Admissions, Executive MBA, Executive Student Profile

Meet Current Darden EMBA Student, Elizabeth Parsley

By Susannah Fuller-

Elizabeth Parsley, a Class of 2019 Executive MBA student in our Charlottesville section, took some time to tell us all about what brought her to Darden, why she chose the executive formats of the Darden MBA, and how her experience has been so far.

What is your current job?
I am currently the Region Fleet Manager for the Texoma Region at Frito Lay. I have a team of forty (truck mechanics, back office admin/vendor coordinators and two managers) spread throughout three states. We are responsible for delivering positive plan performance against a $20MM P&L, delivering the highest quality service to enable sales to get to their stores and deliver the tasty Frito Lay products all while operating with a Zero safety culture.

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?
I have thought about an MBA for 10 years, but I don’t “need” it in order to progress through the company. I applied in response to a challenge that I wouldn’t do it – the rest is history.

Why did you choose Darden?
I attended UVA undergrad, as did 15+ members of my family, and The University’s history and culture is as much a part of me as being a Texan. Darden made sense to become even further ingrained in that history – not to mention the fantastic rankings an alumni connections.

What attracted you to the executive formats of the Darden MBA?
Anything that allows me to get to Charlottesville on a regular basis was enough of a draw for me! The frequency of being in On Grounds is just the right amount and having the live web-based classes with real time interaction were both positives for me and my work schedule.

What’s your favorite thing about your classmates so far?
The diversity of thought, work experience, personal background and the overall intelligence in our class is unparalleled in my opinion. On top of the sheer brain power in our class exists a generosity and kindness that I was fortunate to experience firsthand when Hurricane Harvey hit Houston. The hurricane hit the week after our first Leadership Residency; the care, concern and generosity that emanated from a group of people I had just met was overwhelming in the best sense possible. I will never forget it.

What are you most excited about accomplishing/doing during the program?
I am most excited about the people I am meeting and what I can learn from both professors and classmates. I’m also super excited about the Global Residency!

What advice do you have for prospective students?
The more you give, the more you get. I do not live up to those words as much as I should, could or wish I did. Learn how to prioritize your time – you will not be able to do everything!