Tag Archives: Darden School of Business

UVA Darden Launches ‘IDEA’ Course

First-year students at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business will tackle some of the business world’s biggest problems as part of the new “Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship in Action” (IDEA) course, which debuted …

First-year students at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business will tackle some of the business world’s biggest problems as part of the new “Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship in Action” (IDEA) course, which debuted February 23rd.

In this class, teams of students will work with leading companies, nonprofit organizations and government agencies in a variety of sectors to solve live field challenges over the next several weeks.

“We want Darden students to develop unparalleled aptitude for real-world problem solving and effective decision making.”

“IDEA is a perfect addition to Darden’s immersive, experiential learning culture,” says Professor Mike Lenox, Darden senior associate dean and chief strategy officer.

Devised in part out of student interest in more experiential learning opportunities, the new course is now required for students in the Class of 2017.

Participants will learn problem-solving skills and project management tools such as design thinking, agile project management, lean startup and data analytics. At the end of the course, students will be able to comfortably handle complex, often ambiguous problems for which there may not be one right answer.

Thirteen companies are participating in the inaugural IDEA course, including:

  • American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
  • Capital One
  • Land O’Lakes Inc.
  • LinkedIn with the Markle Foundation

Sample challenges for these companies include:

  • How can we improve the market for employers looking to hire skill-based, middle-skill employees? (LinkedIn/Markle Foundation)
  • What role should genetically modified organisms play in feeding the world in a responsible manner? (Land O’ Lakes Inc.)
  • What is the future of rewards within financial services? (Capital One)
  • How can oncology practices integrate palliative care services in a financially viable manner? (American Society of Clinical Oncology)

At the conclusion of the seven-week program, students present detailed solutions to leadership of the sponsoring company.

“In our increasingly turbulent health care environment, sharp business acumen and novel approaches to real-life problems are critically needed in the delivery of high-quality cancer care,” says Dr. Julie M. Vose, president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

“ASCO is delighted to participate with Darden on this innovative business curriculum, and we look forward to learning how the students address their assigned challenges.”

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Interview Tips from the Darden MBA Program

Is the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business on your short list of dream MBA programs? Then be sure to check out this new video blog from the Darden admissions team, which shares solid …

Is the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business on your short list of dream MBA programs? Then be sure to check out this new video blog from the Darden admissions team, which shares solid advice for those hoping to interview at this top-tier MBA program.

In it, Admissions Dean Sara Neher gives an overview of the Darden interview process and stresses the three things candidates should focus on for a successful interview experience, which we’ve summarized below.

Pay attention to first impressions: The interview actually begins before the interview, says Neher, so make sure your interactions with your interviewer—or the person setting up the interview beforehand— via email, by phone or in person, are positive and demonstrate your enthusiasm and positive attitude.

Answer questions in C.A.R. format: Applicants should expect to answer behavioral questions during their interview. The “Tell me about a time when…” question can cover many areas, and Neher suggests framing your answer using the CAR format, which she says she learned while working a Procter and Gamble.

The acronym stands for Context, Action, Result. As you answer the question, you’ll first summarize the situation, then tell the interviewer what you did, and finally discuss what happened afterward. Remember to include anything quantifiable—give them the numbers—whenever possible.

Ask a question at the end of the interview: Your interviewer can learn more about you from the kinds of questions you ask him or her, Neher says. So, think of something you’d like to know that you couldn’t find on the company or school website and that works for many kinds of interviewers, no matter their level.

If you can follow these three steps successfully, you’re sure to ace your Darden interview.

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UV Darden Tops Forbes List of Most Satisfied MBAs

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UV Darden Tops Forbes List of Most Satisfied MBAs

Wondering which MBA grads feel the most love for their alma mater? According to Forbes‘s list of business schools with the most satisfied MBA graduates, it’s not directly related with the programs that the magazine …

Darden most satisfied MBAs

Wondering which MBA grads feel the most love for their alma mater? According to Forbes‘s list of business schools with the most satisfied MBA graduates, it’s not directly related with the programs that the magazine ranked highest for return on investment back in September.

“Grads from Harvard, Columbia and University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School had three of the four highest salaries among U.S. schools five years after graduation (only Stanford grads banked more). However, alumni from all three schools rank their job satisfaction among the bottom half of the 50 schools in our universe despite paychecks north of $200,000 on average,” reveals Forbes‘s reporter Kurt Badenhausen.

To come up with the list, Forbes explains that it looks at salary data from the ROI ranking published earlier this fall, and also asks alumni to comment on their satisfaction with their education, and how well  they feel the degree prepared them relative to other MBAs and their current jobs.

Top Ten Business Schools with the Happiest Graduates:

  1. Darden School of Business
  2. Dartmouth Tuck School of Business
  3. USC Marshall School of Business
  4. Michigan State Eli Broad College of Business
  5. Emory University Goitzueta Business School
  6. Stanford Graduate School of Business
  7. Chicago Booth School of Business
  8. MIT Sloan School of Management
  9. UCLA Anderson School of Management
  10. Northwestern Kellogg School of Management

“Some MBA rankings measure satisfaction of students at graduation, but we look at satisfaction five years out of school when students have had time to reflect on their educational experience and how they compare to other MBAs in the labor force,” writes Badenhausen. “Overall students gave their educations very high marks and less so for their current employment situation.”

To learn more about what makes each of these business schools so special in the eyes of their alumni, read the complete article on Forbes.

(image credit: Flickr user tldagny, CC 2.0)

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7 Podcasts to Feed Your Mind This Thanksgiving Weekend

When you finally emerge from your Tryptophan coma this Thanksgiving weekend and have a hankering for some food for thought, check out these illuminating B-school podcasts that cover entrepreneurship, creativity, leadership and marketing tactics. Professor …

When you finally emerge from your Tryptophan coma this Thanksgiving weekend and have a hankering for some food for thought, check out these illuminating B-school podcasts that cover entrepreneurship, creativity, leadership and marketing tactics.

MBA podcasts

Professor Dorie Clark at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business talks about what it takes to succeed in business today. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or an employee, it’s all about standing out.

From the online publication Kellogg Insight, October’s faculty podcast features two Kellogg School of Management professors and a lecturer about the power of storytelling, as well as their tips to become a better storyteller.

Wendy Huber, Assistant Dean for the Full-Time MBA Program at Darden School of Business offers tips on how to achieve success in business school.

Harvard Business School launched a podcast series this fall called Cold Call, and the episode “Dangerous Mines: Saving Lives Through Leadership” stresses safety in South Africa’s platinum mines.

Brit Morin, founder and CEO of Brit + Co, discusses Inspiring Creativity with Great Content in this podcast from Entrepreneurial Thought Corner at Stanford University.

Nicholas Epley, professor of behavioral science at Chicago Booth School of Business, debunks some dangerous myths about gender differences.

This one falls under the marketing category, but it’s also just really fun and interesting for anyone headed to see “Spectre” this weekend. The Wharton School‘s Knowledge@Wharton publication offers this new podcast: The Spy Whom We Loved: The Enduring Appeal of James Bond.

We hope you enjoy this little bit of brain food and find something useful—and interesting—in each of these suggestions.

Image credit: Flickr user Patrick Breitenbach (CC By 2.0)

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Stay in the Know with News Recommended by MBAs

Once you’re in b-school, your time is at a premium and it can be a struggle to stay on top of everything that’s going on across the business world. I think the new website 10Thoughts, …

news for MBAs

Once you’re in b-school, your time is at a premium and it can be a struggle to stay on top of everything that’s going on across the business world. I think the new website 10Thoughts, started by a Darden School of Business 2015 MBA grad, can really help applicants and students (or anyone, actually) who want to keep up with today’s relevant problem solving, thinking and ideas across the business spectrum.

Jack Mara, founder and CEO of 10Thoughts, says he became frustrated with having to search through many publications in order to stay well-versed on important topics and issues in business while a student at Darden.

The site shares original content as well as news stories recommended and vetted by actual MBAs, professors, and executives, and covers content across different topics, functions, and publications.

“Our readers trust the quality of the content because it comes with the recommendation of a talented peer rather than a machine or algorithm,” Mara says, adding that 35% of students across the top 20 schools in the incoming class of 2017 currently use 10Thoughts.

The site is a great resource for b-school applicants because, while most professionals tend to focus closely on their own area of expertise, it’s really important to be conversant on a range of relevant business issues—particularly for those MBA interviews.

“Companies are looking for general managers and leaders that can think across functions and understand how different pieces of the puzzle all interact,” Mara says. ” This will help you speak more intelligently about the business world and different career paths in both your MBA applications and interviews.”

I contributed an article of my own last week called Filling in the White Spaces for the Job Hunt, but the advice rings true for MBA applicants as well. So go ahead and check out 10Thoughts – it’s free – and you can sign up to receive the weekly featured article email, too.

image courtesy of www.gotcredit.com

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How Do You Know if You’re Ready for B-School?

Is there such a thing as a right time to apply for an MBA? Many prospective b-school applicants confront this question when they feel that their current career trajectory has stalled. For others, pursuing an …

timing your MBA

Is there such a thing as a right time to apply for an MBA? Many prospective b-school applicants confront this question when they feel that their current career trajectory has stalled. For others, pursuing an MBA straight out of undergrad is a no-brainer, as they avoid putting their lives on hold for two years—and forgoing a potentially significant salary to do so.

While everyone’s timing for applying to business school varies depending on their circumstances, there are a few things you should be able to clearly articulate when you’re ready to take the plunge.

This week, the MBA blog published by the UV Darden School of Business poses four questions you should ask yourself to determine whether now’s the time to start cranking out those essays and rounding up your references. The advice is spot-on, and valid no matter where you plan to apply.

  1. What are my career goals?

Darden says: Not everyone knows their specific career goals when heading to business school, but as a general rule, they have a pretty good idea. Maybe you want to move up within your current industry or company. Maybe you want to switch to an entirely different industry and need to build the foundation to get the job that you want. Or maybe you’re aspiring entrepreneur who wants to learn more about business so you can start one of your own. Business school can propel you in many directions, but you can also miss out on great opportunities if you don’t know what you are looking for.

2. Do I have enough work experience?

Darden says: Most MBA programs want you to have an average of four years of work experience. At Darden, the average age of students in our full-time program is 27. Having work experience is important because it teaches you how to work with a team, practice your leadership skills and learn more about the business world, which in turn will help you lay out your career goals.

3. Do I have the basic skills necessary to thrive in business school?

Darden says: While Darden looks for students with a wide range of experiences, there are certain skill sets that will come in handy as you embark on your MBA journey. One of those is quantitative analysis, which will be useful as soon as you start to study for the GMAT or GRE, and will continue to be helpful as you prepare to lead in the business world. If you didn’t take many quantitative classes in college, it might be helpful to brush up on your skills so you are ready for the first day of b-school.

4. Do I know what I’m looking for in an MBA program?

Darden says: There are all kinds of MBA programs around the world. Some are full-time; some allow you to work while you get your degree. Some excel at finance, while others specialize in general management or consulting.  The options are endless, so it is up to you to figure out which school is right for you.

It’s no surprise that an MBA expands your skill set and your network of contacts, as well as significantly increases your long-term earning potential. Candidates should talk with family, friends, and mentors—and potentially an MBA application adviser—early in the application process to determine where they are in the so-called “window” for business school.

But only you can judge when all of the necessary elements have come together to make the time right.

You may also be interested in:

Think You’re Ready for an MBA? Use This Checklist and Find Out!

Advice from an Early Career MBA

image credit: Flickr user Cam Evans (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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