Lead CGI Ambassador Shares Global Experiences and Perspectives

By Christina Xu

Name: Ben Meltzer

Hometown: Bethesda, Maryland

Pre-Darden Education: University of Southern California, B.S. in Business Administration with a Concentration in Cinematic Arts; 2006-2010

Work Experience: Strategy &, part of the PwC Network, Summer Senior Associate; June 2016 – Aug 2016

Insomniac Events, Business Development and Merchandise Coordinator; Jan 2015 – Aug 2015

Live Nation, Executive Assistant; Oct 2012 – Aug 2015

Ben has always had a passion for music and films, leading him to study cinematic arts as an undergrad as well as work in the industry following. After completing his MBA degree in a few short weeks, Ben (Class of 2017) is looking forward to contributing to the business side of the entertainment industry. Ben shared, “In my past education and work experience, I developed creative skills necessary for this career, but I wanted to strengthen my business skills in a business school with global reputation like Darden. Darden stands out among its peer schools with its close-knit community and strong student involvement. I knew I would be able to make an impact in a short period of time here. In addition, it is close to home and I could see my family often.”

According to Ben, Darden prepared him to find his ideal job by offering abundant resources. “I found my job through on-campus recruiting. I have a strong passion for consulting, and Darden offers case method teaching which is extremely beneficial to train students’ consulting mindset. In our mini-consulting sessions in class, we express our thoughts and exchange perspectives to solve problems and engage in discussions. These types of exercises give us distinct advantages over peers from other schools to be able to articulate our thoughts, and communicate with clients confidently in our interviews and jobs. It is totally different from the lecture-based method in my undergraduate business school, and the advantages are obvious.”

In addition to the case method, Ben has also been impressed by the rich global opportunities Darden offers. “I went on the Darden Worldwide Course (DWC) to Shanghai, China in my first year, and just came back from an exchange program in Melbourne, Australia.” Ben compared these two experiences and shared his reasons for choosing to do both. “My decision to do the DWC in China was a result of pushing myself out of my comfort zone, to overcome difficulties such as language barriers and cultural difference. I wanted to figure out how to work with clients in different parts of the world, and learn about one of the world’s major players in business as of today. The DWC program offers Darden MBA students access to companies, culture and other various opportunities that I couldn’t have planned and figured all of them out on my own.”

After the DWC experience in Shanghai, Ben decided that he would like more experience living in a different country for a longer period of time to truly immerse himself in the local culture. He decided to go on an exchange program in Melbourne, Australia. “You would think that Australian culture is not that different from the American culture, given that both are English-speaking countries. Nevertheless, I got to understand that the two countries face different issues, for example, immigration is huge point of contention for Australia, and they have very different cultures in general.” Ben also spoke to the life-long connections that he made with the local students at Melbourne Business School. “I became close with the students from MBS who studied at Darden in the Fall. Upon arriving in Melbourne, they showed me around the city, helped me settle in and introduced me to many of their peers. It was amazing to feel part of the community and I feel so fortunate to have lifelong professional and personal relationships in Australia now.”

Ben highly recommends MBA students participate in the global opportunities that Darden offers. “As globalization is becoming the world’s reality, the global perspectives are gaining increasing importance both on a personal and business level. My experience in China made me realize the serious air quality issue in the country, and made me think about the potential business opportunities with social impacts there. It also led to me appreciate the clean air that we have here in Virginia. I couldn’t have witnessed the pollution or gained any understanding of these issues if I had not gone to China. In Australia, I visited some indigenous people, who were heavily financed by the state, and faced alcohol, unemployment and many other issues. Seeing the life of the less fortunate made me appreciate more the life that I have today. My conversation with them made me realize that people from different backgrounds value different things, and understand culture from a broader perspective.”

Ben served as the Darden Center for Global Initiatives lead ambassador for the past year. He was extremely excited about this position because he wanted to help spread the word about Darden’s global opportunities. “When I first heard about the global programs at Darden, I thought everybody was just as excited to get on one of them as I was. But I found out later that this was not the case. People might get discouraged from going due to finance issues, or simply lack of interest. Luckily, Darden is doing excellent work in helping students overcome all these barriers, for example, lots of students received grants to go on global programs. It feels fulfilling and meaningful to help promote the global opportunities among my peers. For example, I was in touch with first year MBAs, introduced to them all the global resources and programs CGI offers, and answered any questions that they may have about the process. I was excited to see that the Darden Worldwide Courses were really popular this year and I hope that more students will hear about and fill in all of the spaces in upcoming years.”

Ben also shared his plans after graduation. “I will be working for a consulting company for media and technology clients, in the Seattle office. I will start in October and am excited to travel around the world as part of my job.”




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Incoming President of Asian Business Club at Darden (ABCD) Discusses Vision for the Future

By Christina Xu

Name: Leiyang (Leon) Wang

Hometown: Boston, MA

Birth Place: Beijing, China

Pre-Darden Education: Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Doctor of Pharmacy, 2004-2010

Work Experience: LAC+USC Medical Center, Impatient Pharmacist & Pharmacy Supervisor, 2014-2016;

United States Air Force, Biomedical Sciences Corp Captain, 2010-2013.

With experience in both hospital administration and military services, Leiyang did not follow a traditional path to business administration education. Leiyang shared, “I barely had any idea about MBA programs when I started my research. Before I started my MBA, I was focusing my education and work in pharmaceuticals and health sciences, but I always knew that I wanted to do something more challenging, something with a bigger impact, and something that will allow me to drive change within organizations. I focused a lot of my attention on the opportunities after graduation. When I searched for MBA programs, Darden came into sight as a result.”

“Darden has gone above, and beyond my expectations. Darden offers a close-knit community that provides abundant global opportunities.” Leiyang reflected upon his participation in global activities on grounds, “I will participate in the Darden Worldwide Courses to Uganda in my first year this May. I will also serve as the president of the Asian Business Club at Darden (ABCD) in my second year. ABCD is the premier affinity and career club that promotes diversity and help students achieve career success.”

Leiyang shared his passion for ABCD. “ABCD’s goal is to promote Asian culture to the Darden community. The club organizes activities among not just people with Asian ethnic background, but anyone who is interested. We currently have about 120 members, many of whom have diverse experiences from many parts of the world.”

According to Leiyang, ABCD organizes both social and recruiting-oriented activities on grounds. “The annual Lunar New Year event is a signature activity organized by ABCD. We have exciting performances from talented members, and we partner with Wine and Cuisine Club (WACC) and serve various Asian cuisines to the Darden community. Next year, we will continue our cooperation with WACC and more affinity clubs on grounds in the future, such as Latin American Student Association (LASA), Darden South Asia Society (DSAS), and others. Regarding recruiting-oriented activities, we aim to connect our members with companies in developed nations in Asia, such as China, Japan, Korea, by hosting company webinars to answer questions, building alumni networks, and organizing industry treks. For example, ABCD organized a Hong Kong trek during which students visited banks in Hong Kong. We also plan on organizing a technology trek to Silicon Valley in the upcoming year.”

Leiyang shared his vision for ABCD’s upcoming events in the rest of this year and next academic year as well. “For the rest of this semester, we have the Welcome Week, during which we will host brunch for incoming students to answer questions about the school, and informal night-time social events for mingling and having a good time. For next fall, we have the Korean Barbeque Cookout, the Sushi Rolling Social, and Welcome Back event lined up.”

Leiyang strongly recommends the Darden MBA to future applicants. “The percentage of high-quality job offers in consulting, investment banking, and other industries is impressive compared to peer schools. Research shows how well Darden students do in their careers. It is the ideal MBA program for students seeking great opportunities after graduation and strong global involvement.”

Leon (upper right) and ABCD friends in Darden’s Café 67.

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Meet the 2017-2018 DSAS President: Rishabh Bansal (Class of 2018)

Rishabh Bansal, originally from New Delhi, India, attended Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, where he earned his Master of Science degree in 2014. Prior to attending Darden, Rishabh worked at Ventures International Group as a Junior Associate in the Investment Banking Division where he was responsible for helping startup companies raise capital.

As his first year comes to an end, Rishabh looks forward to his second in which he will serve as President of the Darden South Asia Society. Through their events, the Darden South Asia Society connects members of the Darden community seeking to learn more about the business and cultural landscapes of the South Asian region.

How did you hear about Darden and why did you decide to attend the school?

While researching graduate schools I was planning to apply to, I spoke to current students and alums from each of those schools. The alum I spoke to from Darden was a Darden ‘00 graduate, and over 15 years after graduating from Darden, he was still willing to help me out and answer all my questions. Further, the person who interviewed me – Ashok Bajpai – was a 1990 grad and was still involved with school activities 26 years later. When I asked him why he was still working with the school he told me, “It’s the Darden community – it really matters.” It was then that I knew that if I got an offer, Darden is where I would go. Out of the five offers I had, I chose to come to Darden and have not once regretted my decision.

How did you first hear about the Darden South Asia Society (DSAS) and why were you interested in joining?  Why did you decide to run for President of DSAS?

My first points of contact before coming to Darden were second-year students, especially those from India. They were a vital part of DSAS and they helped me fit into the U.S. by advising me on the logistics of moving to Charlottesville. They were the ones who got me interested in DSAS and I have been an involved member ever since.

Coming to a new country is a daunting challenge for many international students. Moreover, South Asian students constitute a substantial portion of the international students coming to Darden. I knew how much the members of DSAS had helped me settle into my new home, and on every occasion thereafter they were there like a family—even from half way across the world. This familial feeling  pushed me to run for President of DSAS; I would love for incoming students to feel the same way as I did–welcomed as part of the family.

What is your vision for the Darden South Asia Society as President? Where do you hope to see it go in the future?

The Darden South Asia Society is a vital part of the Darden experience for many students, not just those of South Asian descent. Some of the festivals and events celebrated under the DSAS banner are well received by all students of the Darden community. Further, the group provides support in terms of career and logistical advice and is there for international students when they need and miss home the most. It is also one of the major points of contact for many Darden alums from South Asia. As such, it is important to keep the club active and involved with core Darden activities.

Becoming friends with students from different geographic backgrounds has helped us realize that some of the challenges we go through as international students are similar across the board. Amazingly, that has brought us closer as a group as we go through classes and recruiting. To that effect, this year we plan to have more joint events with other cultural groups so that people can come together to have fun and expand their social circle at Darden overall. The DSAS team feels that there is a lot of potential for us to share our culture with the greater Darden community, and this year, we plan to make our core events open to a broader audience so that students get a full range of exposure to our culture.

What are some of the events that the Darden South Asia Society hosts throughout the year?   Does DSAS collaborate on events with other organizations? If so, what events and organizations has DSAS worked with and which groups would DSAS like to work with more in the future?

DSAS hosts a range of events from seminars, speaker series, panels, recruiting events, admissions activities, and cultural and sporting events distinctive to this region. Recently, DSAS supported Darden in hosting Mr. Narayana Murthy, founder of Infosys and recipient of the Jefferson Medal in Global Innovation, earlier this April. We plan to add more events next year, but this year some of our key cultural events included Bollywood TNDC, DSAS Leadership Speaker Series, Diwali Cold Call, Holi Celebration-The Festival of Colors, Career Webinars and Panels with Second Year students and alumni, and Farewell Party.

DSAS collaborates on events with other clubs at Darden. A good friend of mine is the president of LASA and we are planning an event very soon in conjunction with LASA. Our aim is to bring people from different cultural and ethnic groups together so that there is a greater awareness of other cultures at Darden. Working with other student culture clubs at Darden is a great way to work towards that goal.

What would say to prospective students who may be interested in joining the Darden South Asia Society?

In addition to the reasons why international and South Asian students join DSAS, most non-South Asian students join DSAS for the food, the funky Bollywood music, and the international exposure the club gives–both international exposure to domestic students as well as American exposure to international students. A prospective student could and should join DSAS for any of the above three equally valid reasons!

How has DSAS impacted the way the Darden community understands South Asian business and culture and why do you think it’s important for Darden to have an organization like DSAS?

Through DSAS, the Darden community has gotten to know many cultural elements of the region. This is important since a lot of global business happens with the region these days, as well as the advent of people of South Asian background within the American workforce. DSAS serves an important role for students from the South Asian region as they are instantly able to find answers to questions that they might have otherwise struggled with alone.

One great example is how to network during recruiting season. There is no doubt that Darden students are some of the most polished students when it comes to networking. DSAS plays a critical role in helping international students pick up this skill, get over the barriers in accents and conversation topics, and practice networking skills before they head out to meet with companies.

Cultural groups like DSAS are a way for prospective students, current students and alumni to be connected with Darden, and helps them find a place within the community at Darden; after all, community is an important reason why we chose Darden.

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Question and Answer with Chuxuan Hou (Class of 2017)

Chuxuan Hou (Class of 2017)

Hometown: Tianjin, China

Pre-Darden University and Major: Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Finance

Pre-Darden Employment: PricewaterhouseCoopers

Tell me about what life was like growing up for you.  It is like a journey of exploration. In the past, every new step I took involved entering into a brand new area in every aspect. From primary school to now, I stepped away from my home district, my city and finally my home country. The change is more than just location — it’s about meeting new people and learning new things to keep expanding my view of the world. Although the process comes with many challenges, I still enjoy it a lot and appreciate where it takes me.

What motivated you to want to earn an MBA degree? I enjoy exploring new things in the world. After working for four years, I became interested in the field of business and wanted to learn more than my undergraduate major and my field of work. Having interacted with clients from all over the world, actually learning in a class with international diversity also become important to me. Moreover, for future career development, I think knowledge in all business functions is necessary to be successful at the management level.

Why did you choose Darden?  Before choosing the target school, I first made an assessment of myself. I decided what I most needed from the MBA school was a good curriculum in selection of various business areas, a teaching method that could best assist me with my communication skills, and most importantly, a friendly and supportive environment. From the interaction with the Admissions office and alumni, I felt Darden was the best choice.

As a non-native English speaker, how have you adjusted to the case method and life at Darden?  By communicating more with my learning team, classmates and professors. In the beginning, keeping up with the fast-paced class and contributing was not easy, and my contributions were more geared toward helping add case facts to our analysis. However, by spending more time preparing for the case, and with help from my learning team friends, I was able to gradually catch up with the class. And later, my contributions changed from quantitative to qualitative, and now I am able to communicate and express my opinion in English without much difficulty.

How did Darden help you find and prepare for your internship?  I would say the knowledge I gained in class, the communication skills from class and also the various events on Grounds helped, as did the opportunity to access recruiters. But most importantly, Darden’s amazing alumni helped greatly in the whole process. I think Darden’s dedication to teaching and cultivating its students is the primary reason behind all of this.

What advice do you have for prospective students?  Assess what you need from a MBA degree — every program has its strengths and weaknesses, and they are only suitable for certain groups of people. Talk more with current students and alumni, and get a better understanding of the program. In terms of preparation, your CV, GMAT and essay are of equal importance and should not be overlooked.

How did living in Charlottesville impact your MBA experience?  Charlottesville is a great place to live — it is small but it has all of the things we need. The scenery is beautiful, and the town is quiet and not crowded. Aside from studying, we enjoy driving around and exploring the surrounding areas. It is quite close to Washington, D.C., so getting to other cities is convenient. Overall, I enjoy living here a lot and I feel that it has further enhanced my MBA experience.

What do you hope to do with your life post-Darden?  I want to utilize what I learned at Darden and go further in my original specialization in finance. Before Darden, my work was more solely focused on the finance area. But I think by combining the knowledge I’ve gained in areas like marketing, operations and strategy, I can proceed further into a corporate finance role, where I can use finance as a tool in more strategic business decision-making processes.


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Meet the 2017-2018 DABO President, Agatha Patterson (Class of 2018)

By Anelle Mensah

Agatha stands with her sister, Elizabeth, at Humayan’s Tomb in New Delhi.

Agatha Patterson, originally from Kumasi, Ghana, attended Pomona College where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2009. Prior to enrolling at Darden, Agatha worked at Whittier and Associates in New York for three years as a Senior Account Executive, where she interfaced with nonprofit clients and managed their marketing campaigns. Additionally, she previously spent a year working in the Office of the President in Ghana in the capital, Accra.

Agatha knew that she wanted to attend business school and after conducting research on potential business school options, she came across Darden.  As she learned more about its renowned case study method and its welcoming and supportive community, Agatha knew that Darden would be the right decision for her.

As she prepares to enter her second year, Agatha will continue her involvement in extracurricular and global academic programs here at Darden by serving as President of the Darden African Business Organization (DABO), a student club that provides cultural opportunities and events for the Darden community to engage students in African business and culture.  After joining DABO at the beginning of her first year, Agatha immediately took advantage of the opportunities available to her through the club by participating in the International Food Festival. “I cooked Ghanaian food — kelewele, chicken, and rice and stew for the International Food Festival. Beyond that, whenever they had events, I would go,” she said.

As her involvement grew in DABO, Agatha saw opportunities to not only create positive and sustainable change within the organization but also to develop her skills as a global leader. “I tend to see ways that I can change the organizations that I’m in. I ran for President because I want for DABO to be more visible and to have more of a presence – most folks who aren’t African don’t know about the club. I want it to be a club where if you want to learn about career opportunities on the content or are just generally interested in Africa, you can join,” she shared.

As President, Agatha remains focused on fostering and expanding the sense of community among the members of DABO. In addition, she hopes to increase alumni engagement, establish a mentorship program, and further develop events featuring prominent African business leaders. Agatha also hopes to see an increase in the number of case studies featuring African protagonists and the complexities of African business. “I want people to have an understanding of Africa beyond what they see on TV. There’s a lot of excitement in going back to Ghana and getting conversations going at these communities would be really interesting to do. In the future, I want to build a foundation that future DABO leadership can take to the next level and I’d like to see more international African students coming to Darden,” she stated.

Agatha’s global Darden experiences extend beyond her involvement in DABO.  This past January, she traveled to India on a Darden Worldwide Course where she became exposed to the technology industry and its impact within the country. “I’ve been to a few countries in Latin America, Africa and Europe but I’d never been to India – India is such a dynamic place! This DWC was a data science trip where we saw how they utilized data science and technology to improve businesses,” she explained. While in India, the DWC group was also able to meet an executive from Coke India, during which Agatha gained insight into Coke’s distribution model, the various factors that must be considered as a multi-national company in a developing country, and how Coke India strives to make its products affordable and accessible to its customers. After a successful DWC experience in her first year, Agatha plans to partake in more of Darden’s global programs in the future. “I knew coming to Darden that I wanted to do a DWC; I think global experiences are really important! I want to travel all the time and I’d love to go to Argentina, Uganda, or even do my own global consulting project,” she said.

Agatha with friends from Section A at the Spring Social. From left to right, Kathryn Gaffin, Chrissie Ezzell, Julia Vannoni, Agatha Patterson, and Aly Yaris, all Class of 2018.

Agatha and Darden classmates on the Darden Worldwide Course in India standing in front of The Red Fort. From left to right Hongju Lee, EJ Nisbeth, Agatha Patterson, and Matthew Reis.

Agatha visited Thailand during spring break and enjoyed visiting one of the Karen villages in Chiang Mai.


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Net Impact Week Promotes Positive Societal Change Through Business

By Anelle Mensah

On 10-14 April, Net Impact at Darden hosted the 2017 Net Impact Week at Darden, co-sponsored by other Darden student organizations including Darden’s Global Business and Culture Club, Business & Public Policy Club, Darden Impact Ventures and Darden Wine and Cuisine Club.  This year’s theme of “Business for Good” included events that ranged from a sunset yoga session to a sustainability wine tour, with public discussions and forums in between.  Each of these events emphasized positive change that business can foster in the nonprofit, public and private sectors.

Winston Phillips (Class of 2017), who currently serves as President of Net Impact at Darden, shared her thoughts on the significance of initiatives such as Net Impact Week. “Net Impact’s mission is broad, so we wanted Net Impact Week to cover a diversity of topics that reflects the diversity of our club. What binds us is the spirit of mobilizing new generations to use their skills and careers to drive transformational social and environmental changes. In short, to orient business toward the greater good. Through discussions of social entrepreneurship, impact investing, entrepreneurial ecosystems in America’s rust belt, the sustainability of water, and organic farming/wine making, we believe that we were able to bring the discussion of “business for good” to Darden,” she said.

First Coffee marked the kick-off event for Net Impact Week, where attendees received free coffee mugs made by Fairware as well as free snacks from KIND. The event also featured a visual installation, which included quotes from KIND CEO Daniel Lubetzky on sustainability and a chalkboard for attendees to express what sustainability means to them.

Lexi Graham, third year undergraduate student and KIND representative, also reflected on the role of KIND and its responsibility in affecting positive change through its business practices. “I’m glad they invited me here. I think that KIND embodies a lot of what Net Impact is trying to accomplish and we really try to do that through our marketing initiatives.”

Rebecca van Bergen, Founder and Executive Director of Nest, gave the keynote address for Net Impact Week on Monday afternoon. Nest connects artisans with opportunities and the tools to create and advance sustainable business within their countries while also promoting their visibility and women’s empowerment. A sunset yoga session led by FlyDog Yoga rounded out the events for Monday, where participants relaxed and enjoyed being outside on beautiful Darden grounds.

On Tuesday, Net Impact at Darden, along with Darden Impact Ventures and the Center for Asset Management, hosted the Impact Investing Forum. The forum consisted of a panel of impact investing experts who discussed the approaches to impact investing, career exploration, and the what the future holds for the impact investors.

Wednesday’s and Thursday’s events integrated politics, business and social change. Wednesday’s event, titled “The Truth About Trump’s America: The Entrepreneurial Renaissance in America’s Heartland,” focused on economic and entrepreneurial possibilities within the U.S. Rust Belt amid today’s current political climate in the U.S. Thursday featured a panel discussion on the ongoing Flint water crisis–now two years later–from academic, legal and business perspectives. Furthermore, the event provided insights into water infrastructure and recommendations for how to prevent future water crises.

The 2017 Net Impact Week concluded with a Sustainability Wine Tour, where participants enjoyed organic wine and snacks and learned more about the approaches to organic farming in Virginia.  Winston Phillips (Class of 2017) reflected on the week’s events and the future of Net Impact Week. “Net Impact Week was a huge success this year, evidenced by the exciting programming, the incredible attendance at each event (even in sunny April), and the overall support from co-sponsors, faculty, and students at Darden. As a board, we were especially excited about the wide range of topics we covered this year. We hope to continue to bring perspective-changing discussions to Darden each year through Net Impact Week.”

At Net Impact Week’s First Coffee, students shared what sustainability means to them.

Mayank Garg and Praneeth Burra (both Class of 2018) enjoy the beginning of Net Impact festivities.

Students participate in yoga on Darden’s lawn.

Five different cuisines from all around the world were featured at the Cold Call, organized by the Global Business and Culture Club.



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Question and Answer with Jiang Jiang (Class of 2018)

Name: Jiang Jiang (Class of 2018)

Hometown: Nanjing, China

Pre-Darden University and Major: Shanghai International Studies University, English

Pre-Darden Employment: Deloitte, Chinese Football Association

Tell me about what life was like growing up for you.  I grew up in a city in the southern part of China. I studied at a middle school that specialized in English. I remember every semester we spent two weeks finishing the common textbooks and spent the rest of the semester studying two to three textbooks from the United States or the United Kingdom, which broadened my horizons and helped me develop an international vision at a very early age.

What motivated you to want to earn an MBA degree? I decided to earn an MBA degree when I was an undergraduate student. The first and most important reason was that I dreamt about studying in the U.S. for a very long time, partially because of my study experience in middle school. And I think an MBA is the most helpful program for my career while I complete this dream.

 Why did you choose Darden? I chose Darden because I think Darden is a very solid program — it’s a close-knit community with an innovative study style, the case method.

As a non-native English speaker, how have you adjusted to the case method and life at Darden? Case method and learning team discussions helped me a lot because I got lots of opportunities to learn how my classmates delivered their ideas in English, and I could speak English in a more natural way.

How did Darden help you find and prepare for your internship? Darden Second Year students intern at many different companies the summer after their First Year. I had First Coffee chats with them, which helped me learn a lot about the companies in detail. And we got lots of guidance from different clubs for recruiting, which was also helpful.

 What advice do you have for prospective students?  A campus visit is the best way to learn about a school. I would suggest that every prospective student should try to visit the school before making a decision.

How did living in Charlottesville impact your MBA experience?  Charlottesville is a university town, which enabled me to focus on studying and university life. Also, the people here are very friendly, and the weather is great, which made me feel very comfortable.

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Darden’s Alumni Leaders Shine in Shanghai

Last week, Darden’s Professor Dennis Yang, Global Advisory Council Chair Ro King (MBA ’91) and Dick Mayo (MBA ’68) travelled to Shanghai to represent Darden at the 2017 CEIBS Private Wealth Investment Forum, co-hosted by Darden this year as an extension of the fourth annual Shanghai Investing Summit. Darden’s alumni leaders based in Shanghai, including Jimmy Wei (MBA ’02), Bill Sun (MBA ’09) and Shawn Liu (MBA ’05) also represented Darden at the Forum Speakers’ Dinner on 7 April. After a full day of conference activities and discussions around global investing, Darden alumni also gathered on Sunday 9 April for a luncheon to catch up with each other and discuss Darden’s presence in Shanghai. Shaojian Zhang (MBA ’99) and Wei Jin (MBA ’99), leaders of Darden’s alumni chapter in China, were instrumental in organizing alumni at the various activities in early April and bringing the group together for maximum impact. Support throughout the activities in Shanghai was also provided by UVA’s China Office, led by Justin O’Jack.

Ro King (MBA ’91), Jimmy Wei (MBA ’02), and Kate Beach, Associate Director for Global Engagement at Darden’s Center for Global Initiatives catch up at the Forum Speakers’ Dinner, hosted by CEIBS.

Dick Mayo (MBA ’68) and Shawn Liu (MBA ’05) connect in Shanghai at the Speakers’ Dinner in advance of the Investing Forum.

Bill Sun (MBA ’09) shares a toast and exchanges business cards with Haibin Zhu, China Chief Economist at JP Morgan and one of the Darden-recruited speakers at the investing forum.

Shaojian Zhang ( MBA ’99) checks in at the 2017 CEIBS Private Wealth Investment Forum registration table.

Darden Professor Dennis Yang provides opening remarks at the conference . . .

. . . to a packed house! The conference drew approximately 400 attendees throughout the morning and afternoon sessions.

Dick Mayo (MBA ’68) and Darden Professor Dennis Yang spoke individually during afternoon sessions and also served on a panel.

Darden alumni gather for a lunch and discussions about the school the day after the investing conference.



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Darden Faculty International Activity and Publications Spring 2017



  • Ming-Jer Chen (December 2016.) “Competitive Dynamics: Western Growth, Eastern Roots.” Cross-Cultural & Strategic Management, Vol. 23, No. 4, pp. 510-530.
  • Ming-Jer Chen (December 2016). Academic Entrepreneurship: The Journey of Competitive Dynamics from Zero to N (with commentaries from Chinese scholars and executives, pp. 17-31). Quarterly Journal of Management (in Chinese), Vol 1, No. 3, pp. 1-16
  • Ed Freeman (Forthcoming). “The New Story of Business: Towards a More Responsible Capitalism,” Business and Society Review
  • Ed Freeman (Forthcoming) “Preface” in Research Handbook on Small Business Social Responsibility: Global Perspectives, edited by Laura Spence and colleagues, Edward Elgar.
  • Mary Gentile (Forthcoming) “Giving Voice to Values:  A Global Partnership with UNGC PRME to Transform Management Education” The International Journal of Management Education.
  • John Burger, Frank Warnock and Veronica Cacdac Warnock (Forthcoming.) “The Effects of Fed Policy on EME Sovereign and Corporate Bond Markets,” In Monetary Policy and Global Spillovers: Mechanisms, Effects and Policy Measures, edited by Enrique Mendoza, Diego Saravia and Ernesto Pasten. Santiago: Central Bank of Chile.


  • Rich Evans discussed “Pension Fund Board Composition and Investment Performance: Evidence from Private Equity” by Aleksandar Andonov, Yael V. Hochberg and Joshua D. Rauh at the 5th Luxembourg Asset Management Summit.
  • Rich Evans discussed “Sensation Seeking, Sports Cars, and Hedge Funds” by Stephen Brown, Yan Lu, Sugata Ray, and Melvyn Teo at the Twelfth Annual Mid-Atlantic Research Conference in Finance.
  • Rich Evans presented “The Impact on Financial Markets of ETF Failures-to-Deliver,” joint work with Rabih Moussawi, Michal Pagano, John Sedunov at the 5th Luxembourg Asset Management Summit; the FINRA and Columbia University Market Structure Conference: Disruptive and Manipulative Activities; the Federal Reserve Bank of Washington D.C.; the University of Miami; and the Southern Finance Association.
  • Mary Gentile presented Giving Voice to Values at the SEE (Sustainability, Entrepreneurship, Ethics) conference in Puerto Rico.
  • Mary Gentile was an invited speaker talking about Giving Voice to Values at F.H.Wien University of Applied Sciences, Vienna.
  • Jared Harris was an invited presenter talking about “Values-Based Leadership and Decision-Making,” at the GEO (Global Equity Organization) Conference for professionals in the compensation management space.
  • Jared Harris presented an academic paper at the ISBEE (Sixth World Congress of the International Society of Business, Economics, and Ethics), Shanghai China.
  • Pedro Matos presented “Asset Management within Commercial Banks Worldwide: International Evidence“ at the American Finance Association meeting and at American University.
  • Raj Venkatesan presented, “War, National Identity, and Consumer Behavior” at the  AMA Sheth India Consortium, Mumbai, India.
  • Frank Warnock presented “Currency Matters: Analyzing International Bond Portfolios” (joint work with John Burger and Veronica Cacdac Warnock) at the International Finance Division of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
  • Frank Warnock presented “Decomposing International Portfolio Flows” at the Inter-American Development Bank.
  • Frank Warnock presented “Pressing Issues in Capital Flows Research” at the International Finance Division of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
  • Dennis Yang presented the paper “Offshoring and Wage Inequality: Theory and Evidence from China” at Gatton School of College and Economics, University of Kentucky.
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Darden Expands Online Educational Experience with MOOCs

By Anelle Mensah

Darden offers a variety of  massive open online courses (MOOCs) on subjects such as leadership, management and business strategy.  These self-study online courses are taught by Darden faculty on online platforms, like Coursera through which online learners have access to a world-class educational experience anywhere in the world.

Since launching Darden’s first MOOC in 2013, more than 1.1. million people across the globe have accessed and engaged with Darden’s content and teaching online. In February 2017, the Presidential Precinct announced its new partnership with Darden to establish its first online training program. The pilot program began on 27 March and runs for four weeks. One hundred online learners from 42 countries participated in this introductory pilot course titled “Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management” taught by Professor Yael Grushka-Cockayne.

Similar to its African Scholarship Cohort program in 2016, where learners took seven courses for Darden’s Business Strategy Specialization, Darden worked with Coursera to provide scholarships to Precinct program alumni to take this pilot MOOC.

Senior Assistant Dean for Degree Programs Michael Koenig shared his thoughts on the partnership: “The Darden School of Business is proud of our growing partnership with Presidential Precinct and advancing the work of educating and inspiring a global generation of leaders. We are especially excited to leverage our world class digital business content as a catalyst for engagement and impact with leaders from across the globe. Importantly, the initiative aligns closely with Darden’s mission to improve the world by developing and inspiring responsible leaders and by advancing knowledge.”

Furthermore, on 20 March, Darden launched a new MOOC titled “Financial Accounting Fundamentals” taught by Professor Luann J. Lynch. The course, which spans five weeks, has already proved to be a success in the short time since its release. An online learner from India who was involved in beta testing this course commented, “Since I enjoyed every bit of it, I completed the course. I really liked the quizzes and [Professor Lynch’s] way of presenting the topics…. [She] presented the topics in a way that makes it easier to understand for beginners in financial accounting.”

Additional courses include the “Pricing Strategy Optimization Specialization” on Coursera, which Darden launched on 27 March in partnership with leading consulting firm The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).  Watch a short clip featuring Professor Ron Wilcox about this exciting new opportunity!

Read other MOOC reflections from Darden online learners below:

Design Thinking for Innovation, instructed by Professor Jeanne Liedtka

“The instructor was very articulate in her presentation and the teaching was smooth flowing and well connected among the modules of study. Among the various schools of thought I have learnt in thinking, I find Design Thinking very refreshing, practical and coherent in its structure of understanding and application. I just love the course – very easy to follow and inspiring indeed!

Many thanks to instructor Jeanne – you are a superb presenter!!!!!” –Learner from Singapore

Marketing Analytics, instructed by Professor Raj Venkatesan

“Dear Professor Venkatesan,

I am Thu from Vietnam. I am currently a student from Aalto University in Finland. I want to say thank you to you about the awesome Marketing Analytics course you teach here on Coursera. It is very informative and engaging. I took this course originally because I love marketing, and I don’t have course in Marketing Analytics in my university. That’s why I took this course, and I never regret it. Your course gives me more motivation to delve deeper in the area of Marketing Analytics.

It is also fun learning all the materials with you. Now whenever I want to revise some milestones in Marketing Analytics, I open your online course and skim through it again. It is very useful.

Thank you for making this course happen!”  — Learner from Finland

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