Today on the blog, we catch up with current Executive MBA student Jaila Ingram-Johnson (Class of 2020). Jaila is based in Richmond, Virginia, where she works for Harris Williams — an investment bank specializing in M&A advisory services.

What led you to pursue an MBA?

I reached a point in my career that I felt things had become stagnant. I wanted more from my career and for my family. I knew that an MBA would offer me a new set of skills, business understanding and a powerful network of people whom I now recognize as friends.

Why did you choose Darden?

Darden was the school that felt the most like home. To me, it seemed like the staff and faculty genuinely cared about the success (academically, professionally, personally) of each student. In addition, I felt the case-study method would be greatly beneficial by taking these learned skills and placing them in real-life situations in a safe space.

What attracted you to Darden’s executive formats?

In all honesty, I could not afford to take two years off from working, but I knew I needed an MBA to take the next step in my career. Darden’s combination of on-Grounds and distance learning really drew me in because we get a chance to deeply engage with classmates and professors.

What’s your favorite thing about your classmates?

They are all extremely brilliant people doing incredible things, but at the end of the day, we are all here to learn and learn from each other. The environment is completely collaborative, and we are all rooting for each other’s success whether it is academic wins, professional wins or personal wins.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

Just do it. After my first residency, I knew I had made the perfect decision for my life. This program has truly been a game-changer for me. Do not let anything hold you back from applying because this program will be well worth the time and effort.