Domestic Field Experiences

  • Darden continues to innovate in the core and elective curriculum. Learn about some of the many field experience opportunities that are available in the United States.

    Field Expedition Elective: Valuing Inclusion and Diversity

    In partnership with the National Outdoors Leadership School (NOLS), this one-week backpacking course in the Galiuro Mountains of Arizona develops leadership skills through experiential learning, with special emphasis on topics related to inclusion and diversity. The expedition includes significant technical and environmental challenges while pursuing goals. Curriculum delivery concentrates on situational leadership skills applicable to school, business and social lives. This elective is part of a series of pilot courses that vary from year to year.

    The Business Leader in Washington: Defense

    This pilot course seeks to draw on the immense resources of the Washington, D.C., region to explore the business challenges faced by defense contractors in the context of government austerity and the sequester. The course will include meetings with senior executives in the defense industry, the Pentagon and Congress.

    Leadership Ride: Lessons in Leadership

    This course explores leadership by studying a key battle from the American Civil War. The evolving strategies, command structures and decisions during the Battle of Gettysburg contain enduring messages for thinking about leadership, teamwork and decision making. Through traditional class sessions, seminar-style discussions and an intensive field experience, this course compares leadership styles, systems of authority and reactions to the ever-changing conditions on the battlefield. The battlefield tour is led by U.S. Marine Corps faculty and staff guides who specialize in leadership and strategy during the Gettysburg engagement. Learn more by reading this student blog post about the course: " Cold, Wet, Windy & Worth It: The Gettysburg Leadership Ride."

    Markets in Human Hope

    The "Markets in Human Hope" elective explores audacious innovations in business and markets as viable tools in promoting human development and transforming societies. Students are asked to come up with private sector solutions for long-standing social dilemmas, such as lack of credit. Throughout the year, students create products, services, business methods, financial instruments and/or market-based systems that address the socioeconomic and structural challenges faced by the under served and disadvantaged. Part of the course includes a required field study component to face poverty head on.

    Leadership & Theatre: Ethics, Innovation & Creativity

    Darden’s “Leadership & Theater: Ethics, Innovation, and Creativity” course is centered around the idea that the job of a theater director is similar to that of a CEO, and each class culminates in a full-length play written, directed and performed by all of the members of the class. While you may not initially see the relevance of business leadership to theater, there are numerous connections as you will see by watching this video about the course: