Editor’s Pick: The Darden Alumni Behind Rocket Resupply Missions

06 September 2017

By Dave Hendrick

University of Virginia Darden School of Business alumni Kevin Ertmer (EMBA ’15) and Sean Mulligan (EMBA ’15) met on the first day of class as they began their two-year Executive MBA journeys, and soon bonded over their overlapping professional roles in the commercial space industry.

Using the purpose-driven leadership skills they learned at Darden, Ertmer is now manager at Orbital ATK and and Mulligan is COO of Virginia Space. They have helped lead successful refueling missions to the International Space Station, and are now looking ahead to another launch before the end of 2017.

As he progressed in engineering roles at the aerospace manufacturer Orbital ATK, Ertmer said he saw firsthand the benefit that honing his management skills could provide.

“Aerospace can be very siloed in terms of engineering versus executive management, and there is a clear need to have the kind of skills that are taught at Darden, in particular,” said Ertmer. “You clearly need to have those management skills and leadership skills at a much lower level in an organization. Across the board, those kinds of skills are important for mid-level management, and I just took it upon myself to make that happen.”

Read the original story on The Darden Report.

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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