MBA Stories: Broadway to Investment Banking

  • Molly Deale

    Before coming to Darden, Molly Deale (Class of 2018) designed and created hats for smash Broadway hits like "Wicked," "Hamilton" and "Book of Mormon."

    Deale studied arts administration and costume design at New York University and landed a post-graduation job working with milliner Rodney Gordon's studio, one of New York City's top hat-makers. Still, Deale found herself looking for something more. She was drawn to finance and interested in trying something outside of the entertainment industry.

    "I was always reading about cool deals in the newspaper, something like the recently announced Amazon acquisition of Whole Foods. I would wonder who thought of that, who pitched the idea," she said. "I wanted to be a part of that thought process."

    Once she decided to pursue an MBA, Deale had several criteria for her ideal school. She wanted something hands-on, because she was coming from outside the business world and wanted to force herself to dive in quickly. She wanted faculty members who would put time and effort into helping their students, especially those making major career changes like her. And she wanted a sense of community, where students chose camaraderie over competition.

    "I targeted Darden because of the case method and the overall collegial environment," she said. "I didn't want to be sitting in the back of the lecture hall. I needed to be involved in the conversation, using all of the new vocabulary I was learning. The case method makes you take risks in class. Yes, I was wrong many times, but I knew I couldn't sit back and do nothing."

    That attitude paid off. Deale earned a summer internship within the investment banking group at Credit Suisse in New York City, and capped off her summer with a job offer from that office.