By Lauren Wallace
Philip van der Made, currently a second year residential MBA student at Darden, is originally from Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He received his M.A. in Elementary Education from Relay Graduate School of Education in 2014, and his B.A. in Economics from Cornell University. Prior to Darden he worked as a teacher in Brooklyn, NY. Philip is the recipient of a Batten Scholarship. While at Darden, Philip has served as President of the European Society, a tutor, and a Second Year Coach. He took a few minutes to share his reflections on his time here thus far:
Philip van der Made came to the United States from the Netherlands to earn his bachelor’s degree, and ten years later, he now has his B.A. in Economics, M.A. in Elementary Education, four years of teaching experience, and a year’s investment in a start-up company under his belt as he currently pursues his MBA at Darden. Philip worked with Teach for America for four years before he decided to switch from the education field to the business world in hopes of creating his own start-up one day. He heard about Darden through a former teaching colleague and was impressed during his visit as a prospective student. As a former teacher, Philip is particularly aware of the value of a good learning environment, and after observing Darden’s case method approach to teaching and learning, he knew Darden was the right choice for him. “The case method forces you to ask the right questions, not just gain a library of knowledge,” Philip explained. Having been so impressed with the class he sat in on as a prospective student, Philip now gets to experience the discussions, the professors, and the case method approach as a Darden student first-hand every day.
Philip has participated in a number of global experiences at Darden, including taking a Darden.Worldwide. Course in Sweden as well as becoming a member of the European Society. Philip chose to do the Sweden course because of its close proximity to his home in the Netherlands, yet was surprised with how different the Swedish business culture is from the Dutch. The experience affirmed how important cultural differences are in global business, and that “the only way to learn that is through interaction, not from reading an article.”
Philip now leads Darden’s European Society as President. “It’s a great place to connect people from Europe,” he explains, although the group’s members are not just European nationals. The Society has doubled its membership by recruiting members who have an affinity for Europe, not just citizenship there. The Society has numerous members who are either interested in studying abroad in the region and who have done exchange programs with European schools as undergraduates. Philip’s vision for the Society after he graduates is for it to continue to be a meeting place for Europeans and non-Europeans alike, as well as a catalyst for increasing the Darden pipeline in Europe.
After he graduates from Darden, Philip will be working for Bain & Company, a global consulting firm headquartered in Boston, where he interned last summer. He would like to return to the Netherlands in the next few years, perhaps to work for Bain’s branch in Amsterdam. Reflecting on his Darden experience thus far, Philip stated, “It’s the shared experience that makes the community. That shared experience binds you with alumni as well and allows the alumni to stay connected.”