By Kate Beach
Ning (Edward) Kang, currently a first year residential MBA student at Darden, is originally from Beijing, China. He received a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications in 2010 and previously worked in high-tech industry at Ericsson. Last May, Edward participated in Darden’s Shanghai Investing Summit and Global Leadership Forum in Shanghai before beginning at Darden in August 2015. During this year, Edward has been involved with the Consulting Club and General Management Club and took a few minutes to share his reflections on his time at Darden so far:
Why did you chose to come to Darden and how did you hear about the school?
- I chose Darden mainly because of two reasons: people and case method. When I applied for the MBA, the biggest driver for me was the alumni network and the culture. Darden was famous for its close-knit and collaborative culture. This was proved through my communications with currently enrolled students and alumni in China. I can still remember the moment when I received a call from a very senior alumnus to congratulate me on my offer from Darden and kindly share his experiences at Darden. In addition to the great people, I appreciate Darden’s case method. I was looking for a business school where I could enormously develop my business acumen and interpersonal skills, which I believe are two cornerstones for a successful manager. After my research and conversations with Darden alumni, I was pretty confident that learning through the case method was the perfect way to meet my goals.
What do you think about the case method of teaching and how does it compare with the way you’ve been taught formally in the past?
- Case method is really amazing! Students read 500 real-life business cases during the 2-year MBA study. I really enjoy reading these cases through which I have learned different industries and developed my business acumen. In addition, the case method helps to develop one’s strong communication and interpersonal skills. As an international student, I benefited a lot from the case method by pushing myself out of the comfort zone to participate in class discussions. Last but not least, case method is a platform for people to share different views on one same issue. It is really fascinating to see how diverse people’s ideas are and how this could relate to future management decisions.
What are your plans for the summer?
- I have several offers and have not made the decision yet. Very possibly, I will join a F500 company for its Commercial Leadership Program designed to develop talents into future global leaders of this company in 5 years. Also, I am planning to spend more time with my family and travel around in the States.
What are your goals for your second year at Darden?
- Being an entrepreneur has always been something I want to try out. This is my main goal for my second year at Darden. Darden has a great entrepreneurship platform, the iLab. I am planning to team up with other talented students at Darden and even from the U.Va. community to experiment with some new business ideas. The iLab opportunity has become more attractive to me after connecting with a classmate who has received a lot of tutoring and valuable resources for her current business idea of running a boutique on-line store.