Class of 2023 UVA Darden Graduates Deemed ‘MBAs to Watch’

12 September 2023

By Dave Hendrick

Two University of Virginia Darden School of Business graduates have been named to the Class of 2023 MBAs to Watch list by Poets & Quants.

The publication included Pooja Vittal and Megan Huntsinger on its list of some of the most notable graduates in the recent class; graduates, who in the words of the publication, “seized every opportunity and pushed their peers to be their best too.”

“What makes an MBA To Watch? In a word, they are “unforgettable,” the article states. “They are more than a name without a face in their schools. Their classmates knew exactly who they were and what they did — and often what they hoped to do too. They remember their passion and how their encounters kindled that same spirit in themselves. “

Huntsinger, an engineer by training, said she opted in to the Darden environment in part due to the tightknit community and learning opportunities.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Darden because of its strong community. Because Charlottesville is smaller than many business school cities, students are very plugged-in to the MBA community. Moreover, UVA and Darden are built on traditions that create a strong culture, from the annual Lighting of the Lawn at UVA to Darden’s first-year sections, which each have their own colors, mascots, and cheers and compete against each other in the Darden Cup. For me, the Darden community just felt like home.

What is the biggest myth about your school? Darden is known for its academic rigor and unique case-based learning experience. However, many people fail to recognize what a collaborative environment the case method creates, particularly during the first-year core classes. I learned so much from the experience of my learning team members and section classmates as we helped each other grasp difficult concepts. Furthermore, I found the case method to be an effective way of internalizing subject matter, even in quantitative classes like finance and accounting.

Vittal, who worked with Teach for America in North Carolina immediately before Darden discussed both the biggest myths and biggest surprises of life at Darden.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth is that Darden is an extremely rigorous school with little time for fun. While Darden is certainly very rigorous, particularly during the first year, we have an amazing community and there is usually at least one event every weekend with clubs or the entire Darden community. There are many supports available in the form of second year students, faculty, and the larger community – so while there is rigor, there is also support and fun.

What surprised you the most about business school? I was surprised by how close I have become to so many classmates and how deep the friendship runs. I studied business in college and did not necessarily find deep connections within the business school because I had different interests. However, here, I have found amazing friends with whom I have gone over cases for hours (shoutout to my learning team), traveled with, attended class with, and discussed all the personal things. I have connected well to so many, even those with different interests or perspectives, and it has been the best surprise.

Read the full profiles of Huntsinger and Vittal.

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.


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Darden School of Business
University of Virginia