Journalist Mayra Rocha (Class of 2016) always wanted to win
an Emmy, believing that the accolade would help her get into a top business
Rocha recently won that hoped-for accolade, but as luck
would have it she was already well into her studies at the University of Virginia Darden School of
A student in the Global MBA for Executives
(GEMBA) format, Rocha and her news team were honored with the television industry’s
highest honor on 28 September, taking home an Emmy in the category
of Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story in Spanish for her work
reporting on a massacre of students in Mexico for the Univision news program
“Aqui y Ahora.”
Rocha, a producer for the story, said the Emmy honor was
particularly validating given the gravity of the work.
“It puts into perspective all that journalism stands for,
which is to give a voice to those who don’t have it.” Rocha said. “If I never
win an Emmy again, this one will always be close to my heart, because it’s the
reason I studied journalism.”
The story, which
was produced by Rocha, focused on a mass killing in the Mexican city of Iguala,
in which 43 students were kidnapped and murdered at the hands of a drug cartel.
A subsequent investigation revealed corruption and complicity in the murders
among local police and the mayor of Iguala.
The students, from a rural teacher’s college, were traveling
in buses to raise funds for their student activities when they were intercepted
Rocha and her team reported a series of stories regarding
the case, which drew international attention. The specific story for which she
won an Emmy focused on the actions of ordinary Mexicans who had no clear ties
to those who were killed, but came together to voice their support for justice.
“The Mexican people were fed up with the injustice and it
touched their hearts,” Rocha said.
A journalist by training, Rocha said she always had “a
business seed” in her, and found the concept of an MBA program immensely
appealing. As she considered various programs, her chief criteria were a
curriculum with a global perspective and a well-rounded, comprehensive
perspective on the business world.
Rocha said the GEMBA program at Darden has been the perfect
“It has been everything I wanted and wished for,” Rocha
said. “The specific reason I really wanted to do this was I felt like I needed
my mind to expand. I sincerely needed to learn different things and be
Rocha laughed, and added, “And it has been very, very
Rocha said she is already applying skills she’s picked up in
classes to her current work, and feels equipped for success wherever her
professional path may lead.
“People ask if I could work in China now, and yes, I could
work in China,” Rocha said, noting the deep dive into business and culture the
GEMBA students make in each residency.
The 21-month GEMBA program takes students across the globe,
with hands-on learning experiences during residencies in Brazil, China, India,
Europe, Charlottesville and San Francisco. Between residencies, the students
take advantage of distance learning programs to continue their course work.
Allayannis, the associate dean for GEMBA, said the varied interests and
backgrounds of the GEMBA students were one of the program’s hallmarks.
“The diverse students that our GEMBA program has attracted
enriches our case discussions in the classroom in significant ways,” Allayannis
said. “Mayra’s Emmy award is a testament to the depth of our students’ talent.”
In whatever form Rocha opts to use her talents in the future,
the Emmy winner believes she will have the tools for success.
“Darden to me has been one of the best choices of my life,”
The University of
Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through
its MBA, Ph.D. and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is
renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge
through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia,
a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville,
Sophie ZunzDirector of Media RelationsDarden School of BusinessUniversity of VirginiaZunzS@darden.virginia.edu+1-434-924-7502
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