Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology

Batten Institute - Education - Darden DC Tech Connect

First Annual Darden DC Tech Connect

DC Darden Tech Connect

The first annual Darden DC Tech Connect was held on 13 October 2023 in the DC Metro area. The day long event, incorporating company visits, panels and a networking reception, was organized by Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology in collaboration with the Darden Technology Club and the Darden Career Center.


10 a.m. Company Visits to Amazon and Microsoft's DC Metro HQs
Ever wondered what it actually looks like to work at a global tech company? This opportunity for Darden students to visit either Microsoft or Amazon at their DC Metro HQs will include a roughly 90-minute visit including a tour of the facilities and an informal, informational alumni panel. NOTE: Due to space constraints, visits are capped at 75 attendees across the two companies; pre-registration and confirmation is required to attend.

12:45 p.m. Keynote with Conor Sibley, CTO of Association Analytics & MBA '06 (moderated by Omar Garriott, The Batten Institute)
This fireside conversation will broadly explore tech from the perspective of a founder, investor & CTO, utilizing interactive tools to spur discussion around career navigation and new ways of work.

1:30 p.m. Future of Tech Panel (moderated by Professor Michael Lenox)
This session will discuss hot topics in tech, namely the advancements in and applications of generative AI, from the perspective of alumni both building and investing in the field.  

Featured speakers: Fareed Melhem (MBA '10), Medidata Solutions, Megan Vorland (MBA '16), Dcode and Dcode Capital, and Jake Castillo (MBA '22), C3 AI

2:15 p.m. Navigating Tech Careers Panel (moderated by Anna Fife (MBA '14, The Batten Institute))
This session will reflect on the career path options from startup to established firms from the viewpoint of alums who have successfully done both.  

Featured speakers: Angelica Alam (MBA '14), Meta and Audrey Goldman (MBA '14), Google

3:00 p.m. Tech Pathways 101 Panel & Workshop (co-moderated by Emily Gruzdowich (MBA '23) and Omar Garriott)
This session will dive deep into the various functions and teams available for MBAs interested in tech, gathering a diverse range of alum experiences across product and business roles.

Featured speakers: Tom Connor (MBA '22), Google; Lexy Smith (MBA '20), Dell; Kyle Galle (MBA '16), Adobe; Alyssa Apolonio (MBA '17), Google; Paloma Bengoechea (MBA '18), Adobe; Sam Kramer (MBA '18), OpenGov; Natalie Dudhat (MBA '20), Workday; and Ben Leiner (MBA '19), SmartNews.

4:00 p.m. Networking Happy Hour 
Alumni from the DC area are invited to network and mingle in a semi-structured rooftop happy hour. This will be an opportunity for current MBAs to forge connections with Darden’s engaged alumni base, and get insider info on how they navigated tech at and after Darden. Interim Dean Jeanne Liedtka will drop by to share Darden updates and connect with attendees. Alumni can register here.

Questions? Contact Anna Fife at [email protected]