By Jay Hodgkins

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business is wrapping up an eventful year, which included a record-setting year of giving from the School’s generous alumni and supporters that generated a total philanthropic impact of $65.5 million.

Highlights of the most read stories of 2018 include the arrival of a full-time MBA class with the highest average GMAT score ever; the announcement of the new Master of Science in Business Analytics — UVA’s first joint degree program, offered by Darden and the McIntire School of Commerce in the Washington, D.C., area; visits from some of the most influential executives in business, and much more.

Look back at some of the most important moments of the year with the seven most read stories of 2018 on The Darden Report.

No. 1: Marriott CFO Offers 10 Keys to a Successful Career

Speaking at the Darden School of Business at a Leadership Speaker Series event, Marriott International CFO Leeny Oberg said that while she loved working at the intersection of operations and finance, the subject matter alone was not reason enough to join a company. Oberg, who was introduced at the event by her daughter, Darden First Year student Colleen Oberg, offered students a Top 10 list of career advice:

  1. Do your own SWOT analysis on industries you are considering.
  2. Every email is a public document.
  3. Take two years at a time.
  4. Get negotiating and public speaking experience.
  5. Breadth and depth is key.
  6. Know your weaknesses as well as your strengths.
  7. Build strong relationships with peers.
  8. Think a couple levels up from your own and have an opinion.
  9. Practice empathy.
  10. Love your work and work hard at it.

No. 2: UVA Darden Welcomes Record-Breaking Class of 2020

The University of Virginia Darden School of Virginia community formally welcomed the Class of 2020 on 20 August as a talented group of 335 First Year students began their two-year journey through the world’s best MBA education experience at a morning ceremony in Abbott Auditorium. Dean Scott Beardsley said the Darden community planned to do everything in its power to ensure the new students reached their full potential during their time at Darden.

“Together, we will work to ensure that you get exactly what you want out of this 21 months — which will fly by — so that you are prepared for a lifetime of meaningful work,” Beardsley said.

No. 3: UVA Announces New Master of Science in Business Analytics

Through a first-of-its-kind partnership between its renowned business schools, the University of Virginia will begin offering a new master of science in business analytics (MSBA) degree in late summer 2018.

The 12-month degree is intended for early career professionals and will be delivered by faculty of the UVA Darden School of Business and the McIntire School of Commerce in UVA’s new, state-of-the-art facilities in the downtown Arlington, Virginia, district of Rosslyn. The program will be delivered via a combination of weekend, in-person sessions and online instruction, and offer students a broad mix of analytical and technical skills as well as foundational business knowledge and leadership instruction.

No. 4: UVA Darden Ranked No. 1 Education Experience in the World for 8th Straight Year

The Economist has named the University of Virginia Darden School of Business the No. 1 education experience in the world for the eighth consecutive year.

The ranking is part of the publication’s Which MBA? 2018 global ranking of the Top 100 full-time international MBA programs.

The Economist named Darden’s full-time MBA program No. 9 in the world, an increase from No. 10 the prior year. Darden further received Top 10 rankings in salary and student rating of faculty and alumni effectiveness, among other categories.

No. 5: YETI CEO Matt Reintjes on Building Brands, Hiring Thinkers and Learning to Leave on a High Note

After a post-undergraduate stint in consulting, YETI CEO Matt Reintjes (MBA ’04) worked for a tech startup in Austin, Texas, at a time when the industry was fat with venture capital money.

But while the funding was in abundance, the actual business strategy was less clear, and the business fizzled. Determined to learn the ins and outs of business and management, the University of Virginia Darden School of Business was an “easy choice,” Reintjes told members of Darden’s General Management and Operations Club and Marketing Club during a recent visit to Grounds.

No. 6: UVA Darden Kicks Off Admissions Season With New Application Dates, Expanded Scholarships and an Early Option

Updates and enhancements to the full-time MBA admissions process include:

  • New Early Action Deadline With Open Interviews: The full-time MBA program will now have four application rounds. The first is a new early action round designed for candidates who know Darden is their school of choice. Applications for early action are due Friday, 7 September 2018. Candidates who apply early action have the option to schedule their interview on their own timeline and do not need to wait for an invitation.
  • New Application Deadlines: The application deadlines for the other three full-time admissions rounds are:
    Round 1: Thursday, 4 October 2018
    Round 2: Thursday, 10 January 2019
    Round 3: Wednesday, 3 April 2019
  • New Scholarships for Top Students: Fundraising for scholarships at Darden has increased 700 percent over the past two years.

No. 7: Transformational Gift From Batten Foundation Establishes New $30 Million Scholarship Program at UVA Darden

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business today announced the new Batten Foundation Darden Worldwide Scholarship program. A $15 million gift from the Batten Foundation unlocked a matching gift from UVA’s Bicentennial Scholars Fund, and the resulting $30 million endowment will ultimately provide every student in Darden’s full-time MBA program a scholarship to attend a Darden Worldwide Course at no incremental cost.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Batten Foundation for enabling this game-changing opportunity, which positions Darden to provide each MBA student funding for a global course through a scholarship,” said Darden Dean Scott Beardsley. “This gift will have a major impact on Darden. It makes the School more affordable and global, and gives students the opportunity to explore the world in which they will be tomorrow’s leaders.”

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D. and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.