New in the i.Lab: FitMinds

This summer, the i.Lab Incubator at Darden will host FitMinds, a start-up founded by incoming Darden First Year Serge Eygenson. Listen to Serge’s interview with WTJU’s Emily Richardson-Lorente to learn more about his vision, his company, and his summer plans.

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Darden MBA 2015-2016 Essay Question Announced

The essay question for the 2015-16 Darden MBA application season has been posted on the Darden website.

Describe the most important professional feedback you have received and how you responded to it. (500 words maximum)

While the 2015-16 Darden MBA application is not yet available, we encourage you to get a head start on writing your essay. In addition, there are plenty of opportunities to learn more about the Darden School this summer through events, including Fridays in July, which begin on July 10. Check back throughout the summer for application deadlines, admissions advice, and fall travel dates!

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Darden and the iLab: a Community of Entrepreneurs

The Batten Institute at the Darden School of Business actively promotes entrepreneurship and innovation among students and community members with academic and experiential programs. In this new video, learn about how the Institute is building a community of entrepreneurs with its incubator program at the UVA i.Lab, annual student competitions, and other initiatives. For more information, visit ilabatuva.org.

 

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Reminder: Admissions Feedback Appointments Available

As a reminder, for those of you reapplying to Darden in the fall, the Admissions Committee has appointments available for you to receive feedback on your application.

At this time, we are not offering feedback appointments to applicants on the waitlist. 

This is an opportunity to find out how you can improve your candidacy for your Darden application for the coming year. Please note that reconsideration for the current admission cycle is not an option.

To schedule a phone appointment, please go to our Application Feedback page and select a time slot in June. Within 48 hours of signing up for an appointment, you will receive an e-mail with the name and phone number for the Admissions Committee member you are to call at the designated time.

We look forward to talking with those of you that sign up!

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Unofficial Darden Get Together in Tel Aviv: 27 May 2015

Our alumni sometimes host unofficial get-togethers to share their Darden experience with prospective students. Please see below for an invite to one of these events on 27 May in Tel Aviv, hosted by a group of alumni from the Class of 2006:

Get Together in Tel Aviv, Wednesday, 27 May

Three American Darden alumni, and one Israeli Darden alum, all from the class of 2006, are visiting Israel from New York at the end of May.

These alumni would like to invite prospective MBA applicants to join them in central Tel Aviv on Wednesday, 27 May, from 6-830pm.

There will be no official program or presentation, and the dress code is casual. Simply stop by for refreshments and chat with Darden alumni who are happy to talk about their Darden experiences and what they’ve been up to since graduating. Two of the alumni are running digital startups, and two are in senior roles in private equity/banking.

To RSVP please email: zamkowk06@darden.virginia.edu

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Application Feedback Appointments Now Available

If you will be reapplying to Darden in the fall and would like to receive feedback on your application, you can schedule one 15-minute feedback session with a member of the Admissions Committee during the month of June.

At this time, we are not offering feedback appointments to applicants on the waitlist. 

This is an opportunity to find out how you can improve your candidacy for your Darden application for the coming year. Please note that reconsideration for the current admission cycle is not an option.

To schedule a phone appointment, please go to our Application Feedback page and select a time slot in June. Within 48 hours of signing up for an appointment, you will receive an e-mail with the name and phone number for the Admissions Committee member you are to call at the designated time.

We look forward to talking with those of you that sign up!

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From Combat in Iraq to Investment Banking

Poets & Quants wrote a great article about Derek Rey (MBA ’15) and his experience at Darden as a military veteran. The original article, by Ethan Baron, can be found here, and is also copied in part below. 


 

It’s not every MBA student who can list “combat” and “counterterrorism” along with “leveraged finance” and “investment banking” under the skills and knowledge sections of his LinkedIn profile.

Derek Rey, it should be said, is more experienced at warfare than he is at investment banking. For now.

During seven years in the Marine Corps, with deployments in Iraq, Guantanamo Bay, and southeast Asia, Rey built up a substantial skill set in high-stakes environments. He left the Marines in 2013, took aim at a career in financial services, and enrolled in the MBA program at the University of Virginia Darden School.

Like many U.S. military veterans, Rey has discovered that abilities forged in fields of fire have tremendous value in the business world. “You never quite know what the situation is you’re getting into,” he says. “Let’s say you’re doing a security patrol and you have an idea of where the enemy is located. You’ve received your intelligence reports. You know generally were they are but you don’t have any idea of what their exact position is, you don’t know how they’re arrayed. Are they ready for you or not? Or maybe there’s nothing there at all and it’s some kind of humanitarian crisis that you weren’t really prepared for.

{Read the full interview at Poets & Quants by clicking here}

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Visiting Darden: Fridays in July 2015

If you’re interested in visiting Darden and Charlottesville over the summer, we have three opportunities in July.

At Fridays in July, you will meet current students and faculty, tour the Darden Grounds, and have lunch with members of the Admissions Committee. Although class is not in session, this event provides a great introduction to Darden and its tight-knit community.

Register for Fridays in July:

Friday, 10 July 2015
Friday, 17 July 2015
Friday, 31 July 2015

Open Houses and Class Visits will begin in August and September. Please go to our website for more information on Visiting Darden.

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Entrepreneurship at Darden: 10Thoughts

The internet is full of content to read – but how does an MBA student know what content is worth his or her time? That’s the problem that Jack Mara’s (MBA ’15) new venture, 10Thoughts, aims to solve. Through user recommendations, 10Thoughts curates a list of current articles worth reading and delivers them to you via email once a week (or through a visit to their website), allowing MBA students to easily target well-written, thought-provoking articles in their spare time, rather than wading through the sea of content that comes to them through various channels.

Mara, who is originally from Boston, MA, really wanted to take advantage of the entrepreneurship classes offered in the second year at Darden. In his Starting New Ventures class with Professor Saras Sarasvathy, he decided that his project was going to be helping fellow second years achieve whatever goals they had for the year. This broad idea led him to create plans for people trying to accomplish things such as running every day, quitting smoking, or reading more. Of the plans that he worked on, Mara felt that he was having the most success helping his classmates read more: he was recommending five articles a week, and his classmates were reading and enjoying them. A desire for more variety led him to ask several other MBA students for article recommendations, and when that took off – at the time, over 30 people were signed up for his manual email updates – he decided to make it an automated service. And thus, 10Thoughts was born.

After establishing his idea in Starting New Ventures, Mara went on to take Developing New Products and Services with Professor Raul Chao, where he continued to refine and develop 10Thoughts. From there, he began a Darden Venture Project (DVP) so that he could focus on 10Thoughts full-time — another perk of Darden’s second year curriculum. Professor Chao serves as his advisor for this project.

Mara credits Darden’s strong entrepreneurial curriculum and faculty with the success of 10Thoughts. Professors Sarasvathy and Chao were key in instilling the mindset of constant experimentation in him, and teaching him that true entrepreneurship is about the process of getting something to succeed. He learned that the idea for a start-up is irrelevant – you never know what ideas are going to work, but success comes from experimenting over and over. The more tests you can run, says Mara, the faster you can figure out what works and what does not.

Now, with its easy-to-navigate website (built by Mara’s younger brother, Jeffrey, a student at Lehigh University), 10Thoughts has over 800 subscribers from a variety of business schools. Users can sign up for weekly updates of the most popular articles, follow up to five friends for a more finely curated list of content they want to see, and even make their own article recommendations. And, it’s just going to keep getting better: Mara and business partner Jerome Hughes (MBA ’15) will be in Darden’s iLab this summer. Mara tells us his summer goals include developing an app so that 10Thoughts can be mobile, improving article curation and delivery timing, and perhaps getting some members of larger companies to recommend articles. He is also looking to grow his customer base and garner more feedback, so he encourages you to sign up for the service (10thoughts.com) and send him your thoughts on your experience (maraj15@darden.virginia.edu).

Best of luck to Jack, Jerome, and Jeffrey as they continue their adventure with 10Thoughts!

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Jacob Shmukler (MBA ’15) Chosen as 2015 FASPE Business Fellow

Jacob Shmukler (MBA ’15), was chosen by FASPE (Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics) to be one of 12 business fellows who will participate in a two-week program in Germany this summer.

FASPE, a unique international ethics program now in its sixth year, explores the history of the Holocaust as a way to engage graduate students across five different fields (business, journalism, law, medicine, and religion) in an intensive study of contemporary ethics in their discipline. FASPE provides fellows with the opportunity to visit Auschwitz and travel in Germany and Poland, and helps them learn how to apply the lessons of history to the current ethical challenges they will confront in their own professions today and into the future.

Congratulations, Jacob!

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