Favorite Darden Class

Selected 3rd & 4th Quarter Books

Selected 3rd & 4th Quarter Books

It seems that with each new quarter I have a new favorite Darden class. Given my engineering background, I expected that the quantitative courses such as finance, accounting, and operations would be my favorites. And indeed, this was the case during my first couple quarters at Darden. It was also no surprise that I earned better grades in these quantitative courses.

By the first quarter of my second year it was becoming clear that despite my lower grades in the leadership and strategy courses, I was learning far more in these ‘softer’ courses. I have since embraced the leadership and strategy classes and am taking some of the most demanding offerings. The photo above shows a subset of the books I am reading in the 3rd and 4th quarter of my second year for these ‘soft’ classes. I have now read about two thirds of these books from cover to cover and will finish the rest before graduating in May. There are five additional books for class that I have read on my Kindle (love the Kindle). My pace of reading has increased from about two books per year prior to attending Darden to my current rate of a little over two books per week.

Some of my favorite Darden classes include:

Business Ethics Through Literature – in this course we read modern literature and discuss the underlying ethical business implications in class. Some of our reading included: The Great Gatsby, A Thousand Splendid Suns, Never Let Me Go, and Things Fall Apart.

Managerial Psychology – this course covers 14 books on psychology. Thus far, the books have focused on core psychological principals rather than the best selling ‘pop’ culture type books. Some notable readings during my third quarter included: TA Today, You Are What You Say, The Evolving Self, Mans Search for Meaning, and Social Intelligence. I’ll probably write another blog entry on my key leanings after finishing the course.

Readings in Sustainable Business and Creative Capitalism – the term ‘sustainability’ is a buzzword (again) and whenever this happens some of the meaning behind the concept is lost. The idea of sustaining business performance or investment returns is age old. This course begins with a historical review of how business and societies have failed. We then discuss ways to structure businesses with sustainability in mind. Some of our readings include: Collapse, Hot Flat and Crowded, and The World Without Us.

6 Responses to “Favorite Darden Class”

  1. Kristy says:

    I am so glad that you decided to take these courses. It seems like you have gotten a lot out of them – and I have thoroughly enjoyed our dinner and late-night conversations about these books. 🙂

  2. […] favorite class is… — On the Darden MBA Student Blog, Bill Gray shares what have been his favorite courses this year, and the results were surprising… even to him. Rather than the quantitative classes–an […]

  3. I am happy that you decided to take these courses. Thanks for informative stuff!

  4. Allen says:


    I found your blog through Google search and I noticed that you are/were a MBA student too. My classmates and I recently launched a website (www.mbaNERDs.com) providing free case summary and discussion area for MBA students. In this way, people can better prepare their case study before the class and network with other talents around the world.

    If you like our idea, you are more than welcome to tell your friends who are in MBA program. I believe this would be a great help to them! Thank you so much!

    Please feel free to take a look and let us know how you feel so that we can improve our services.

    Best Regards,


  5. Hello

    I am really happy for you that you have decided to take these courses. and i fell you are fond of reading the books..Thanks for the post..

  6. Stephanie says:

    Business Ethics is a great course. I think business ethics is one of the most important courses one can take when obtaining an MBA! Sounds like you are getting a lot of these done, congrats!