Darden's Career Development Center offers a wide variety of career resources to help students find summer internships and full-time job offers and to develop lifelong career management skills:
All Darden students receive one-on-one counseling from a functionally aligned career consultant. 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.
Second Year Coaches
First Year Darden students are also assigned a Second Year Coach, who recently went through the internship job search process in the industry and/or job function that you are looking to go into. Your career coach will be able to advise you throughout the First Year.
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.
Darden students have access to Career Leader at a reduced rate. Career Leader is a fully integrated approach to business career self-assessment built on the premise that your interests, motivators and skills will drive future career success and satisfaction.
Career Management Curriculum
Darden is one of the few top business schools to integrate career management courses into the curriculum. The Career Management Series provides instruction in key elements of the job search process. Darden’s career consultants teach job search skills and techniques that can be applied while at Darden as well as during a lifetime of career decision-making and advancement. Key components include determining a career objective, developing a personal career plan, "telling your story," writing an effective résumé, interviewing, communicating with companies and preparing for interviews and summer internships.
Career consultants and Second Year career coaches are available to conduct mock interviews with students to help replicate a real interview situation and provide feedback to help students improve their interview performance. An additional tool used at Darden for interview feedback is InterviewStream. InterviewStream offers an online video based practice interviewing system specifically created for campus career centers and is used at many top MBA schools. Students receive feedback on non-verbal behavior and communication missteps. It is also a helpful tool for objective career consultant and SY coach assessments.
Résumé and Cover Letter Workshops
The Career Development Center and various Darden student clubs host a series of résumé and cover letter workshops to help students prepare professional, MBA-caliber résumés and cover letters.
Darden provides a variety of online resources to help students develop lifelong career management skills. The Career Development Portal houses over 1000 pages of resources and information on all aspects of the career management process.
Recruiting & Networking Opportunities
Over 100 companies travel to Charlottesville, Virginia each year to recruit Darden students. Each company posts opportunities (for either summer internships, full-time jobs or both) prior to their visit, and Darden students can apply and potentially interview for the positions while the companies are on-Grounds. In addition to the companies that travel to Charlottesville, hundreds more post opportunities online. In total, approximately 700 job postings are posted each year.
Company Networking Nights
The Career Development Center organizes three First Year and six Second Year networking nights each year. During Networking Nights company representatives meet with students to discuss available opportunities and share insights and experiences.
The career-focused student clubs host over 90 networking events, conferences, and other important recruiting activities throughout the year.
Darden hosts approximately 100 company briefings each year. Company briefings give companies a chance to create a brand image, communicate a company's culture, market job opportunities and network with students. Companies also schedule additional brand-building opportunities in conjunction with a company briefing.
Career Fairs and Interview Forums
Darden students attend numerous career fairs and interview forums around the country. The three biggest MBA Career Fairs (NAWMBA, NBMBAA and NSHMBA) take place in the fall. These are great opportunities to connect with companies that do not currently recruit at Darden.
Each year, students work with the Career Development Center to plan approximately 15 – 20 job treks in locations around the country and abroad. Job treks are a way for Darden students interested in a specific industry to visit and network with companies that are not able to travel to Darden for on-Grounds recruiting. Job trek visits typically occur during Darden School breaks (i.e., mid-December, early January), the exceptions being locations close to Charlottesville (DC-metro, Richmond, Charlotte) where day-long trips are feasible on student reading days. The largest job trek each year is the "Week on Wall Street," which is scheduled in mid-December in New York City.
Rated as one of the strongest MBA alumni networks by Poets & Quants (2011), our graduates are an integral part of the Darden community. They understand and appreciate the value of the Darden MBA and are known for being highly accessible to current students and fellow alumni in the job search process. In addition to Darden's network of over 14,000 alumni around the world in 87 countries, you can also connect with more than 23,000 University of Virginia alumni who have volunteered to serve as a career resource.