Question: What makes entrepreneurship at Darden so unique / so highly rated?
Answer: We have the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership which is part of the Batten Institute, one of Darden’s Centers of Excellence. The Batten Institute and the Center have tremendous resources in terms of relationships, research, and funding. We have some of the world’s most renowned faculty. Students at Darden can leverage these great resources by taking the entrepreneurial electives, participating in case competitions, working in the Incubator and more.
Question: What are the case competitions?
Answer: Given we are a general management school, you will learn about all the fundamentals of business and how they are interrelated. You can learn more on the Center’s webpage, but there is a business concept and then a business plan competition. The University of Virginia also hosts the E-Cup — a university-wide entrepreneurial competition.
What I think is neat is that you don’t have to be an entrepreneur and have that one great idea to take advantage of these resources, but rather just an interest and willingness to learn and try new things.
Question: Can you talk a little about how Darden fosters such a ”tight-knit” community?
Answer: I would say that part of the strength of our tight-knit community comes from where we are — we are in Charlottesville, VA and pretty much everyone is moving here for school. We are a city with much of what major metro areas offers but at the same time, we are smaller in size and the tight-knit community at Darden extends to the broader university and the town. You will see classmates, professors and staff all over town and that helps people feel they are really part of the community.
The case method really encourages you to participate and step outside your comfort zone. If you were fearful of making a mistake, you probably wouldn’t be so quick to participate. But with a strong community, you feel you can pariticpate and there are people supporting you — and challenging you, but in a collaborative way.
Question: When will you start releasing invitations for interviews?
Answer: I anticipate that we will begin releasing invitations for those living in the U.S. in the next week or two and will continue through February. For those living outside of the US, my guess is early February.
Question: Could you give us some advice on how to distinguish ourselves in the interview process?
Answer: I worry less about distinguishing yourself and more about knowing your story and communicating that during your time on Grounds. The interview is more conversational in nature and we interview blind. If I were to interview you, I would not have seen your resume or your application. The interview is your chance to tell me who you are and where you want to go — also how Darden can help you get there. It is a priviledge to conduct interviews and I greatly enjoy it. We have some pretty interesting applicants!