Executive MBA student Jarred Mack (Class of 2023) recently joined The ExecMBA Podcast for an episode highlighting his Darden experience (so far!). Mack is also president of the student-led Darden Executive Veterans (DEV), formerly the Veteran Executive Students at Darden. He is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and hails from Houston, Texas. After entering the Navy, Mack went into the Supply Corps, which is the Navy’s business supply, finance and logistics branch. His current role is at the United States Naval Academy, where he is the assistant supply officer in charge of many financial and other logistics for the Academy and it midshipmen.
Now entering his second year in the Executive MBA program, Mack is taking full advantage of the elective course offerings by balancing his personal interests in topics like investment banking and finance, and his professional interests, which include environmental, social, and governance (ESG), renewables and approaching business with a sustainability mindset. Learn more about elective courses available to Executive MBA students.
View a few highlights from the podcast below, and listen to the full episode on The ExecMBA Podcast – available on all major platforms.
Q: How did you decide to pursue an MBA?
A: In the Supply Corps and the Navy, and unlike many other communities, in the Navy, an MBA is part of the progression of your career track. While I was stationed in Washington, D.C., I participated in a Navy program that UVA sponsors where you are able to go Charlottesville, VA for three weeks and complete a Navy Insights Into Industry Management Course over three weeks. I knew I would come back to school at some point, and so I started mentally prepping to re-enter the educational space in the near future. Darden was at the top of my list even before I even spoke with anyone, it was so welcoming and so inviting. It was the people – every student I talked to, every professor, every admissions person was welcoming and bent over backwards answering my questions.
Q: Tell us a little about the Darden Executive Veterans (DEV) – what is it and how did you decide to become involved in student leadership?
A: DEV is an affinity club for students at Darden, and while we do have the word veterans in our title, we are for everybody. Our members are people who are active duty, like myself, reservists, those who are retired and people who did a year or two got out. We run the gamut of those different affiliations, and have well over 20 members in the club. We’re here for students who are looking to apply, who have been admitted, who are currently in an MBA program (UVA Darden’s Part-Time MBA and Executive MBA formats) and those who are alumni of the program.
I’m here to help with everything from applying, interviewing, GI Bill questions, resume writing, cover letters, interviewing for for jobs, networking, negotiations, or just moral support. If you are looking to transition out of the military and start school here, it’s a lot. We have people in our in our club who could help with that.
Q: Any words of wisdom for listeners?
A: Once you are in the program and during the program, spend time with your classmates. You’re going to learn everything you need to learn in class, you’re going to be taught by world-class professors, and you’re going to be able to absorb all the information. I think one of the biggest highlights for me is all my classmates. They do a really good job of letting in quality people who bring a diverse set of backgrounds and skills and lifestyles from all over the country, all different walks of life and all different industries (in the civilian world and in the military world). Some of the best times I’ve had in the program have been with my friends outside of class for a weekend social hours, or even having a beer after classes talking about life. You learn so much about people and you never know how your life will change.