More UVA Darden School Grads Head to Work in the Technology Sector Share

21 August 2014

By Abena Foreman-Trice

As the University of Virginia Darden School of Business welcomes the Class of 2016, alumni of the most recent graduating class are settling into jobs around the globe. According to Darden’s Career Development Center, an increased number of the School’s MBA graduates are accepting positions in the field of technology. Amazon and Microsoft are among the top tech firms hiring at Darden.

This summer, roughly 15 percent of the School’s newest alumni are filling positions in areas such as strategy, marketing and corporate finance within technology firms. Over the last five years, the percentages of Darden graduates entering the tech industry have risen progressively:

  • 4 percent of the Class of 2009
  • 9 percent of the Class of 2010
  • 11 percent of the Class of 2011
  • 13 percent of the Class of 2012
  • 14 percent of the Class of 2013

“Our efforts here at Darden to forge relationships in Silicon Valley and other hotbeds of technology, an improving economy and the need for firms to constantly innovate have led to an impressive number of opportunities in the tech industry for our students,” said Jack Oakes, Darden assistant dean for career development.

Twenty-five percent of Darden’s newest MBAs also hold engineering degrees, providing them with a mix of technology-related expertise and leadership skills that have prepared them to navigate the rapid rate of change in technology.


Within a month of graduation, 86 percent of Darden’s Class of 2014 received job offers from 75 companies. Employment rates were also high for international students at 83 percent.

The following overview shows job offers by industry and function:

Class of 2014 Full-Time MBA Recruiting

Industry      Percent
Consulting 29.5
Consumer Products      9.0
Energy 2.1
Financial Services 23.1
Government 2.1
Manufacturing 8.5
Not-for-profit/Education      0.9
Other Services 0.9
Pharma/Biotech/Healthcare      3.8
Real Estate 1.3
Retail 1.7
Technology/Telecom 15.3
Transportation 1.7


Darden’s alumnae are making inroads in the technology industry.

Darden alumna Gargi Apte (MBA ’14) was an engineer before she came to Darden. Today, she works for Amazon as a product manager for technical products.

“I will work on all aspects of the product, from conceptualization to final launch and marketing. To create innovative products that deliver superior customer value, product managers need to be an interface between engineers and customers,” said Apte.

Studies have shown that women continue to be underrepresented in the tech industry. Despite this, Apte said she has always felt welcomed in the traditionally male-dominated environment.

“Right from the time I was in engineering school, I have always been in a male dominated environment,” said Apte. “Because of that and because of my positive experiences with my peers at school and at work, I rarely even notice being one of few women in a room.

“My personal belief is that if one proves him or herself critical to the organization, then it’s expertise that colleagues focus on, instead of gender.”


More students are also choosing to launch companies of their own or join startups, making use of the many entrepreneurial resources offered at Darden to help them make the leap.

Students wishing to intern for a startup company can apply to Darden’s Batten Venture Internship Program. The program enables participating students to gain entrepreneurial experience and provides funding to startups in order for new firms to pay their interns. This summer, 23 of Darden’s Second Year MBA students learned the ropes in entrepreneurial endeavors thanks to the Batten Venture Internship Program, while 16 Second Year students worked on nine ventures in the business incubator of the W.L. Lyons Brown III Innovation Laboratory (i.Lab), better known as the UVA i.Lab, housed at Darden.

“Several schools have specialized endowments or nonprofit internship funds,” said Amanda Panarese, assistant director of career education and advising in Darden’s Career Development Center. “But the Batten Venture Internship Program focuses solely on connecting students with opportunities at early-stage ventures, while allowing those students to also earn a summer salary.”


Darden alumna Amanda Miller (MBA ’14) served as president of the Darden Finance Club, one of the School’s four largest student clubs. She recently joined Deutsche Bank as an associate.

Miller said her leadership experience in the Finance Club helped her work effectively in teams and apply her emotional intelligence to influence others.

“I think as an associate at Deutsche Bank you have a leadership role, even if it’s informal, in working with analysts,” said Miller. “The practice I received managing peers in the Finance Club without holding authority helped me to work better with others. I had to learn to manage my personality with their personalities.”

This approach to maintaining a positive relationship within work groups will help Miller foster cooperation in her new role, she said.

“You have to learn how to collaborate with different kinds of people with diverse styles and approaches, and with whom you’ll share long hours in the office,” she added.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Press Contact

Sophie Zunz
Director of Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia