Darden offers several dual-degree programs in connection with other schools at the University of Virginia. These dual-degree programs are designed to enhance the educational experience beyond what could be achieved if the two degrees were pursued independently (not to mention, in many cases, reduce the time it would take to earn both degrees separately). Second Year student Henry Frost is a MBA/MPP student, and he recently shared insights about his experiences as both a Darden MBA and UVA Batten School student. Students admitted to both programs will be able to complete the Darden MBA and three years, instead of the four that would be required if each were taken separately.

Henry Frost (Class of 2021)

Hometown: Lincoln, Massachusetts

Henry Frost (Class of 2021)

Undergrad: Dartmouth College

Pre-Darden Professional Background: Strategy Consulting and Investment Management

Why Darden? Why a dual degree?

The dual degree program allows me to tackle two areas I find interesting and integrate them in meaningful ways. The combination of classes enriches both subject areas, and allows me to look at policy problems through a business lens and business problems through a policy lens, which I believe makes me a better student and professional.

How are the dual-degree students integrated in the main Darden cohort?

The integration has been pretty straightforward for me. I did my first year at Batten, and have operated as a normal Darden student since beginning my MBA last year.

How are you managing the workload? Do you feel that you are missing out on experiences from either of the program?

Darden and Batten have both made the workload totally manageable. For the first two years, I operate as a normal MPP (Year 1) and MBA (Year 2) student. The only year that gets tricky is Year 3. I cannot thank the Registrars at both schools enough. They’re immensely knowledgeable as well as helpful and kind, and have made what should be a difficult process absolutely seamless.

How have you utilized your dual-degree and leveraged your connections at each school in your internship/job search process?

It’s a differentiator. Being able to tell employers that you’re also pursuing another degree paints you as knowledgeable and hard-working, and indicates your ability to approach challenges from multiple angles. Some recruiters ask tough questions about whether your interest in another area makes you a flight risk, but if you have your story straight I think it’s immensely helpful. Additionally, depending on what you want to do, the networks you build can help you in both the short-term and the long-term.

If you could go back to the start of your program, what would you do differently to get the most out of your experience?

I would encourage all dual degree students to keep a foot in the door at each program when fully integrated with the other. I found some of my most rewarding experiences came at Darden when I was a full-time Batten student, and at Batten when I was a full-time Darden student. I wish I had found more ways to stay engaged from across Grounds!

Post-MBA career plans?

Investment banking in the short-term, policy in the long-run. I would ideally find a way to solve policy problems through private sector investment.

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