Over 70% of Darden students come to business school planning to switch career paths — either changing job functions, industries or both. Darden is an excellent MBA program for career switchers because our approach is to help you enhance your career by leveraging not just your past experiences, but also your transferable skills and leadership potential.
Resources for Career Switchers
The following resources are particularly helpful to career switchers:
- PCAP Personal Career Assessment Program (PCAP) – PCAP is an optional workshop offered to all incoming students that gives you the opportunity to develop a comprehensive, rigorous self assessment that you can use throughout your career to make better, more satisfying career and personal decisions. PCAP will help you understand yourself more deeply, review the demands of job offers more rigorously and then use that information to make better career decisions.
- Career Discovery Forums (CDFs) – These events are designed to provide First Year students with an opportunity to learn more about MBA careers in consulting, finance, general management and operations, marketing, and mission-driven careers. Through knowledgeable speakers and informative panel discussions, these forums will aid you in your exploration of different career paths.
- Career Consultants – Darden’s industry-experienced career consultants coach students in the strategies and mechanics of the job search process. In addition to their individual focus on one of four functional areas (consulting, finance, marketing, and general management), the career consultants also specialize by industry and have extensive corporate experience to draw upon. Career consultants work with students in group and individual sessions to help them through a detailed self-assessment program which leads to the development of a Personal Career Plan, a guiding strategy for defining and achieving career objectives. Career consultants then work with students throughout the year on the tactics for an effective search. The breadth and depth of their experience enables them to use their perspectives to work in partnership with First and Second Year students on career planning.
- SY Coaches – In addition to your functionally aligned career consultant, you will also be assigned a Second Year student career coach, who recently went through the internship job search process. Your career coach will be able to advise you throughout the First Year.
- Batten Venture Internship Program (BVIP) – The BVIP program provides Darden students the opportunity to pursue summer internships with venture capital firms or start-ups around the country. This is an excellent way for students to get experience in a new industry and job function prior to going through the full-time job search process in the Second Year.
Video: Ready to Switch Careers
Watch the following video of Stephanie Horvath (MBA '11) who talks about the variety of ways that Darden got her ready to switch careers from journalism to brand management: