Saturday, January 31, 2009

Darden Bound

At 9 a.m. this past Thursday, I got a call from the Darden Admissions Office informing me that I have been accepted to the Darden Class of 2011. After receiving rejections last week from Harvard and Stanford, and previously from Ivey (a school I thought I was a shoo-in for!), the acceptance to Darden is a huge blessing.

A little background on Darden... It is the business (MBA) program associated with the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. Depending on the ranking used, it is somewhere in the top 10 or top 20. One of the reasons it doesn't rank higher is because the profs are really student-focussed, and thus the research is not as prominent as it could be. Darden uses the case method, same as Harvard and Ivey, and is considered a great general management school. Another interesting fact about Darden is that it is rumoured to have the toughest first year of any business program. Although debatable that it is still far more rigourous than other programs, recruiters still maintain this impression, so that's a good thing.

Charlottesville is a college town located 2 hours from Washington DC and an hour from Richmond, Virginia. Though there is an airport in Charlottesville, you can't really fly straight there from Edmonton. The highway connecting C'ville and Washington has traffic lights on it, a speed limit ranging between 45 and 60 mph and is well monitored by traffic cops. I saw three of them on the drive back to Washington after my interview.

It does snow in C'ville, but it doesn't stick around since the temperature mainly stays in the "mid 40s." Charlottesville is considered to be part of the Southern US, and as a result, everyone has thick southern accents.

Okay, enough about Darden and C'ville for now. While I am so happy to be accepted, I am waiting to hear about scholarships and then need to arrange financing. Getting loans could be tricky as an international student, so if you are the type inclined to pray, I could use your prayers for this matter! This could be a big obstacle to overcome, but I'm hoping Darden Financial Aid will help with this.