Darden Admissions and the Network of Executive Women (NEW) recently hosted an online Q&A about balancing work, life and school. This is must-see TV for prospective Executive MBA students. Check out the recording of the conversation below!

Watch: Balancing Work, Life and School, recorded September 2020

Interested in learning more about NEW? The Network of Executive is one of more than 10 student organizations in our Executive MBA program. We recently caught up with NEW President Caroline Clark to talk about her background, what led her to Darden and much more. 

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

A: I’ve been in the HR/Talent space for over 10 years, working across a range of industries including education, IT government contracting, hospitality and most recently a financial services trade association, the American Bankers Association (ABA).  

Caroline Clark (Class of 2021) President of NEW

I enjoy working with business stakeholders to solve problems through human solutions. At ABA, I lead the talent function and have worked on a variety of initiatives.  I’m particularly proud that the organization was named a great place to work within my first year of tenure.

Q: How did you decide to pursue an MBA?

A: The part of my job I enjoy the most is working with business stakeholders.  From that experience, I knew I wanted to get on the business side. I figured an MBA was the best way to gain those skills. 

I did a lot of research and Darden quickly came to the top of the list. My interest in the Executive MBA program was really cemented by my class visit. I was blown away by the professors, the students, the materials, just the whole experience. As someone who listened more in college than contributed, during my class visit, I found myself wanting to participate in the class I was observing, which I took as a very good sign, and I knew Darden was where I wanted to be. 

Q: What is the Network of Executive Women (NEW)?

A: NEW is an Executive MBA student organization dedicated to the development and advancement of women. We have a diversity of goals and aspirations, and we believe our organization can support all women in reaching whatever their goal is and help them achieve their full potential. This applies to both our members’ time at Darden and beyond.

Q: How does this organization support women in Darden’s Executive MBA Program?

A: We try to have programming about once a month, and the topics can really range depending on schedule and our members’ interests. Recently, we’ve hosted speaker events, skills-related events as well as an allyship event. All of our programming is meant to support women in some aspect of their lives. 

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

A: For me, the program has been about broadening my horizons. Coming to Darden, I knew there would be areas of study that would be totally new to me. However, what I was less ready for and what has been a breath of fresh air is diving deep on topics I was personally less familiar with, things like impact investing, entrepreneurial thinking, the impact of COVID-19 now and in the future. This exposure has not only shaped how I think about the rest of my career and next steps, but it’s also made me think about how I can make a difference right now.  

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