Matthew Lawson (MBA ’11) grew up in Big Pool, Maryland, a small town of only 300 residents and no stoplights.
He knew early in his life that he wanted to join the U.S. Army. "I think one of the main draws was the leadership experience that I would gain at a very junior level," Lawson says. "I can’t think of any other organization that allows a brand newcollege graduate to oversee 30 or more employees. I believe that the leadership experience I gained could not be replicated anywhere else. I learned to be myself as a leader."
After two tours of duty in Iraq as a communications officer, Lawson, who holds a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering, applied to business school. He received a full-tuition Batten Entrepreneurial Scholarship from Darden. "The scholarship allowed me to concentrate on academics instead of worrying about funding," says Lawson. "It was a deciding factor in my choice to attend Darden." Lawson now works as a regional manager for the Navy Federal Credit Union.