Every week, top executives from a diversity of fields visit Darden to share their experiences. I have found this to be tremendously enriching.
For example, just last month, I had the opportunity to learn from the leadership experiences of the CEOs of top companies such as DuPont and Northrop Grumman, I got to have dinner with Andrei Shleifer, one of the world’s top behavioral economists, and during Jim Gilmore’s keynote speech in the Marketing Forum, I got to learn about the applications of an innovative concept from the person who developed it.
The Student Clubs are another great resource to learn from top practitioners. Just to mention a few of these opportunities, during the last month I got to sit in chats with a Managing Director of the Carlyle Group, a panel of top Private Equity practitioners, an ethics professor from Italy and a consultant at Ideo. Every club makes a great effort to bring a diversity of speakers to Darden both for networking opportunities and to learn from them.
Former students also come back regularly to speak to current students as part of some courses. It never ceases to amaze me that alums who are top executives at Bain, Goldman Sachs or Disney travel to Charlottesville to speak for about an hour. I think about how busy these people must be and how they commit some of their precious free time to give back to Darden. This is definitely a testament to the school’s great faculty. Darden’s teachers go the extra mile for their students and this is why alums don’t hesitate to come back when asked. I like these visits for two reasons: First, we get to hear the story of a Darden student who has “made it” in the post-MBA world. Second, we get to see how class concepts are used in a professional setting which frames them in a different way.
The Economist ranked us as the best educational experience in the world and I believe that the exposure to these top-notch leaders is a big part of what makes the Darden Experience world-class.