W.W. Yen’s Success Story

Watch this new video showcasing UVA’s first non-U.S. graduate, W.W. Yen, who played a remarkable role in China in the early 20th century.

This video features and is moderated by Jerry Peng (MBA ’03).

 

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Kayla Cartwright (MBA ’16) Shares Reflections on her Darden Global Business Experience

Check out this new post on MBA Schooled, featuring Kayla Cartwright (MBA ’16).  She shares that one of her favorite memories of business school was travelling with Darden on the Brazil Global Business Experience.

2015 Global Business Experience Students in Arena Amazonia in Manaus

2015 Brazil Global Business Experience Students in Arena Amazonia in Manaus

 

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Global Leadership Ride: Normandy

This May, Darden ran its Normandy Leadership Ride program for the third, consecutive year. This unique program allows students to apply broad leadership lessons from the Normandy invasion to their own reflections on leading large and complex organizations, collaboration across units within an organization, effective leadership, and cross-cultural leadership.  The program is led by Gordon Rudd, Professor of Strategic Studies, U.S. Marine Corps School of Advanced Warfighting, and Bill Utt (Darden MBA ’84), adjunct Darden lecturer.

Poets and Quants and UVA Today recently covered the Darden Normandy program. Read their stories and enjoy the photos below taken by Jocelyn Recht (Darden Class of 2017), who participated in the Leadership Ride.

Darden Normandy Leadership Ride students gather at Falaise.

Darden Normandy Leadership Ride students gather at Falaise.

Students discuss strategy at Falaise.

Students discuss strategy at Falaise.

On Omaha Beach

On Omaha Beach

Normandy Leadership Ride students gather in front of Mont Saint Michel.

Normandy Leadership Ride students gather in front of Mont Saint Michel.

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Leading Globally: Insights from Andrew Rose (MBA ’03)

Insights from Andrew Rose (MBA ’03) point to Darden fulfilling its mission of preparing students to lead globally.

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Darden Convenes in China in May

During the second week in May, Darden’s Global MBA for Executives students, residential MBA students on a China Global Business Experience, incoming Darden Class of 2018 students from China, Darden’s Global Advisory Council members, and ten leaders from across Darden, including the Dean, convened in Shanghai.

Read more about how Darden strengthened connections in China and key takeaways from the third annual Shanghai Investing Summit, and this interview with Professor Elliott Weiss on Disney’s new park in Shanghai.

Global MBA for Executives in Shanghai during their China residency.

Global MBA for Executives in Shanghai during their China residency.

Scott Beardsley, Dean of the Darden School of Business, opens the third annual Shanghai Investing Summit.

Scott Beardsley, Dean of the Darden School of Business, opens the third annual Shanghai Investing Summit.

Darden Professor Elliott Weiss leads a discussion of his case "The Walt Disney Company: Mickey Mouse Visits Shanghai."

Darden Professor Elliott Weiss leads a discussion of his case “The Walt Disney Company: Mickey Mouse Visits Shanghai.”

 

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Alumnus Reflects on Global Business Experience in China

Andrew Rose (MBA ’03) shares one of his favorite memories from his Darden Global Business Experience in China.

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Darden International Film Festival

By Sara Lettie

The first ever Darden International Film Festival kicked off on April 21st at 5PM. The eventadmit one hosted a variety of international films including Les Intouchables, Dor, A Simple Life, and Asu Mare. The Film Festival had a food truck, drinks, and great movies at the Pepsico Forum.

The Darden International Film Festival started as an idea by Professor Marc Lipson and Saranya Sundararajan (Class of 2016), VP International Darden Student Association in the professor’s office for ways to get people together. Saranya really wanted an event that would bring all the students, faculty and staff together at Darden connecting them through something common. She felt that Darden has a rich diversity that could be showcased through movies, food, drinks etc. She said “Could you imagine French, Chinese, Hindi, and Spanish movies all being played at the same time? This was my dream for Darden! The team behind the festival was instrumental in making it happen. Arturo Urueta, Clark Wang, Suramya Munshi, Graeme Birrell, and Roshini Rajan. The event couldn’t have happened without these people. Special shout out to Arturo Urueta who played multiple roles for this event.”

popcornThe movies shown were internationally acclaimed and provided insight into diverse perspectives through their storyline and cinematography. The movies were screened simultaneously from 5-7 PM with food and drinks after. All the movies screens were nominated by students who also served as the movie hosts. These movies were picked by the students because they highlighted a certain aspect of each of their cultures.

Les Intouchables highlights social problems in France by following the lives of two men signfrom very different backgrounds who form a friendship against all odds. This film effectively addresses deep cultural issues within France with a light humor to keep it upbeat. The Hindi drama, Dor, portrays life in India for a woman and the relationships that are formed and ultimately tested for by societal restraints. This movie offers character depth that helps to capture the emotions and realities of single or widowed women in India. The final film playing is “A Simple Life” was directed by Abb Hui and follows the life of a family caretaker after she suffers a stroke. Ah Toa, the caretaker, makes life changing decisions after this near death experience leading to several realizations. Asu Mare is a 2013 Peruvian comedy motion picture. It’s a movie adaptation of the stand-up comedy that follows the adventures of Carlos Alcántara on his way to fame from his childhood in the “Unidad Vecinal Mirones”. It is a recreation of his youth and experiences with his mother.

Following the film screening were the food and drinks. Saranya explained,  “A Food truck from Blue Ridge Pizza offered wood fire pizza and drinks were served. Many insightful discussions happened during that time. The movie hosts were all around speaking more in depth about the underlying themes in the movies. Overall this was a great way to end the Spring term!”

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Alvaro Mendizabal (Class of 2016) Compares Three Global Business Experiences

By Sara Lettie

Alvaro Mendizabal (Class of 2016) appreciates the importance of a global education and has taken full advantage of global academic opportunities offered to him while completing his MBA at Darden.  Alvaro has gone on three Global Business Experiences (GBEs) to Barcelona, China, and Cuba. These global academic programs gave Alvaro a chance to participate in more in-depth discussions about international strategies, challenges associated with international markets, and the importance of culture which helped to create a tighter bond with fellow students. Alvaro grew up in Peru before coming to the United States for his undergraduate degree. He then spent two years in Germany where he got a master’s degree in music before coming to Darden.

The “Strategy as Design” GBE led by Jeanne Liedtka in Barcelona offered Alvaro a better understanding of the relationship between the arts and business strategies.  Although Alvaro had spent time traveling in Spain before attending the Barcelona GBE, the discussion about the historical importance helped him gain a better understanding of the history of art and culture and its relation to the business world. The majority of course abroad involved hands-on learning by exploring Barcelona and applying the observations and historical conceptions to business strategy as a design. “Spain provided an ideal backdrop because it offered significant and unique historical context, the professor was both interesting and effective in her teaching methods, and the topic provided and alternative way to interpret problems,” shared Alvaro. As a classical music scholar, Alvaro found these strategies equally helpful and relatable.

As China becomes an increasingly significant economy, Alvaro also wanted to learn more about both the Chinese culture and business environment. “The GBE to China led by Professor Lipson was unique to any other experience because of the insightful look into Chinese factories and business ethics” say Alvaro. While in China the class visited a GM factory and the third largest steel factory in the world. Discussions with top executives at both companies offered insights into how China influences conduct. Professor Lipson facilitated discussions that dove deeper into Chinese policy like the 50-50 public private partnership in effect for companies operating in China. Alvaro also commented on the differences in work ethic, “the Chinese work ethic is all encompassing and cannot be understood without being there.” The pre-departure class led by Lipson established that everyone has a misconception about China on some level which can only be exposed through direct interactions. While on the walking tour the class saw different parts of Shanghai and were able to get of feel of the culture and consumers that make up the Chinese economy. This tour offered a more in-depth look at the Chinese culture that helps to influence the business environment, like the fish markets and everyday lives of Chinese citizens.

Alvaro also saw the relationship between business and culture during his time on the Cuba GBE. Professor Fairchild led second year students in exploring different entrepreneurial start-ups and the challenges of economies in transition. Before leaving for Cuba, Darden faculty discussed their research to the GBE class. These sessions offered different perspectives on the non-western economic policy instituted by Cuba. As in China, Alvaro met leaders, like the Governor of Virginia and other government officials who helped to illustrate the challenges of doing business internationally. Through the lens of a cab driver, Alvaro was able to explore the problem-solving tactics used by many Cubans in order to make a living. For example, the cab driver was using a car from 1956, described as a “Frankenstein car” because it was held together from an assortment of parts that only slightly resembled the original model. Although the government valued the car at a relatively affordable price the actual cost accumulated to beyond a reasonable amount from extensive taxes. As a result it was nearly impossible for the cab driver to make any profit. Due to the lack of access to a foreign market, he was only able to gain a competitive advantage because he had relatives abroad who could send cheap car parts. By utilizing his family network, the cab driver was able to create a profitable business. “These things nurture your strategy thinking. It is valuable to think about how people maneuver their business environment. With only 207 sanctioned jobs outside the Cuban government business owners and entrepreneurs have to think outside the box to be effective,” says Alvaro, who ultimately found that “it’s all about the people. In the end, businesses are made by the people. In Cuba you can have the best plan but if you don’t have an understanding of the people or the government you won’t be successful.”

Alvaro Mendizabal concluded his reflections by stating that “Everyone should go on a Global Business Experience. We can’t assume people will act like American consumers.”

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Go Global: Darden’s Academic Opportunities Abroad

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“Best of Darden Talent” Showcased Student Talents and Cultures

Story by Jessica Hirsch

Photos by Manish Rathaur (Class of 2017)

This past Tuesday, April 5, Darden hosted the inaugural “Best of Darden Talent” event to showcase the different talents and abilities of Darden students.

Outgoing president of the Darden Photography club, Shweta Sangani, organized the event as a means for students to express themselves and celebrate diversity at Darden.

“I felt that with the rigorous Darden academic environment and recruiting pressures, students can become stressed and they might not have an outlet to express their hobbies,” Sangani said. “I wanted to give students a platform to show their peers their talents and display some of Darden’s sub-cultures that students may not be aware of.”

The event took place in the Abbott Auditorium from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. It featured a wide array of performances including a traditional Indonesian music and dance presentation focused on unity and diversity, stand-up routines from two student comedians poking fun at a variety of topics, a guitar rendition of a classic Latin American tango piece celebrating spring, and many other fantastic displays of Darden student talent. The event culminated in an Indian-style dance performance in which many audience members participated by joining the performers on-stage.

“The event had a good mix of talents to showcase,” Sangani said. “It was initially hard to coordinate and get everyone on board, but I had a lot of support from my friends. I hope that the audience members saw a unique side of the Darden community.”

Darden has over 50 different student clubs, many of which are centered on various professional, cultural, athletic, and other interests, as well as seven student advisory groups which provide a forum to students to share their thoughts and ideas for improving the student experience. The several student organizations that helped bring the talent showcase together included the Darden Music Club and the Darden Photography Club, which has plans to transition to a combined photography and hobbies organization to give students the chance to explore a wider variety of passions.

Prior diversity-focused events include the inaugural Diversity Week which occurred this past October 26-29 consisting of five days of panels, events, and workshops exploring how diversity affects business in an effort to bring diversity-related issues to the forefront of discussion.

“There are already great initiatives happening at Darden,” Sangani said. “I’m working with my junior counterparts to plan similar events next year, so that current and prospective students can have a richer and deeper experience.”

Sachin Dixit (Class of 2017), incoming president of Darden Photography Club, echoed Sangani’s thoughts. “We plan to continue organizing this event in the coming year,” Sachin said. “With timely publicity and buy-in from more affinity clubs, we should be able to get even more students showcasing the diversity of Darden next year.”

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