Darden Community, Events, Executive MBA, UVA News

Looking Back: Rankings, Events, Innovations and More Highlight a Busy Fall at Darden!

By Ellie Hoffman-

As 2018 comes to a close, we thought we would take a look back on the past few months here at Darden. Here are some of our favorite stories from a very busy (and pretty awesome) fall!

Welcome Class of 2020!

We kicked things off in August with the arrival of a record-breaking Class of 2020 – 335 full-time students, 137 executive format students, as well as our first ever MS in Business Analytics students. Interested in learning more about the class? Check out our class profiles for more detail:

Full-Time MBA Class Profile / Executive MBA Class Profile (EMBA/GEMBA)

Darden Moves Up in the Rankings

What can make a great fall even better? Rankings! Darden remained the #1 business education experience in the world for the eighth straight year (The Economist) and moved up to No. 9 in Bloomberg Businessweek’s ranking of the best business schools in the U.S.. Oh, and Darden’s professors were ranked No. 1 for the second year in a row by The Princeton ReviewRead our full blog coverage of all the rankings-related news.

Executive MBA Announces Program Innovations

Our Executive MBA Program announced a number of exciting innovations in October. As Dean Scott Beardsley commented at the time of the announcement: “Since the integrated program first offered a learning location in the Washington, D.C. area in 2016, demand for the D.C.-based offering has exceeded our expectations. We are committed to relentless innovation and student satisfaction, and these latest enhancements are designed to optimize the learning experience and ROI for our executive students.” Check out our blog coverage of the announcement, as well as our posts about career-related enhancements and the updated Explorations in Enterprise Leadership course. Stay tuned for additional posts in the coming weeks.

Pro Tip: Subscribe to the ExecMBA Podcast for the latest conversations with executive format students, faculty and staff. Stream on!

Darden Diversity Conference

Early October marked the occasion of Darden’s Diversity Conference. The two-day event was designed to allow prospective students the opportunity to experience the many ways the school is embracing diversity and inclusion, and featured student-hosted dinners, student-led panels, thought-provoking discussions about issues facing underrepresented communities in business school and more. Read our Diversity Conference blog post.

Pro Tip: Be sure to check out our recent blog interview with Marc Paulo Guzman, Associate Director for Diversity Recruitment.

Fall Festival

The Darden Partners Association (DPA) is an inclusive community for spouses, families and significant others of Darden students, and they, along with the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) and the Registrar’s Office, hosted a Fall Festival for Darden students, faculty and staff and their families in late October. As DPA President, Sara Portman, commented: “There’s always something to do at Darden, and the DPA strives to create fun and welcoming events for all.” We couldn’t agree more. Check out our Fall Festival blog post. For additional DPA-related reading, we also recommend our blog interview with Darden Partner, Chloe Gonzalez!

Tech Week and Tech Conference

As you may know, Darden has an increasing number of students interested in Tech careers, and Darden’s Technology Club wanted to create a few fall events that allowed students to explore this interest in greater depth. The result? Tech Week and Tech Conference. As Second Year ignesh Balagopalakrishnan noted, “Our team spent a lot of time at the beginning of the year thinking about how to best cater to the overwhelming interest in tech among Darden students. Students wanted to know what it meant to have a career in Tech, to learn about what’s happening in the industry today and to pick up skills that would help a tech career. And that’s exactly what we strived for with the Tech Week and Tech Conference.” Read our full coverage of Tech Week and Tech Conference.

Interested in Tech? Be sure to check out our post about the Tech Venture Fellows Program and then slide on over to the Darden Report for their recent story about the Bay Area Job Trek.

Resilience Week

Our second annual Resilience Week allowed members of the Darden community to reset, regroup and re-energize while learning more about resilience thorugh a variety of activities – meditation, yoga, panel discussions, fireside chats with faculty and more. Reflecting upon the week, Kyle Richards, ’19 noted, “Resilience Week means two major things to me. First, it means understanding and becoming aware of our peer’s challenges and ways they may be struggling. Second, it is about realizing the value of self-care in professional settings, where it may appear to be undervalued or even ignored. For me, this week is about solidarity and support and knowing that we are all going through different things at different times.” Learn more about Resilience Week.

GWIB Webinars

It’s been a busy fall for our Graduate Women in Business (GWIB) club, and we caught up with one of GWIB’s VPs of Community Development, Jacqui Snell, to talk about two of their recent webinars – “Women in Leadership” and “Experiences of Intersectional Women at Darden.” Check out these statistics – Four out of the five section reps for the first year class (2020) are women, and second year club leadership is over 50% female. Impressive. Read the full post.

Lessons from the 2008 Financial Crisis

The 11th annual University of Virginia Investing Conference (UVIC) took place on grounds in early November and featured a number of speakers and programs focused on the 10th anniversary of the global financial crisis. Reflecting on the programming, Ryan Claxton, ’19 noted: “This year’s conference provided an excellent juxtaposition of the past and the future—starting from an inspection of the forces that led to the global financial crisis and how our system emerged from that crisis, and transitioning to bitcoin, blockchain and thinking about how institutions will adapt in the future.” Check out our blog coverage of the conference.

Dawna Clarke offers Application Tips!

Over the past few weeks, we have been rolling out some of Dawna Clarke’s top tips for Darden applicants. Yes! Check out Dawna’s videos for insights about resumes (leadership/impact / global experience / hobbies and interests), interviewing and essays (or watch the full playlist) Want even more application advice? Be sure to check out our ongoing application tips blog series.

Student Profiles!

And, last but not least, we conclude with where it all really begins – with our students! From self-described #girlboss and beauty entrepreneur, Kelly Bonilla to military veteran and grilling enthusiast, Ashton Daily to MD and GEMBA format student Taison Bell, it has been great few months for student coverage on the blog. There’s no way we can pick a favorite – we recommend reading all of our recent profiles.