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First-Generation MBA Grad Ana Flavia Dias ‘Challenges Everyone Else’s [#permalink]
FROM Darden EMBA Blog: First-Generation MBA Grad Ana Flavia Dias ‘Challenges Everyone Else’s Pre-Conceptions’
MBA-focused publication Poets & Quants recently profiled up and coming first-generation MBA students from across the country, including Darden’s own recent graduate Ana Flavia Dias (MBA ’20). Dias was born in Brazil and grew up in the Bay Area where her parents cleaned houses and she attended UC Berkeley as a day student, earning her Bachelor degree in chemical engineering. Her story is one of incredible perseverance. Dias shares  more about how she approached higher education, the inspirations around her and advice for other first-generation students considering an MBA.

Read on to view a just few highlights from Dias’ P&Q profile.

Hometown: Anapolis, Brazil and San Francisco Bay Area

Pre-Darden: I was working as an Operations Supervisor at ChemTrade Logistics, a sulfuric acid plant.

Post-Darden: I’m currently working as a project manager for Facebook.

What was the moment that led you to decide to pursue higher education? 

I wish I knew so that I could recreate that moment for others. I think it was a combination of three factors:

1) During summers in high school, instead of visiting colleges or taking SAT classes, I went to work with my mom cleaning houses. They were often huge houses in San Francisco and most had walls decorated with several diplomas, many of them were MBAs. So I began to associate greater life opportunities with education from a young age.

2) By nature, I love a challenge. If you tell me I can’t do something, I will work harder to achieve it. Growing up, my mom and I spent more time designing my wedding dress than we did talking about college or having a career. I was raised to be a wife and a mother. And I was quick to notice that the rules I had to follow were different from my brother’s. So I chose to challenge everyone’s preconceptions, and realize my own expectations.

3) Luck. Even though our family had our fair share of obstacles (when we first got to the USA, I was one of ten people in a 2 bed/1 bath apartment), I never had to worry about my next meal or where I would sleep at night. My parents were brave enough to come to a country they knew nothing about that spoke a language they didn’t speak so they could give my brother and I more opportunities. I didn’t choose that. They chose that for me. No matter how many “moments” present themselves, had I not been born to my parents, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

What didn’t your family understand about the higher education experience that you wish they would understand better? 

It’s not only about putting your head down and doing the work.

There are a lot of nuances and networking involved to achieve success. It’s not just about school, there are also so many extra-curricular activities and social events where attendance may not be required but is expected. It was difficult for my family to understand that I wasn’t partying when I attended four networking events in one week. The work doesn’t end when class ends. It’s also difficult for them to come to terms with the fact that following the opportunity sometimes means time away from family. To say my dad was adamantly against me moving away to pursue my MBA is an understatement. But he was still proud once I graduated and realized all the doors an MBA can open.

How did you choose your MBA program? 

I had a few priorities when choosing an MBA: I wanted to attend a program that was consistently ranked top 20 across the board, I wanted a tight-knit community, and I wanted to work on my soft skills.

After experiencing what it’s like to be a part of a large school, I wanted to be a student in a school where I recognized everyone’s face.  Darden’s case study method and required core and learning team create a collaborative environment that teaches you to think on your feet and to eloquently and effectively articulate your ideas and reasoning through practice. In essence, it best mimics the corporate world and teaches you the emotional intelligence you need to be an impactful leader. I’m happy that Darden checked all three boxes.  A bonus: the professors really are as good and approachable as they say! Believe the hype.

How were you able to finance your MBA as a first generation student? I was fortunate enough to receive a full-tuition, merit-based scholarship from the Darden Foundation, for which I am extremely grateful. Dean Beardsley has dedicated a lot of energy during his tenure to increasing funds devoted to scholarships because he knows that having an affordable education increases the diversity of the student body. Thereby, he can create a richer experience for all the students, which enables them to take on greater risks like starting a business. An affordable education is especially important for students who don’t have a safety net, like most first-generation students.

What advice would you have for other first-generation college students? 

KEEP GOING. It will be tough. You’ll often be the only one at school and work. And when you get home, you will also be the only one. You’ll feel alone. You’ll have the unique experience of not belonging to either world and belonging to both worlds at the same time. You won’t feel understood in either world. You’ll have to work harder than your peers. The list of obstacles can feel endless. But someone has to be first, and you have the opportunity to make sure that someone is you.

Read the full story on Poets & Quants.

Be sure to consult the Latest News regularly for the most updated news releases and media hits. Check out faculty thought leadership published on Ideas to Action. And stay connected with us via social media: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, WeChat.
The post First-Generation MBA Grad Ana Flavia Dias 'Challenges Everyone Else's Pre-Conceptions' first appeared on Discover Darden.
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Big Pivots, Diversity Conference, Entrepreneurial Endeavors — Podcast [#permalink]
FROM Darden Admissions Blog: Big Pivots, Diversity Conference, Entrepreneurial Endeavors — Podcast Roundup
Have you added Darden Admissions’ podcasts to your weekly download yet? Experience Darden is your source for conversations all about the Darden full-time MBA experience. The ExecMBA Podcast features, you guessed it, regular conversations with members of our Executive MBA community.

Here are a few recent highlights from these podcasts:

Big Pivots
We recently shared a blog post highlighting the many ways the Darden community was adapting to COVID-19 and the “new normal.” And in September, Senior Associate Dean Tom Steenburgh joined us on the Experience Darden podcast to talk about how the school spent the summer planning and preparing for the fall semester. Steenburgh is actually teaching this quarter, and during the interview he shares his thoughts on the new hybrid class format in which in-person and virtual participants engage during the same class session. Check out Experience Darden – Ep. 74 for more.

For those seeking insights about how our Executive MBA Program has been navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, be sure to check out our interview with newly appointed Senior Associate Dean for Professional Degree Programs Yael Grushka-Cockayne. During this interview, Grushka-Cockayne discusses her new role, why she’s passionate about working professionals programs, what she enjoys about teaching Decision Analysis (DA) and much more. Check out The ExecMBA Podcast – Ep. 131 for more.

Batten Goes Virtual
Experience Darden – Ep. 73

Executive Director of the Batten Institute Sean Carr recently stopped by to talk more about Batten’s pivot to virtual programming in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the benefits of this shift is that now even more people can access the Institute’s programming and resources, and, during the interview, Carr shared highlights from Batten’s fall calendar, including a start-up seminar series, workshops, virtual conferences and more. Fun fact: Carr is also the host of the Darden Ideas to Action podcast. Check it out!

Note: The resources and programming Carr discusses during the interview are available to both full-time and executive format students.

What’s It Like to be a Chief of Staff?
ExecMBA Podcast – Ep. 135

Prior to Darden, Alison Williams (EMBA ’15) had a deep career in policy-related roles, including stints with DEA, Homeland Security, TSA and more. She now serves as Chief of Staff for Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, and we recently connected with Alison to talk more about her MBA journey, how her Darden experience helps her in her current work and why she feels an MBA is valuable for policy professionals.

Humans of Darden
Experience Darden – Ep. 72

Amanda Wiggins (Class of 2021) is the President of Humans at Darden. Patterned on Humans of New York, this organization is focused on building stronger relationships between the members of the Darden community. We recently connected with Wiggans to learn more about her background in non-profits, her passion for criminal justice, what led her to Darden and why she thinks Humans of Darden is such an important group. Fun fact: Wiggans is also an MBA/M.Ed dual degree student.

Designing Your Own Classroom
The ExecMBA Podcast – Ep. 134

Dianne Oroz (Class of 2021) is an architect and a designer, and she was part of the team who designed Sands Family Grounds, UVA Darden’s home in the Washington, D.C. Metro area. Oroz is an Executive MBA (EMBA) format student, and we recently caught up with her to talk about her decision to pursue an MBA and how her Darden experience has impacted her current work.

Diversity Conference Blazes New Trails
The Diversity Conference is always one of the highlights of the Admissions fall calendar, and this year’s conference was no exception. As with so many other events, the conference has shifted to virtual delivery, and we connected with Associate Director for Diversity Recruitment Marc Paulo Guzman to talk about plans for this year’s conference, tips for Diversity Conference applicants and more.

In the weeks leading up to this year’s Diversity Conference, we featured a number of diversity-themed podcast interviews, including conversations with this year’s ROMBA Fellows and Consortium Liaisons, as well as members of the Graduate Women in Business (GWIB) leadership board and the Darden Student Association’s (DSA) VP for Diversity, Miranda Grueiro.

Entrepreneurial Endeavors
The ExecMBA Podcast – Ep. 120 – Expand My Tribe

The ExecMBA Podcast – Ep. 132 – Vinoshares

The ExecMBA Podcast – Ep. 141 – Trubaker

Entrepreneurship is always a popular topic on The ExecMBA Podcast, and we regularly spotlight students and alumni who are leveraging their Darden experience to help grow their own businesses. Over the past few months, we’ve featured interviews with alumni engaged in a variety of ventures, including a start-up seeking to help individuals make meaningful social connections, an oenophile-oriented business focused on helping wine enthusiasts discover and share new wines and a Africa-inspired fashion start-up.

Be sure to consult the Latest News regularly for the most updated news releases and media hits. Check out faculty thought leadership published on Ideas to Action. And stay connected with us via social media: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, WeChat.
The post Big Pivots, Diversity Conference, Entrepreneurial Endeavors — Podcast Roundup first appeared on Discover Darden.
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Big Pivots, Diversity Conference, Entrepreneurial Endeavors — Podcast [#permalink]
FROM Darden EMBA Blog: Big Pivots, Diversity Conference, Entrepreneurial Endeavors — Podcast Roundup
Have you added Darden Admissions’ podcasts to your weekly download yet? Experience Darden is your source for conversations all about the Darden full-time MBA experience. The ExecMBA Podcast features, you guessed it, regular conversations with members of our Executive MBA community.

Here are a few recent highlights from these podcasts:

Big Pivots
We recently shared a blog post highlighting the many ways the Darden community was adapting to COVID-19 and the “new normal.” And in September, Senior Associate Dean Tom Steenburgh joined us on the Experience Darden podcast to talk about how the school spent the summer planning and preparing for the fall semester. Steenburgh is actually teaching this quarter, and during the interview he shares his thoughts on the new hybrid class format in which in-person and virtual participants engage during the same class session. Check out Experience Darden – Ep. 74 for more.

For those seeking insights about how our Executive MBA Program has been navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, be sure to check out our interview with newly appointed Senior Associate Dean for Professional Degree Programs Yael Grushka-Cockayne. During this interview, Grushka-Cockayne discusses her new role, why she’s passionate about working professionals programs, what she enjoys about teaching Decision Analysis (DA) and much more. Check out The ExecMBA Podcast – Ep. 131 for more.

Batten Goes Virtual
Experience Darden – Ep. 73

Executive Director of the Batten Institute Sean Carr recently stopped by to talk more about Batten’s pivot to virtual programming in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the benefits of this shift is that now even more people can access the Institute’s programming and resources, and, during the interview, Carr shared highlights from Batten’s fall calendar, including a start-up seminar series, workshops, virtual conferences and more. Fun fact: Carr is also the host of the Darden Ideas to Action podcast. Check it out!

Note: The resources and programming Carr discusses during the interview are available to both full-time and executive format students.

What’s It Like to be a Chief of Staff?
ExecMBA Podcast – Ep. 135

Prior to Darden, Alison Williams (EMBA ’15) had a deep career in policy-related roles, including stints with DEA, Homeland Security, TSA and more. She now serves as Chief of Staff for Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, and we recently connected with Alison to talk more about her MBA journey, how her Darden experience helps her in her current work and why she feels an MBA is valuable for policy professionals.

Humans of Darden
Experience Darden – Ep. 72

Amanda Wiggins (Class of 2021) is the President of Humans at Darden. Patterned on Humans of New York, this organization is focused on building stronger relationships between the members of the Darden community. We recently connected with Wiggans to learn more about her background in non-profits, her passion for criminal justice, what led her to Darden and why she thinks Humans of Darden is such an important group. Fun fact: Wiggans is also an MBA/M.Ed dual degree student.

Designing Your Own Classroom
The ExecMBA Podcast – Ep. 134

Dianne Oroz (Class of 2021) is an architect and a designer, and she was part of the team who designed Sands Family Grounds, UVA Darden’s home in the Washington, D.C. Metro area. Oroz is an Executive MBA (EMBA) format student, and we recently caught up with her to talk about her decision to pursue an MBA and how her Darden experience has impacted her current work.

Diversity Conference Blazes New Trails
The Diversity Conference is always one of the highlights of the Admissions fall calendar, and this year’s conference was no exception. As with so many other events, the conference has shifted to virtual delivery, and we connected with Associate Director for Diversity Recruitment Marc Paulo Guzman to talk about plans for this year’s conference, tips for Diversity Conference applicants and more.

In the weeks leading up to this year’s Diversity Conference, we featured a number of diversity-themed podcast interviews, including conversations with this year’s ROMBA Fellows and Consortium Liaisons, as well as members of the Graduate Women in Business (GWIB) leadership board and the Darden Student Association’s (DSA) VP for Diversity, Miranda Grueiro.

Entrepreneurial Endeavors
The ExecMBA Podcast – Ep. 120 – Expand My Tribe

The ExecMBA Podcast – Ep. 132 – Vinoshares

The ExecMBA Podcast – Ep. 141 – Trubaker

Entrepreneurship is always a popular topic on The ExecMBA Podcast, and we regularly spotlight students and alumni who are leveraging their Darden experience to help grow their own businesses. Over the past few months, we’ve featured interviews with alumni engaged in a variety of ventures, including a start-up seeking to help individuals make meaningful social connections, an oenophile-oriented business focused on helping wine enthusiasts discover and share new wines and a Africa-inspired fashion start-up.

Be sure to consult the Latest News regularly for the most updated news releases and media hits. Check out faculty thought leadership published on Ideas to Action. And stay connected with us via social media: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, WeChat.
The post Big Pivots, Diversity Conference, Entrepreneurial Endeavors — Podcast Roundup first appeared on Discover Darden.
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Kathryn Thompson (MBA ’94) Helps Empower Girls to Believe ‘They Can’ [#permalink]
FROM Darden EMBA Blog: Kathryn Thompson (MBA ’94) Helps Empower Girls to Believe ‘They Can’
In recognition of the United Nations’ International Day of the Girl on 11 October, we are thrilled to feature an alum who is carrying out the Darden mission of purpose-driven leadership. Kathryn Thompson (MBA ’94) is the COO for Girls on the Run International, an organization that promotes empowerment for girls aged 8 to 13 by teaching life skills through a curriculum that integrates running — but it’s truly about so much more!

As Thompson shares, growing and nurturing a network is key. The community of women at Darden is an important support network for women MBAs — from prospective student programming to student-run organizations like the Graduate Women in Business (GWIB) and Network of Executive Women (NEW) to the alumni chapters of Women@Darden.

Q: How did your post-Darden journey lead you to Girls on the Run International?

A: After Darden, I took at job at Springs Industries, a textile company headquartered outside of Charlotte, NC.  I had great experiences at Springs — eight positions over 13 years, including a stint in Los Angeles. During my time in Charlotte, I got engaged in the community and heard about Girls on


Girls on the Run Hosts “Game Day”
the Run in its infancy. Founded in Charlotte in 1996, I first heard about GOTR in the early 2000s through my volunteer work with the Junior League.  In 2007 I transitioned to Carolina Pad, a school/office supplies company and we were looking to do a “cause-marketing” collection.  Girls on the Run was the perfect fit due to the focus on girls in third through eighth grade, so we approached the organization and became a corporate partner. Fast-forward three years, and I was in transition looking for a new opportunity when I heard Girls on the Run was expanding. I reached out, interviewed, and made the leap to non-profit at that time.

Q: How does Girls on the Run empower the young women it serves?

A: Girls on the Run International designs programming that strengthens third to eighth grade girls’ social, emotional, physical and behavioral skills to successfully navigate life experiences. The Girls on the Run programs combine physical activity such as training for a 5k with an interactive curriculum targeting the promotion of competence, confidence, connection, character, caring and contribution. The curriculum reaches girls at a


Girls on the Run decorates a local statue in celebration of their 20th anniversary.
critical stage, strengthening their confidence at a time when society begins to tell them they can’t. Underscoring the important connection between physical and emotional health, the program addresses the whole girl when she needs it the most.

There are currently three programs offered:  Girls on the Run (third through fifth grade), Heart & Sole (sixth through eighth grade) and Camp GOTR (rising third through fifth grade) with multiple curricula available for each program.

Q: How has Darden set you up for success throughout your career pivots?

A: Some of my favorite classes, like Quantitative Analysis (QA) and Bargaining and Negotiating, come to mind. I still think of lessons learned in those classes! And Professor Jeanne Liedtka was a favorite. In fact I am currently taking her Design Thinking class online!

Q: What advice would you give your student-self knowing what you know now?

A: Some of these I did right the first time and some of these I learned along the way:

  • Find what you love and love what you do. Then it is not “work.”
  • Pay attention to the senior leadership team’s practices. What was their path to their positions? Do you admire who they are professionally and personally?
  • Pay attention to the industry. It is easier to succeed with a tailwind at your back. But there are certainly opportunities if you are good at navigating headwinds!
  • Take more risks. You may think you are taking risks but if you are not failing, you are not pushing enough. Plus … easier to risk when you have less to lose!
  • Selling skills are required no matter what role you are in. At a minimum you are selling your ideas. Learn to love to sell!
  • Networks are important. Nurture your network.
Q: What are some ways you support other women in business?

A: My situation is quite different now because I work in environment that is 95 percent women. In fact, we have to remind ourselves not to unintentionally exclude the men! It really is a role-reversal that we all recognize — even the men! Having said that, most of the way I support women is through networking and advising younger women. I try keep in touch, share my experiences, and support women I have worked with. In fact, I recently connected via Zoom with a group of women I hired and managed at Carolina Pad 10 years ago. It was so great to see how their careers had evolved.


Thompson participates in a virtual 5k.
Q: What sources of resilience do you draw on to persevere during challenging times?

A: I certainly lean on friends and family. I remember 15 years ago complaining to my father (MBA ’70) about the many challenges facing the textile industry and he said to me with the wisdom of someone who had seen more: “There will always be something.” Another way of saying “this too shall pass.” And really, it is those times where opportunity is also created. I think of that often and especially now with COVID impacting Girls on the Run which operates after-school programming. Necessity truly is the mother of invention! And a good sweat (run!) always makes you feel better. No one ever says they regretted working out.

Learn more about the community of women at Darden

Full-Time MBA Program:

  • Listen. Experience Darden podcast episode #77, featuring GWIB board members Maggie Edmunds (Class of 2021) and Rebecca Wellbourn (Class of 2021).
  • Watch. An engineer, an HR specialist and a Vietnamese national ⁠— learn how earning an MBA at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business is helping these three women pursue their purpose and why they believe the Darden MBA program is an incredible opportunity for women to advance their careers and ultimately achieve greater representation for women in the highest ranks.
  • Reach out. Contact GWIB leadership at GWIB@darden.virginia.edu or Director of Admissions – Women’s Recruiting Haley Whitlock Gyory at gyoryh@darden.virginia.edu. Gyory shared the importance of fostering a close-knit community of women at Darden: “At Darden, we strive to create an inclusive community that celebrates the intersectionality and authenticity of women and helps increase understanding around issues of gender equity. Women currently hold 55 percent of club leadership roles and create meaningful connections with alumnae, faculty and male allies in developing their voices at Darden and beyond.”
  • Engage. Attend a one-on-one women’s recruiting conversation or a prospective student coffee chat at a time that works with your schedule.
Executive MBA Program:

Be sure to consult the Latest News regularly for the most updated news releases and media hits. Check out faculty thought leadership published on Ideas to Action. And stay connected with us via social media: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, WeChat.
The post Kathryn Thompson (MBA '94) Helps Empower Girls to Believe 'They Can' first appeared on Discover Darden.
This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
User avatar
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VP
Joined: 13 Nov 2013
Posts: 1042
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Kathryn Thompson (MBA ’94) Helps Empower Girls to Believe ‘They Can’ [#permalink]
FROM Darden Admissions Blog: Kathryn Thompson (MBA ’94) Helps Empower Girls to Believe ‘They Can’
In recognition of the United Nations’ International Day of the Girl on 11 October, we are thrilled to feature an alum who is carrying out the Darden mission of purpose-driven leadership. Kathryn Thompson (MBA ’94) is the COO for Girls on the Run International, an organization that promotes empowerment for girls aged 8 to 13 by teaching life skills through a curriculum that integrates running — but it’s truly about so much more!

As Thompson shares, growing and nurturing a network is key. The community of women at Darden is an important support network for women MBAs — from prospective student programming to student-run organizations like the Graduate Women in Business (GWIB) and Network of Executive Women (NEW) to the alumni chapters of Women@Darden.

Q: How did your post-Darden journey lead you to Girls on the Run International?

A: After Darden, I took at job at Springs Industries, a textile company headquartered outside of Charlotte, NC.  I had great experiences at Springs — eight positions over 13 years, including a stint in Los Angeles. During my time in Charlotte, I got engaged in the community and heard about Girls on


Girls on the Run Hosts “Game Day”
the Run in its infancy. Founded in Charlotte in 1996, I first heard about GOTR in the early 2000s through my volunteer work with the Junior League.  In 2007 I transitioned to Carolina Pad, a school/office supplies company and we were looking to do a “cause-marketing” collection.  Girls on the Run was the perfect fit due to the focus on girls in third through eighth grade, so we approached the organization and became a corporate partner. Fast-forward three years, and I was in transition looking for a new opportunity when I heard Girls on the Run was expanding. I reached out, interviewed, and made the leap to non-profit at that time.

Q: How does Girls on the Run empower the young women it serves?

A: Girls on the Run International designs programming that strengthens third to eighth grade girls’ social, emotional, physical and behavioral skills to successfully navigate life experiences. The Girls on the Run programs combine physical activity such as training for a 5k with an interactive curriculum targeting the promotion of competence, confidence, connection, character, caring and contribution. The curriculum reaches girls at a


Girls on the Run decorates a local statue in celebration of their 20th anniversary.
critical stage, strengthening their confidence at a time when society begins to tell them they can’t. Underscoring the important connection between physical and emotional health, the program addresses the whole girl when she needs it the most.

There are currently three programs offered:  Girls on the Run (third through fifth grade), Heart & Sole (sixth through eighth grade) and Camp GOTR (rising third through fifth grade) with multiple curricula available for each program.

Q: How has Darden set you up for success throughout your career pivots?

A: Some of my favorite classes, like Quantitative Analysis (QA) and Bargaining and Negotiating, come to mind. I still think of lessons learned in those classes! And Professor Jeanne Liedtka was a favorite. In fact I am currently taking her Design Thinking class online!

Q: What advice would you give your student-self knowing what you know now?

A: Some of these I did right the first time and some of these I learned along the way:

  • Find what you love and love what you do. Then it is not “work.”
  • Pay attention to the senior leadership team’s practices. What was their path to their positions? Do you admire who they are professionally and personally?
  • Pay attention to the industry. It is easier to succeed with a tailwind at your back. But there are certainly opportunities if you are good at navigating headwinds!
  • Take more risks. You may think you are taking risks but if you are not failing, you are not pushing enough. Plus … easier to risk when you have less to lose!
  • Selling skills are required no matter what role you are in. At a minimum you are selling your ideas. Learn to love to sell!
  • Networks are important. Nurture your network.
Q: What are some ways you support other women in business?

A: My situation is quite different now because I work in environment that is 95 percent women. In fact, we have to remind ourselves not to unintentionally exclude the men! It really is a role-reversal that we all recognize — even the men! Having said that, most of the way I support women is through networking and advising younger women. I try keep in touch, share my experiences, and support women I have worked with. In fact, I recently connected via Zoom with a group of women I hired and managed at Carolina Pad 10 years ago. It was so great to see how their careers had evolved.


Thompson participates in a virtual 5k.
Q: What sources of resilience do you draw on to persevere during challenging times?

A: I certainly lean on friends and family. I remember 15 years ago complaining to my father (MBA ’70) about the many challenges facing the textile industry and he said to me with the wisdom of someone who had seen more: “There will always be something.” Another way of saying “this too shall pass.” And really, it is those times where opportunity is also created. I think of that often and especially now with COVID impacting Girls on the Run which operates after-school programming. Necessity truly is the mother of invention! And a good sweat (run!) always makes you feel better. No one ever says they regretted working out.

Learn more about the community of women at Darden

Full-Time MBA Program:

  • Listen. Experience Darden podcast episode #77, featuring GWIB board members Maggie Edmunds (Class of 2021) and Rebecca Wellbourn (Class of 2021).
  • Watch. An engineer, an HR specialist and a Vietnamese national ⁠— learn how earning an MBA at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business is helping these three women pursue their purpose and why they believe the Darden MBA program is an incredible opportunity for women to advance their careers and ultimately achieve greater representation for women in the highest ranks.
  • Reach out. Contact GWIB leadership at GWIB@darden.virginia.edu or Director of Admissions – Women’s Recruiting Haley Whitlock Gyory at gyoryh@darden.virginia.edu. Gyory shared the importance of fostering a close-knit community of women at Darden: “At Darden, we strive to create an inclusive community that celebrates the intersectionality and authenticity of women and helps increase understanding around issues of gender equity. Women currently hold 55 percent of club leadership roles and create meaningful connections with alumnae, faculty and male allies in developing their voices at Darden and beyond.”
  • Engage. Attend a one-on-one women’s recruiting conversation or a prospective student coffee chat at a time that works with your schedule.
Executive MBA Program:

Be sure to consult the Latest News regularly for the most updated news releases and media hits. Check out faculty thought leadership published on Ideas to Action. And stay connected with us via social media: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, WeChat.
The post Kathryn Thompson (MBA '94) Helps Empower Girls to Believe 'They Can' first appeared on Discover Darden.
This Blog post was imported into the forum automatically. We hope you found it helpful. Please use the Kudos button if you did, or please PM/DM me if you found it disruptive and I will take care of it. -BB
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Record Number of Attendees Tune In for Darden’s Virtual Diversity Conf [#permalink]
FROM Darden Admissions Blog: Record Number of Attendees Tune In for Darden’s Virtual Diversity Conference
Director of Admissions Haley Whitlock Gyory shared a recap of the recent Darden Diversity Conference — which made the pivot to a virtual platform in its third year. The annual event is an opportunity for prospective students to experience how Darden embraces and celebrates diversity and inclusion. The multi-day event featured a special focus for prospective students from diverse backgrounds, including women, LGBTQ+ and members of under-represented racial or ethnic communities. The increased accessibility of the virtual event and key programming, including networking, learning team case prep, faculty case discussions and crucial conversations with current students, attracted a record number of applicants and attendees.

Director of Admissions Haley Whitlock Gyory:

Darden hosted a record 178 attendees at its annual Diversity Conference earlier this month. This virtual celebration of diversity and inclusion kicked off on 1 October with a welcome and opening remarks from Executive Director of Admissions Dawna Clarke. Current students hosted participants in virtual small-group dinners for a chance to network and get to know more about the broader community. The 2 & 3 October programming featured a variety of sessions including:

  • Darden diversity leadership Q&A, hosted by Senior Associate Dean and Global Chief Diversity Officer Martin Davidson and Assistant Dean for Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Christie Julien
  • Case discussions taught by Professor Martin Davidson, Professor Shane Dikolli and Professor Yael Grushka-Cockayne
  • Alumni career panel
  • Concurrent sessions featured discussions on:
    • A Gender Lens to Covid
    • Diversity & Equality in Customer Service and Race
    • Work & Leadership


The student panel was facilitated by current students and members of the Diversity Conference Student Planning Committee. Former Diversity Conference attendee and current Darden Student Association VP of Diversity Miranda Grueiro (Class of 2021) served on the student planning committee and shared a testimonial with participants on Thursday, encouraging attendees to ask tough questions. She challenged attendees to ask whatever was on their minds and to really engage over the course of the conference — both to test out the case method and to learn how students engage with the Charlottesville community. Grueiro also pressed attendees to inquire about challenges and opportunities faced by students of color at Darden and how career exploration opportunities are supported.

Despite the virtual nature of the event, the intentional programming and small group networking opportunities ensured that the conference was still a meaningful way to experience Darden’s culture and community. Diversity Conference attendees were able to connect with peers, alumni, admissions staff, faculty, current students and School leadership during their whirlwind weekend.

Stay tuned for the 2021 Darden Diversity Conference dates, which will be released in a few months.

The energy of the conference, particularly the faculty, was amazing. Even in a virtual setting, I could feel the passion each of the faculty had for teaching and their students, and loved the way they engaged such large groups in their sessions. — 2020 Diversity Conference Attendee

The Darden Diversity Conference is what made Darden my top choice for an MBA program! Getting to immerse myself in the community, case method, and opportunities convinced me that Darden is the best place for me to pursue an MBA. I left the conference with more enthusiasm for Darden than I knew was possible. — 2020 Diversity Conference Attendee

Ready to learn more? 

Sign up for a full-time MBA diversity recruiting coffee chat or 1-on-1 conversation with Marc Paulo Guzman, associate director of admissions – diversity recruiting or attend a women’s recruiting coffee chat or 1-on-1 conversation with Darden’s admissions team.

Be sure to consult the Latest News regularly for the most updated news releases and media hits. Check out faculty thought leadership published on Ideas to Action. And stay connected with us via social media: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, WeChat.
The post Record Number of Attendees Tune In for Darden's Virtual Diversity Conference first appeared on Discover Darden.
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Record Number of Attendees Tune In for Darden’s Virtual Diversity Conf [#permalink]
FROM Darden EMBA Blog: Record Number of Attendees Tune In for Darden’s Virtual Diversity Conference
Director of Admissions Haley Whitlock Gyory shared a recap of the recent Darden Diversity Conference — which made the pivot to a virtual platform in its third year. The annual event is an opportunity for prospective students to experience how Darden embraces and celebrates diversity and inclusion. The multi-day event featured a special focus for prospective students from diverse backgrounds, including women, LGBTQ+ and members of under-represented racial or ethnic communities. The increased accessibility of the virtual event and key programming, including networking, learning team case prep, faculty case discussions and crucial conversations with current students, attracted a record number of applicants and attendees.

Director of Admissions Haley Whitlock Gyory:

Darden hosted a record 178 attendees at its annual Diversity Conference earlier this month. This virtual celebration of diversity and inclusion kicked off on 1 October with a welcome and opening remarks from Executive Director of Admissions Dawna Clarke. Current students hosted participants in virtual small-group dinners for a chance to network and get to know more about the broader community. The 2 & 3 October programming featured a variety of sessions including:

  • Darden diversity leadership Q&A, hosted by Senior Associate Dean and Global Chief Diversity Officer Martin Davidson and Assistant Dean for Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Christie Julien
  • Case discussions taught by Professor Martin Davidson, Professor Shane Dikolli and Professor Yael Grushka-Cockayne
  • Alumni career panel
  • Concurrent sessions featured discussions on:
    • A Gender Lens to Covid
    • Diversity & Equality in Customer Service and Race
    • Work & Leadership


The student panel was facilitated by current students and members of the Diversity Conference Student Planning Committee. Former Diversity Conference attendee and current Darden Student Association VP of Diversity Miranda Grueiro (Class of 2021) served on the student planning committee and shared a testimonial with participants on Thursday, encouraging attendees to ask tough questions. She challenged attendees to ask whatever was on their minds and to really engage over the course of the conference — both to test out the case method and to learn how students engage with the Charlottesville community. Grueiro also pressed attendees to inquire about challenges and opportunities faced by students of color at Darden and how career exploration opportunities are supported.

Despite the virtual nature of the event, the intentional programming and small group networking opportunities ensured that the conference was still a meaningful way to experience Darden’s culture and community. Diversity Conference attendees were able to connect with peers, alumni, admissions staff, faculty, current students and School leadership during their whirlwind weekend.

Stay tuned for the 2021 Darden Diversity Conference dates, which will be released in a few months.

The energy of the conference, particularly the faculty, was amazing. Even in a virtual setting, I could feel the passion each of the faculty had for teaching and their students, and loved the way they engaged such large groups in their sessions. — 2020 Diversity Conference Attendee

The Darden Diversity Conference is what made Darden my top choice for an MBA program! Getting to immerse myself in the community, case method, and opportunities convinced me that Darden is the best place for me to pursue an MBA. I left the conference with more enthusiasm for Darden than I knew was possible. — 2020 Diversity Conference Attendee

Ready to learn more? 

Sign up for a full-time MBA diversity recruiting coffee chat or 1-on-1 conversation with Marc Paulo Guzman, associate director of admissions – diversity recruiting or attend a women’s recruiting coffee chat or 1-on-1 conversation with Darden’s admissions team.

Be sure to consult the Latest News regularly for the most updated news releases and media hits. Check out faculty thought leadership published on Ideas to Action. And stay connected with us via social media: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, WeChat.
The post Record Number of Attendees Tune In for Darden's Virtual Diversity Conference first appeared on Discover Darden.
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Q&A with Network of Executive Women President Caroline Clark [#permalink]
FROM Darden Admissions Blog: Q&A with Network of Executive Women President Caroline Clark
Darden Admissions and the Network of Executive Women (NEW) recently hosted an online Q&A about balancing work, life and school. This is must-see TV for prospective Executive MBA students. Check out the recording of the conversation below!

[b][url=https://www.kaltura.com/tiny/uogaw]Watch: Balancing Work, Life and School[/url][/b]

Interested in learning more about NEW? The Network of Executive is one of more than 10 student organizations in our Executive MBA program. We recently caught up with NEW President Caroline Clark to talk about her background, what led her to Darden and much more.

[b]Q: What is your background? What is your current role?[/b]

A: I’ve been in the HR/Talent space for over 10 years, working across a range of industries including education, IT government contracting, hospitality and most recently a financial services trade association, the American Bankers Association (ABA). 

[img]https://blogs.darden.virginia.edu/admissions/files/2020/10/Caroline-Clark-213x300.jpg[/img]
Caroline Clark (Class of 2021) President of NEW
I enjoy working with business stakeholders to solve problems through human solutions. At ABA, I lead the talent function and have worked on a variety of initiatives.  I’m particularly proud that the organization was named a great place to work within my first year of tenure.

[b]Q: How did you decide to pursue an MBA?[/b]

A: The part of my job I enjoy the most is working with business stakeholders.  From that experience, I knew I wanted to get on the business side. I figured an MBA was the best way to gain those skills.

I did a lot of research and Darden quickly came to the top of the list. My interest in the Executive MBA program was really cemented by my class visit. I was blown away by the professors, the students, the materials, just the whole experience. As someone who listened more in college than contributed, during my class visit, I found myself wanting to participate in the class I was observing, which I took as a very good sign, and I knew Darden was where I wanted to be.

[b]Q: What is the Network of Executive Women (NEW)?[/b]

A: NEW is an Executive MBA student organization dedicated to the development and advancement of women. We have a diversity of goals and aspirations, and we believe our organization can support all women in reaching whatever their goal is and help them achieve their full potential. This applies to both our members’ time at Darden and beyond.

[b]Q: How does this organization support women in Darden’s Executive MBA Program?[/b]

A: We try to have programming about once a month, and the topics can really range depending on schedule and our members’ interests. Recently, we’ve hosted speaker events, skills-related events as well as an allyship event. All of our programming is meant to support women in some aspect of their lives.

[b]Q: You’re now past the one year mark in the program. What has been the impact of your Darden experience thus far? [/b]

A: For me, the program has been about broadening my horizons. Coming to Darden, I knew there would be areas of study that would be totally new to me. However, what I was less ready for and what has been a breath of fresh air is diving deep on topics I was personally less familiar with, things like impact investing, entrepreneurial thinking, the impact of COVID-19 now and in the future. This exposure has not only shaped how I think about the rest of my career and next steps, but it’s also made me think about how I can make a difference right now. 

Be sure to consult the [b][url=https://news.darden.virginia.edu/]Latest News[/url][/b] regularly for the most updated news releases and media hits. Check out faculty thought leadership published on [b][url=https://ideas.darden.virginia.edu/]Ideas to Action[/url][/b]. And stay connected with us via social media: [b][url=https://www.facebook.com/DardenMBA]Facebook[/url][/b], [b][url=https://www.instagram.com/dardenmba/]Instagram[/url][/b], [b][url=https://www.linkedin.com/edu/school?id=19605]LinkedIn[/url][/b], [b][url=https://twitter.com/DardenMBA]Twitter[/url][/b], [b][url=https://brand.darden.virginia.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/qrcode_for_gh_23920314812f_860.jpg]WeChat[/url].[/b]
The post [url=https://blogs.darden.virginia.edu/admissions/2020/10/19/qa-with-new/]Q&A with Network of Executive Women President Caroline Clark[/url] first appeared on [url=https://blogs.darden.virginia.edu/admissions/]Discover Darden[/url].
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Q&A with Network of Executive Women President Caroline Clark [#permalink]
FROM Darden EMBA Blog: Q&A with Network of Executive Women President Caroline Clark
Darden Admissions and the Network of Executive Women (NEW) recently hosted an online Q&A about balancing work, life and school. This is must-see TV for prospective Executive MBA students. Check out the recording of the conversation below!

[b][url=https://www.kaltura.com/tiny/uogaw]Watch: Balancing Work, Life and School[/url][/b]

Interested in learning more about NEW? The Network of Executive is one of more than 10 student organizations in our Executive MBA program. We recently caught up with NEW President Caroline Clark to talk about her background, what led her to Darden and much more.

[b]Q: What is your background? What is your current role?[/b]

A: I’ve been in the HR/Talent space for over 10 years, working across a range of industries including education, IT government contracting, hospitality and most recently a financial services trade association, the American Bankers Association (ABA). 

[img]https://blogs.darden.virginia.edu/admissions/files/2020/10/Caroline-Clark-213x300.jpg[/img]
Caroline Clark (Class of 2021) President of NEW
I enjoy working with business stakeholders to solve problems through human solutions. At ABA, I lead the talent function and have worked on a variety of initiatives.  I’m particularly proud that the organization was named a great place to work within my first year of tenure.

[b]Q: How did you decide to pursue an MBA?[/b]

A: The part of my job I enjoy the most is working with business stakeholders.  From that experience, I knew I wanted to get on the business side. I figured an MBA was the best way to gain those skills.

I did a lot of research and Darden quickly came to the top of the list. My interest in the Executive MBA program was really cemented by my class visit. I was blown away by the professors, the students, the materials, just the whole experience. As someone who listened more in college than contributed, during my class visit, I found myself wanting to participate in the class I was observing, which I took as a very good sign, and I knew Darden was where I wanted to be.

[b]Q: What is the Network of Executive Women (NEW)?[/b]

A: NEW is an Executive MBA student organization dedicated to the development and advancement of women. We have a diversity of goals and aspirations, and we believe our organization can support all women in reaching whatever their goal is and help them achieve their full potential. This applies to both our members’ time at Darden and beyond.

[b]Q: How does this organization support women in Darden’s Executive MBA Program?[/b]

A: We try to have programming about once a month, and the topics can really range depending on schedule and our members’ interests. Recently, we’ve hosted speaker events, skills-related events as well as an allyship event. All of our programming is meant to support women in some aspect of their lives.

[b]Q: You’re now past the one year mark in the program. What has been the impact of your Darden experience thus far? [/b]

A: For me, the program has been about broadening my horizons. Coming to Darden, I knew there would be areas of study that would be totally new to me. However, what I was less ready for and what has been a breath of fresh air is diving deep on topics I was personally less familiar with, things like impact investing, entrepreneurial thinking, the impact of COVID-19 now and in the future. This exposure has not only shaped how I think about the rest of my career and next steps, but it’s also made me think about how I can make a difference right now. 

Be sure to consult the [b][url=https://news.darden.virginia.edu/]Latest News[/url][/b] regularly for the most updated news releases and media hits. Check out faculty thought leadership published on [b][url=https://ideas.darden.virginia.edu/]Ideas to Action[/url][/b]. And stay connected with us via social media: [b][url=https://www.facebook.com/DardenMBA]Facebook[/url][/b], [b][url=https://www.instagram.com/dardenmba/]Instagram[/url][/b], [b][url=https://www.linkedin.com/edu/school?id=19605]LinkedIn[/url][/b], [b][url=https://twitter.com/DardenMBA]Twitter[/url][/b], [b][url=https://brand.darden.virginia.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/qrcode_for_gh_23920314812f_860.jpg]WeChat[/url].[/b]
The post [url=https://blogs.darden.virginia.edu/admissions/2020/10/19/qa-with-new/]Q&A with Network of Executive Women President Caroline Clark[/url] first appeared on [url=https://blogs.darden.virginia.edu/admissions/]Discover Darden[/url].
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Virginia Film Festival ‘Rewrites the Script’ and Goes Virtual [#permalink]
FROM Darden Admissions Blog: Virginia Film Festival ‘Rewrites the Script’ and Goes Virtual
UVA Today recently shared an article about the Virginia Film Festival‘s big pivot to virtual. The annual event is a mainstay of the Charlottesville arts and culture scene — normally attracting thousands of filmmakers and moviegoers to Charlottesville and UVA for the multi-day film event.

The bad news: Coronavirus put a pause on the traditional film festival gatherings.

The good news: It’s even more accessible than ever!

“The festival is something that the community looks forward to every year, and we didn’t want to lose that, even, or especially, this year,” said Kielbasa, noting that both his staff and the festival’s advisory board – a 28-member board of film industry veterans chaired by UVA alum and producer Mark Johnson of “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul” fame – were fully supportive of the move.

UVA Today’s Caroline Newman shared that just six months after beginning initial conversations, Kielbasa and his team are ready to put on a virtual festival this week, beginning Wednesday and running through Sunday. It will feature more than 70 films offered online, along with discussions with actors, filmmakers and UVA faculty members, and – in a creative move – 10 drive-in movie screenings.

Newman noted that there will be Oscar contenders, like “Ammonite,” starring Kate Winslet as 19th-century paleontologist Mary Anning, and “Nomadland,” about a modern-day nomad after an economic collapse; a wide range of independent films; and a star-studded guest list, including Annette Bening, Leslie Odom Jr., Ethan Hawke, photographer Pete Souza, “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul” creator Vince Gilligan and many more. (Find a full schedule and ticketing information.)


Despite restrictions, festival staff managed to land major films like “One Night in Miami,” top, “Nomadland,” bottom right, and “Ammonite,” bottom left. (Photos: Virginia Film Festival)
Most of the festival’s content, including films and discussion sessions, will be available for viewers to purchase through Eventive and watch at any time during the festival’s duration.

Organizers purposefully kept individual ticket prices low, even while the festival was operating on a significantly reduced budget. Individual events can be purchased for $8, and the virtual all-access pass is $65, significantly lower than the $100 to $200 such passes run at other festivals. Some virtual events are free, including the discussion with Odom.

Read the full story on UVA Today.

Be sure to consult the Latest News regularly for the most updated news releases and media hits. Check out faculty thought leadership published on Ideas to Action. And stay connected with us via social media: FacebookInstagramLinkedInTwitterWeChat
The post Virginia Film Festival ‘Rewrites the Script’ and Goes Virtual first appeared on Discover Darden.
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Virginia Film Festival ‘Rewrites the Script’ and Goes Virtual [#permalink]
FROM Darden EMBA Blog: Virginia Film Festival ‘Rewrites the Script’ and Goes Virtual
UVA Today recently shared an article about the Virginia Film Festival‘s big pivot to virtual. The annual event is a mainstay of the Charlottesville arts and culture scene — normally attracting thousands of filmmakers and moviegoers to Charlottesville and UVA for the multi-day film event.

The bad news: Coronavirus put a pause on the traditional film festival gatherings.

The good news: It’s even more accessible than ever!

“The festival is something that the community looks forward to every year, and we didn’t want to lose that, even, or especially, this year,” said Kielbasa, noting that both his staff and the festival’s advisory board – a 28-member board of film industry veterans chaired by UVA alum and producer Mark Johnson of “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul” fame – were fully supportive of the move.

UVA Today’s Caroline Newman shared that just six months after beginning initial conversations, Kielbasa and his team are ready to put on a virtual festival this week, beginning Wednesday and running through Sunday. It will feature more than 70 films offered online, along with discussions with actors, filmmakers and UVA faculty members, and – in a creative move – 10 drive-in movie screenings.

Newman noted that there will be Oscar contenders, like “Ammonite,” starring Kate Winslet as 19th-century paleontologist Mary Anning, and “Nomadland,” about a modern-day nomad after an economic collapse; a wide range of independent films; and a star-studded guest list, including Annette Bening, Leslie Odom Jr., Ethan Hawke, photographer Pete Souza, “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul” creator Vince Gilligan and many more. (Find a full schedule and ticketing information.)


Despite restrictions, festival staff managed to land major films like “One Night in Miami,” top, “Nomadland,” bottom right, and “Ammonite,” bottom left. (Photos: Virginia Film Festival)
Most of the festival’s content, including films and discussion sessions, will be available for viewers to purchase through Eventive and watch at any time during the festival’s duration.

Organizers purposefully kept individual ticket prices low, even while the festival was operating on a significantly reduced budget. Individual events can be purchased for $8, and the virtual all-access pass is $65, significantly lower than the $100 to $200 such passes run at other festivals. Some virtual events are free, including the discussion with Odom.

Read the full story on UVA Today.

Be sure to consult the Latest News regularly for the most updated news releases and media hits. Check out faculty thought leadership published on Ideas to Action. And stay connected with us via social media: FacebookInstagramLinkedInTwitterWeChat
The post Virginia Film Festival ‘Rewrites the Script’ and Goes Virtual first appeared on Discover Darden.
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‘The More You Put In, The More You Get Out’ Professor Yael Grushka-Coc [#permalink]
FROM Darden Admissions Blog: ‘The More You Put In, The More You Get Out’ Professor Yael Grushka-Cockayne Hosts Online Session
On Tuesday, 27 October, Darden Admissions will feature an [url=https://apply.darden.virginia.edu/register/?id=326cbb85-aed5-4b41-ac12-af27075b9007]Ask Me Anything session with Senior Associate Dean Yael Grushka-Cockayne[/url] for full-time and executive MBA prospective students and applicants.

Professor[url=https://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty-research/directory/yael-grushka-cockayne] Yael Grushka-Cockayne[/url]  (or “Yael” as she is know to students and colleagues) serves as Senior Associate Dean for Professional Degree Programs and actively teaches in both the Executive MBA and Full-Time MBA programs — including courses like First Year Decision Analysis, Project Management (Second Year Elective) and The Business of Film – The Cannes Film Festival Elective.

[img]https://blogs.darden.virginia.edu/admissions/files/2020/10/Yael-Grushka-Cockayne-1x1_BW_1440.jpg[/img]
Yael Grushka-Cockayne, Professor of Business Administration
Altec Styslinger Foundation Bicentennial Chair in Business Administration, Senior Associate Dean for Professional Degree Programs
She also has a popular Project Management course on Coursera called [url=https://www.coursera.org/learn/uva-darden-project-management]Fundamentals of Project Management and Planning[/url], and she is known around grounds for her sharp sense of fashion and fierce shoe game.

Tuesday’s session is a great opportunity to hear firsthand from one of Darden’s renowned faculty members about topics including: the Darden academic experience, the case method, the Darden community, the pivot to virtual/hybrid learning during COVID-19  or whatever else may be on your mind!

[url=https://apply.darden.virginia.edu/register/?id=326cbb85-aed5-4b41-ac12-af27075b9007][b]Register for AMA with Senior Associate Dean Yael Grushka-Cockayne[/b][/url]

We recently caught up with Yael to talk more about her background, what it’s like to teach during COVID-19 and more. Read on for additional insights and be sure to check out [url=https://dardenexecmbapodcast.podbean.com/e/the-execmba-podcast-131-yael-grushka-cockayne-senior-associate-dean-for-professional-degree-programs/]her recent interview on The ExecMBA Podcast[/url].

[b]Q: Yael, what brought you to Darden?[/b]

A: There were a few key factors that brought me to Darden. First and foremost, the faculty’s passion for teaching. I wanted to be at a business school where teaching is not something faculty “have to do”, but rather something that faculty embrace and are passionate about. Of course, my colleagues and I research and publish regularly, but we take pride in our teaching. We help each other, and we focus on our instructional craft. To me, this was unique to Darden.

I also enjoy the type of research we do here. In our work and publications, we’re not just talking to other academics — we are focused on impacting practice. My work is very applied, so the opportunity to inspire and reach practitioners really appealed to me.

Last but not least was the sense of community. From students to faculty to staff, we are all here to help and support one another. You feel the difference when you first step on Grounds.

[b]Q: What do you enjoy about teaching Darden students? [/b]

A: Darden students are incredible. They are so thoughtful, so well-prepared. They take class seriously, and they want to learn. They know that class is a joint effort and everyone is accountable for the case discussion. There is a humility to the Darden classroom that is sacred. Collectively, faculty included, we are willing to take risks, make mistakes, grow and progress together, and we all approach our time together in class with these things in mind. 

[b]Q: What is it like teaching right now? How are things going?[/b]

A: Things are going well! As my colleagues will tell you, I enjoy staying busy. I just finished teaching Decision Analysis to our first year Executive MBA students. I’m now teaching a Project Management elective to second year students in our full-time MBA program. In January I will teach a Data Science elective for second year students in our Executive MBA program.

Decision Analysis and my Project Management course are in the new hybrid format which the school introduced in response to the COVID-19

[img]https://blogs.darden.virginia.edu/admissions/files/2020/10/Exec-MBA_Oct20_Rosslyn_044-684x1024.jpg[/img]
Yael Grushka-Cockayne teaches a hybrid course during fall 2020.
pandemic. In these classes, there are virtual and in-person participants for class sessions, and it takes some skill and focus on the part of the faculty member to ensure you are involving everyone in the discussion as you toggle across media.

I’ve found that students really appreciate this effort, and our students have been incredible partners over these first months of the fall semester. The vibe has very much been “We’re all in this together” and everyone has appreciation and respect for everything that is being done to make these experiences possible. It’s really been energizing. 

[b]Q: What is your best advice for prospective students?  [/b]

Do your research! Talk to students, alumni, faculty. I encourage you to really learn about the case method and the many implications it has for the student experience. Because of the case method, Darden is a very participatory community. When you talk to students here, you quickly realize that they are very involved in life outside of the classroom as well. Darden has this incredible reflective quality — the more you put in, the more you get out.

My second tip is a bit more philosophical. Take time to get yourself during this process. This kind of introspection and self-reflection — really knowing where you are in your life and career and really taking stock of things – can be extremely helpful as you embark upon your MBA journey. Darden is a place where a lot of different individuals with a lot of different paths can thrive. The community here will help and support you, but taking some time now to really know yourself — your passions, your values, your goals — will pay dividends down the road.

Be sure to consult the [url=https://news.darden.virginia.edu/]Latest News[/url] regularly for the most updated news releases and media hits. Check out faculty thought leadership published on [url=https://ideas.darden.virginia.edu/]Ideas to Action[/url]. And stay connected with us via social media: [url=https://www.facebook.com/DardenMBA]Facebook[/url], [url=https://www.instagram.com/dardenmba/]Instagram[/url], [url=https://www.linkedin.com/edu/school?id=19605]LinkedIn[/url], [url=https://twitter.com/DardenMBA]Twitter[/url], [url=https://brand.darden.virginia.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/qrcode_for_gh_23920314812f_860.jpg]WeChat[/url]
The post [url=https://blogs.darden.virginia.edu/admissions/2020/10/23/yael-grushka-cockayne/]'The More You Put In, The More You Get Out' Professor Yael Grushka-Cockayne Hosts Online Session[/url] first appeared on [url=https://blogs.darden.virginia.edu/admissions/]Discover Darden[/url].
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‘The More You Put In, The More You Get Out’ Professor Yael Grushka-Coc [#permalink]
FROM Darden EMBA Blog: ‘The More You Put In, The More You Get Out’ Professor Yael Grushka-Cockayne Hosts Online Session
On Tuesday, 27 October, Darden Admissions will feature an [url=https://apply.darden.virginia.edu/register/?id=326cbb85-aed5-4b41-ac12-af27075b9007]Ask Me Anything session with Senior Associate Dean Yael Grushka-Cockayne[/url] for full-time and executive MBA prospective students and applicants.

Professor[url=https://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty-research/directory/yael-grushka-cockayne] Yael Grushka-Cockayne[/url]  (or “Yael” as she is know to students and colleagues) serves as Senior Associate Dean for Professional Degree Programs and actively teaches in both the Executive MBA and Full-Time MBA programs — including courses like First Year Decision Analysis, Project Management (Second Year Elective) and The Business of Film – The Cannes Film Festival Elective.

[img]https://blogs.darden.virginia.edu/admissions/files/2020/10/Yael-Grushka-Cockayne-1x1_BW_1440.jpg[/img]
Yael Grushka-Cockayne, Professor of Business Administration
Altec Styslinger Foundation Bicentennial Chair in Business Administration, Senior Associate Dean for Professional Degree Programs
She also has a popular Project Management course on Coursera called [url=https://www.coursera.org/learn/uva-darden-project-management]Fundamentals of Project Management and Planning[/url], and she is known around grounds for her sharp sense of fashion and fierce shoe game.

Tuesday’s session is a great opportunity to hear firsthand from one of Darden’s renowned faculty members about topics including: the Darden academic experience, the case method, the Darden community, the pivot to virtual/hybrid learning during COVID-19  or whatever else may be on your mind!

[url=https://apply.darden.virginia.edu/register/?id=326cbb85-aed5-4b41-ac12-af27075b9007][b]Register for AMA with Senior Associate Dean Yael Grushka-Cockayne[/b][/url]

We recently caught up with Yael to talk more about her background, what it’s like to teach during COVID-19 and more. Read on for additional insights and be sure to check out [url=https://dardenexecmbapodcast.podbean.com/e/the-execmba-podcast-131-yael-grushka-cockayne-senior-associate-dean-for-professional-degree-programs/]her recent interview on The ExecMBA Podcast[/url].

[b]Q: Yael, what brought you to Darden?[/b]

A: There were a few key factors that brought me to Darden. First and foremost, the faculty’s passion for teaching. I wanted to be at a business school where teaching is not something faculty “have to do”, but rather something that faculty embrace and are passionate about. Of course, my colleagues and I research and publish regularly, but we take pride in our teaching. We help each other, and we focus on our instructional craft. To me, this was unique to Darden.

I also enjoy the type of research we do here. In our work and publications, we’re not just talking to other academics — we are focused on impacting practice. My work is very applied, so the opportunity to inspire and reach practitioners really appealed to me.

Last but not least was the sense of community. From students to faculty to staff, we are all here to help and support one another. You feel the difference when you first step on Grounds.

[b]Q: What do you enjoy about teaching Darden students? [/b]

A: Darden students are incredible. They are so thoughtful, so well-prepared. They take class seriously, and they want to learn. They know that class is a joint effort and everyone is accountable for the case discussion. There is a humility to the Darden classroom that is sacred. Collectively, faculty included, we are willing to take risks, make mistakes, grow and progress together, and we all approach our time together in class with these things in mind. 

[b]Q: What is it like teaching right now? How are things going?[/b]

A: Things are going well! As my colleagues will tell you, I enjoy staying busy. I just finished teaching Decision Analysis to our first year Executive MBA students. I’m now teaching a Project Management elective to second year students in our full-time MBA program. In January I will teach a Data Science elective for second year students in our Executive MBA program.

Decision Analysis and my Project Management course are in the new hybrid format which the school introduced in response to the COVID-19

[img]https://blogs.darden.virginia.edu/admissions/files/2020/10/Exec-MBA_Oct20_Rosslyn_044-684x1024.jpg[/img]
Yael Grushka-Cockayne teaches a hybrid course during fall 2020.
pandemic. In these classes, there are virtual and in-person participants for class sessions, and it takes some skill and focus on the part of the faculty member to ensure you are involving everyone in the discussion as you toggle across media.

I’ve found that students really appreciate this effort, and our students have been incredible partners over these first months of the fall semester. The vibe has very much been “We’re all in this together” and everyone has appreciation and respect for everything that is being done to make these experiences possible. It’s really been energizing. 

[b]Q: What is your best advice for prospective students?  [/b]

Do your research! Talk to students, alumni, faculty. I encourage you to really learn about the case method and the many implications it has for the student experience. Because of the case method, Darden is a very participatory community. When you talk to students here, you quickly realize that they are very involved in life outside of the classroom as well. Darden has this incredible reflective quality — the more you put in, the more you get out.

My second tip is a bit more philosophical. Take time to get yourself during this process. This kind of introspection and self-reflection — really knowing where you are in your life and career and really taking stock of things – can be extremely helpful as you embark upon your MBA journey. Darden is a place where a lot of different individuals with a lot of different paths can thrive. The community here will help and support you, but taking some time now to really know yourself — your passions, your values, your goals — will pay dividends down the road.

Be sure to consult the [url=https://news.darden.virginia.edu/]Latest News[/url] regularly for the most updated news releases and media hits. Check out faculty thought leadership published on [url=https://ideas.darden.virginia.edu/]Ideas to Action[/url]. And stay connected with us via social media: [url=https://www.facebook.com/DardenMBA]Facebook[/url], [url=https://www.instagram.com/dardenmba/]Instagram[/url], [url=https://www.linkedin.com/edu/school?id=19605]LinkedIn[/url], [url=https://twitter.com/DardenMBA]Twitter[/url], [url=https://brand.darden.virginia.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/qrcode_for_gh_23920314812f_860.jpg]WeChat[/url]
The post [url=https://blogs.darden.virginia.edu/admissions/2020/10/23/yael-grushka-cockayne/]'The More You Put In, The More You Get Out' Professor Yael Grushka-Cockayne Hosts Online Session[/url] first appeared on [url=https://blogs.darden.virginia.edu/admissions/]Discover Darden[/url].
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Darden Military Association Helps B-School Vets Transition, Thrive [#permalink]
FROM Darden Admissions Blog: Darden Military Association Helps B-School Vets Transition, Thrive
Veterans of U.S. and foreign militaries comprise between 7 and 9 percent of Darden’s full-time MBA classes. These military students are an important part of the broader Darden community, and are known for contributing their leadership, discipline and decision-making skills and teamwork to the classroom. Darden’s academic intensity — combined with the case method approach — refines and refocuses the judgment and decision-making honed in military training.

Just one of Darden’s many student-run organizations, the Darden Military Association (DMA) serves its members by leveraging military experience to enhance career opportunities in the private sector and build a tightknit network among its members.

Interested in learning more about DMA and the Darden experience from a military perspective? Join DMA board members and Senior Associate Director of Admissions Cheryl Jones for an interactive virtual session on Monday, 27 October from 8:30-9:30 p.m. Eastern. Sign up here for Military to MBA: Darden Military Association Panel.

A few of the DMA board members shared insights about their own experiences and advice for prospective students — attend the upcoming session to gain even more insights!



Tommy Rose, DMA President:
Q: What was your background before coming to Darden?

A: I was a surface warfare officer onboard guided-missile destroyers and also served in a strategy and policy role at the Pentagon during my navy career.

Q: Why did you choose b-school, and/or Darden specifically?

A: I wanted to pivot into the technology sector and believed that acquiring more business acumen and skills through the case study method at Darden would provide me opportunities that would not be available directly out of the Navy. At the same time, the Post 9/11 GI Bill has made this opportunity


Tommy Rose, DMA President
affordable, and I wanted to take advantage of these benefits directly after leaving the Navy.

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I love college football and basketball. There’s nothing more exciting than cutting loose with some friends and tailgating for a fall college football game. Aside from sports, I have a professional passion for both technology and education. More specifically, I am an advocate for seeking ways to lower the cost of education in order to make it more accessible and equitable in the U.S.


Photo shared by Tommy Rose
Q: Why is the Darden Military Association important you?

A: Because of our shared experiences, the DMA has been a fantastic group of people to make new friends and seek professional assistance during my time at Darden. I also understand how difficult the journey is to pivot from military life to starting a new career, and I want to work together and give back to veterans who are seeking to better themselves and their families during this journey.

Q: Advice for prospective students who are considering transitioning from public to private sector?

A: Never question whether you have the right experience or skills to make a successful transition. Your military experience is invaluable and you should pursue the roles and careers opportunities that you are passionate about. Additionally, the Darden network is powerful, but I believe the veteran network is even stronger. Take advantage of this during your own transition process.

Mark Pohl, DMA VP of Admissions
Q: What was your background before coming to Darden?

A: I was an Army Engineer Officer for 6 years. I was with the 101st Airborne Division for almost four years. I served as a route clearance Platoon Leader in Afghanistan and served as a company executive officer and staff officer after my return. My last role had me teaching new engineer lieutenants demolitions and dismounted patrolling for almost 2 years.

Q: Why did you choose to come to b-school, and/or Darden specifically?

A: While still in the Army I was studying for the professional engineering exam and realized very quickly that I did not want to be a civilian engineer. I realized I wanted to work with people and build teams in business. Not having a business background, Darden and an MBA provided a high-quality education that would give me the skills and network to be successful.


Photo shared by Mark Pohl
Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I love learning new things and how things work. For example, I recently taught myself how to change the break pads and rotors on my car. For me the first year Darden core curriculum was an intense experience of learning how the world works every day. Whether it was macroeconomics, marketing, or finance I was able to see how it all impacted my daily life. It opened my eyes to a world outside the Army and I have loved every minute of it.

Q: Why is the Darden Military Association important you?

A: Leaving the Army immediately before Darden was a large change. The DMA provided an awesome group of people who were going through or have gone through a similar transition. It was a great way to enjoy the company of people with similar backgrounds that can help each other through a new experience. There is never a dull moment when spending time with the DMA.

Q: Advice for prospective students who are considering transitioning from public to private sector?

A: Do your research to determine what you want to do. Network with as many people as your can and ask questions about what they do. Additionally, do some serious soul searching about what type of job, company, industry, and lifestyle you want. Rushing into recruiting without understanding what types of roles you want is a dangerous game. Find what you want and go after it. You have the experience and ability to get any job you want.

Brandon Sims, DMA Executive Vice President
Q: What was your background before coming to Darden?

A: U.S. Marine Corps Infantry Officer. My first deployment was to Darwin, NT, Australia and my second was the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit with time in Okinawa, Thailand, and South Korea. I ended my career running enlisted recruiting out of Fort Worth, Texas.

Q: Why did you choose to come to b-school, and/or Darden specifically?

A: Business school would allow me to spend some time focusing on myself and learning some of the hard skills required of general managers. I wanted a toolkit that would make me competitive across a variety of industries and functions. Darden met those needs for me through its intensive core curriculum offering and case method. Also, Charlottesville and the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains are hard to beat.


Photo shared by Brandon Sims
Q: What are you passionate about?

A: Decisive, responsible, and humble leadership. It is hard to hit all three, but striving to display those gives me satisfaction at the end of the day. Lately and more specifically, I’ve developed an interest in water quality solutions and protecting this resource. And personally, I enjoy fly fishing and sketching.

Q: Why is the Darden Military Association important you?

A: The strength of the Darden network really has delivered on its promises. The nested DMA network even more so. I think the veterans that Darden attracts are those that want to assimilate to the corporate world while still highly-valuing the bonds forged by military service. The events, happy hours, and exclusive networking opportunities the DMA provides are perfect examples of the formal and informal closeness of the group.

Be sure to consult the Latest News regularly for the most updated news releases and media hits. Check out faculty thought leadership published on Ideas to Action. And stay connected with us via social media: FacebookInstagramLinkedInTwitterWeChat
The post Darden Military Association Helps B-School Vets Transition, Thrive first appeared on Discover Darden.
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Darden Military Association Helps B-School Vets Transition, Thrive [#permalink]
FROM Darden EMBA Blog: Darden Military Association Helps B-School Vets Transition, Thrive
Veterans of U.S. and foreign militaries comprise between 7 and 9 percent of Darden’s full-time MBA classes. These military students are an important part of the broader Darden community, and are known for contributing their leadership, discipline and decision-making skills and teamwork to the classroom. Darden’s academic intensity — combined with the case method approach — refines and refocuses the judgment and decision-making honed in military training.

Just one of Darden’s many student-run organizations, the Darden Military Association (DMA) serves its members by leveraging military experience to enhance career opportunities in the private sector and build a tightknit network among its members.

Interested in learning more about DMA and the Darden experience from a military perspective? Join DMA board members and Senior Associate Director of Admissions Cheryl Jones for an interactive virtual session on Monday, 27 October from 8:30-9:30 p.m. Eastern. Sign up here for Military to MBA: Darden Military Association Panel.

A few of the DMA board members shared insights about their own experiences and advice for prospective students — attend the upcoming session to gain even more insights!



Tommy Rose, DMA President:
Q: What was your background before coming to Darden?

A: I was a surface warfare officer onboard guided-missile destroyers and also served in a strategy and policy role at the Pentagon during my navy career.

Q: Why did you choose b-school, and/or Darden specifically?

A: I wanted to pivot into the technology sector and believed that acquiring more business acumen and skills through the case study method at Darden would provide me opportunities that would not be available directly out of the Navy. At the same time, the Post 9/11 GI Bill has made this opportunity


Tommy Rose, DMA President
affordable, and I wanted to take advantage of these benefits directly after leaving the Navy.

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I love college football and basketball. There’s nothing more exciting than cutting loose with some friends and tailgating for a fall college football game. Aside from sports, I have a professional passion for both technology and education. More specifically, I am an advocate for seeking ways to lower the cost of education in order to make it more accessible and equitable in the U.S.


Photo shared by Tommy Rose
Q: Why is the Darden Military Association important you?

A: Because of our shared experiences, the DMA has been a fantastic group of people to make new friends and seek professional assistance during my time at Darden. I also understand how difficult the journey is to pivot from military life to starting a new career, and I want to work together and give back to veterans who are seeking to better themselves and their families during this journey.

Q: Advice for prospective students who are considering transitioning from public to private sector?

A: Never question whether you have the right experience or skills to make a successful transition. Your military experience is invaluable and you should pursue the roles and careers opportunities that you are passionate about. Additionally, the Darden network is powerful, but I believe the veteran network is even stronger. Take advantage of this during your own transition process.

Mark Pohl, DMA VP of Admissions
Q: What was your background before coming to Darden?

A: I was an Army Engineer Officer for 6 years. I was with the 101st Airborne Division for almost four years. I served as a route clearance Platoon Leader in Afghanistan and served as a company executive officer and staff officer after my return. My last role had me teaching new engineer lieutenants demolitions and dismounted patrolling for almost 2 years.

Q: Why did you choose to come to b-school, and/or Darden specifically?

A: While still in the Army I was studying for the professional engineering exam and realized very quickly that I did not want to be a civilian engineer. I realized I wanted to work with people and build teams in business. Not having a business background, Darden and an MBA provided a high-quality education that would give me the skills and network to be successful.


Photo shared by Mark Pohl
Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I love learning new things and how things work. For example, I recently taught myself how to change the break pads and rotors on my car. For me the first year Darden core curriculum was an intense experience of learning how the world works every day. Whether it was macroeconomics, marketing, or finance I was able to see how it all impacted my daily life. It opened my eyes to a world outside the Army and I have loved every minute of it.

Q: Why is the Darden Military Association important you?

A: Leaving the Army immediately before Darden was a large change. The DMA provided an awesome group of people who were going through or have gone through a similar transition. It was a great way to enjoy the company of people with similar backgrounds that can help each other through a new experience. There is never a dull moment when spending time with the DMA.

Q: Advice for prospective students who are considering transitioning from public to private sector?

A: Do your research to determine what you want to do. Network with as many people as your can and ask questions about what they do. Additionally, do some serious soul searching about what type of job, company, industry, and lifestyle you want. Rushing into recruiting without understanding what types of roles you want is a dangerous game. Find what you want and go after it. You have the experience and ability to get any job you want.

Brandon Sims, DMA Executive Vice President
Q: What was your background before coming to Darden?

A: U.S. Marine Corps Infantry Officer. My first deployment was to Darwin, NT, Australia and my second was the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit with time in Okinawa, Thailand, and South Korea. I ended my career running enlisted recruiting out of Fort Worth, Texas.

Q: Why did you choose to come to b-school, and/or Darden specifically?

A: Business school would allow me to spend some time focusing on myself and learning some of the hard skills required of general managers. I wanted a toolkit that would make me competitive across a variety of industries and functions. Darden met those needs for me through its intensive core curriculum offering and case method. Also, Charlottesville and the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains are hard to beat.


Photo shared by Brandon Sims
Q: What are you passionate about?

A: Decisive, responsible, and humble leadership. It is hard to hit all three, but striving to display those gives me satisfaction at the end of the day. Lately and more specifically, I’ve developed an interest in water quality solutions and protecting this resource. And personally, I enjoy fly fishing and sketching.

Q: Why is the Darden Military Association important you?

A: The strength of the Darden network really has delivered on its promises. The nested DMA network even more so. I think the veterans that Darden attracts are those that want to assimilate to the corporate world while still highly-valuing the bonds forged by military service. The events, happy hours, and exclusive networking opportunities the DMA provides are perfect examples of the formal and informal closeness of the group.

Be sure to consult the Latest News regularly for the most updated news releases and media hits. Check out faculty thought leadership published on Ideas to Action. And stay connected with us via social media: FacebookInstagramLinkedInTwitterWeChat
The post Darden Military Association Helps B-School Vets Transition, Thrive first appeared on Discover Darden.
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Interview Tips — It’s About More Than Your Resume [#permalink]
FROM Darden Admissions Blog: Interview Tips — It’s About More Than Your Resume
Both Darden’s full-time and executive programs are well into the admissions cycle for the Class of 2023 — which means it’s officially interview season!

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times: Interviews are our favorite part of the application process! It is both a luxury and a pleasure to spend 30 minutes with applicants, and the interview goes a long way to helping the Admissions Committee understand who you are, your goals and motivations, the “why” of your narrative, as well as a number things about you like communication skills, presence, etc. — that may be harder to glean from the application itself.

Here are a few things to know about Darden interviews:

  • Timing is not a reflection of candidacy. We know the interview invitation process can cause some anxiety for applicants (the waiting is certainly the hardest part), but know that we extend interview invitations for each round on a rolling basis (as opposed to all at once). Applicants can be invited to interview up to the decision release date in question, and we appreciate your patience as we work through our review process.
  • Darden’s interviews are blind, which we think is the fairest approach to interviewing. At Darden, this means that your interviewer will not have read your application or resume prior to the interview. Your interviewer will know your name and your interview time, and that’s about it! Why is this the fairest approach? Your interviewer will not come to this interaction with a lot of formed expectations about who you are, your strengths or weaknesses or any other thoughts about your candidacy. It’s a level playing field for EVERYONE, and this “uninformed” approach is one of the best things about interviewing at Darden. We are learning about you in real time and, for this reason, no two interviews are quite the same.
  • Our interviews are conversational in nature, and the interview is certainly an opportunity for you to tell your story. While you will likely do most of the talking, you should not prepare to deliver an uninterrupted monologue. The best interviews are a dialogue between the applicant and the interviewer. You know, like a real conversation!
  • Everything matters. Our Admissions process is holistic in nature, and you may be surprised to hear we spend as much (if not more) time thinking about who you will be in and out of the classroom as we do about your academic preparation or career goals. That’s not to say these things do not matter (or are somehow less important). It’s only to reinforce the point that, in the admissions process, everything matters. That’s the great thing, and also the challenging thing, about this enterprise.
One way to think about the application is that it’s an initial introduction, and, ideally, it’s sufficiently intriguing for us to conclude, “This is someone we would like to learn more about.” That’s what the interview comes in, and you will want to think about how these two parts of your application reinforce and complement each other.

For bonus resources, check out Executive Director of Admissions Dawna Clarke’s two videos (filmed pre-Covid) featuring Interview FAQs and more about Understanding the Darden Interview.

The interview is a great opportunity to highlight aspects of your story of particular interest to our Admissions Committee like leadership opportunities, global experiences, initiative, impact and teamwork, as well as hobbies and interests. After all, you will bring your whole, authentic self to Darden.

The interviewer will be considering questions like, What will you contribute to these classroom conversations? What kind of teammate will you be? What kind of classmate will you be? Are you passionate about learning? Are you resilient? Are you curious about the world? Are you open to others’ perspectives? Are you collaborative? Are you self-aware? What will be your impact outside of the classroom?

Of course, we want to know you can manage the work of a rigorous MBA program, but there are so many other things that go into a successful two years at Darden (and beyond). In many ways, the academic question ‘Can you do the required work?‘ is the easiest of these assessments. The other queries take more effort and insight, and this is one of the reasons we offer so many ways for you to engage with members of our team and learn about Darden. Take full advantage of these resources!

Practice, practice, practice! Don’t be fooled by our conversational interview approach. As the above advice makes clear, there is a lot you are going to want to accomplish in a relatively limited amount of time, and a little practice in sharing your narrative can go a long way.

During these socially distant times, “practicing” also means making sure you are comfortable and familiar with the interview technology. We conduct interviews via Zoom, so make sure you have downloaded the required software and identified a nice, quiet place where you have reliable internet and can conduct your interview without interruption. This doesn’t mean you have to go full celebrity bookshelf, but you should give some thought to your surroundings, your lighting and any items that may be in your background.

What happens after your interview? Interview notes will be added to your application record and will be part of the holistic picture that our Admissions Committee considers when making a final decision.

To hear more about Darden’s approach to interviews, tune in to Experience Darden podcast episode #81, featuring Senior Director of Admissions Whitney Kestner and Director of Admissions Catie Yeilding as they share insights and tips for applicants.



Be sure to consult the Latest News regularly for the most updated news releases and media hits. Check out faculty thought leadership published on Ideas to Action. And stay connected with us via social media: FacebookInstagramLinkedInTwitterWeChat
The post Interview Tips — It's About More Than Your Resume first appeared on Discover Darden.
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Interview Tips — It’s About More Than Your Resume [#permalink]
FROM Darden EMBA Blog: Interview Tips — It’s About More Than Your Resume
Both Darden’s full-time and executive programs are well into the admissions cycle for the Class of 2023 — which means it’s officially interview season!

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times: Interviews are our favorite part of the application process! It is both a luxury and a pleasure to spend 30 minutes with applicants, and the interview goes a long way to helping the Admissions Committee understand who you are, your goals and motivations, the “why” of your narrative, as well as a number things about you like communication skills, presence, etc. — that may be harder to glean from the application itself.

Here are a few things to know about Darden interviews:

  • Timing is not a reflection of candidacy. We know the interview invitation process can cause some anxiety for applicants (the waiting is certainly the hardest part), but know that we extend interview invitations for each round on a rolling basis (as opposed to all at once). Applicants can be invited to interview up to the decision release date in question, and we appreciate your patience as we work through our review process.
  • Darden’s interviews are blind, which we think is the fairest approach to interviewing. At Darden, this means that your interviewer will not have read your application or resume prior to the interview. Your interviewer will know your name and your interview time, and that’s about it! Why is this the fairest approach? Your interviewer will not come to this interaction with a lot of formed expectations about who you are, your strengths or weaknesses or any other thoughts about your candidacy. It’s a level playing field for EVERYONE, and this “uninformed” approach is one of the best things about interviewing at Darden. We are learning about you in real time and, for this reason, no two interviews are quite the same.
  • Our interviews are conversational in nature, and the interview is certainly an opportunity for you to tell your story. While you will likely do most of the talking, you should not prepare to deliver an uninterrupted monologue. The best interviews are a dialogue between the applicant and the interviewer. You know, like a real conversation!
  • Everything matters. Our Admissions process is holistic in nature, and you may be surprised to hear we spend as much (if not more) time thinking about who you will be in and out of the classroom as we do about your academic preparation or career goals. That’s not to say these things do not matter (or are somehow less important). It’s only to reinforce the point that, in the admissions process, everything matters. That’s the great thing, and also the challenging thing, about this enterprise.
One way to think about the application is that it’s an initial introduction, and, ideally, it’s sufficiently intriguing for us to conclude, “This is someone we would like to learn more about.” That’s what the interview comes in, and you will want to think about how these two parts of your application reinforce and complement each other.

For bonus resources, check out Executive Director of Admissions Dawna Clarke’s two videos (filmed pre-Covid) featuring Interview FAQs and more about Understanding the Darden Interview.

The interview is a great opportunity to highlight aspects of your story of particular interest to our Admissions Committee like leadership opportunities, global experiences, initiative, impact and teamwork, as well as hobbies and interests. After all, you will bring your whole, authentic self to Darden.

The interviewer will be considering questions like, What will you contribute to these classroom conversations? What kind of teammate will you be? What kind of classmate will you be? Are you passionate about learning? Are you resilient? Are you curious about the world? Are you open to others’ perspectives? Are you collaborative? Are you self-aware? What will be your impact outside of the classroom?

Of course, we want to know you can manage the work of a rigorous MBA program, but there are so many other things that go into a successful two years at Darden (and beyond). In many ways, the academic question ‘Can you do the required work?‘ is the easiest of these assessments. The other queries take more effort and insight, and this is one of the reasons we offer so many ways for you to engage with members of our team and learn about Darden. Take full advantage of these resources!

Practice, practice, practice! Don’t be fooled by our conversational interview approach. As the above advice makes clear, there is a lot you are going to want to accomplish in a relatively limited amount of time, and a little practice in sharing your narrative can go a long way.

During these socially distant times, “practicing” also means making sure you are comfortable and familiar with the interview technology. We conduct interviews via Zoom, so make sure you have downloaded the required software and identified a nice, quiet place where you have reliable internet and can conduct your interview without interruption. This doesn’t mean you have to go full celebrity bookshelf, but you should give some thought to your surroundings, your lighting and any items that may be in your background.

What happens after your interview? Interview notes will be added to your application record and will be part of the holistic picture that our Admissions Committee considers when making a final decision.

To hear more about Darden’s approach to interviews, tune in to Experience Darden podcast episode #81, featuring Senior Director of Admissions Whitney Kestner and Director of Admissions Catie Yeilding as they share insights and tips for applicants.



Be sure to consult the Latest News regularly for the most updated news releases and media hits. Check out faculty thought leadership published on Ideas to Action. And stay connected with us via social media: FacebookInstagramLinkedInTwitterWeChat
The post Interview Tips — It's About More Than Your Resume first appeared on Discover Darden.
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