Welcome Class of 2011


Assume positive intent. Suspend your assumptions of others. You must be present to win. Advice from those who know best was shared with the full time MBA Class of 2011 at the Darden School of Business this morning.

The Class, which consists of 311 students, was officially welcomed to Darden in an hour-long program at the Abbott Auditorium.

Several Darden School leaders including Dean Bob Bruner, First Year Committee Chair Bob Conroy, Associate Dean Robert Carraway and others spoke to the new students.

Admissions Director Sara Neher began the program by sharing the class data and demographics. She called the class “athletic” as she noted a number of former professional and current top amateur athletes are members of the Class of 2011.

“If you get the chance to challenge the Second Year Class to any type of athletic competition, do so,” she joked. “They seem to have all the musicians. You have all the athletes.”

Data Neher shared regarding the incoming class included:

• Students come from 36 countries
• 32 U.S. states are represented
• Number of students=311
• 29 percent women
• Number of west coast (U.S.) students increased 100 percent over last year
• The most represented undergraduate alma maters include: Virginia, Duke, Wake Forest, Washington & Lee, William & Mary, Cornell, James Madison, Harvard, and Georgetown
• 28 percent of the class majored in business
• 21 percent majored in engineering, science, and math
• Average class GMAT score: 701
• Grade point average: 3.39
• Average age: 28
• Age range: 23 to 34

Professor Conroy, the First Year Committee Chair, shared an enthusiastic and entertaining message that included several keys to success at Darden:

• Come prepared to excel
• You are what you do every day
• We trust you to do the right thing
• Commit to positive intent
• Suspend your assumptions of others and give everyone a chance to show you what they can do.

Dean Bruner encouraged the new students to focus on the “right things” in the two years ahead.

“You could focus on your grades, your diploma, or your network,” he said. “But instead, focus on practical wisdom. Your next two years will be about daily practice (the case method) and practical wisdom.”

Bruner shared his four-pronged model for success at Darden:

• Trust the process: “Business cases are like building a mosaic,” he said. “Eventually you’ll step back and see it.”
• You must be present to win
• Include others
• You are the brand: “Be an effective representative for Darden.”

The new students also heard from the Darden Student Association and the Alumni Relations Office before they left for First Coffee. Afterwards, the students attended section and faculty introductions. A number of activities continue throughout the weekend. Classes for the new students begin on Monday.

Founded in 1955, the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business improves society by developing principled leaders in the world of practical affairs.

For more information: communication@darden.virginia.edu.

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