Make an Impact
Students play an active role in shaping extracurricular life in our Executive MBA Program. As an executive format student, you will join a dynamic learning community in which relationships matter and learning stretches beyond the four walls of the classroom. Our student clubs are a compelling example of our students' investment in their educational experience
There are several student organizations at Darden that are organized and led by Executive MBA students. These student groups are targeted to meet the needs of the working professional and are designed to enhance a students' academic, social, cultural and professional lives.
Below are a listing of the current Executive MBA student organizations.
Black Executive MBAs (BEMBA)
- Rex Minnis, Co-President
- Jemuir Rivers, Co-President
- Mycael McDowell, VP Treasury
- Aisha Pridgen, VP Strategy
- Kris Green, VP Communications & Outreach
The Black Executive MBAs (BEMBA), chartered in 2017, is dedicated to the recruitment of Black business students and the professional and academic advancement of its membership.
BEMBA is one of the first student groups chartered in Darden's Executive MBA program and serves graduate business students through both academic and professional initiatives. The organization conducts activities through the generous support and commitment of dedicated club members, alumni, school staff and faculty.
In addition to its professional and academic goals, BEMBA hosts social outings throughout the year to foster relationships within the groups' membership and the Darden community at-large.
Darden Executive Fund (DEF)
- Michael Stablein
- James Searles
- Sean McMillin
- Korosh Yazdanpanah
- Derek Allen
The Darden Executive Fund (DEF) is an independent study providing Executive MBA students hands-on experience researching, pitching, and directly managing a portfolio of active investments in publicly traded assets.
Students in the course research, prepare, and pitch a stock to the fund's leadership team for investment consideration. Other students are also welcome to pitch stocks to the team, participate in all stock pitch sessions, and attend all DEF-sponsored events.
Executive MBA Consulting Club
- Andrew McCormack, Co-President
- John Schwartz, Co-President
- Teddy Mekianov, VP Education
- James Kim, VP Meetings and Events
- Ryan McNamara, VP Finance
- Chi Lo, VP Technology
- Susanna Klein, VP External Affairs and Sponsorships
The Darden EMBA Consulting Club at UVA is established for the expressed purpose of:
- Bringing fellow students interested in careers in consulting together to provide a peer-enabled, transformational learning experience in preparing EMBA students in preparing for the management consulting interview process and successful careers in this industry.
- Collaborating with other CIOs and departments to host career focused events on grounds.
- Providing opportunities for recruiting and networking with key industry stakeholders, experts, and target firms.
EMBA Venture Capital Club (VC Club)
- Greg Benante, President
- Andrew Kohler, VP Alumni Relations
- James Searles, VP Learning/Education
- Melissa Hayes, VP Startup Relations
Entrepreneurship Club (EMBEC)
- Will Payne, Co-President, Growing Ventures
- Charles O’Ferrall, Co-President, Emerging Ventures
- James Searles, VP Strategy
- Ross Meglathery, VP Sourcing and Capital Relationships
- Stephen Beaudoin, VP Communications
- Corinne Lovins, VP Operations
- Cyrus Sussman, VP Marketing
We will foster an inclusive culture that supports established and aspiring entrepreneurs across executive MBA class, facilitate communication and relationships with Charlottesville and D.C. entrepreneurial ecosystem and provide a platform for Darden entrepreneurs to exchange ideas, best practices and connect resources in Charlottesville and D.C.
EMBEC aims to support Darden students in growing or developing new business endeavors by providing a supportive and inclusive platform from which Darden entrepreneurs can exchange ideas, learn best practices, and connect with resources to begin or continue their business journeys. Through cooperation with Darden students, faculty, and alumni in Charlottesville, DC, and beyond, EMBEC intends to facilitate the expansion of professional networks in order to best serve its members’ entrepreneurial goals.
Network Of Executive Women (NEW)
- Sarah Powell, President
- Hannah Poland, Vice President
- Julie Clark, Corporate Secretary
- Susanna Klein, External Relations Chair
- Helen Dwight, Outreach Chair
- Contact NEW
The Network for Executive Women (NEW) is an organization dedicated to the professional development and advancement of females in Darden's Executive MBA Program. NEW empowers women to reach their full career potential whether that is a C-suite position or another leadership position; we aim to see more women lead. According to a 2019 McKinsey & Company Report “Women in the Workplace,” only 21% of C-Suite Executives are women. Together we can change this statistic one “rung” at a time.
NEW’s goals include:
- Connecting female students and alumni through professional development, career support and networking opportunities;
- Creating an inclusive community and a sense of belonging among women in the Darden EMBA program;
- Advocating for an understanding around issues of gender equality specifically related to women executives;
- Expanding the pipeline of female applicants into the Darden EMBA program; and,
- Inspiring females to reach their fullest potential as leaders in business.
Veteran Executive Students At Darden (VESD)
- David Barnhart, Co-President
- Andrew Cornelius, Co-President
- Christopher Blake, VP Outreach / Veteran Engagement
- Contact VESD
The Veteran Executive Students at Darden (VESD) serves the Executive MBA community as an affinity group by leveraging former and current military experiences to enhance career opportunities and foster camaraderie within the entire Darden Community.
In addition to supporting veterans in the Executive MBA Program, the organization's programming touches upon a variety of veteran-related topics, including advising others on what it means to hire and work with a vet.
Emerging Interest Groups
Though not yet official and formally organized, there are a number of groups that are in process including:
- Executive Healthcare Alliance
- Money Matters (Personal Finance)
- Sustainability / Social Impact
- EMBA Marketing
- Pride at Darden
Students in the Executive MBA Program are encouraged to engage their leadership skills through service as representatives within their class. Along with leaders of the Executive MBA student organizations, class representatives are called upon to represent the interests and ideas of their classmates across the Darden enterprise.
Elected by their peers, class representatives are often likened to 'class presidents' as they work directly with program leadership to advocate on behalf of their classmates.
Meeting regularly with program leaders and team members, these representatives highlight their classmates' concerns, questions and ideas, and work collaboratively to communicate back to the broader class.
Qualities of a highly effective class representative include:
- Active listener
- Strong interest in improving the Executive MBA student experience
- Ability to discuss difficult topics diplomatically and with sensitivity
- Sense of humor
Career representatives serve as the liaison between the students, the Executive MBA career advisors and the Darden Career Center.
The primary responsibility of this position is communication—sharing students' questions, concerns and suggestions with the Career Center and informing students about career resources and opportunities.
Students with a commitment to maintaining an open dialogue and an interest in advancing the careers of their fellow students are encouraged to participate.
Career representatives are selected by the Career Center.
Social representatives organize community-building activities for their class by creating and executing social outings that appeal to the broadest number of students possible.
Examples of previous social events include: dinner off-Grounds, sporting events, cultural experiences and happy hours. Social representatives also lend a voice to program-planned and non-academic events.
Students who have a good sense of humor and understand how to create social engagement opportunities for diverse groups of people are encouraged to participate.
Community Service Representative
Community service representatives develop opportunities for students to give back through community service projects. These projects can be one-time events or ongoing projects.
For the purposes of these projects, students may define "community" to include UVA, Charlottesville, Rosslyn, students' hometowns or even the global community. This role works with social representatives to plan and deliver service projects.
Students who are strong leaders, well-organized and have time to volunteer are encouraged to participate.
Diversity & Inclusion Committee
Vibrant. Inclusive. Highly Engaged.
The Darden School improves the world by developing and inspiring responsible leaders and by advancing knowledge. We commit to develop the School’s ability to leverage our diversity — the multitude of differences among all of our stakeholders — to achieve excellence in business education in today’s complex global marketplace. We do so in the service of our mission, adhering to an unwavering commitment to fairness and equity.
Work to leverage difference at Darden flows through three funnels of activity: entry, experience and exit.