As previously noted, we have a growing number of student organizations in the Executive MBA program, and next Wednesday, 7 October, Darden Admissions will host a Q&A with one of those organizations: The Veteran Executive Students at Darden (VESD). This session is a great opportunity to hear firsthand from current students and alumni about their MBA journey and the impact of their Darden experience. Register for the event.  

Update: Watch a recording of the Q&A for Military Veterans

In advance of next Wednesday’s session, we caught up with VESD Co-President, Kevin Rivers, to talk about his background, what led him to Darden and much more. 

Q: What is your background? What is your current role?

A: As an Airman and Major in the US Air Force, my specialty is an Acquisitions Officer. Within this role, I conduct program management activities across single programs, or a portfolio of programs, delivering cutting-edge capability to our nation’s Warfighter. My current role is managing, directing, and providing oversight of the financial requirements and execution of the Air Force, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve C-130 aircraft platform, in addition to being a liaison to our US Congress on these programs.

Q: How did you decide to pursue an MBA?

A: For me, pursuing an MBA was always a desire of mine post-graduation from the Air Force Academy. I wanted to achieve a robust business foundation that would allow me to be adaptable and resourceful in any business decision or situation that I may face. The ultimate question was which business school did I feel would offer me these skills, backed by a successful network of proven professionals.

Q: What is the Veterans Executive Students at Darden?

A: The Veterans Executive Student’s at Darden (VESD) is a student-led affinity group, and is open to current Darden Executive students as well as alumni. Our mission is to leverage our shared military experiences to enhance career opportunities, build esprit de corps and camaraderie within the Darden community and serve as a conduit to the Darden Military Association (DMA), a similar organization run by students in the residential format. These two organizations, VESD and DMA, complement one another, with the VESD group focusing on unique needs of Executive MBA students.

Q: How does this organization support the active duty/veteran experience in Darden’s Executive MBA Program?

A: Within the Darden Executive MBA program, we realize that our cohort is typically at a different stage in in our careers than our residential counterparts. Therefore, in part, VESD was created to help active duty/veteran executive students navigate through these unique pathways alongside with the other resources Darden has to offer. Another main objective of VESD is to provide a rich community to find identity within and seek ideas throughout as we explore other potential pathways.

Q: You’re now past the one year mark in the program. What has been the impact of your Darden experience thus far?

A: The Darden experience has exposed me to opportunities that I would have not have known otherwise. From the staff, to the world-class faculty, to our Career Development and Services team, they have all helped enable me to grow and build greater clarity professionally and personally in my aspirations.

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