AIGAC 2019 Annual Conference

The 12th Annual AIGAC Conference was held across Nashville (Vanderbilt), Washington D.C. (Georgetown), Charlottesville (Darden), and Durham (Duke) from May 3-9, 2019.

Download the AIGAC 2019 Conference Program [MISSING LINK]

Many thanks to our…

2019 Host Schools

Darden School of Business, University of Virginia
Fuqua School of Business at Duke University
Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business
Vanderbilt University, Owen Graduate School of Management

Thanks also to UNC’s Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School who hosted some AIGAC members on Friday, May 10 following the Annual Conference.

2019 Sponsors

Prodigy Finance




2019 Conference Committee

Nupur Gupta – 2019 Conference Co-Chair
Faye Mackenzie – 2019 Conference Co-Chair
Mengdan Chu
Sherry Holland
Karthik Palaniappan
Cecilia Pineda
Prashant Tibrewal
Beth Tidmarsh
Natalie Wallace

AIGAC 2019 Conference Recap

Recaps of the AIGAC 2019 conference were written by Brett Haber, Barbara Coward, Sherry Holland, and Prashant Tibrewal. Thank you!

AIGAC hosted our 12th annual conference during the first week of May, traveling to four cities – Nashville, Washington D.C., Charlottesville, and Durham. Members came from eight countries and represented clients from many more, reflecting our international nature. Our success reflects the enthusiasm of our members!

Nashville, Tennessee

Vanderbilt University, Owen Graduate School of Management

At Vanderbilt, our program was organized by Christie St-John who kicked off the festivities with a Welcome Reception for our members with current staff and students on Thursday, May 2.

Held at the Robbins Room of the Aertson Hotel, the venue afforded incredible views of the Nashville skyline. Our hosts showed us tremendous hospitality! On Friday, our members heard from Dean Eric Johnson, famed for knowing each and every member of the Vanderbilt Owen class by their name.

Members were also exposed to the extent of the school’s innovation in healthcare. At the end of the day, some members had leisure time – visiting Nashville’s Parthenon. Some lucky members were also able to score tickets to the Grand Ole Opry!

Washington D.C.

Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business

Next, our members traveled to Washington D.C. for our programming at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. On Sunday, May 5, AIGAC organized a Welcome Reception & Dinner at 1789 – a quintessential Washington D.C. dining experience in a multi-story Federal period building – graciously hosted by Gold sponsor ETS-GRE. The rumor mill has it that we missed former Vice President Joe Biden dining on another level!

Monday started with half a day of programming about Georgetown McDonough. We were hosted by McDonough’s admissions team, led by Shelly Heinrich, who graciously joined us early from maternity leave. Over the course of the day, we observed the deep connection between Georgetown’s Jesuit principles and the ethos of the MBA program. We heard from Dean Paul Almeida about the many ways in which a generous spirit is infused into the community. And we witnessed this spirit with a reception catered by a recent alum who started a business employing chefs who, like him, are first-generation immigrants.

The programming from McDonough was followed by AIGAC Afternoon – our annual business meeting, followed by a reception with admissions representatives, followed by a Member Dinner at Sequoia restaurant, which presented stunning views of the Potomac. This dinner was hosted by Prodigy Finance – our Platinum sponsors. During AIGAC Afternoon, we introduced new programming that included professional development exercises on storytelling and ‘building an applicant.’

Tuesday was the much-awaited ‘All Schools Day’ with representatives from Harvard, Wharton, Booth, Kellogg, MIT Sloan, Columbia, Stern, Ross, Tuck, Duke, IESE, ESADE, Darden, Yale, Rotman, LBS, UCLA, and many more in attendance. Our conversation with admissions officers included panel discussions on admissions, programs, careers, and ethics as well as smaller break-out group sessions on hypothetical candidates’ selection to programs and themed roundtable discussions. Later that evening, our group traveled to Charlottesville, deep in conversation on the AIGAC coach.

Charlottesville, VA

Darden School of Business, University of Virginia

Arriving at Charlottesville in the evening, we were greeted by the Director of Admissions, Whitney Kester at the Inn at Darden. Our hosts shuttled us to The Common House – an innovative space that convenes a community based on a co-working space, inspirational design, fine dining, and live music. Thereafter, we were given a tour of Marketplace Mall by Dawna Clarke – Executive Director, Admissions.

Wednesday, May 8 was our day at Darden. The highlights of the day included a talk by Dean Scott Beardsley, an admissions panel hosted by the Darden admissions team, exposure to the case method at Darden by Professor Luca Cian, a tour of Darden and the Lawn, and a tour of Monticello – the private home of former President Thomas Jefferson. While the university tour highlighted the school’s leadership in maintaining a code of conduct, visiting Jefferson’s home provided a unique context for Darden’s deep commitment to established principles. Finally, our group boarded the AIGAC coach once again and we headed further south to Durham, North Carolina.

Durham, North Carolina

Fuqua School of Business at Duke University

On our final day of the conference, we headed to Fuqua – a four-minute walk from the JB Duke hotel. Highlights of the day included being greeted by “the mob” (used as a term of reverence in reference to the twenty-odd members of the Fuqua admissions and program team who met us), a talk by Dean Bill Boulding, a panel with the admissions team (moderated by Shari Hubert herself), a tour of Fuqua and Duke (including a visit to Cameron Indoor Stadium) and the downtown Durham experience (replete with food tasting and visits to startups). We also had a birthday celebration – right at Fuqua’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation!

Finally, exhausted and exhilarated, we called it a conference and headed back to our various cities, states, and countries. A few of our members made an unofficial visit to UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School the following day.

The conference was a great success thanks to the tireless efforts of our volunteers, enthusiastic participation from our attendees, and indispensable support from our AMC (with special thanks to Natalie Wallace and Khadija Naeem)!