MBA for Executives

Career Profile: Brad Tompkins

Bradley Tompkins

Brad Tompkins

Darden MBA for Executives
Class of 2010

Briefly describe the company you started.

Thirvin International’s core focus is supplying and strategically managing high quality California wine around the globe, with a current emphasis on China. We are proud to represent the highest quality California wine to meet the desires of all consumers and all wine drinking occasions. In addition to acting as exclusive agent to established third party wines from California, Thirvin also has a proprietary brand, Stateside, which is sold in California and China.

Did you start your company before, during or after the Darden MBA for Executives?

The idea for the company was conceived during the MBA program and the company’s business plan was the Darden Business Project. The company was incorporated two months after graduation and became a full-time project nine months after graduation.

How did Darden help you launch your company and aide your entrepreneurial efforts?

There were several ways Darden helped me with the company:

The Darden education gave me the know-how and confidence to launch and run a business. More specifically:

  • Accounting and Finance taught me how to understand, create and maintain financial models
  • Economics showed me how to analyze emerging markets at a macro level and gave me ammunition to bring to investors. 
  • Communications honed my ability to deliver powerful presentations to potential investors.
  • Leading Organizations gave me the skill to manage leaders.

I would not have discovered the lack of, and subsequent opportunity to export, California wines to China if it weren’t for the program’s Leadership Residency in China.

The Darden Business Project process was instrumental in helping me to hone the business plan.

The Darden brand and network helped me assemble an all-star team, including a Darden professor joining my Board of Directors.

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