UVA Recognized by NAFSA for Campus Internationalization

NAFSA, the Association of International Educators, announced yesterday that the University of Virginia was selected as one of five higher education institutions to receive the 2015 Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization.  Darden’s Center for Global Initiatives activities were submitted with other UVA materials for the award review process.  The Senator Paul Simon Awards recognize excellent and comprehensive integration of international activities throughout a particular college or university’s academic and student life programs. Read more about the 2015 Simon Award winners and what the award represents in the NAFSA press release and read the UVA press release for internal reactions.

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Lunar New Year Celebration

Lanterns decorated the Darden Classroom Building hallways all day.

Lanterns decorated the Darden Classroom Building hallways.

Last Thursday evening, the Asian Business Club of Darden (ABCD) hosted a Lunar New Year celebration for the community. The Club’s president, Glen Ye (MBA ’15), shared:

“Leading up to the event, our team had to track many different pieces (decorations, food, games, performances, AV, etc.). It was awesome to have it come all together for the Darden community. I’m really glad we had such a great turnout, and that everyone got to experience all these different elements of Asian culture. For the international students, Darden is a home away from home; ABCD was thrilled to provide the venue  for the most important and most meaningful Asian holiday of the year.  It really was very rewarding!

Favorite part . . . probably our Darden dance team!  They rocked it out!”








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On Exchange in Argentina: A Student Reflection and Call to Action

By Kimberly Ellenson (MBA ’15)

I spent about a year traveling before I matriculated at Darden. The person I was when I landed back in the U.S. was someone completely changed by her time spent away. There is no better teacher than immersion, and the lessons one learns through those experiences become one’s values. When I arrived at Darden, I wanted to understand how such immersion could translate to a business setting. I wanted to take classes in another language. I had become comfortable with being uncomfortable, and I wanted to push myself again. I also wanted to escape to the southern hemisphere during winter, so IAE Business School in Argentina quickly became my first choice when I realized that as Darden students, we could study abroad pretty much anywhere in the world. And frankly, Darden made the process so easy that it felt like a no-brainer.

Class Dinner Party with Friends

Class dinner party with friends in Argentina 

My time at IAE and in Buenos Aires was defined and re-defined daily. Isn’t that always how it is when you spend time away from home? Your senses are on fire. The complacency that sets in in routine life is somehow banished and you chase after newness, new experiences. Experiences like trading dollars for pesos on the black market to reap the 40% unofficial spread. Weekly dinners with the other 11 exchange students and our Argentine cohort. Spending a weekend at my classmate Enrique’s finca (beautiful ranch home, complete with a polo pitch). A school-wide food festival, where I introduced the dean of students to falafel. Landing a sold-out ticket to the championship game of the Argentine premier fútbol league – in a region where, you likely know, futbollers are gods and the tone of the year is set by how well your team fares that season. Malbec, malbec, and more malbec. Getting used to the cross-classroom yelling, in which professors were frequently involved. Sipping mate on the rambla (coastline) in Montevideo during a weekend Uruguayan escape with my exchange friends, arguing whether the steak was better on that side of the Río de La Plata. A trip with my Darden girlfriends to hike Chilean Patagonia during winter break.

Chaos erupts after a futbol win!

Chaos erupts after a futbol win!

What I experienced during my time in Argentina, though, isn’t really something I can sum up in a few ill-formed sentences. I’ve come back changed, sure, but it feels different this time. I have a year of business school and a summer working behind me. My MBA is teaching me how the world works, how all these different industries and sectors work together to advance society. But by studying on exchange in Argentina, I’ll humbly say that I think I better understand how my little place in the world works.  I do think that my vision for my own professional future has become much clearer.

As an aside, I spent the summer interning at Amgen, where I will return when I graduate. I remember reading through various VP’s bios and noticing that every single one of them had some sort of international experience. It wasn’t a coincidence. Maybe I’m biased, but I believe it’s nearly impossible to be a successful businessperson in today’s global economy without first-hand experience in another culture. Darden recognizes it too – the Class of 2015 will be the first cohort eligible for the Global Business concentration.

Making falafel and hummus for the Food Festival

Making falafel and hummus for the Food Festival

You don’t have to live abroad for a long time. But you need to be there long enough for the vacation feeling to wear off. You have to spend some time knowing how it feels to be confused about why they’re eating that weird thing (and being the only one who thinks it’s weird), being frustrated because public transportation is probably on strike again today, and needing forever to finish a DCF because you keep forgetting their computers use commas for periods and vice versa — because when you come out the other side you’re smarter, more at ease with yourself. You’re better at navigating ambiguity. Better at adapting in rapidly changing environments. Better at leading cross-functional, cross-cultural teams. Better at all those buzzwords employers are looking for.

Visiting Chile with friends from Darden

Visiting Chile with friends from Darden

If there’s one take-away, it’s this: Go. Go anywhere. And for longer than just a week or two.

Live abroad anywhere that feels weird or different or scary. Because in the end it’s all going to be okay (isn’t it always?) and the weirdness and differences and scariness will make you more adaptable, more strategic. It will also make you cooler because you will have awesome stories to tell at parties while networking.  Personally and professionally, it will make you better.

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A Student Perspective on the Importance of Lunar New Year Celebration at Darden

By Sojeong Choi (MBA ’15)

The Asia Business Club at Darden (ABCD) will host Cold Call to celebrate the Lunar New Year on this Thursday, February 19th. There will be traditional performances, games, and authentic foods. Before the event, I would like to share origins and traditions of Lunar New Year in Asia, especially in my country Korea.

Lunar New Year (or ‘Seollal’ in Korean) is the most important holiday along with the autumn harvest festival (‘Chuseok’) in Korea. Sometimes people in the United States refer to Lunar New Year as the Chinese New Year. However, most east and central Asian countries such as Korea, Vietnam, and China (except Japan – they celebrate the New Year on January 1st) celebrate Lunar New Year. Since these countries call Lunar New Year with different names in their language, be sure to call it ‘Lunar New Year’ when you’re celebrating with your friends!

Many say that Koreans have celebrated Lunar New Year since the sixth century, although its origin is not clear. Some historical records indicate that people had rituals for celebrating Lunar New Year during the ancient Korea’s Three Kingdoms period when the lunar calendar was first adopted. Lunar New Year date varies from end of January to mid-February every year, and this year Lunar New Year falls on February 19th of the Gregorian calendar. Every year is represented by one of the 12 zodiac signs that are twelve guardian animals known as Sibijisin, and 2015 is the year of sheep.

Seollal is not just a holiday to mark the beginning of a new year; it is a special occasion for all Koreans. We prepare special dishes to offer to our ancestor as a way of respecting them. Also, all distant family members get together for Seollal, so everyone travels to their hometown. During Seollal, people wear Hanbok (traditional clothes), perform ancestral rites, eat traditional foods, and catch up with one another. To name a few, Kite-flying and a game of Yut (‘Yutnori’) are all-time holiday favorite games still played to this date. Young people do ‘Saebe’, a traditional bow, for older people to wish a good year. In return, older people give young people words of encouragement and well wishes along with the new year’s gift (usually money).

There are many interesting traditions of ancestral rites and foods, although they have been simplified during the modern era. According to the Korean belief, spirits of the ancestors visit to enjoy special dishes set out for them during ancestral rites. Descendants bow down to the ground wishing for their guidance and blessing for the upcoming year. When setting the table for ancestors, descendants must follow strict rules. For instance, red-colored foods should be placed in the east while white-colored foods should be placed in the west direction. Also, there is a signature rice cake soup called ‘Tteokguk’. Eating ‘Tteokguk’ on New Year’s day means to add a year to one’s age.

For me, Lunar New year means a ‘real new year’ to celebrate 2015 with family. I’m planning the celebration at Darden as part of ABCD because I’d like to introduce the most important event in Asia to Darden community. For last two years, I’ve spent great time and experience here with classmates, faculty, and staff. I would like to invite all of Darden community as a big family to celebrate together and wish for a good year of 2015.

If you haven’t celebrated the Lunar New Year in traditional way before, Cold Call is a great opportunity to add one more holiday to your calendar (and holiday means more food and fun). Take a look at calligraphy, play mahjong, and taste authentic foods. There is something for everyone. Hope to see everyone on February 19th!

Check out this video from Darden’s Lunar New Year celebration last year:

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Global Stories in The Darden Report

Check out the latest issue of The Darden Report, which features Dean Robert F. Bruner and 50 Years of Women in the MBA program.

Global Highlight Stories include:

Buy a Bar, Feed a Child

Veneka Chagwedera (MBA ’13) turned her kitchen hobby into an entrepreneurial       enterprise (Page 28)

Also see the Darden Admissions & MBA blog post.

From Corporate Capitalism to Conscious Commerce

Karen Yelick (MBA ’81) transitions from Wall Street investment banker to CEO of a Rwandan nonprofit (Page 29)

Also see the Darden Admissions & MBA blog post

Alumni Profile: Fernando Mercé (MBA ’98)

Building Nestlé Purina’s Brands in Latin America (Page 61)


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Darden Global Conference Photos

Here is an inside look at the Darden Global Conference activities on 30 January.

See Mimi West’s post for a student perspective on the day’s key takeaways.

Photo Credits: Soumit Banerjee (MBA ’15)

Darden student Fernando Davila (MBA '15 and current President of the Darden Latin American Student Association) asks a question during one of the interactive conference sessions.

Darden student Fernando Davila (MBA ’15 and current President of the Darden Latin American Student Association) asks a question during one of the interactive conference sessions.

Keynote Speaker, Joaquim Souza (MBA '99) and CEO of Caiza Banco de Investimento presents at the Darden Global Conference.

Keynote Speaker, Joaquim Souza (MBA ’99) and CEO of Caiza Banco de Investimento addresses the audience.

Yiorgos Allayannis, Professor of Business Administration and Associate Dean for Darden's Global Executive MBA, moderates a panel on "Doing Business in Tough Environments."

Yiorgos Allayannis, Professor of Business Administration and Associate Dean for Darden’s Global Executive MBA, moderates a panel on “Doing Business in Tough Environments.”

Conference attendees network between sessions.

Conference attendees network between sessions.

Dean Robert F. Bruner stands with keynote speaker Rakesh Mohan

Dean Robert F. Bruner stands with keynote speaker Rakesh Mohan, Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund.

Divya Pazhayannur, President of the Darden South Asia Society, and Linh Hoang, President of the Darden International Business Society, were leaders in the Global Conference planning process and event execution.

Divya Pazhayannur, President of the Darden South Asia Society, and Linh Hoang, President of the Darden International Business Society, were leaders in the Global Conference planning process and event execution.

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What Keeps You Going? Insights from Darden’s Global Conference

By Mimi West (Darden Class of 2016)

Read this post and others by Mimi on her blog: http://mimiwest.com/what-keeps-you-going-insights-from-dardens-global-conference/

At Darden’s Global Conference, business experts from diverse corporations shared insights they gleaned from doing business in tough environments.  When asked what kept them going through hard times, here is what they keynote speakers and panelists had to say:

Revel in the “Strength Training”

Chika Umeadi, Co-founder of Tiphub in Nigeria, has developed a mindset for enjoying pushing through hard times.  Competitive runners who train at high altitudes find it much easier to perform when they come back down to sea level.  This often makes them the fiercest competitors on the track.  In the same way, Chika asserts that at certain phases in his life it’s highly beneficial for business leaders to learn how to thrive in tough environments.

Develop the Skill to Adapt

The one skill emphasized repeatedly throughout the conference was the ability to adapt.  This involves gaining awareness of your environment, understanding how it works, knowing what people will help you achieve your objective and working flexibly with them toward the goal.

Seize the Intellectual Challenge

Andre Llaloni, Managing Director of Barclays Capital in Brazil, approaches each new challenge as a puzzle to be solved.  Approaching challenges with this mindset helps quell the sense of overwhelm and negative emotion, allowing for one to engage intellectually with the problem.  This mindset helps you exercise and therefore strengthen your agility as you tackle difficult problems.

Keep in Close Contact with Your Key Stakeholders

“Something about having children and a mortgage motivates one to keep going.”  Jill Simaldl Douthit, CFO of Tanlin Inc., chuckled as she brought up this valid point.  Having a vested interest in others outside of yourself is the best motivation to push through hard times.  If you don’t have children, keeping in close contact with your consumers or those you are trying to serve can have an equally potent effect on keeping you motivated.

Celebrate Past Victories

Acknowledge your own resilience.  Look back on your life and remember how many hard experiences you have already gone through.  What helped you keep trucking?  What did you learn?  What new skills did you come away with?  Write about these experiences.  If you already have journal entries from days gone by, revisit those stories to gain inspiration.

Share Victories with Your Support Network

Your friends, business contacts and loved ones can bolster your fortitude as you nurture those relationships.  Douthit keeps in contact with other Darden students, business contacts and friends who share their tough experiences as well.  These stories of perseverance provide a tremendous source of inspiration.

Believe in Your Power to Change the Status Quo

Alejandro Preusche, Director at Almado and Former Director at McKinsey & Company, has a depth of experience working through not only trying but dangerous circumstances throughout his career.  During these times others told him he was crazy, he would die, or at the very least he needed to carry guns around with him.  To this he replied, “Sometimes just doing the right thing is enough to change the status quo, and this is what you must do.”

These affirmations helped each of the guest speakers continue doing their work with impact investing and doing business in difficult environments.  Their ideas and strategies provided Darden MBA students with powerful examples and inspiration as they envision the kind of impact they hope to have on the international business landscape.

– See more at: http://mimiwest.com

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Darden Global Conference

Tomorrow, six Darden student clubs and the Center for Global Initiatives will host the second annual Darden Global Conference. The theme this year is “Challenging the Status Quo” and will include sessions focused on doing business in tough environments, impact investing and global financial markets.  Keynote speakers include Rakesh Mohan, Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund and Joaquim Souza (MBA ’99), CEO of Caixa Banco de Investimento.


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Global Executive MBA Residency in India

The Global Executive MBA program spent January 3-16 in Mumbai and New Delhi. The international residency in India is one of the six the GEMBA students will complete over the course of earning their degrees.

The 29 Class of 2015 students travelled with Raj Venkatesan, Marc Modica, Gal Raz, Robert Carraway, Scott Snell, and Larry Mueller.  They spent their first week in Mumbai and, in addition to class sessions focused on competitive analysis, consumer behavior, operations management, and marketing, the students conducted a variety of company visits, listening to local leaders in their fields.

The students learned about social enterprises by visiting Lijjat Papad. At Danaher (Portescap), they spent time exploring supply chain management and new product development, hearing from Portescap’s Vice President and General Manager in India.  The CEO of Eureka Forbes also spoke to the class about marketing.  Additional company visits in Mumbai included Lowe Lintas and Naan Dan Jain. After busy days discussing pressing global business challenges with Indian business leaders, the students spent their evenings preparing for the next day’s case studies and discussions.

Students and faculty flew to Delhi, settled in, and then spent Saturday in Agra before returning to Delhi.  On their first night in New Delhi, the students attended an alumni and prospective students reception, where they had a chance to network with Darden alumni based in India and share their experiences with individuals considering a Darden program.  Company visits in New Delhi included The Times of India Group, Maruti Suzuki, GenPact, Coca Cola, and Dunia.

The GEMBA Class of 2015 will conclude their program this April with their final residency at the Darden School and then graduate in May.

The Global Executive MBA Class of 2015 in front of the Taj Mahal in January 2015

The Global Executive MBA Class of 2015 in front of the Taj Mahal in January 2015

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Darden Faculty International Reach in Winter 2014

The Darden faculty brings their global perspectives and experience not only to the classroom but by also conducting thought-leading research and convening thought leaders from around the globe.  Below are some of the highlights of the recent international reach of our faculty:


  • Ed Freeman received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Humboldt Conference on CSR in Berlin, Germany in October.
  • In November, Ed Freeman received an Honorary Doctorate in Economics (Doctor Honoris Causa) from the Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki, Finland.
  • Rajkumar Venkatesan was recognized as top 5% of marketing strategy scholars measured in terms of impact in top tier marketing journals in the past 10 years.


  • Gal Raz was invited to speak at the World Remanufacturing Summit in Rochester NY that had participants from all over the world on his research “Environmental and Economic Assessment of Remanufacturing for Product + Service Firms.”
  • In October, Liz Demers attended the Contemporary Accounting Research journal conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
  • Andrew King, Senior Researcher at the Batten Institute and a PhD candidate at Darden, travelled to London in September to deliver a presentation on his work with Jeanne Liedtka on design thinking at the Design Management Institute’s annual academic Design Management conference. This year the conference explored “Design Management in an Era of Disruption.”
  • Ed Freeman presented “Rethinking the Purpose of the Corporation” at the 10th Politeia Forum at the University of Milano, Milan, Italy. Ed also presented the keynote address, “Stakeholder Theory and CSR: Where are we and where can we go,” at the Humboldt Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany.  Additionally, Ed presented at INDEG-IULL in Lisbon and at the University of Tampere and Hanken School of Economics in Finland. Ed also conducted a Research Workshop with RESPMAN Group at Tampere University in Finland and was an opponent on the dissertation defense of Anna Heikkenen of Tampere University.
  • Pedro Matos presented “Asset Management within Commercial Banks Worldwide: International Evidence” at the Luxembourg Asset Management Summit (Luxembourg), at the University of Alabama, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Stockholm School of Economics (Sweden). Pedro also presented “Foreign Portfolio Investment and Corporate Innovation” at the University of Pittsburgh, University of Kentucky, Manchester University (UK), University of Exeter (UK), University of Bristol (UK) and Virginia Commonwealth University.
  • Kieran Walsh presented “Asset Pricing and the One Percent (joint with Alexis Akira Toda)”’ at a Faculty Macroeconomic Seminar, University of Cambridge in November.
  • Veronica Cacdac Warnock was a featured speaker at the Australian Conference of Economists in Hobart Tasmania, where she presented “Building Sustainable Housing Finance Systems.”  She also presented “Developing Housing Finance Systems: A Global Perspective” at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore / International Monetary Fund Conference on Housing Markets, Financial Stability and Growth in Bangalore India. With Frank Warnock, she also presented “U.S. Investment in Global Bonds: As the Fed Pushes, Some EMEs Pull” at Banque de France.
  • Frank Warnock presented “Capital Flow Waves” at the Banco de México/IMF high level meeting in Mexico City on “Regional Macroeconomic Strengths and Challenges”.  In Hobart Tasmania, he presented “U.S. Investment in Global Bonds: As the Fed Pushes, Some EMEs Pull” at the Econometric Society Australasian conference. He presented both “The Many Forms of International Capital Flows” and “Housing Finance in Latin America: What is Holding it Back?” at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore. In Wellington, New Zealand, Frank both served as a panelist in the session “Policy issues related to cross-border financial linkages in Asia and the Pacific” and presented “Cross-Border Portfolios: Assets, Liabilities, and Wealth Transfers” at the RBNZ-BIS Conference on Cross-border Financial Linkages.
  • Sean Carr,  Executive Director of the Batten Institute, and W. Bernard “Bernie” Carlson, Professor, Department of Engineering & Society, SEAS, travelled to King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia from 1-5 November 2014 where they gave presentations and led panels during the University’s 2nd Entrepreneurship Forum. Carr originally presented at the first conference at KFUPM in the fall of 2013.  This led to the Saudi delegation making a reciprocal visit to Darden in January 2014. The Saudis continue to learn as much as they can about creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem, with Sean now serving on KFUPM’s Global Advisory Board. Last year this engagement led to a Darden Case Writing & Teaching Workshop at KFUPM, led by Jim Clawson and Gerry Yemen. Outcomes from this burgeoning relationship for Darden this year may include custom Executive Education opportunities with regional corporate partners, such as Saudi Aramco (petroleum extraction & refining) and the Aramco Entrepreneurship Center.


  • Frank Warnock is the editor of a special issue of the Journal of International Money and Finance on “International Dimensions of Conventional and Unconventional Monetary Policy”.


  • Rebecca Goldberg and Elliott Weiss published a book The Lean Anthology: A Practical Primer in Continual Improvement with CRC Press.


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