Reminder: Join Darden in Chicago on Thursday, 11 February

As a reminder, Darden will be in Chicago this Thursday, 11 February, for a multi-school event. At this event, attendees will have an opportunity to meet with admissions officers and alumni from top MBA programs and learn more about different executive MBA formats, admissions requirements and unique program features.

This is also a great opportunity to talk with us about the exciting innovations that Darden will be bringing to its Executive formats in the coming year.

We hope to see you there!

Working Professionals/Executive MBA Forum
Sponsored by Kaplan Test Prep

Thursday, 11 February 2016
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Chicago Booth
Gleacher Center (downtown Chicago)
450 North Cityfront Plaza Dr.
Chicago, Illinois 60611

REGISTER for Chicago

Host Schools:
University of Virginia – Darden School of Business
Duke University – The Fuqua School of Business
Georgetown University – McDonough School of Business
MIT – Sloan School of Management
New York University – Stern School of Business
University of Chicago – Booth School of Business
University of Michigan–Ross School of Business

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Guest Post: Wading in the New Oil


Today’s post is by Darden student Liz Goldstein (EMBA ’16), who attended a Global Business Experience in India this winter. For information on all of Darden’s global offerings for the executive formats, please visit our website.

I was one of two executive MBA students who joined approximately 20 residential MBA students on Darden’s Global Business Experience (“GBE”) to India which commenced on 6 January, 2016.  The GBE, led by Professor Casey Lichtendahl, allowed students to visit with Indian companies on the cutting-edge of data analytics.

One of the speakers on the trip, Rahul Kansal, was from the English language newspaper, the Times of India, which is engaging its readers both with a print newspaper and on-line.  Kansal spoke about several of the campaigns the Times had done.  In 2014, it initiated a campaign called, “Lead India”.  The speaker shared a video created to promote the campaign, which starts with a young boy with a cherubic face looking out a bus window to see why traffic is at a standstill.  When the boy leaves the bus, the viewer sees that he is dressed for school in a button-down shirt and khaki shorts with a matching backpack. The boy keeps walking until he sees that a tree has fallen and its trunk blocks the road.  It then begins to rain. While adults honk their horns and two government employees appear to sleep in their truck, the boy tries to move the trunk out of the way.  Some other kids quickly join him in the effort.  Despite the bad weather, adults leave their cars and auto rickshaws to help the kids with the tree.  When the group reaches a critical mass, they are able to push the tree trunk out of the way.  Traffic begins to move and the government employees wake-up.  The rain stops, the sun comes out, and the group that moved the tree begins to celebrate.  Most are dressed in Western clothes, but some are wearing more traditional clothing.  During the celebration, a Hindi song plays in the background with a line that repeats, “If you go, India goes.”

This advertisement can be seen as a good allegory for India’s future economic growth. If India is to succeed, the younger generation must be willing to lead a diverse group.  This is because one-quarter of India’s population are under 18 years old and 50% are under 35 years old.  India has over 22 official languages and a vast number of ethnic groups.

As we learned from a speaker from Vodofone, the government is often slow and dysfunctional.  The Vodofone speaker further explained, government efforts often consist of three steps forward and two steps back.  The video’s focus on a traffic jam is not surprising as India’s lack of infrastructure is often the constraint to further economic growth.  India’s roads are inadequate, electricity can be unreliable, and not all Indians have access to indoor plumbing.

Several of the data analytics companies that we met with as part of the GBE sought to turn these infrastructure challenges into opportunities with the use of data analytics.  As there is a plethora of traffic in Indian cities, two of the companies we visited, Flipkart and Amazon India, deliver goods directly to consumers.  Both Flipkart and Amazon manage their supply chain and establish the routes for deliveries through data analytics.

We also visited with Ola Cabs, a fierce competitor of Uber’s in India.  As the traffic in Delhi was becoming unmanageable and pollution a significant problem, the city has recently instituted, for a trial period, a rule where private vehicles are allowed to run on the streets on alternate days depending on whether their license plates end in even or odd numbers.  The head of Ola Cabs’ shuttle service explained to the Darden students that he saw the automobile restrictions as a boon to Ola’s shuttle business.  Ola uses analytics to develop the routes for its private bus service.  Ola also uses data science to provide dynamic, surge pricing for its taxi service.  One of the Ola speakers explained to students how Ola derives this algorithm from raw data.

One of the professors at the Indian Institute for Management Bangalore spoke to Darden students about working with a bank to use analytics to determine how to make credit decisions for businesses that have no credit rating, loan payment history, or substantial documentation to establish annual income and costs.

While we visited data science companies spanning many different industries, the data scientists who shared their basic methodology shared a similar approach.  Our speaker from EXL identified four steps in the process of using data to solve a business problem.  These were:

  1. Gather and Manage the Data
  2. Analyze and Monitor the Data
  3. Build a Predictive Model
  4. Incorporate the Predictive Model into Business Strategy.

With all the power that analytics can provide, our Amazon India speaker reminded us that not everything is predictable.  Thus, no matter how powerful your analytics tools are, they cannot be employed in every business situation.

I was interested to learn from our data science speaker at Flipkart, who was in charge of analytics, what separated the best data scientists from the mediocre ones.  He said that the best data scientists were the best listeners.  They carefully listened to what the internal client needed and crafted a solution to meet these specific needs.

Our first speaker at EXL, a data analytics company headquartered in New York City with a large office in Delhi, proclaimed that data is the new oil.  While India does not have the greatest supply of this new valuable commodity, I learned that they do have many of the top wildcatters, who know just where to search in unproven ground.


Liz Goldstein and Matt Frenier (EMBA ’16)


Darden visits EXL in Delhi

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Upcoming Events in DC and Chicago

We are pleased to let you know that Darden will be attending two upcoming multi-school Executive MBA events – in Washington, DC, and in Chicago, IL. We hope you’ll join us at one of these events. We’ll be sharing some exciting news about our Executive Formats in the next few weeks, and we would love to chat about what’s coming up in person!

Event details and registration links are below. We look forward to seeing you there!

Washington, DC

Thursday, 4 February 2016
6:00 – 8:30 pm
Register Here


Thursday, 11 February 2016
6:00 – 8:30 pm
Register Here

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A Guide to the Admissions Process for Darden’s Executive MBAs

You’ve finally decided to take the plunge and apply for one of Darden’s Executive MBA formats. But where do you start?

To help you work your way through the admissions process, Director of Admissions for Executive formats, Brett Twitty, has put together a series of videos to help answer questions you may have about the process. Watch all of them, or pick and choose according to your questions. And, don’t stop there – if you haven’t already, schedule a conversation with Brett to learn more about the executive formats of the Darden MBA!

  1. Which format should I choose?

When applying to the Executive formats of the Darden MBA, you have the choice to apply to one specific format, or to apply to both formats simultaneously. Check out this video for Brett’s tips about learning more about the different formats, and how the Admissions Committee considers the executive applications.

  1. When should I apply to Darden?

In this video, Brett discusses the timeline for Executive format applications. Our next deadline is 2 January, 2016, and the deadlines continue monthly through June. Decisions are released within four weeks of the application deadline.

With so many options, which deadline should you choose? Brett has the answer in this video.

  1. Who should write my letters of recommendation?

There are several elements to the Darden application, but one of the most important is the recommendation letters. Brett outlines what Darden requires for letters of recommendation, why they are so important, and who makes a good recommender.

  1. I got an interview! What should I expect?

In order to receive an offer of admission from Darden, an interview is required. In this video, Brett goes into more detail about what to expect if you are invited to interview with Darden – and why we consider the interview so important in our application process.

  1. I’m in! What are some perks I’ll get from my Darden MBA?

As a bonus, Brett sat down with Jeff Leopold, one of Darden’s career counselors for Executive format students. Learn more about Jeff and his work with Executive format students, including what makes the job search for those students different from that of our full-time students.


Want to see more? You can find all the videos from our Executive MBA Admissions Video Blog here.

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Video Blog: Deadline Updates

Brett wanted to give a quick update on where we are in the EMBA and GEMBA admissions cycle. Enjoy!


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Video Blog: Interview with Danielle Walker (EMBA ’17)

The Executive Format video blog continues with an interview with EMBA student Danielle Walker. She and Brett Twitty discuss her Darden experience thus far, her personal business ventures, and her advice to prospective students.

If you have any questions about the Executive formats, feel free to email Brett at

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Video Blog: Preparing for Your Darden Interview

In his latest video blog, Director of Admissions for Executive Formats Brett Twitty shares some insight on the interview process.

Exec Blog - Preparing for the Interview Thumb


Preparing for Your Darden Interview – Executive MBA Admissions Blog

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Sean Gobin (EMBA ’14) Named CNN Hero

Darden alumni can be found all over the world doing amazing things. Today, we’re highlighting Sean Gobin (EMBA ’14), who was recently named one of CNN’s Top Ten Heroes.

Sean Gobin (EMBA ’14) knows the unique stress of war.

After enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1994, Gobin served as a platoon commander in Iraq in 2003 and 2005. In 2011, he served in Afghanistan, helping to train Afghan National Security Forces.

Then he came home, and shortly thereafter decided to walk from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail, a powerful and therapeutic experience that Gobin said helped him — and would surely help others.

“Initially, I was hiking the Appalachian Trail because it had always been a dream of mine,” Gobin said. “Then about two-thirds of the way up the trail, I realized that long-distance hiking would be a great way for veterans to transition from their wartime experiences.”

The article continues here.

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Video Blog: When Should I Apply to Darden?

As our first Executive format deadline approaches, you may be wondering if there is a best time or round to apply to Darden. Director of Admissions Brett Twitty shares some advice in his recent video blog:

Visit our website for information on our application deadlines, class visits, and more.



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Video Blog: Interview with EMBA Student Abi Suarez

Director of Admissions Brett Twitty recently sat down with Abi Suarez (EMBA ’17) to discuss her impressions of the program so far. Watch below to hear her thoughts on work-life balance, career goals, and more.


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