The Economist recently ranked UVa’s Darden School of Business the number one graduate business experience in the world with the number three MBA program overall. This is the sixth straight year that Darden has topped the list of 100 full-time international MBA programs offering the best education and quality of life to its students.
When ranking schools, The Economist takes into account the opening of new career opportunities, the educational experience and personal development, the ability for an increasing salary and the potential to network. Darden has excelled in these four categories since it’s opening in 1955.
This accolade comes as no surprise to Darden students like second-year Lauren Bowden. Bowden is an ambassador for Darden and is also an admissions interviewer for the McIntire School of Commerce. When asked what is unique about Darden, she explained, “Learning is a conversation in Darden’s MBA program. Professors are constantly calling on students to actively participate in discussion, and the professors then react to students’ answers with follow up questions. Because the professors are not able to fully prepare for follow up questions, this learning environment creates a sense of closeness with professors.”
Students are divided into groups of six for the entire first year of the program and meet almost every night before class to prepare for break out discussions in class. This creates a spirit of camaraderie and mutual learning among students.
When asked about his reaction to the ranking, Marc Lipson, Robert F. Vandell Research Professor, Professor of Business Administration and Dean of the Residential MBA explained, “To be recognized as the Best Educational Experience in the World affirms that the unique teaching approach employed at Darden – a conversational and student-focused classroom geared to developing insight and empowering our students to lead – is one that stands out and is valued. It is much more than being best at doing what other schools do – we are also the best at recognizing what makes MBA education valuable to students.