2017 Executive MBA Graduates Reflect on UVA Darden Experience

By Jay Hodgkins

Graduation weekend for the University of Virginia Darden School of Business Class of 2017 has come and gone, and the graduates are now stepping forward into the next phase of their lives and careers. While more than 300 of the roughly 400 MBA graduates were members of the full-time MBA, the remainder were members of Darden’s Executive MBA (EMBA) and Global MBA for Executives (GEMBA) formats — most of whom have been balancing a full-time work schedule and school for the last 21 months.

Several GEMBA and EMBA graduates recently offered reflections on their experience via the Darden Admissions blog, Discover Darden. While each offered a different perspective, they shared a common thread: their choice to pursue the Darden MBA led to a truly transformational experience. As Janeth Gomez (GEMBA ’17) said:

I still remember my first day of class 21 months ago (which was also my birthday). I was eager, excited, and ready for the adventure. But I was also skeptical about the amazing journey everybody described. I remember talking to a dear mentor, and Darden alum, when I was looking for a place to get my MBA. I will never forget her words: “Darden was a transformational experience for me”. I had read a lot about Darden, the accolades, the rankings, the amazing Faculty, and I had attended three classes to experience the case method; still… I was skeptical. I was expecting a great education, but transformational seemed like a marketing word. As I walked the beautiful corridors at Darden towards Jefferson’s statue enjoying the breeze of a beautiful spring morning in Charlottesville after that last class, I realized I am a different person. My experience was indeed transformational.

Read the full blog from Gomez and Wright Bryan (GEMBA ’17) about the GEMBA experience on Discover Darden.  Also, read reflections from Meredith Donegan (EMBA ’17) and Ryan Burke (EMBA ’17) about the EMBA experience.

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.


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Sophie Zunz
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Darden School of Business
University of Virginia