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Darden Announces Venture Capital Initiative

A new effort to support students pursuing careers in venture capital is coming to the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. This week, the school launched its Venture Capital Initiative, which rolls together a number of programs at the school related to venture capital.


The Venture Capital Initiative will be guided by a team of Darden faculty and will seek to build on the school’s existing opportunities for those interested in careers in venture capital. 


Elena Loutskina, a professor of business administration specializing in finance, will be the initiative’s academic chair. 


Thanks to a $3 million gift from John Glynn, Darden professor and founder of Glynn Capital Management, the initiative will also recruit a new professor with expertise in venture capital who will hold an endowed chair position for the initiative.


The initiative will develop new course offerings related to venture capital, hold events, and seek to foster a venture capital community. It adds to existing Darden offerings such as the recently launched Breakthrough Scholars Program to promote diverse leadership in asset management.


Darden already has several courses related to venture capital, including core courses, electives and experiential courses. With the new initiative, it hopes to add more.


Robyn Swift, administrative lead for the Venture Capital Initiative, pointed out that in such a competitive area as venture capital, “students will always need to hustle in order to create career opportunities.”


But Swift said that “with Darden’s dynamic alumni network, faculty expertise, dedicated career support, and curricular and experiential learning opportunities, the Venture Capital Initiative will be a powerful resource to help all Darden students gain exposure to the industry.”


Darden dean Scott Beardsley predicted that “the initiative will be a tremendous resource for Darden students for generations to come.”


He said that the Venture Capital Initiative would act as “ecosystem to launch the next generation of responsible leaders and develop cutting-edge thought leadership in alternative investing.”


According to Beardsley, the school is currently “putting in place an advisory board of outstanding practitioners to support the VCI.”


An MBA from a top school like Darden can be a stepping stone to a career in venture capital – which, of course, is one reason that admission to top B-schools is so competitive. 


If you’re wondering how to put together an MBA application that communicates your unique strengths, experiences and career goals in a way that stands out to the adcom, we can help you figure out how to do that. Contact us and ask us to do a free MBA application assessment!


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Chioma Isiadinso

Chioma is a former Harvard Business School admissions officer and the CEO and Co-Founder of EXPARTUS, the first MBA admissions consulting company to use personal branding as a key part of the b-school application process. Chioma is the author of The Best Business Schools' Admissions Secrets, one of the leading books on how to successfully navigate the MBA admissions process.