Recent Darden Alum Discusses First Year at McKinsey

13 June 2022

By Dave Hendrick

Poets & Quants recently spotlighted young MBA alumni from the Class of 2021 who joined McKinsey & Co. following graduation, including University of Virginia Darden School of Business graduate Franklin “Tre” Tennyson III.

"Darden’s focus on conscientious leadership is, in my opinion, such a critical feature of the curriculum."

Tennyson, who received the Lemuel E. Lewis Bicentennial Award for Global Leadership while at Darden, is an associate with the company based in Washington, D.C.

He recently spoke about what he took away from his MBA experience and what drew him to the company.

What did you love about the business school you attended? Darden did a fantastic job not only preparing us academically but also in pushing us to realize the full value of our most important and most limited resource – time. The nature of the program is such that you must prioritize where to balance schoolwork, networking, and recruiting to do all of them successfully. As any leader can attest, learning where and when to say no – where and when to confirm your priorities – is a crucial skill. Darden facilitates learning that skill in a way that has prepared me to successfully set priorities in my own life now beyond school. Additionally, Darden’s focus on conscientious leadership is, in my opinion, such a critical feature of the curriculum, as the world’s problems have become increasingly complex with implications for human lives at the end of every decision.

Tell us about an “only at McKinsey” moment you’ve had so far. In my first engagement at McKinsey, my team designed and ran a workshop for our client, a Fortune 100 company. I was asked to co-lead one of our small groups, which included our client’s global leadership team as well as the partner and senior partner from our McKinsey team. Despite having only been at the firm for less than a month at that point, I was trusted to be a full participant in our discussion, sharing my own insights and building towards a solution alongside our clients and leadership. It was during that moment that it really hit me – I’ve been afforded the opportunity to do extremely meaningful work in support of our clients and their objectives. And this, too, alongside enjoying consistent learning and development.

Read the full interview on Poets & Quants.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 18,000 alumni in 90 countries. 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

David Hendrick
Associate Director, Editorial & Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia