Scott Headd (MBA '12)
and Jordan Mixter (MBA '12)
Why did you become a class agent?
Scott: So that I could connect with classmates, faculty, and the administration to reflect on our two year experience and build the foundation for a lifetime commitment to Darden.
Jordan: My background is in fundraising, and I worked in development for four years before coming to Darden. Unlike many of my classmates whose previous work experience allowed them to hold accounting study sessions or DA tutoring lunches, I felt rather unhelpful the majority of my time at Darden. When I learned about the Class Agent position, I knew it would be a great opportunity for me to leverage my past experience and skill set to contribute to my class and to the school.
Why is giving back to Darden important to you?
Scott: I follow in the footsteps of so many before me that have generously given and sacrificed to provide me with a world class educational experience. Giving back to Darden is my way of expressing my appreciation and contributing to a legacy of excellence that can only be achieved by continuous reinvestment.
Jordan: Giving back to an institution that has done so much for me is something I am happy to do. Nonprofit organizations rely on the kindness and generosity of donors and as long as I am in a position to do so, I hope to be supportive.
What advice would you offer a new class agent?
Scott: Empower and motivate section leaders with information and accountability, because they are the channels of communication and the warm connections to those classmates that you didn’t know well enough to comfortably solicit.
Jordan: Don’t judge a book by its cover — or someone’s giving potential by what you assume about their wealth or generosity.
Why do you give to the Darden Annual Fund?
Scott: So Dean Bruner can make tactical investments to capture short term opportunities, whether those be funding an endowment to attract a top student or professor or piloting a cutting edge technology that could enrich a learning opportunity. Annual Fund gifts are high octane because they are completely unrestricted; they enable Dean Bruner to make small bets and innovate without risking long term capital designated for vital projects.
Jordan: My hope is that by giving to the Darden Annual Fund I am contributing to the School’s financial flexibility, allowing the dean and the School the opportunity to offer aid to talented students, attract top faculty and stay on the cutting edge of technological advancements.
How do you talk to your classmates about giving?
Jordan: Every person is different. You must approach each person with an open mind and readiness for a dialogue about the importance of philanthropic giving, the uses of unrestricted funds and the benefit both to institution and the donor. I have found that most people are familiar with philanthropic giving and comfortable talking about it.
What have you found is the best way to stay connected with your classmates?
Scott: Facebook: It may have been a while since I’ve spoken to a classmate, but the pictures and videos on a friend's profile create the basis for a rich conversation when we do reunite with one another.
Jordan: E-mail, Facebook. Posting announcements in our Facebook group is a great way to get information out to a lot of people at once.
What is one word to describe your Darden experience?
Which Darden professor influenced you the most?
Jordan: Casey Lichtendahl in first term Decision Analysis class taught me to take risks and not be afraid to fail. Having never used Excel for more than a mailing list before Darden, I was completely out of my realm in Decision Analysis. I was terrified of speaking in class until I finally received the dreaded cold call and not shockingly, I survived! Not only did I survive, but by participating I learned a lot more than sitting back and watching. Casey made me feel comfortable fumbling through my model and taught me to put myself out there with the confidence that my classmates would catch me. In my current position, this confidence allows me to be a more constructive participant in meetings and strategy sessions, actively contributing to the growth and success of my team and my company.
What is your greatest memory from Darden?
Scott: Winning the ultra-competitive, month-long Beirut championship on center court in the Outer Banks of North Carolina during beach week. Ryan Berg and I narrowly won a best of three contest against our good friends, Chad Weber and Chris Ivy, in front of an over served and rowdy crowd of close to 50 good friends and classmates during beach week. To our surprise, we were rewarded with a blind-folded swing at a random piñata.
What sets Darden apart from other graduate schools?
Jordan: The sense of community that comes from the school, the professors, the students and the town of Charlottesville.
If you wish to volunteer as a class agent or have questions about ways to volunteer for Darden, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.