Darden MBA – Program Highlights and Student Clubs

The Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. Photo/Andrew Shurtleff Photography, LLC


Darden School of Business at University of Virginia

Just a little research to get you started…

Darden is known for its banking and consulting curriculum, use of the case method, tight-knit community in Charlottesville and broad-based career placement, and mid-Atlantic recruiting.


Global Business Experience: For students who do not wish to spend an entire term abroad but who are still interested in learning about international business and culture. While abroad for one to two weeks in places as diverse as Brazil, China, and Israel, students meet with business and community leaders, take classes at local business schools and visit companies with offices in the region. The GBE is one of the most popular programs on campus.

Health Care Club: HCC is a student-run organization dedicated to patients by promoting awareness of issues and opportunities in health-related fields. HCC achieves its mission by closely partnering with both academia and industry to Sponsor education and speaker programs focused on all aspects of the health care industry, provide information about career opportunities in health care, and join with communities and patients in supporting health-related causes. Events and activities include Healthcare panels and speakers, experiential trips to UVA health system organizations, sponsored trips to MBA healthcare conferences and Case Competitions, and recruitment prep.

Community Consultants of Darden: An actual consulting firm started on campus in 1956, providing marketing, operational and strategic planning services to Charlottesville-area nonprofits and small businesses. Community Consultants offers students a great way to gain hands-on consulting experience while contributing to the local community.

Turnaround and Restructuring Club: Darden’s Turnaround and Restructuring Club pragmatically dovetails the school’s strong finance, consulting, general management, and leadership development curriculum with a natural industry fit. The club fosters financial and operational restructuring careers by providing a knowledge and skills development program coupled with professional networking and employment opportunities.

Building Goodness in April: Building Goodness in April is an organization dedicated to keeping low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners safe and independent through home repair and rehabilitation volunteer services. Each year, Building Goodness in April repairs and rehabilitates 12-14 homes during a one-day event.

Consulting Darden Business Projects (DBPs): Consulting DBPs are for-credit projects that give students the opportunity to gain real-world consulting experience. Teams of three to six students work with a corporate client to address a business challenge, such as: Developing a business plan, performing market analysis and creating a financial forecast. During the project, students work closely with a Darden faculty advisor and present a final project to a corporate client.

Kaizen Projects in Manufacturing, Sales, Marketing, and R&D: Since 2006, over 150 Darden MBA students have applied what they have learned in class to kaizen (Japanese for continuous improvement) projects around the world with the Danaher Corporation, a global science, and technology company. Each project sends a small team of students to a Danaher facility for a one-week on-site experience to work closely with its employees to improve specific issues related to manufacturing, sales, marketing, or R&D.


Finance Club: The Darden Finance Club serves as a comprehensive professional, social, and educational organization focused on all areas of finance. As the largest student organization at Darden, the DFC is the principal resource for students with professional ambitions in the world of finance. Events include Finance Conference, industry panels, Investment Banking 101, and a Week on Wall Street.

Darden Private Equity Club: DPEC’s mission is to develop a network of students and alumni professionals with a common interest in private equity investing ranging from angel stage and venture capital to leveraged buyouts and turnaround situations. They also host the Darden Private Equity Conference.

Entrepreneurial and Venture Capital Club: The EVC Club serves students and alumni interested in starting and/or investing in early-stage companies. By hosting networking events, speakers, educational seminars, and competitions the Club provides opportunities to learn and become involved in the entrepreneurial community at Darden, in Charlottesville, and throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

George (Yiorgos) Allayannis: Professor Allayannis is popular among Darden students. He has taught in the First Year Finance program and elective courses in Portfolio, Valuation, and Financial Institutions and Markets as well as in programs in the CFA Institute, SNL Financial, and the World Bank. Between 2005 and 2007, Allayannis was a director in Citigroup’s Global Financial Strategy Group in the Investment Banking Division. He was awarded The Case Center award in 2014 in finance, accounting, and control, for his case on global banking and the impact of Basel III regulation.


The Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation: In addition to supporting research projects that focus on economic growth, emerging markets, sustainability, and healthcare, the Institute offers frequent opportunities for experiential learning and networking (i.Lab, Incubator, VC Bootcamp, Batten Venture Internship Program, Darden Venturing Projects), along with financial support for student entrepreneurs.

Darden Business Incubator: Teams that are selected to participate in the Incubator receive summer funding as they work to develop their ventures. In addition to this funding, Incubator support includes a business expense allowance, guidance and mentoring from an advisory board, and up to three months of infrastructure support after launch.

i.Lab: The i.Lab is a 4,000-square-foot learning environment intended to encourage innovative and entrepreneurial thinking through experiential opportunities. Included in this space is a full-fledged design studio, equipped with work benches, tools and an array of building materials, so students can actually design and create models and prototypes of entrepreneurial ideas. The i.Lab also features an open collaboration space where students can share and evaluate ideas and models.

VC Bootcamp: A three-day workshop for students completing their First Year at Darden who are interested in pursuing summer internships in venture capital and entrepreneurship, particularly in the Greater Washington, D.C., area. This program brings prospective venture capital firms and their portfolio companies together with highly motivated MBA students as a first step in exploring summer opportunities through the Batten Venture Internship Program

Business Plan Competition: Darden’s final competition of the academic year, the competition is open to all UVA students and features student pitches that demonstrate the value of the business. First Prize is $10,000. Pretty sweet.


Darden Nonprofit Internship Fund: Many excellent opportunities exist for MBA internships in the nonprofit and public sectors. Unfortunately, many of these organizations do not have the resources to pay an MBA candidate adequately. This is where the Darden Nonprofit Internship Fund (DNIF) can help. DNIF is a program funded by both students and the Darden School that helps First Year students defray living expenses while pursuing low-paid internships with nonprofit organizations.


Marketing Club: The Marketing Club at Darden helps members understand the varied professional opportunities in marketing; develop the necessary skills and experience to be successful in their career search; build lasting personal relationships with peers, faculty and alumni; and build strong professional relationships with companies and organizations. The Marketing Club also hosts events and activities like the Marketing Club Forum, The Brand Challenge, and case competitions.

Paul W. Farris: As the Landmark Communications Professor of Business, Professor Farris teaches the first-year core course Marketing, along with Advertising, Promotion, and Integrated Marketing, Consumer Marketing, and Marketing Metrics. Professor Farris’s research, which has been published in professional journals such as the Harvard Business Review and the Journal of Marketing, focuses on issues of marketing productivity and budgeting.



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