outside the classroom as I have within it, and I believe the most valuable tool that you can bring to business school is an open mind to the perspectives of others.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I believe that visiting UVA and Darden prior to applying gave me an advantage during the interview process. Charlottesville and UVA are unique places with a vibrant culture that I was able to speak to during my Darden interview. Furthermore, I believe that visiting demonstrated my strong interest in the school

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Sukari Brown. I am just one in a long line of people singing her praises. Sukari’s superlative in our first-year section was “Everybody’s Section Mom” because she is so caring and intentional in the relationships that she has formed during business school. She is also incredibly driven (a PE rockstar!) but deliberate about educating others and sharing her success.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? One of my biggest professional “bucket list” items is to work abroad. I have had the opportunity to do a lot of travel during business school, and it has only made me want to travel more and expand my horizons. I have also been incredibly fortunate in that my education, from high school to now, has been made possibly by the generosity of others. More than anything, I want to “pay it forward” throughout my career, whether through mentorship or scholarships.

What made Megan such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“I first met Megan after she was elected the Section Rep for Section A. An engineer by training, Megan is one of those rare individuals who is a perfect blend of no-nonsense and “get it done” with a very upbeat personality. In the section rep meetings, Megan is the first to share a good idea or provide kind advice to the first years. She was willing to be vulnerable and serve as a storyteller through Darden Stories, an initiative where students provide insight into a particularly challenging life circumstance.

Most recently, she has run the student club election process, innovating on the communication plan to newly elected club presidents to best fill their executive boards without compromising on quality and bandwidth of candidates. Megan was also the first student to raise a hand and be part of a campaign video letting students know what leadership has meant to her and why they should get involved at the Darden school. Megan is a trailblazer whose positive impact will have a lasting effect on anyone who’s had the privilege to work with her.”

Sarah Elliott
Assistant Dean of Student Affairs


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