Allison Stratton, associate director of lifelong learning for UVA Darden Executive Education & Lifelong Learning, takes pride in her ability to provide in-depth knowledge and guidance on our open-enrollment programs and learning outcomes, so that clients can meet and exceed their educational goals. With more than eight years of experience working in higher education and almost three years at Darden, she recently relocated to the Washington, D.C., metro area to support growth of lifelong learning in that region. Stratton provides personalized, concierge service to guide learners to the right programs for their interest and needs, specializing in the areas of Management, Strategy, Innovation and Data Science.
Get to know Allison and how she works with learners.
How do you provide concierge service for learners?
My engagement with clients begins with a one-on-one appointment to discuss their background, interests, and types of lifelong learning opportunities they are looking to pursue. We’ll discuss their learning objectives to select a program or learning path that will best serve their professional development goals. I also meet with talent development teams to determine programs that may be a good fit for managers and executives within their organizations. Our goal is to provide a unique, personalized experience for any professionals seeking development opportunities.
How do you personalize the learning journey for each learner?
During my initial conversation with prospective participants, we focus on where they are in their career and where they’d like to be. After this conversation, I’ll work with the individual to determine a potential learning solution. Depending on the needs of the participant, this path could focus on building hard skills, mastering soft skills or earning a certificate. One of the unique aspects of the Darden lifelong learning experience is being able to build a custom path to earn a certificate in management or leadership that fits an individual’s needs.
What is your favorite Darden Executive Education & Lifelong Learning program and why?
My favorite is our Management Development Program. This comprehensive management program helps senior managers develop an enterprise perspective of their organization and prepare for executive leadership. It covers a wide range of topics in strategy, innovation, data analytics and digital technology, and how they all work together. Participants create incredibly valuable connections during the program and continue those relationships well beyond program completion. Between modules, the Business Challenge project allows a participant to collaborate with a faculty mentor and work on a project for their own organization, so there’s an immediate tangible benefit for the individual and their company. It’s very rewarding to see the participants receive their Darden Certificate in Management upon completion of the program.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
It’s definitely the people I meet. I love making new connections, talking with potential participants about their goals, and then meeting them in-person during the programs. It’s very rewarding to help people visualize and achieve professional goals. I also love connecting with our participants on LinkedIn to see how their organizations reward them with promotions and additional responsibilities as a result of their growth during their Darden experiences.
Looking to advance in your career? Contact Allison (StrattonA@darden.virginia.edu) to discuss your professional development needs and goals.