According to new rankings from Forbes magazine, alumni of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business are the most satisfied in the country with their MBA education.
In rankings released in mid-November, Forbes named Darden No. 1 for alumni satisfaction with their MBA education and No. 2 for overall satisfaction, topped only by the Stanford Graduate School of Business. The rankings are based on a survey of 17,500 MBA alumni from the Class of 2012, asking about their satisfaction with their education and current jobs.
The new accolade follows Darden’s top ranking in The Economist’s annual survey of global business schools, which named Darden the No. 1 education experience in the world.
Andrew Blaser, a 2012 Darden graduate, credits Darden’s faculty and strong student community for the continued recognition.
“Darden offers top-notch faculty who always have time for students, intellectual peers who challenge and drive you in and out of the classroom and an education that leaves students very prepared to enter the workforce,” Blaser said.
Darden also was ranked No. 7 among graduate business programs in the U.S. for entrepreneurship by the Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine. The Top 10 recognition, published in the December edition of Entrepreneur, marks the third straight year that Darden has improved in the entrepreneurship ranking, moving up from No. 11 in 2016. That represents one of the largest ranking gains among U.S. programs.
The entrepreneurship ranking accounts for more than 40 data points in five key areas: academic activities, student and faculty engagement, alumni entrepreneurial activity, offerings outside the classroom and scholarships awarded for entrepreneurship.
Among the data collected, several key figures pointed to increasing entrepreneurship among Darden students and alumni. The number of companies started by Darden graduates over the past 10 years climbed from 199 to 281. Total funding raised by these businesses grew from $387 million to $642 million, with the number of ventures still in business increasing from 62 percent to 86 percent. The number of mentors working with students in sponsored entrepreneurship programs also grew, from 48 to 95.
“This ranking is an example of one lens to evaluate our success at preparing students for entrepreneurship and their success starting ventures,” Darden Dean Scott Beardsley said. “Recent innovations through Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, including the expansion of the i.Lab at UVA; increase in alumni mentorship; and our continued investments with our alumni and network in Silicon Valley, will continue to ensure Darden is a leading business school in the teaching and study of entrepreneurship.”
Through the support of the Batten Institute, one of the largest centers dedicated to entrepreneurship among business schools, Darden offers merit-based scholarships for entrepreneurial students, extensive class offerings related to entrepreneurship, venture incubation and acceleration, fellowships and internships supporting students interested in joining startups or venture capital firms, connections with entrepreneurial hubs in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C., and more.
“Darden’s MBA program, which has always been committed to providing our graduates with an integrated and comprehensive understanding of business, has become preeminent for anyone choosing to follow an entrepreneurial career path,” Batten Institute Executive Director Sean Carr said. “With the resources and opportunities of the Batten Institute, the time has never been better to follow that path at UVA Darden.”