MBA for Executives

Executive MBA Profile: Daren Dickerson


Daren Dickerson

Vice President, Finance
JBL Professional

Darden MBA for Executives
Class of 2009

Why did you choose Darden’s MBA for Executives Program?

I was first drawn to Darden by the school’s excellent reputation. I then became intrigued with learning via the case method from highly acclaimed professors.

The format of the program allowed me to be fully engaged for the monthly three-day residencies. I was able to balance work and family while I was engaged with my cohort and faculty at Darden.

What impact has the MBA for Executives program had on your career?

The program has had an immediate impact on my career. My company promoted me to Vice President about six months prior to graduation. My new position required me to take an “enterprise perspective”while being responsible for the income statement of an important brand within the corporation.

How did the program change you as a leader, as a businessperson, and as an individual?

Quite simply, the program helped me to develop and trust my style of management. The case method allows you to “act out” managerial roles which a very beneficial when you return to the real world of running a business.

Are there specific courses / classes / program features that stick with you today? Which ones? why?

The LO (Leading Organizations) courses are the ones that I draw upon each day. I ascended into a top-level position at my company towards the end of my Darden program. Those courses have proved to be invaluable as I decipher a multitude of management issues each day.

How did the faculty impact your experience?

I was extremely impressed with the level of engagement from the faculty. The ideals of Jefferson were truly practiced by the faculty as they spent considerable time outside of the classroom with my cohort. Today, it is my honor to call many faculty members a friend while remaining impressed by their knowledge of specific areas of business.

What do you see as the value of the Darden alumni network? How has it benefited you?

The truly unique value of Darden’s MBA for Executives program is the welcome bestowed upon the cohort by the Darden community. Although the program attracts a different demographic than the full-time program, all Darden students and alumni are treated as equals. I thoroughly enjoyed returning to my first reunion this past April and the opportunity to become acquainted with a wider network has proved beneficial to me. I can also attest that the Darden reach extends to the west coast as I have found the LA alumni chapter to be vibrant.

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