Darden MBA for Executives
Class of 2009
Why did you choose Darden’s MBA for Executives Program?
I knew as soon as I attended an information session that the Darden MBA for Executives program was right for me. I was immediately drawn to the case-method and the overall well-rounded nature of the program (Darden’s famed “Enterprise Perspective”).
In addition, the logistics (housing, on-grounds schedule, meals, etc.) were the best of all the programs I looked into. This was very important to me because in addition to working a demanding full-time job, I am married with two elementary school- aged children, so my time is very precious!
What impact has the MBA for Executives program had on your career?
What I learned in the program encouraged me to take control and define the next step in my career. It also helped me think clearly about how to position myself to make that next step achievable.
After several years in the same role, I changed jobs while I was in the program and again shortly after graduation, attaining increased responsibilities and more challenging roles each time.
I am certain that the skills I honed at Darden, along with the respect I gained by completing such a challenging program without neglecting my responsibilities at work, have had a very positive impact on my career.
How did the program change you as a leader, as a businessperson, and as an individual?
I’ve had several people tell me they have seen a change in me since completing Darden. Coworkers say I’m more open to ideas, thoughtful and balanced in my positions. As a manager, I think I’ve put new importance on clear communication and motivating people. I also have a deeper comprehension of the external influences impacting our business. Each of these changes has increased my value to my company and my potential for continued career advancement.
Are there specific courses / classes / program features that stick with you today? Which ones? why?
Here are three of the courses I find myself thinking about most often:
Communications (both Management Communications and Communicating with Leadership Presence). I considered myself a good communicator prior to Darden, but these classes helped me take it to a new level, learning how to craft difficult messages and delivering them in ways which have the most impact.
Leading Organizations. Prior to this class, I believed Leadership was a quality you were either born with or without. This course helped me understand how to hone my leadership skills and help others do the same.
Leading Strategic Change. While I thoroughly enjoyed this class when I took it (it was taught by the legendary professor Alec Horniman), I had a great opportunity to put these skills into practice when I started my current role as a leader of our company –wide efficiency program. Since then, I’ve looked back at the materials from this course several times to remind me why changing an organization is so difficult.
How did the faculty impact your experience?
The faculty at Darden is second to none. They always made time for me both while I was in the program and after. When I started my current role, one of the first things I did is contact my former Operations professor Elliott Weiss to ask for suggestions on some reading materials related to Lean management. He replied within the day with some excellent suggestions!