Dani Schwab (Class of 2025) is a student in Darden’s inaugural Part-Time MBA cohort, and recently took the time to answer a few questions about her background and experience so far in the new format. She is currently employed by Nestle, where she leads teams designing tools and implementation processes as part of the Strategic Revenue Management Team.

Danielle (Dani) Schwab, Class of 2025

Part-Time MBA students attend a mix of in-person and virtual weeknight courses at UVA Darden DC Metro and benefit from all the hallmarks of Darden’s top-ranked educational experience.

Q: Could you share a bit about your experience and background?

A: I graduated from Dickinson College, where I majored in International Business with a minor in Economics. My undergraduate experience introduced me to different areas where I could potentially start my career, ultimately decided focus on data analysis – focusing on the intersection of data, tools, and technology to make informed decisions. I currently work at Nestle on the Strategic Revenue Management team and in my role, I lead teams designing tools and implementation processes. I also work with cross-functional teams to support decision making processes to achieve sustainable growth, such as optimizing category mix and commercial terms initiatives.

Q: How did you make the decision to pursue an MBA? What led you to Darden?

A: My decision to pursue an MBA was a relatively recent idea. Working at Nestle, I was inspired by my colleagues with MBAs, who engage in collaborative, strategic thinking. This is an area where I wanted to challenge myself and further grow. This is the spark that ignited my decision to pursue an MBA.

I was drawn to Darden for a variety of reasons, but the case method really stood out. I felt like it would be a very engaging way to learn, and it would help me better understand how to take what we are learning in class and apply it at work. I was also excited to be part of the inaugural cohort of Part-Time MBA students.

Schwab and classmates post in front of UVA’s Rotunda during a residency in Charlottesville.

Q: Do you have a favorite memory from your experience so far?

A: The first residency in Charlottesville stands out. I didn’t quite know what to expect going in, but the whole week was such an immersive experience. I got to know my classmates so much better, and the week also helped me get outside of my comfort zone – in the best way.

Over the course of the week, with each class session, I felt more and more comfortable raising my hand and contributing to the discussion and also felt a similar level of comfort in my classmates too. This contributed to active and overall fulfilling discussions. I also enjoyed how I could take learnings from one class to the next and see how my classmates and I could tie topics together from one class to the next. It really helped broaden my overall perspective, which is one of the reasons why I’m here. In many ways, the week was reaffirming of my decision to pursue an MBA and choose Darden.

Q: What has been the impact of the program for you so far?

A: With the short time in the program so far and working through the core classes, I have a better understanding of my current job and how it fits within the broader organization.

I can see the bigger picture outside of my day to day and think more of how my work intersects and impacts the other parts of our business. I am also starting to understand what other core business areas I have interest in and would want to learn more about throughout the program and in my career path. Overall, the program has already elevated my own learning and given me greater confidence to in the way I engage with other leaders across the company.

Q: What’s your best advice for prospective students?

A: Be your authentic self throughout the application process. Everyone in our cohort is so different and brings their own strengths and perspectives. This has made the learning experience, both in and outside of the classroom, so dynamic and so much more impactful.

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