A couple days ago, we shared some of our favorite ExecMBA Podcast episodes of 2018, and, today, we reflect on a few of our favorite blog stories from the past twelve months. The Discover Darden blog is your source for Executive MBA Program updates and news. Subscribe and never miss a post.

Student Profiles

In 2018, we published 30 (!) executive format student profiles. These Q&As touch upon a wide range of topics from why MBA? to why Darden? to advice for prospective students, and they are a great introduction to our program and culture. Of course, we would be remiss if we did not also mention the ExecMBA Podcast, but, if you’re looking for a little light reading to kick off 2019, you know where to start.

Review the Executive MBA Student Profile series

Application Tips Series

We’ve mentioned our ongoing application tips series a few times now, but (we think) it bears repeating: If you are applying to Darden, these posts are essential reading. In this series, you will find insights about our various application requirements, as well as answers to frequent applicant questions. While most of the advice is generally applicable for anyone applying to Darden, we also have a section devoted entirely to executive format applicants.

Need a soundtrack for all this application advice? Be sure to check out our application-themed podcast episodes: Application Process Overview and Applicant FAQs. Our Exec Video Blog is also another great source of app-related tips and updates.

Women’s Career Discovery Event

We hosted a number of women’s recruitment events in 2018, and we are excited to continue these efforts in 2019.

On 23 January, we will host an Exec Women’s Carer Discovery Event at Sands Famiy Grounds in Rosslyn. The evening will consist of a panel discussion, a pitch exercise and a networking reception, and it will be led by Connie Dunlop, Executive Director for Professional Advancement. When we asked Connie about the event, she noted its broad audience: “The event is really designed to meet people where they are, so whether you are just beginning to consider the possibility of going back to school or you have started an application, you can find value in the programming.”

Read the full blog post

Interested in learning more about our women’s initiatives? Check out our recent podcast conversation with Katherine Alford, Senior Associate Director of Admissions. Katherine will be hosting a series of women’s coffee chats and dinners over the coming weeks. These events are an opportunity to make a personal connection while learning more about Darden.

Women’s Coffee Chats – January 11 / March 8

Women’s Networking Dinner – February 27

Pro Tip: The above blog post also includes a complete inventory of our career-related podcast episodes. From strategies for climbers to alumni career services for life, these conversations contain a wealth of information about the many ways we support our students’ career goals.

Global Residency Retrospectives 

As previously noted, all executive format students at Darden participate in at least one global residency. In late 2018, some of our 2019s and 2020s traveled to India and Brazil, respectively, and we caught up with a few of the students to discuss their time abroad.

Read our India coverage

Read our Brazil coverage

Interested in learning more about global opportunities for executive format students? Check out our podcast conversation with Director for Global Executive Programs, Ladi Carr.

Program Innovations

One of the best things about our Executive MBA Program is that its size and scale (roughly 135 students per class) allows for constant innovation, and 2018 was no exception. In September, the Program leadership announced a number of updates, and we have been exploring each of these updates in more detail over the past few weeks. Associate Dean, Jim Detert, also joined us on the ExecMBA Podcast to discuss each of the innovations. Editor’s Note: Both of Jim’s podcast episodes are recommended listening for anyone considering our executive formats.

Catch up on our coverage below, and be sure to stay tuned for upcoming posts about the program’s base location – Sands Family Grounds in Rosslyn, our even more convenient schedule (Did you know weekend residency classes will now start on Friday at Noon?) and the important role Charlottesville will continue to play in the executive format student experience.

Professional Advancement Updates:

“The real test of education at the Executive MBA level is whether it helps students set and achieve their professional objectives. So, ultimately our intent – and the measure of value for these new experiences – is that they contribute in demonstrable ways to students’ professional development and advancement.” – Associate Dean, Jim Detert

Read the full blog post

Explorations in Enterprise Leadership Course Innovations:

“When we decided to redesign this course, we wanted to create a learning opportunity for our students that focused on a compelling business topic. We also wanted the course to draw on the expertise of industry leaders and practitioners.” – Assistant Dean, Barbara Millar

Read the full blog post

Get to Know the Executive Assessment

At Darden, we are BIG fans of the Executive Assessment (EA). This 40-question, 90-minute test requires, on average, 10-20 hours preparation and was designed with executive format applicants (and their busy schedules) in mind. Yes!

New to the EA? Read the post below, but be sure to also check out the Exec Video Blog and our 2017 EA Q&A with Manish Dharia, GMAC’s Director of Product Development, for additional insights. Spoiler alert: We recorded a podcast with Manish last month, and we are excited to share the conversation in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Read the full blog post

Want to learn more? Join Brett Twitty and GMAC’s Eric Chambers for an Executive Assessment Overview webinar on 29 January.

Sands Family Grounds Opens

Darden has a new home in the Washington, D.C. area – The Sands Family Grounds. And when the space opened in March 2018, members of our Class of 2019 were there for a weekend residency. History!

Read the full blog post

Seeing is believing: Check out our recent video tour of the space and join us for a class visit in January or February. In addition to observing a class session, all visitors have the opportunity to connect with program faculty and staff and join our students for lunch.

Meet the Executive Student Investment Fund

One of the most exciting developments in our Executive MBA Program over the past few years has been the launch of SIX student organizations – Executive Student Investment Fund, Network of Executive Women, Black Executive MBAs, Veteran Executive Students at Darden, Executive MBA Entrepreneurship Club and Darden International Club for Executive MBAs.

The Executive Student Investment Fund (ESIF) is the longest-running of these clubs, and in January we caught up with Sean Spence, ’18, to talk a little more about ESIF and the organization’s plans for the months ahead. When we asked Sean about his experience in the program, he commented, “I’m not sure where to start. I would say the learning experience and the combination of professors who are masters at conveying concepts to classmates who constantly challenge the status quo. All considered, this program has truly been life-changing.”

Read the full blog post

Interested in learning more about ESIF? Check out our podcast conversation with two of the organization’s current leaders, Colin Hood, ’19 and Teeja Boye, ’19.