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Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants!

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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2013, 03:08
Kjar wrote:
hamm0 wrote:

Great! thanks for the heads up.

Can you share some of your background and maybe some tips that made you successful @ Darden?


My background is:

GMAT: 740, Q50, V41, AWA 5.0, IR 8.
GPA: 4.33 out of 5 from a small not very well known college
Work experience(WE): 3 years audit, 3 years private equity
Nationality: Eastern Europe
Age: 28
Gender: M
Extra-curriculars/community: Few higher roles in smaller activities, lets say it this way.

You see, the problem here is that it's difficult to say WHAT actually makes you successful when you are applying. I see some great examples of diversity in my future class, and there is no straightaway answer, like "have GMAT over 700" or "be a Goldman Sachs Analyst" or "Be the captain of your college football team" or "Fly the helicopter in Afghanistan".

My general approach to the whole application process was, after a long thought, as follows:
1) Determine your starting point - your childhood, family, primary education - everything until you have chosen your college
2) Determine where you are now
3) Summarize all your path until now - what have you done from (1) to (2)
4) Answer honestly - where do you want to be when you are 60 years old? Have a really good thought about it. It's not about going to management consulting after you graduate. It's not about high salary and bonus. What will make you happy?
5) How would you proceed in next 5-10 years to make (4) happen?

After all you'll have some line, which started in past and will end someday. Your current position is some point on this line. When you understand this - just tell your story. Just tell why do you think this is a good idea to go for an MBA, and why it is good right now, and how this particular school helps you?

The most important here - you always have this story to tell. ALWAYS. You dont need to invent it, because every decision you make in your life - you make it because you think something is good for you, something is bad, something leads in a right way, something doesn't. You always have some good perspective - if you cannot formulate it, you just didn't think about it too much. Think - and you'll have a perfect picture in your head soon.

Different schools can help you differently, and its perfectly fine if you see something positive in every school you are applying to. And these positive things are actually about smaller differences, nuances you'll notice. But they must be very real and you must perfectly understand them.

For example, some schools especially emphasize teamwork skills development. Why do you think it is good for you? Some general answer like "it's better to be a team player than not" doesn't work here. I am feeling just great in a private equity business, where nobody cares about your teamplay. You must be reasonably social, of course, but its not like in consulting where drinks with your colleagues are a must. So if you come to some school, you say that you want to work as a quant analyst in a hedge fund, and you apply to this particular school because of their great emphasis on social interactions and general management curriculum - well, you have problems.

So, just be honest to yourself, have a good thought on why, when and where, be open and DO SOME GOOD RESEARCH :)


Wow! Thanks KJar!

Very good advice here..
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 22 Jun 2013, 03:30
Kjar wrote:
hamm0 wrote:

Great! thanks for the heads up.

Can you share some of your background and maybe some tips that made you successful @ Darden?


My background is:

GMAT: 740, Q50, V41, AWA 5.0, IR 8.
GPA: 4.33 out of 5 from a small not very well known college
Work experience(WE): 3 years audit, 3 years private equity
Nationality: Eastern Europe
Age: 28
Gender: M
Extra-curriculars/community: Few higher roles in smaller activities, lets say it this way.

You see, the problem here is that it's difficult to say WHAT actually makes you successful when you are applying. I see some great examples of diversity in my future class, and there is no straightaway answer, like "have GMAT over 700" or "be a Goldman Sachs Analyst" or "Be the captain of your college football team" or "Fly the helicopter in Afghanistan".

My general approach to the whole application process was, after a long thought, as follows:
1) Determine your starting point - your childhood, family, primary education - everything until you have chosen your college
2) Determine where you are now
3) Summarize all your path until now - what have you done from (1) to (2)
4) Answer honestly - where do you want to be when you are 60 years old? Have a really good thought about it. It's not about going to management consulting after you graduate. It's not about high salary and bonus. What will make you happy?
5) How would you proceed in next 5-10 years to make (4) happen?

After all you'll have some line, which started in past and will end someday. Your current position is some point on this line. When you understand this - just tell your story. Just tell why do you think this is a good idea to go for an MBA, and why it is good right now, and how this particular school helps you?

The most important here - you always have this story to tell. ALWAYS. You dont need to invent it, because every decision you make in your life - you make it because you think something is good for you, something is bad, something leads in a right way, something doesn't. You always have some good perspective - if you cannot formulate it, you just didn't think about it too much. Think - and you'll have a perfect picture in your head soon.

Different schools can help you differently, and its perfectly fine if you see something positive in every school you are applying to. And these positive things are actually about smaller differences, nuances you'll notice. But they must be very real and you must perfectly understand them.

For example, some schools especially emphasize teamwork skills development. Why do you think it is good for you? Some general answer like "it's better to be a team player than not" doesn't work here. I am feeling just great in a private equity business, where nobody cares about your teamplay. You must be reasonably social, of course, but its not like in consulting where drinks with your colleagues are a must. So if you come to some school, you say that you want to work as a quant analyst in a hedge fund, and you apply to this particular school because of their great emphasis on social interactions and general management curriculum - well, you have problems.

So, just be honest to yourself, have a good thought on why, when and where, be open and DO SOME GOOD RESEARCH :)


Well, those were simply amazing insights..Thanks a ton Kjar.
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2013, 08:17
FYI - Registration for Open Houses are now live. I'm in for the September 2nd date, really looking forward to it.
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2013, 08:45
Dan8294 wrote:
FYI - Registration for Open Houses are now live. I'm in for the September 2nd date, really looking forward to it.


Darden is not on my list, yet, but I will go to the open house, and let them change my mind - thinking of going in October.
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2013, 21:26
In for R1
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2013, 17:51
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For those who haven't visited, I have a review of my visit on my blog + some tips/what to expect: http://hamm0.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/wa-hoo-wa/

I had a really good visit in Charlottesville, and if you have the means, I highly recommend seeing the campus. I'll be happy to answer any questions here, as well :)
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2013, 14:01
Application is live: https://apply.darden.virginia.edu/apply/

Good luck everyone!
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2013, 13:45
Hey ya all,

Glad to see this page; I am also applying to R1. I have a dilemma, which is Darden has two essay questions that are kind of similar (note: these questions are part of application but not in the essay section just like short-term goal).
Q1) Learning teams are an integral part of Darden’s academic experience. What personal qualities and expertise will you bring to your Darden learning team? (250 words)
Q2) At Darden, a core part of the academic experience is participation in and contribution to your learning team. In what ways will your teammates say that you add value? (150 words)

So basically, I am looking for some kind of guidance on how to answer the two questions differently.

Additionally, I wonder if there is any benefit in submitting application sooner rather than one day before R1 deadline?
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2013, 14:04
Hey SyedSan - we'll take the easy one first:
SyedSan wrote:
Additionally, I wonder if there is any benefit in submitting application sooner rather than one day before R1 deadline?

No benefit. The only downside to waiting to submit till the day of/before deadline is that the servers get very busy and there can be some real frustration and stress in getting it to submit sometimes. This is less of a problem in Round 1 but it can still happen. It would suck to have a technical glitch prevent you from getting in on time! But in terms of any advantage in terms of your application, none that we've ever heard of at Darden.

As to your "dilemma" ... :-)

SyedSan wrote:
I have a dilemma, which is Darden has two essay questions that are kind of similar (note: these questions are part of application but not in the essay section just like short-term goal).
Q1) Learning teams are an integral part of Darden’s academic experience. What personal qualities and expertise will you bring to your Darden learning team? (250 words)
Q2) At Darden, a core part of the academic experience is participation in and contribution to your learning team. In what ways will your teammates say that you add value? (150 words)

So basically, I am looking for some kind of guidance on how to answer the two questions differently.
We're going to offer a probably unhelpful response: spend more time studying these two questions. They're actually asking for different things.

The Darden application has NEVER been easy so we can appreciate how this may have you stumped. At least the main essay question this year is not as difficult as it's been in the past!!!

Hopefully the way out will be revealed to you... it may take some brainstorming. Try making lists in response to each question and see what you come up with, that's often a good first step in identifying some potential answers.

EssaySnark
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2013, 14:22
essaysnark wrote:
Hey SyedSan - we'll take the easy one first:
SyedSan wrote:
Additionally, I wonder if there is any benefit in submitting application sooner rather than one day before R1 deadline?

No benefit. The only downside to waiting to submit till the day of/before deadline is that the servers get very busy and there can be some real frustration and stress in getting it to submit sometimes. This is less of a problem in Round 1 but it can still happen. It would suck to have a technical glitch prevent you from getting in on time! But in terms of any advantage in terms of your application, none that we've ever heard of at Darden.

As to your "dilemma" ... :-)

SyedSan wrote:
I have a dilemma, which is Darden has two essay questions that are kind of similar (note: these questions are part of application but not in the essay section just like short-term goal).
Q1) Learning teams are an integral part of Darden’s academic experience. What personal qualities and expertise will you bring to your Darden learning team? (250 words)
Q2) At Darden, a core part of the academic experience is participation in and contribution to your learning team. In what ways will your teammates say that you add value? (150 words)

So basically, I am looking for some kind of guidance on how to answer the two questions differently.
We're going to offer a probably unhelpful response: spend more time studying these two questions. They're actually asking for different things.

The Darden application has NEVER been easy so we can appreciate how this may have you stumped. At least the main essay question this year is not as difficult as it's been in the past!!!

Hopefully the way out will be revealed to you... it may take some brainstorming. Try making lists in response to each question and see what you come up with, that's often a good first step in identifying some potential answers.

EssaySnark


Hello EssaySnark,

Thank you so much for the quick response!

Just wanted to share my understanding and perhaps your can confirm it or tell me to think more.
Q1 is about candidate's personal qualities and expertise - The skills and characteristics one has, and would be supported by past experiences.
Q2 is about participation in and contribution - over here, one would you use one's skills/expertise supported by past experiences, and would explain what and how he/she will contribute to Learning Team.

What is surprising to me is that, both questions are very specific to learning team; so you can not talk about Darden community in general. Thoughts?
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2013, 14:28
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Generally we'd say yes, you're on the right track. There's no one right answer so we don't want to dictate a strategy. We can see a few other angles to pursue too. However the way you're looking at it could certainly result in some good responses!!

On the learning team... it's a BIG part of the bschool experience, particularly at Darden, and we'd just offer up that maybe you could say it's a major part of their culture. It's not the full extent of it, but it sure does matter. One reason for the method that Darden uses in their interview process is to make sure that they're accepting people who will fit in - and the learning teams count for a lot in that!!

Remember too that these are super short answers - you won't be able to fit in too much. That's one reason why they've scoped the question so tightly.

EssaySnark
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2013, 23:47
essaysnark wrote:
Hey SyedSan - we'll take the easy one first:
SyedSan wrote:
Additionally, I wonder if there is any benefit in submitting application sooner rather than one day before R1 deadline?

No benefit. The only downside to waiting to submit till the day of/before deadline is that the servers get very busy and there can be some real frustration and stress in getting it to submit sometimes. This is less of a problem in Round 1 but it can still happen. It would suck to have a technical glitch prevent you from getting in on time! But in terms of any advantage in terms of your application, none that we've ever heard of at Darden.

As to your "dilemma" ... :-)

SyedSan wrote:
I have a dilemma, which is Darden has two essay questions that are kind of similar (note: these questions are part of application but not in the essay section just like short-term goal).
Q1) Learning teams are an integral part of Darden’s academic experience. What personal qualities and expertise will you bring to your Darden learning team? (250 words)
Q2) At Darden, a core part of the academic experience is participation in and contribution to your learning team. In what ways will your teammates say that you add value? (150 words)

So basically, I am looking for some kind of guidance on how to answer the two questions differently.
We're going to offer a probably unhelpful response: spend more time studying these two questions. They're actually asking for different things.

The Darden application has NEVER been easy so we can appreciate how this may have you stumped. At least the main essay question this year is not as difficult as it's been in the past!!!

Hopefully the way out will be revealed to you... it may take some brainstorming. Try making lists in response to each question and see what you come up with, that's often a good first step in identifying some potential answers.

EssaySnark


i was just checking the online application and i think that its Question 1 along with a question on short term goals thats there in the application! Question2 seems to be the question for last year in the app!

Nonetheless, one query here to last year admits - when they "what personal qualities and expertise" in the question , is the expertise also personal or its ok to write about the perspective we bring from our professional experience?
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 28 Aug 2013, 18:52
Hey guys - I noticed the new class profile is out.

A few things stick out at first glance:

5% more Men
5% less Women
4% less in domestic minorities
7% more in the Engineering/Science/Math field
Quote:
Class of 2015 (Entering Class of Fall 2013)

Enrolled Statistics
Class Size 316
Women 30%
Men 70%
Domestic Minorities 16%
International (born outside U.S.) 37%
Countries Represented 37
Average Age at Entry 27
GMAT
Mean 706
GPA Distribution
Mean 3.52
Undergraduate Major
Business Administration 29%
Economics 14%
Engineering/Science/Math 25%
Humanities/Social Science 25%
Other 7%
Class of 2014 (Entering Class of Fall 2012)

Enrolled Statistics
Class Size 320
Women 35%
Men 65%
Domestic Minorities 20%
International (born outside U.S.) 34%
Countries Represented 33
Average Age at Entry 27
GMAT
Mean 703
GPA Distribution
Mean 3.48
Undergraduate Major
Business Administration 26%
Economics 13%
Engineering/Science/Math 18%
Humanities/Social Science 26%
Other 17%


Source: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/web/MBA/ ... s-Profile/

Last edited by CMcAboy on 28 Aug 2013, 18:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 28 Aug 2013, 18:56
CMcAboy wrote:
Hey guys - I noticed the new class profile is out.

A few things stick out at first glance:

5% more Men
5% more Women
4% less in domestic minorities
7% more in the Engineering/Science/Math field
Quote:
Class of 2015 (Entering Class of Fall 2013)

Enrolled Statistics
Class Size 316
Women 30%
Men 70%
Domestic Minorities 16%
International (born outside U.S.) 37%
Countries Represented 37
Average Age at Entry 27
GMAT
Mean 706
GPA Distribution
Mean 3.52
Undergraduate Major
Business Administration 29%
Economics 14%
Engineering/Science/Math 25%
Humanities/Social Science 25%
Other 7%
Class of 2014 (Entering Class of Fall 2012)

Enrolled Statistics
Class Size 320
Women 35%
Men 65%
Domestic Minorities 20%
International (born outside U.S.) 34%
Countries Represented 33
Average Age at Entry 27
GMAT
Mean 703
GPA Distribution
Mean 3.48
Undergraduate Major
Business Administration 26%
Economics 13%
Engineering/Science/Math 18%
Humanities/Social Science 26%
Other 17%


Source: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/web/MBA/ ... s-Profile/

I think you mean 5% LESS women. +5% men and +5% women doesn't make any sense! :)
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 28 Aug 2013, 18:58
Yes, my apologies. Sorry for the confusion.
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2013, 12:05
:shock:

Last edited by Shashank8888 on 04 Sep 2013, 12:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2013, 12:06
Hey Guys,

Was going through the previous posts and was surprised to see the essay questions mentioned by few members for Darden application.(fall 14)
As per the this link, http://www.darden.virginia.edu/web/MBA/ ... Questions/

the essay question for Darden is

Q) Share your thought process as you encountered a challenging work situation or complex problem. What did you learn about yourself?
(500 words maximum)

Can anyone please clarify if I'm getting it wrong or what?
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2013, 12:17
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2013, 10:05
essaysnark wrote:
@Shashank8888, yes that's the essay question, and there are additional questions in the application.



Hi EssaySnark,

I am surprised that unlike other MBA programs, Darden did not ask a separate re-applicant question - something like "how have you strengthened your candidacy since you last applied." Any thoughts?

Thank you!
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2013, 11:45
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@SyedSan, Darden does a lot of things differently in their application - we kinda like it. :-) If you like, you can use the Additional Information field at the end of the app to state the changes to your profile.

At the same time, the improvements should be obvious. For example, if you have a new GMAT score, they'll see that; if you got a promotion, it'll be on your resume; etc. You recommendation letter is very important in this regard, it should be focusing on how you were awesome and added value in the past year, so that's a key asset for you to be focusing on. Be sure to choose your recommender wisely and have a candid conversation with him or her on topics. (It's fine to discuss your recommendation with them as long as you're not involved in actually writing it in any way.) The resume should be highlighting any changes too. So, lots of places to communicate this stuff!

Good luck with the reapp - Darden is quite friendly to reapplicants (obviously, given how they so generously offer feedback!) so hopefully it works out for you this time!
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants!   [#permalink] 14 Sep 2013, 11:45
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