September 27, 2010 — Building on its portfolio of MBA, Ph.D. and executive education programs, the University of Virginia Darden School of Business has launched a new MBA for Executives Global program.
The 20-month program – dubbed GEMBA – "is designed for experienced executives with a global mindset who seek to elevate their performance by pursuing an MBA degree while they continue to work full-time," according to the school's announcement.
The program's faculty leader is Darden professor S. Venkataraman, who led its design. Taught by Darden's faculty – ranked No. 1 in the world by the Financial Times in Executive Education and consistently ranked in the top two in the U.S. by The Princeton Review – the GEMBA program will be based on Darden's formula, the school's announcement said – "the case study method, the world's best MBA teaching faculty and a tight-knit learning community."
"This new MBA format will deliver the Darden Experience for which we are so well-known, but in an international format," said Darden Dean Robert F. Bruner, who officially announced the program Sept. 16 at a reception in Shanghai, China. "The program will enhance the skills of high-potential executives who need to be ready on day one to do business in any market around the globe.
"Participants will acquire essential knowledge and master the disciplines of business. They will learn to be effective in diverse cultures and contexts and will analyze their current business challenges with some of the brightest minds in the business world."
Starting in fall 2011, the Darden GEMBA program will bring together approximately 40 executives from diverse industries and backgrounds. The school will begin accepting applications this fall and seeks applicants with 10 or more years of work experience, including significant management experience, and global leadership potential.
Each class will participate in six modules on such topics as "Leading the Global Enterprise" and "What's Next? Creating the Future." Two-week residencies will take place in several countries around the world, including India, China and the United States. The U.S. residency will include courses in Charlottesville and Washington, D.C.
"The GEMBA will provide an unparalleled international experience for students. Participants will immerse themselves in experiential learning opportunities that will push their boundaries, assumptions and beliefs," said Peter Rodriguez, Darden's associate dean for international affairs. "Darden's acclaimed faculty will travel to each location with students to provide the highest quality educational experience and to reinforce overarching themes from one locale to another."
Between modules, GEMBA students will continue to learn via online distance-learning tools.
"Many of the world's leading organizations send their rising managers to Darden," Rodriguez said. "Like our current MBA for Executives format, this new program offers companies the option to sponsor their employees to earn the Darden MBA diploma without interrupting their careers."