The Darden Journey

“Great as their journey had been by sea, a greater journey had begun, as they already sensed, and from it they were to learn more, and bring back more, of infinite value to themselves and to their country than they yet knew.”

David McCullough, a prolific American historian, wrote those words in The Greater Journey, a recent work that focuses on the experiences of Americans who traveled to Paris, France between 1830 and 1900. When I first read The Greater Journey I could relate to the thrill and adventure that he described for the many travelers to France, having spent seven unforgettable years in Paris during middle and high school. While reflecting on my decision to come to Darden for business school and the first few weeks in Charlottesville, however, I now find additional meaning in McCullough’s words.

Much like those travelers to France, my classmates and I are beginning a new, great journey. We have all come here through various, meandering paths with high hopes and ambitions. From those first conversations during Orientation Week, almost all encompassing the “where have you come from?” and “where do you think you will go?” topics, it’s clear that a sense of drive, possibility and openness pervades at Darden.  Just as paramount, I believe, is the common view that our time here, our experience at Darden, to borrow from McCullough once more, is “essential to achieving [one’s] dream,” even if the dream’s details are not yet fully known.

While our time at Darden will certainly differ from the experiences of those Americans who went to Paris in the 1800’s – in many, many ways (no Morse code!)– I could not help but find similarity in the optimism and adventure in both scenarios. The Darden Journey, therefore, is an attempt to capture that. With this blog, I will share my perspectives and stories from my own Darden journey, and hopefully shed some light on the infinite value about to be discovered.


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