The Darden School of Business has long been recognized as a leading MBA program in general management (ranked No. 1 in this area by Financial Times). The case study method and integrated core curriculum provide a thorough understanding of how all areas of a business impact one another.
But Darden students are not just strong managers and leaders — they are also expert specialists. To reflect this important point, the Darden faculty added optional concentrations to the curriculum structure in 2010. While students have always tailored the elective curriculum to focus on areas of interest, the concentrations provide additional guidance and structure to this specialization, as well as providing a stronger signal to recruiters of students’ focus. All students still receive the same MBA degree, but now concentrations can be added to résumés as well.
The MBA concentrations are divided into career tracks and theme tracks. MBA students may choose two from among the following:
Career Track Concentrations
Asset Management/Sales & Trading
This MBA concentration area is designed to extend the valuation principles learned in the First Year curriculum to solve complex problems faced by asset managers and sales and trading professionals. The courses expose students to a variety of different financial markets and give students a deeper understanding for how companies are valued, which are critical components for either managing a client’s funds or executing security trades. Faculty contact: Ken Eades.
Corporate Finance/Investment Banking
This concentration is designed to extend the valuation and value creation principles learned in the First Year curriculum to the solving of complex problems faced by companies and investment banks. The courses fine tune students’ analytical skills and broaden students’ exposure to a wide range of financial and business decisions. Faculty contact: Ken Eades.
Students fulfilling this MBA concentration will graduate with an understanding of their affinity for being entrepreneurial and an understanding of the fundamentals of effectual and causal thinking and when each is appropriate. They also graduate with a set of skills based on academic study and experiential work that allows them to be confident in starting a new venture. Faculty Contact: Philippe Sommer.
This concentration builds on brand management and will prepare students for careers in organizations where brand leadership is critical — in traditional consumer packaged goods, consumer durables, consumer services, consulting firms and even NFPs. This track focuses on the end-user as “customer,” offering the opportunity to gain insight into how customers search for information, processes that information, make purchase decisions, and become loyal, engaged consumers. Faculty Contact: Marian Moore.
Business to Business Marketing
This concentration is designed for those students who wish to pursue a career in organizations that market goods and services to other businesses. It is also appropriate for those seeking careers in consulting, operations or non-marketing jobs in a B2B firm. The objective of this concentration is to provide students with an understanding for how businesses relate to one another, how to manage these relationships, and how to develop and implement a viable strategy. Faculty Contact: Robert Spekman.
This MBA concentration area is intended to immerse students in the consulting process and to help them identify and deepen the skill sets necessary for success in that role. Faculty Contact: Jay Bourgeois.
Supply Chain Management
This concentration gives students additional grounding in operations management concepts, develops in-depth knowledge of general management-associated supply chain management concepts and principles, and builds strength in related cross-functional skills. Faculty Contact: Elliott Weiss.
Theme Track Concentrations
Students fulfilling this concentration graduate with the mindset and skill set to succeed at identifying and implementing innovation in a corporate setting. Faculty Contact: Jeanne Liedtka.
Business Development and Growth
Sustainable success requires organizations to innovate and grow to maintain or increase profitability. Students focusing on this concentration will learn the fundamentals of managing innovation, organic growth, and acquisition and integration of mergers and acquisitions. Faculty Contact: Jeanne Liedtka.
The objectives of the market analytics concentration are to equip students with strong analytic skills, expose them to large data sets where they can engage in mining as it relates to customer relationship management, brand marketing, and other processes for building closer relationships with one’s customer base. The concentration is positioned for those students who wish to follow a B2C career with more of a focus on the research, who are looking at careers in consulting, business development, or other areas where analytic skills are highly valued. Faculty Contact: Raj Venkatesan.
This business analytics concentration will prepare students to participate in organizations that make abundant use of data/quantitative/mathematical techniques as part of their business processes. It is a more general version of the “Market Analytics” concentration in that the areas of application are more than marketing. We expect completion of this concentration to be a useful signal to potential employers of the analytic and quantitative abilities of the student. Faculty Contact: Robert Carraway.
Innovation for Sustainability
The objectives of this concentration are to provide students with knowledge about the global impacts on natural systems from rising energy and material consumption patterns; to inform students of institutions and policy instruments that influence business operations; to expose them to innovative processes and tools available; and to provide guidance on how innovative sustainability practices can be designed to increase revenues and lower costs. View a video about Darden's sustainability curriculum. Faculty Contact: Michael Lenox.