Perfect Set: UVA Darden Sets Up Former Russian Volleyball Pro for Future in Business

By Jay Hodgkins

University of Virginia Darden School of Business student Ruslan Askerov (Class of 2020) achieved success by any measure before enrolling at the School, playing professional volleyball in Russia and growing a successful business as an entrepreneur in his home country. However, a shoulder injury ended his Olympic volleyball dreams, and he realized he needed new motivation to pursue a new purpose.

Enter Darden, which Askerov first discovered in Russia thanks to Darden Online’s “Grow to Greatness” massive open online course available on Coursera and led by Professor Ed Hess.

“Last year, I decided that it’s time to apply for business school. I got admitted to a bunch of them, and then straight away made my decision that I want to go to Darden. And that was the single best decision I’ve ever made,” he said. “Because of the case method, I can bring my experience as a professional athlete and entrepreneur to class, and I also develop a new set of leadership skills thanks to my professors and classmates.”

Watch the video above to learn more about Askerov’s journey from volleyball player to entrepreneur to Darden MBA student.

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., MSBA 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.


Press Contact

Sophie Zunz
Director of Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia