By UVA - Darden March 9, 2017 Leave a Comment

Much like our residential students, the students enrolled in the Executive Formats of the Darden MBA come from a wide variety of backgrounds, careers, goals, and interests. We have asked several of our EMBA and GEMBA students to answer a few questions about their MBA experiences, which we will post over the coming weeks. We hope you enjoy getting to know them, and if you have any additional questions about our Executive Formats, we encourage you to schedule a conversation with a member of our Admissions Committee.

Name: Arica R. Booker
City: Washington D.C Metro Area
Employer: SodexoMagic
Years of Experience: 10 years
Format/Section: EMBA ROS

1. What is your current job?

Senior Operations Manager, SodexoMagic

2. Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?

I have been working in general management for a little over 10 years, and I started to feel my head hitting a “glass ceiling.” I looked into pursuing an MBA to provide a much needed boost to my career, knowing an MBA would differentiate me from a number of my colleagues within the industry.

3. Why did you choose Darden?

When making a decision about school options, I spoke to my mentor and family. By this time, I had already made the commitment to pursue my MBA, but I needed to determine which school was best fit for me. Both my mentor and family confirmed that Darden’s reputation amongst senior executives and top companies, far exceeded the reputations of other schools I was considering. The community seemed very strong and supportive. In addition, Darden’s focus on global management, both in terms of geography and a holistic, enterprise perspective, differentiated the school from the rest. The “cherry on top” was the vast network of successful Darden alumni.

4. What attracted you to the executive formats of the Darden MBA?

When I thought about going back to school, I knew I wanted to learn alongside experienced, seasoned business leaders. Darden is case method, and I realized that class conversations, because of the people in the room, would go in many different directions that would benefit my learning. Furthermore, the flexibility afforded by the hybrid format of online and in-person learning best fit my desire to be in a traditional classroom setting while continuing to work full-time and raise my two girls.

5. What’s your favorite thing about your classmates so far?

This is simple: My classmates are an amazingly talented and diverse support system. We literally have laughed and cried together.

6. What are you most excited about accomplishing/doing during the program?

I am most excited about the global experiences that I have scheduled. I will be traveling to India and Uganda, and I know these trips will be life changing and offer a different perspective of my current industry as well as business as a whole. I’m particularly excited to visit Uganda as part of a Global Immersion elective and see healthcare, education and entrepreneurship through the eyes of an emerging market.

7. What advice do you have for prospective students?

Be ready for a personal and professional metamorphosis, above and beyond what you may even expect from the program.  This program has been tough, amazing, crazy and enlightening all at once…who knew!?!

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