UVA Darden School of Business Welcomes Diverse Class of 2016

25 August 2014

By Carlos Santos

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business on Monday welcomed to Charlottesville First Year students from all three formats of its degree program — MBAMBA for Executives (EMBA) and Global MBA for Executives (GEMBA). The diverse Class of 2016 — 417 students — brings to Darden record-matching GMAT scores and grade point averages, and interest in entrepreneurship and mission-driven careers in the areas of education, government and the nonprofit sector. The year’s incoming EMBA students represent Darden’s ninth cohort and the GEMBA program is now in its fourth year.

Sara Neher, assistant dean of MBA admissions, shared the distinctive characteristic of the 324 students who comprise the full-time MBA Class of 2016.

  • Percentage of women: 32
  • Percentage of those born outside of the United States: 37
  • Percentage of domestic minority (including highest-ever level of Hispanic students): 16
  • Average GMAT score: 706
  • Average GPA: 3.5
  • Average age: 27

In addition, the incoming MBA students hail from 36 countries — Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela and Vietnam. India and China boast the most Darden students this year.

This class extends its diversity to the United States, with students from 23 states. Virginia offers the most students, followed by New York and California. The class completed their undergraduate degrees at such institutions as UVA, Brigham Young University, the University of Texas, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the University of Pennsylvania, and they majored in areas such as business, economics, engineering, English literature, information systems, agriculture and microbiology.

The students possess an eclectic array of talents. These new Darden students enjoy running, reading, travel, golf, music, scuba diving and sailing. The class includes pilots, painters, rock climbers and even a herpetologist — one who studies reptiles and amphibians. The class boasts a number of professional athletes, with one having played in the National Football League. Six percent have military experience.
Darden also introduced First Year EMBA and GEMBA students.

Darden’s innovative MBA for Executives format enables experienced professionals to earn the Darden MBA while continuing to work full time. A snapshot of the newest EMBA class includes:

  • Age range: 27-48
  • Average years of work experience: 12
  • Percentage of women: 16
  • Percentage of international students (born outside U.S.): 11
  • Percentage of advanced degrees: 42
  • GMAT score (middle 80 percent): 570—720

Darden’s Global MBA for Executives format offers experienced managers on-the-ground training in five regions around the world while they continue to work full time.

Demographics of the GEMBA Class of 2016 include:

  • Age range: 28-52
  • Average years of work experience: 13
  • Percentage of women: 22
  • Percentage of international students (born outside U.S.): 27
  • Percentage of advanced degrees: 42
  • GMAT score (middle 80 percent): 540—680

During First Year orientation week, the class bonded with their learning teams and familiarized themselves with their new surroundings through a scavenger hunt around Darden, UVA Grounds and the City of Charlottesville. Seven students constitute a learning team. Throughout the course of study at Darden, learning teams review cases and work together on assignments in preparation for class. Students also had the opportunity to participate in case discussions on Johnson & Johnson and IBM, as well as Career Discovery Forums on “Becoming a Corporate Leader,” “Sustainability, Social Impact and Global Opportunities” and “Being an Adviser to Corporations,” sponsored by Danaher, Johnson & Johnson and MeadWestvaco.

The week concluded with an address to all three formats of the MBA from Bob Bruner, dean of the Darden School of Business; Darden Professor Peter Rodriguez, senior associate dean for degree programs and chief diversity officer; and Michael Woodfolk, senior executive director of alumni engagement. The Darden community capped orientation week with a back-to-school fiesta celebration for all Darden students, faculty and staff and families.

Darden Professor Marc Lipson, associate dean for the full-time MBA program, addressed the rigor of the Darden curriculum, “You will have a unique learning experience. It’s learning by immersion. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. It’s hard, difficult and challenging, but I know you’ll make it. This is a supportive institution.”

Read From Quarterdeck to Forecastle: Welcome to the Class of 2016 for an excerpt from the dean’s address.

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