MBAcrunch » An Interview with Darden’s Veterans’ Student Association » MBAcrunch
By UVA - Darden September 23, 2017 Leave a Comment

Darden’s Veterans Executive Students

What is the name of your student organization? What is the purpose of your student organization?

Our group is the Veterans Executive Students at Darden (VESD), we serve the Executive MBA community as an affinity group by leveraging former and current military experiences to enhance career opportunities, build esprit de corps, and camaraderie within the entire Darden Community.

Why did you start your organization?

We felt this organization would be a great resource for Veterans in the Executive MBA Program. There are certainly unique challenges Veterans face as they transition from the military to a world class program like Darden’s executive formats, and we wanted to help support these students before, during, and after their time as students.

Darden is already such a close-knit and supportive community; one of the hallmarks of Darden is the incredible student body, faculty, and administrative staff who all work together and support one another. The VESD wants to add to that general sense of community, but from a veteran perspective.

What are your goals for your organization? Are you planning any programming or activities in the upcoming year?

We are planning a Class of 2019 welcome event, a joint Happy Hour with the Darden Military Association and extended joint networking opportunities with the Veterans in Darden’s full-time format. We also plan to co-host a community service and a charity event during the 2018 holiday season.

In your opinion, what is the best thing about Darden’s Executive MBA Program?

As previously mentioned, Darden does a fantastic job of fostering a genuine spirit of community within the Executive MBA Program.  Everyone genuinely wants to help each other succeed, whether it’s in the classroom or with a job search. It’s truly amazing how willing our classmates are to help each other, and the people and the sense of community really make Darden a truly special place to learn.

What advice would you offer a prospective student considering the executive formats of the Darden MBA?

A few different things come to mind: Do it, and don’t look back. Jump in with both feet, and give it your all. People always wonder how they will be able to juggle this program with everything they have going on in their life, but you will find a way to make it work. You’ll get more out than you put in, and in the end you’ll have greater understanding of the business (and civilian) world, and a strong network to leverage as you chart the next chapter in your career.

How can an interested prospective student connect with your organization?

Email the Veteran Exec Students at Darden at or the VP for Admissions at  The other plug I would make is that we can be our own recruiters and help the Darden Admissions team with referrals.  Please encourage any veterans who may be good candidates or interested in one of the best EMBA programs in the world to consider applying and reaching out to find out more information.

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