Specialty Areas: Energy, Healthcare, Media, Real Estate, Retail, Social Enterprise and Technology

Darden offers courses, resources and contacts for several areas outside of our core business curriculum. Learn more about opportunities in the following areas:



Husk Power Systems Founders, Charles Ransler and Manoj Sinha (both MBA '09)The energy industry is made up of businesses involved in the production, sale and/or conservation of energy. Career opportunities in the energy sector vary from traditional jobs at large oil, gas and utility companies to business development roles at small renewable energy companies.

Darden's interactive approach to training leaders in the world of practical affairs equips students with the ability to think on their feet and to apply effective problem-solving techniques to this evolving field.


The following courses incorporate energy cases into the curriculum:

Clubs & Events

  • Energy Club - The Energy Club at Darden builds a solid understanding among club members of the energy industry and its career tracks, facilitates career opportunities in energy-related companies, and enhances Darden's relationships within the energy industry. 
  • Net Impact, Renewable Energy and Education Summer Internship Panel - Second Year students share details about their summer internship experiences, tips on networking, and advice on how to search for positions in not-for-profit, renewable energy, public sector and sustainability.
  • Sustainability and Renewable Energy Conference - This annual conference brings together business leaders and students in an interactive panel format to discuss business and policy challenges as the world transitions to a reduced carbon economy.

Darden Energy Startups

  • Husk Power Systems (HPS) - Two Darden Class of 2009 graduates started this company, which provides power to tens of thousands of rural Indians in a financially sustainable, scalable, environmentally friendly and profitable manner. HPS has created proprietary technology that cost-effectively converts rice husks into electricity.
  • Clean India - Three recent Darden graduates have won over $100,000 for their Clean India business plan, which describes a for-profit model to treat and recycle contaminated water discharged by Indian garment-makers. An algae byproduct of the process has applications in various sustainable energy generation systems like biofuels and electricity.
  • Energy Guardian - This company, founded by Darden students and an engineering graduate student, provides personal energy coaching, automates energy savings and provides energy control from any internet-enabled device. Energy Guardian also provides service that keeps consumers on the cutting edge of Smart Grid developments and a community for a grassroots effort to live more efficiently and cost-effectively.


The following faculty teach, conduct research or have worked in energy: 


Still have questions? Feel free to contact the following students and alumni to ask specific questions about energy at Darden or in their careers. For additional contacts, please visit the Darden Student and Alumni Ambassadors list.

Brandon Ogelvie (MBA '08)Brandon Ogelvie (MBA '08) 

Previous Education: B.S., Mathematics, University of Miami; B.S. Civil Engineering, Purdue University; and M.S. Civil Engineering, Purdue University
Company: Intrinergy
Role: Business and Project Development
Current location: Richmond, VA

"Darden’s hands-on interactive approach to training leaders in the world of practical affairs equipped me with the skills to execute successfully across all business disciplines. Finance, Operations, Marketing, Managerial Communications, Government Relations, Entrepreneurial Thinking, Decision Analysis, General Management, Negotiating, and so on – you name it, I’ve used it over the past year."

Matt Langley (MBA '08)Matt Langley (MBA '08) 

Undergraduate education: Johns Hopkins University
Undergraduate major: Economics and East Asian Studies
Company: Clipper Windpower Development Company
Role: Business Development
Current location: Carpinteria, CA

"The energy field is a fascinating space because it is moving quickly. Success requires you to think on your feet, and to apply rigorous problem solving techniques to extremely fluid situations. Darden’s commitment to the case method and to student-led learning taught me how to articulate my ideas and how to apply a set of tools to solving complex problems. This is a critical part of my career."

Health Care

UVA-HospitalDarden’s case method teaching style and general management curriculum equip students to think creatively and strategically about current and emerging issues in the health care industry.

In  the First Year, Darden teaches students core managerial concepts in operations, strategy, finance, leadership and ethics. In the Second Year, students are encouraged to explore their own interests, pursuing opportunities that enable them to apply their understanding of business to the changing landscape of the health care industry.

Darden graduates are prepared to lead in the pharmaceutical, medical device, biotechnology and health services sectors as well as in health-care related pursuits in consulting, banking, venture capital and entrepreneurship. 


Elective Courses

For-Credit Projects

During the Second Year of the MBA program students can design a project (known as a Darden Business Project) and earn course credit. Here are two examples of projects completed by students with an interest in health care: 

  • Quality Management and Process Improvement in a Healthcare Setting: Emergency Department and Overcrowding
    This project focused on the activities of a process improvement team, the core set of process improvement tools used by the team, and how the team functions as part of a holistic quality management philosophy. 
  • Helping the Elderly: Establishing a Private Medical Practice
    This project researched the various business factors involved in establishing a private medical practice.

Selected Seminars Offered Across UVa

  • Global Health Law and Policy 
  • Health Care Marketplace: Competition, Regulation, and Reform 
  • Germs, Guns, and Lead: Public Health Law and Policy 

Health Care Dual Degrees

The University of Virginia has one of the top medical schools and health care systems in the country. Darden has three health care dual degrees:

Organizations of Interest

  • The Darden Health Care Club is committed to providing career search support and networking opportunities in the health care field, as well as providing members with various opportunities to learn more about the important issues unique to this dynamic industry.
  • The Institute for Business in Society (IBiS) is a Darden Center of Excellence that aims to be a leading global catalyst and convener of thought, information, and action at the interface of business and society, and to promote the development of leaders who positively impact society through business. IBiS supports research and teaching initiatives in the health-care space, as well as interdisciplinary University events surrounding health care and the life sciences.



Still have questions? Feel free to contact the following current students and alumni to ask specific questions about health care at Darden or in their careers. For additional contacts, please visit the Darden Student and Alumni Ambassadors list.

Katherine Gordon MurphyKate Gordon Murphy (MBA '12)

Undergraduate education: Mount Holyoke College
Undergraduate major: Economics
Company: Accenture
Job Function: Strategy Consulting
Current Location:  Charlottesville, VA
Current Project: Building and managing diabetes pilots to beta test elements of the future Diabetes Program at a top 10 health system on the West coast.

"Darden's general management curriculum prepared me to think strategically through our client's problems and the wider market changes occurring in the healthcare industry, structure these opportunities in a way that leads to action and results, and work with clinicians and executives to gain support for the initiative."

Elizabeth Cundari (MBA '08)Elizabeth Cundari (MBA '08) 

Undergraduate education: University of Virginia
Undergraduate major: Biology
Company: Campbell Alliance
Role: Senior Consultant, Pharmaceutical and Biotech Industries
Current location: New York, NY

"My Darden experience was a highly effective training ground for my current role as a management consultant in the health care industry. The case method developed my critical thinking skills and taught me a systematic approach to problem solving which is especially important in my project work when developing solutions to complex problems with imperfect information. I also took advantage of every health care specific class offered at Darden which applied the case method to today’s most pressing challenges."

Media, Entertainment & Sports

Darden-Media-StudioDarden’s preparation for careers in the media, entertainment and sports industries is robust not only because of the breadth of the curriculum offerings and cases dedicated to these industries, but also because of the numerous opportunities available beyond the classroom.

These come in the form of the popular Media, Entertainment, and Sports Club, job treks to New York and Los Angeles, numerous alumni in senior management positions at high-profile companies, and the music management and film production enterprises both founded and located in Charlottesville. Darden is an excellent fit for students interested in media, entertainment, and sports because like the School itself, these fields tend to be highly entrepreneurial, as well as relationship-driven.

Batten Media Fellowship

Visit Scholarships for details about the Batten Media Fellowship, a full-tuition fellowship awarded to a candidate with a career at newspapers or in other news gathering organizations.

Courses and Faculty

James Rubin teaches the Second Year elective, Media, Entertainment, and Sports Management. In addition to numerous case studies of these industries, the course includes readings, student presentations, and a variety of guest speakers including Temple Fennel, head of Red Light Management; Kelly Thomas (Darden MBA '90), producer of Mockingbird Pictures; Paul Junger Witt from Harris Productions and a UVA alumnus; Jack Oakley, head of UVA’s Sports Marketing; and Brent Stewart, an entertainment lawyer. Professor Rubin has also developed multimedia cases on “The Doors” and the Dave Matthews Band.

Marc Lipson is a faculty member interested in media and entertainment. He was the advisor for "The International Business of Film at the Cannes Film Festival" Darden Business Project (a student-led for-credit project that included a trip to the Cannes Festival in May) which led to the creation of a course that goes there every year.

R. Edward Freeman teaches a popular Second Year elective called Leadership and Theater: Ethics, Innovation and Creativity.

For-Credit Projects

During the Second Year of the MBA program students can design a project (known as a Darden Business Project) and earn course credit. Here is one example of a project completed by a student with an interest in sports:

  • Empower the Athlete
    This project, which began as a Darden Business Project and continued as a business venture in the Darden Business Incubator, provides college counseling for high school athletes. An improved recruiting process allows recruits to attend better academic schools, play at more competitive athletic programs, and receive more financial aid and scholarship money.  

Clubs & Events

  • Media, Entertainment and Sports Job Treks - In conjunction with the Darden Career Development Center, the MES Club organizes recruiting trips to New York and Los Angeles meeting with companies such as ESPN, NBA, Sirius Radio, Sony Productions, Reuters, ABC, NBC, The New York Times, Universal Music, MTV and Disney.
  • Virginia Film Festival - This four-day festival held each fall in Charlottesville includes over 60 film screenings and nearly one hundred speakers. Directors, actors, scholars, and writers enrich the experience and welcome the opportunity to reflect with audiences on the art and purposes of film making.
  • Annual Film Producers Forum - As part of the Virginia Film Festival, the MES Club organizes the Annual Film Producers Forum, bringing high-profile movie producers to speak at Darden.

Charlottesville & UVA Resources

Charlottesville's vibrant cultural community is very supportive of the arts, hosting annual film, photograph and book festivals. Charlottesville is also home to UVA Sports and the Dave Matthews Band and their spin-off companies, including music management and movie production companies. Numerous UVA alumni are highly involved in the film industry; to learn more, read the Making Movies feature from the online version of the University of Virginia Magazine. Relationships with these entities are a robust source for speakers, teachers, internships, and research opportunities.


Still have questions? Feel free to contact the following current students and alumni to ask specific questions about media, entertainment and sports at Darden or in their careers. For additional contacts, please visit the Darden Student and Alumni Ambassadors list.

Ryan Davis (MBA '07)Ryan Davis (MBA '07) 

Undergraduate education: Northwestern University
Undergraduate major: Journalism
Company: Philadelphia Media Holdings
Role: Director of Strategic Operations
Current Location: New York, NY

“Darden opened doors for me in media. The coursework prepared me for the fascinating business challenges facing the media world. The links with Darden alums at places such as NBC, Media General, Google, and ABC helped me get connected in the industry. And the Media, Entertainment and Sports Club gave us the opportunity to meet media executives in New York and Los Angeles. Every year we add to the network of Darden alums pursuing careers in media, entertainment, and sports. Together, we help make each other more successful.”

Real Estate

When Darden alumni working in real estate speak with current students, they often talk about how they apply general management principles to their jobs each and every day. Whether they work for a large commercial real estate firm or a small development shop, they must understand the various functions required of a real estate professional including zoning and entitlement, project financing, and marketing and sales. These Darden alumni draw from their in-depth knowledge of the different functional areas to ensure project and career success.

Darden students who are planning to pursue a career in real estate or simply have an interest in this industry take advantage of the strong general management curriculum, complemented by co-curricular activities and real estate focused electives, both at Darden and at other schools at the University of Virginia.


The following is a list of real estate classes at Darden and at other graduate schools at the University of Virginia. Darden students may receive degree credit for two courses (6 credit hours) at other graduate schools at the University of Virginia.

  • Intro to Real Estate Finance and Development (Darden)
  • Commercial Real Estate Transactions (UVA Law)
  • Real Estate Design and Development (UVA Law)
  • Real Estate Transactions: Principles and Practice (UVA Law)
  • Land Development Workshop (UVA Architecture)
  • Development Dynamics (UVA Architecture)

Clubs & Events

  • Real Estate Club - The Darden Real Estate Club enhances students’ understanding of the real estate industry, builds and strengthens Darden’s relationships with real estate firms and provides guidance to its members in their search for careers in the real estate field.
  • Real Estate Club Events - The Real Estate Club conducts an internship hunt information session, ARGUS training, a LEED certification study session and case competition preparatory sessions.
  • Darden Finance Conference - The Real Estate Club participates in this annual conference which provides attendees the opportunity to meet real estate executives in the financial sector.


Anthony W. (Tony) Smith teaches the Intro to "Real Estate Finance and Development" course at Darden.


Still have questions? Feel free to contact the following student or alumnus to ask specific questions about real estate at Darden or in their careers. For additional contacts, please visit the Darden Student and Alumni Ambassadors list.

Rich Ellis (MBA '07)Rich Ellis (MBA '07) 

Undergraduate education: Vanderbilt University
Undergraduate major: Organizational Studies, Business Administration
Company: Boston Properties
Role: Project Manager
Current location: Washington, D.C.

"Darden’s general management curriculum and alumni community enabled me to transition into a new industry and opened professional doors that I couldn’t have imagined prior to my MBA experience. The Darden experience, both in and out of the classroom, has proved invaluable, personally and professionally."

Retail & Luxury Goods

Darden Retail and Luxury Goods StartupDarden students who are planning to pursue a career in retail and luxury goods take advantage of the strong general management curriculum at Darden, as well as retail-related courses. Darden's academic offerings are complemented by co-curricular activities focused on industry-relevant speakers and recruiters in the industry, as well as alumni networking, career treks and conferences focusing on retail and luxury goods.

Career opportunities vary from traditional jobs at large big box retailers to more niche positions at major luxury labels. Positions in finance, marketing and supply chain management/operations, and opportunities in merchandizing, strategy, sustainability and procurement have all been employment options for Darden graduates interested in this area.


The following classes are recommended for students interested in careers in retail and luxury goods:

Retail & Luxury Goods (RLG) Club

The mission of the Retail and Luxury Goods Club is to increase awareness and interest in the retail and luxury goods industries among Darden students and to increase Darden’s presence in these industries. The RLG Club works on bringing industry speakers and recruiters to Darden and is the hub of alumni networking to help Darden students find summer and full-time job opportunities. In conjunction with the Career Development Center, students in the RLG club will be planning career treks to New York and Los Angeles, and will be attending industry conferences with other top business schools.



Still have questions? Feel free to contact the following students and alumna to ask specific questions about retail and luxury good opportunities at Darden. For additional contacts, please visit the Darden Student and Alumni Ambassadors list. 

 Karen Manookian (MBA '12)

Undergraduate education: Vanderbilt University
Undergraduate major: Economics and Political Science (double major)
Company: Macy's Inc.
Position: Business Analysis Manager
Location: New York City

Catherine Sproul (MBA '10)Catherine Sproul (MBA '10)

Undergraduate education: Harvard University
Undergraduate major: Psychology
Previous occupation: Marketing, Discover Financial Services
Company: L'Oreal
Position: Assistant Marketing Manager
Location: New York City 

"The biggest help Darden gave me was putting me in touch with the right people. The luxury goods industry is slow to appreciate the value of an MBA, and therefore finding jobs in these companies involves networking and off-campus career searches more than industries with established MBA development programs. Through faculty and fellow students, I was able to get in touch with the right people to land my summer internship and get my foot in the luxury door."

Social Enterprise

Business students are increasingly interested in starting or working for companies that develop innovative products and services that have a positive societal impact. Career opportunities in social enterprise and the nonprofit sector are rapidly increasing. Whether a student is interested in working in microfinance, community foundations, education or global philanthropy, it is critical to have a strong foundation in business leadership and a solid understanding of business fundamentals.


Primary Courses

Related Courses


The following faculty teach, conduct research or have worked in social enterprise:

Organizations & Events 

  •  Net Impact at Darden - Net Impact is dedicated to using the power of business to positively impact social, environmental, and economic concerns across the world.
  • Institute for Business in Society (IBiS) - IBiS is a Darden Center of Excellence that aims to be a leading global catalyst and convener of thought, information, and action at the interface of business and society, and to promote the development of leaders who positively impact society through business.  
  • Darden Education Club - The Education Club strives to generate energy, passion, appreciation, and focus around the education industry.
  • Emerging Markets Development Club (EMDC) - EMDC helps students discover how business can impact social change in developing societies.
  • Darden Nonprofit Internship Fund (DNIF) - DNIF is a student-funded program that helps First Year students defray summer living expenses while pursuing low-paying internships in the nonprofit and social sectors.
  • Building Goodness in April (BGiA)  - BGiA's mission is to rehabilitate the homes of low-income, elderly, and disabled families in the Charlottesville community.
  • Outreach at Darden - Outreach is Darden's umbrella community service organization that organizes fun activities that leave a positive impact on the world outside of Darden.
  • Community Consultants at Darden - This student organization performs pro-bono consulting engagements in the Charlottesville community.
  • Black Business Student Forum (BBSF) Conference - In 2009, BBSF's annual conference focused on "The Business of Social Change: Using business principles to solve the world's biggest challenges."

Video: MBA Careers for Change

In the following video, Darden students share their experiences from their summer MBA internships in sustainability consulting (GreenOrder), K-12 education (Bellweather Education Partners), energy optimization (MKThink), and corporate innovation (Waste Management).


Still have questions? Feel free to contact students and alumni to ask specific questions about social enterprise opportunities at Darden. For contact information, please visit the Darden Student and Alumni Ambassadors list. 


Technology has broad applications and plays a defining role in a variety of industries. At Darden, technology is embedded in all aspects of the learning experience. In marketing classes, students learn to engage customers through social networking; in leadership classes, students learn to manage more effectively using technology; and in operations classes, students learn to use technology to improve efficiency in business operations. Career opportunities in technology fall into three main areas: computer hardware and software, internet and new media and telecommunications.

Clubs & Events

  • Darden Technology Club (DTC) - Darden BTC provides a forum for students interested in working in technology-intensive industries and students interested in understanding the role and opportunities that technology creates for improving the performance of organizations.
  • Technology Industry Immersion Panel - DTC and the Career Development Center sponsor a Technology Industry Immersion Panel for all Darden students.


Video - MBA Career Search at Darden: Technology & West Coast Recruiting

Casey Bi (MBA '12) talks about the job search process for students interested in careers in technology, especially on the West Coast. She discusses Darden technology classes, career search resources, job treks and the Darden Technology Club.

For-Credit Projects

During the Second Year of the MBA program students can design a project (known as a Darden Business Project) and earn course credit. Here are two examples of projects completed by students with an interest in technology:

  • Microsoft: Organization Structure, Incentives, and Innovation Processes
    This project developed a teaching case and technical note on the challenges associated with implementing an innovation strategy in the technology and software industries.
  • E-Commerce Technology Business Plan
    This project looked at using technology as a business enabler.


The following faculty teach, conduct research or have worked in technology:


Still have questions? Feel free to contact the following students and alumni to ask specific questions about technology at Darden or in their careers. For additional contacts, please visit the Darden Student and Alumni Ambassadors list.

Amanda GingrasAmanda Gingras (MBA '12) 

Undergraduate education: University of New Hampshire
Undergraduate major: Business and Communication
Company: Tektronix Communications/Danaher
Role: General Management
Location: Dallas, TX

"Darden has prepared me well for my career in General Management. I have been able to leverage the enterprise perspective that Darden teaches you, the unique ability to make decisions taking into consideration all aspects of a business (Operations, Strategy, Finance, etc.).  Darden's General Management focus and leveraging the case study method has made me feel much better prepared as I start my career at Danaher."

Katherine MuellerKatherine Mueller (MBA '12)

Undergraduate education: Boston College
Undergraduate major: Business, Accounting
Company: AT&T
Role: Corporate Development/M&A
Location: Dallas, TX

Jason Sinnarajah (MBA '07)

Undergraduate education: Boston College
Undergraduate major: Finance/Marketing
Company: Google Inc.
Role: Associate Manager
Current location: Sydney, Australia

"My job involves a lot of operational consulting and looks at issues that affect the broader company. Darden trained me to think about broader issues than just the central figures in the business cases we studied. The case study method prepares you to be a great general manager, helps you think about multiple issues that affect the central problem you are trying to solve, and teaches you to be a good people manager."

Subha Shetty (MBA '06)Subha Shetty (MBA '06)

Undergraduate education: Delhi University
Undergraduate major: Physics
Company: Walmart International
Role: Senior Manager, Product Management Global E-Commerce
Current location: San Francisco bay area

"Darden prepared me for a career in technology in the bay area by giving me 1) the confidence to communicate effectively in a team setting through its case study curriculum, 2) a network of strong and close-knit alumni in the bay area who have been a great deal of support, and 3) extensive career guidance and interview preparation through its career office. Special callout to Marty Speight here, who coached me brilliantly!"

top of page