Why did you decide to get your MBA?
Sr. Marketing Manager
Darden MBA for Executives
Class of 2010
I decided to get an MBA for a couple of reasons. I noticed that many of my colleagues at work either had their MBAs or were pursuing them. I’ve been able to advance pretty rapidly in my career with hard work and determination, but I feel that having an MBA from a top-ranked MBA program will be critical in order to help keep me competitive for future professional opportunities.How did you come to choose Darden’s MBA for Executives program?
I chose Darden because of its reputation, case study method, professors and the flexibility of the program format. Darden was one of the few programs I found that seemed like it would actually fit with the demands of my career and life.
What has been your favorite part of the Darden experience?
The people in the program – both professors and students – have been my favorite part of the Darden experience. The professors are knowledgeable and engaging. The experiences of the other students are a great supplement to our case study discussions. Plus, many of the other students have become great friends.
How has the MBA for Execs program changed the way you think about your professional path?
The program has broadened my mindset of possibilities for my professional future. I am now considering job functions and industries that I had not considered before joining the program.
Can you describe how you apply what you’ve learn in the program back in the workplace?
For me, there are two different types of applications for knowledge gained in the program. One is tactical skills. In my case, this is building on my accounting and finance skills. The second aspect is more of a mindset change, I think this is especially applicable for information discussed in our leadership, ethics, communication, and decision analysis courses. The case studies and the class discussions expand your mind on how you think about things or approach situations in the workplace.
How do your MBA for Executives classmates shape your Darden experience?
I think my classmates are a critical component of the Darden experience. We have a great class; there are people from a wide range of backgrounds, that I don’t know that I would have necessarily an easy opportunity to interact with otherwise. There is a lot of discussion in class and people are able to share their viewpoint based on their particular industry or job function. It really adds another layer of depth to the learning experience.
There is a lot of great one-on-one interaction with other students through our learning teams. All of us are assigned to small learning teams, which meet regularly to discuss assignments and work on group projects. Since we come from a variety of diverse backgrounds there is usually someone who has experience dealing with a topic that we are covering in class and can help guide the team through the assignment.
Across the entire EMBA industry, there are far fewer female students than male. What’s it like being one of the few women in the program?
My entire career has been in organizations where the number of men has greatly outnumbered the number of women, so the gender split in our class doesn’t seem unusual. Our class is about 25% female and I think we are a very impressive group and have an equal place at the table.
What advice would you offer someone evaluating MBA for Executives programs?
I recommend that prospective students visit the programs that they are considering and attend either an open house or a sample class to gain a better understanding of the faculty, the students, and the personality of the program.
What advice do you have for a prospective Darden MBA for Executives student?
I recommend that anyone who is considering Darden attend one of the open houses for prospective students. The open house provides great insight into the program and also allows prospective students to meet and talk with current students.
How do you balance work / study /life as you pursue your Executive MBA at Darden?
It is a challenge balancing it all, but there are a number of things that help me. First off, both my employer and my family and friends have been very supportive of my participation in the program. They understand that right now I might not be able to do all of the things that I did before I started at Darden.
The format of the program is also really helpful for managing all of my commitments. Our distance sessions are all recorded, so if I can’t make the scheduled day and time, I can re-watch them later.
Also, since we have the full schedule for all of our on grounds date for the entire program, I can plan work and personal obligations around those dates. Also, my learning team is terrific! We share the workload and work through assignments together, we also help each other out when a team member has a work or life demand that pulls their attention away from school.