UVA Darden Global MBA for Executives Announces San Francisco and Silicon Valley Residency

12 August 2015

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business announces that, starting in 2016, the final two-week residency of the Global MBA for Executives (GEMBA) program will include a week of experiential study in the San Francisco Bay Area. The week of courses and experiential programming throughout Silicon Valley will enable unmatched access and insight into the topics of entrepreneurship, technology and leading strategic change, which are a primary focus of the final residency.

“The Bay Area is the world capital of innovation and entrepreneurship, and our GEMBA students will benefit greatly from the learning opportunities there with Darden’s top-ranked faculty and our dynamic network of alumni in the area,” said Dean Scott C. Beardsley. “This enhancement showcases how the GEMBA program constantly innovates to incorporate meaningful experiential opportunities into a curriculum that truly develops global leaders ready to step forward.”

Previously, the sixth and final residency returned GEMBA students to the Darden School Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, for a full two weeks following an initial residency in Charlottesville plus international residencies in Brazil, China, India and Western Europe. Under the new format, only the second week of the sixth residency will take place on Darden’s Grounds.

The San Francisco-based portion of the sixth residency will take place 10-16 April 2016, with the GEMBA Class of 2016. The residency will be led by Darden Professors Raj Venkatesan, whose work focuses on the effect of big data on marketing, serving as faculty lead; Gregory B. Fairchild, who specializes in entrepreneurship for underserved areas like urban environments, covering entrepreneurship; and Martin N. Davidson, whose focus is on the strategic use of diversity to generate superior business performance, covering leadership.

During their week in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, students will focus on two courses. Students will learn about the source, development and growth of new ideas in “Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Growth” and about managing organizational change in the volatile world of technology and beyond in “Leading Global Strategic Change.”

“The students will also interact with some of the most dynamic and fastest growing companies in the world. Potential speakers and experiential activities are being formulated with the help of organizations such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Uber,” said Venkatesan.

In addition to several company visits, the GEMBA students will face a Shark Tank-style panel featuring Darden alumni from prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firms. The students will pitch an entrepreneurial idea initially developed during an earlier residency to the alumni venture capitalists, who will also share their experiences in the industry. An Apple executive will prepare the students for their pitch with a seminar about which apps have what it takes — and which don’t — to make it through the company’s review process.

Yiorgos Allayannis“We want to match the courses we teach with the location of our residencies so that students can say, ‘we couldn’t have done this anywhere else,’” said Professor Yiorgos Allayannis, associate dean for GEMBA. “When we looked at what we were teaching in the final residency, we asked where was the best place we could move to fit those entrepreneurship and technology courses, engage with companies, get our alumni involved and have a strong experiential component. San Francisco is where the program could benefit from the full network effect.”

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