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

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Weekly Wednesday Chat With Darden’s Admissions Committee [#permalink] New post 02 Apr 2014, 09:00
FROM Darden Admissions Blog: Weekly Wednesday Chat With Darden’s Admissions Committee
Every Wednesday, a member of the Darden School Admissions Committee hosts an online chat at 12:30 – 1:00 p.m. ET. Learn more about the admissions process and the three formats of the MBA program directly from the decision makers. To participate, simply log into the chat at 12:30 p.m. on any Wednesday (except for holidays).

Here’s a transcript from last week’s chat:

Question: What are the admissions requirements for your MBA program?

Answer: We take all aspects of a candidate’s application into account.  We will review undergraduate work, professional experience, GMAT scores, essays, professional letters of recommendation, etc. We are trying to get to know you as a person as much as we can.

We are looking for applicants with strong leadership potential who will bring a global mindset and a willingness to share their experiences and perspectives with their classmates. Our students are actively engaged in the classroom as well as outside the classroom, so we are looking for people who want to get involved.

Question: Would you mind telling us a little more about the community at Darden?

Answer:  Darden is known for the combination of three key things: 1. The case method of instruction, which involves actively discussing cases about real business problems and solutions in class (rather than just listening to a lecture); 2. our top-ranked faculty who are very student-focused (open door policy, focus on teaching); and 3. our tight-knit community. Students, faculty and staff are all highly involved in student life. It is not uncommon for students to be invited over for dinner at a professor’s home.

Question:  I just submitted my application recently. When will the Admissions office send out the results?

Answer: If you applied in the 3rd round, interview invitations will be released starting in mid-April and may continue up until the decision notification date on 6 May.  All decisions for the round will be released together on 6 May.

Question: Could you please estimate how many case studies one can expect to go through during the two years at school?

Answer: 600+ case studies during your two years!  So you will become an expert at dissecting a case, identifying key issues, and coming up with potential courses of action.

Question: Are there any courses on digital marketing? I am interested in this area.

Answer: Yes, we offer some electives covering digital marketing.  Please view our electives here: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/web/MBA/Academics/Curriculum-Electives/Home/

Question: Are there many seats left in the class of 2016?

Answer: We don’t have a set number of seats at this point, as we just released our Round 2 decisions, and those candidates have until 2 May to remit their deposit.

Question: Do you have a minimum TOEFL requirement? And how do you evaluate a candidate’s test scores?

Answer: We don’t have a minimum TOEFL requirement.  Most of our successful candidates have TOEFL scores that exceed 100. And yes, we do get all of the score reports, but we will use your highest score in the evaluation of your application.

Question: How important is one’s international experience/exposure?

Answer: International experience can be a key strength in someone’s application, and it can manifest in a variety of ways — study abroad experiences, professional exposure, work with multinational teams.

Question: Who conducts off campus interviews?

Answer: Alumni conduct our off-Grounds interviews around the world.  In some remote areas of the world where we don’t have alumni, we may conduct a Skype interview. On-Grounds interviews are conducted by an Admissions Committee member or Second Year student.

Question: Does Darden have on-campus housing?

Answer:  We have both on- and off-campus housing options close by.  Most of our students prefer off-campus, as there are more options (e.g., newer apartments with more amenities).

Question: I am specifically interested in the EMBA program. Do you have a lot of EMBA students who travel long distances to attend?

Answer: Our EMBA program has grown tremendously over the past few years, and we have folks from the Midwest and as far as the West coast. Our program is structured that you have to come to Cville only once a month to make balancing your schedule easier.

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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2014, 05:48
luciadempsey wrote:
On the west coast (Portland), still no packet! Anybody else in the same boat? I figure I'll give them through the end of today and then call tomorrow...


In the same boat on the East Coast, so you're not alone.
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2014, 06:42
amigobarba wrote:
luciadempsey wrote:
On the west coast (Portland), still no packet! Anybody else in the same boat? I figure I'll give them through the end of today and then call tomorrow...


In the same boat on the East Coast, so you're not alone.


We still don't have the packets? Been out of town since Sunday; was looking forward to having it when I get back today.

Has anyone called?
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2014, 12:19
R3 applicant here. Received an invite to interview this morning, pretty surprised to hear back so quickly.
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2014, 13:26
bluehorseshoe87 wrote:
amigobarba wrote:
luciadempsey wrote:
On the west coast (Portland), still no packet! Anybody else in the same boat? I figure I'll give them through the end of today and then call tomorrow...


In the same boat on the East Coast, so you're not alone.


We still don't have the packets? Been out of town since Sunday; was looking forward to having it when I get back today.

Has anyone called?


I haven't called yet, but I called a couple of weeks ago and never heard back - so I didn't want to burn any bridges! Would love to hear if someone has received anything yet though!
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2014, 13:34
Okay finally got my packet in Portland yesterday! Definitely call if you don't get it by today, though - I had emailed one of the admissions people and they seemed surprised that it hadn't arrived yet.
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2014, 15:45
milmba89 wrote:
R3 applicant here. Received an invite to interview this morning, pretty surprised to hear back so quickly.

Wow. That's pretty quick. Congrats. I thought they send them out in mid april
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 07 Apr 2014, 07:52
Hello Guys,

I was Waitlisted in the second Round. Do I have to ask for a "WL Feedback" or do they send it automatically ?
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2014, 05:18
milmba89 wrote:
R3 applicant here. Received an invite to interview this morning, pretty surprised to hear back so quickly.

Hi milmba89... Can you share your profile.

Thanks in advance
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2014, 05:28
chandler999 wrote:
Hello Guys,

I was Waitlisted in the second Round. Do I have to ask for a "WL Feedback" or do they send it automatically ?



I have the same question. Anyone from R1 knows the answer?
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2014, 10:14
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chandler999 wrote:
Hello Guys,

I was Waitlisted in the second Round. Do I have to ask for a "WL Feedback" or do they send it automatically ?


The Admissions Committee will review the waitlist with each subsequent round of admission. Waitlisted candidates are encouraged to consider how you can improve your application, and keep the Admissions team updated on these efforts, as well as any promotions, change in work responsibilities, new involvements, etc.

I recommend you check out this link for more info:
http://blogs.darden.virginia.edu/admiss ... pplicants/

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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2014, 22:37
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Hello GMATCLUB Members,

GMATClub and Admissionado Consulting are conducting a webinar for the applicants got dinged this year. This is your opportunity to get expert guidance and build a smart strategy for the next application round/season. Webinar will be conducted by Admissionado's Founder and HBS Alum Jon Frank. Jon will share his suggestions followed by a Q&A session - this is your opportunity to ask your specific questions.

One lucky attendee will get the opportunity to have his/her (dinged) profile evaluated by Jon Frank during the session. If you'd like to be chosen for this opportunity, please email info@admissionado.com with the subject line "GMAT Club Webinar - Choose me!". Please include your name, nationality, age, GMAT score and a list of schools where you were dinged. And please also attach your essays + resume + LORs from one of your applications. Winner will be notified via email on April 16th!

Here are the details of Webinar

Title :- Dealing with a Ding
Day & Date :- Thursday, April 17, 2014
Time :- 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT
Registration :- https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/245061566
NOTE :- There are only 100 spots available, so sign up early!

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Experiential Learning at Darden [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2014, 06:00
FROM Darden Admissions Blog: Experiential Learning at Darden
While all Darden students are required to complete the core curriculum during the first four terms of the First Year, they are able to customize their academic experiences beginning in March by choosing from over 100 elective courses and for-credit experiential projects.

Many Second Years choose to enroll in a Darden Business Project (DBP), an independent or group project focusing on one of three areas: consulting, venturing or case development. Through DBPs, students work under the direction of a faculty advisor to frame issues, analyze data and present solutions to real businesses. Read more about DBPs in a recent article by Clear Admit.

We encourage you to learn more about experiential learning opportunities at Darden and other elective opportunities in your area of interest.

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International Study Opportunities for Darden MBA Students [#permalink] New post 10 Apr 2014, 09:00
FROM Darden Admissions Blog: International Study Opportunities for Darden MBA Students
In addition to term-long global exchange programs, Darden offers students the opportunity to travel around the world with their classmates and faculty for one- to two- week periods in March and May.

Global Field Experiences (GFEs) are MBA electives that give small teams of students the opportunity to provide consulting services to an international company or organization while working closely with a Darden faculty member. GFEs are frequently mission-driven with a focus on areas such as sustainability, education or renewable energy. TriplePundit recently published an article discussing four recent Darden GFEs — World Bicycle Relief in Zambia, INASante in Tunisia, Freeset Global in India, and Rotary Club of Calapan City and Baruyan in the Philippines.

Global Business Experiences (GBEs) are different from GFEs since the learning experience centers around a business theme rather than consulting with an individual company. Each course includes structured classes and practitioner presentations as well as visits to companies, governmental agencies and important cultural sites. Several GBEs also include an experiential consulting project with companies in the country being visited.

This year, GBEs were offered in Brazil, China, Turkey, Spain, South Africa, Argentina, Israel and Sweden, focusing on themes that included “Business Growth in Developing Countries,” “Wine Industry Exploration,” and “Sustainability, Innovation and Entrepreneurship.”

In the guest post below, Darden Partner Fareine Benz describes her experience in Barcelona, Spain with Darden MBA students and alumni taking Professor Jeanne Lietdka’s GBE course “Strategy as Design.”

“The closeness and accessibility of Darden’s community extends beyond student clubs and social events, and into the academic environment. As a Darden partner, I have been pleasantly surprised at the endless opportunities I’ve had to be involved in the Darden experience.

This past March, another Darden Partner and I joined over 20 Darden MBA students, 2 MBA alumni and an EMBA alumnus on a Global Business Experience to Barcelona. During the weeklong experience, we were fully immersed in participating in classroom discussions, visiting prominent cultural landmarks, and learning about how the strategic design process shaped the history of Barcelona.

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Learning Team Meeting at IESE

Each morning, we spent time in small groups discussing the assigned readings over a cup of coffee before diving into the class discussion. Topics we covered included the design process that went into city planning and architecture, the tension that occurs among different stakeholders throughout the design process, and the impact that creativity and innovation has on business.

After lunch, we explored Barcelona and the surrounding region to see the impact that design had on the city and its culture. Our visits included a walk through Eixample, a modernista neighborhood built in the 19th century to accommodate the Old City’s expansion; touring Antoni Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, and Casa Batllo; and driving along the Costa Brava to visit Salvador Dali’s Mediterranean seaside home.

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La Sagrada Familia

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Parc Guell

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Colonial Guell

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Costa Brava

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Costa Brava

However, one of the biggest highlights of the GBE was being able to bond with all the students and alumni on the trip. After a day of classes and cultural excursions, Dana Niedzielska (MBA ’97) invited the class to her home sitting atop of Tibidabo for a small gathering in which we were able to watch the sun set over the city while enjoying Spanish wine and local cheese.

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View of Barcelona from Tibidabo

Although the GBE schedule was typically packed with activities each day, we still had enough time to watch a football game at Club Nou, dine at el Bulli chef Ferran Adria’s new restaurant 41 Degrees, and take a stroll through Las Ramblas.

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Barcelona GBE 2014

The fact that Darden opens these global opportunities up to alumni, staff and partners is a testament to the inclusiveness of the community. Through these global courses, students are able to take what they learn in class through the case study method and apply those lessons internationally in real time.”

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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 14 Apr 2014, 09:43
Any R3 applicants received interview invites except the one reported?
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Diversity of Thought at Darden [#permalink] New post 15 Apr 2014, 11:00
FROM Darden Admissions Blog: Diversity of Thought at Darden
The case method’s success stems from the diverse range of backgrounds and views in the classroom. In the guest post below, Second Year Bill Besash discusses what diversity means to him as a student leader:

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Bill Besash
MBA Class of 2014

“I came to business school with a couple purposes in mind. First, I wanted the ability to switch careers, moving into a strategy consulting or internal strategy role as I had been focused on the finance side of a business up to that point in my career. Second, I wanted to immerse myself in a rich experience for the next two years, becoming a part of a strong network and community. I found this in Darden and continue to be amazed every day.

While at Darden I have had the opportunity to be involved in a number of student-led organizations and clubs. During my First Year, I was nominated and elected as my Section Representative and served on the Darden Student Association. In addition, as a Second Year I have had the pleasure of serving as a VP of Finance for both the Consulting Club and Wine and Cuisine Club and VP of Events for the Adam Smith Society. Also, as a member of the MBA Program Advisory Committee, I have been involved in the planning of next year’s full-time MBA program schedule and curriculum. Lastly, my role on the Diversity Student Advisory Group has been the most interesting and rewarding, as I see diversity as a crucial piece of the community at Darden.

Diversity is incredibly important to me. Diversity is not just a person’s background, ethnicity, or gender. I see diversity much more in the diversity of thought. I believe that everyone’s experiences, opinions and thought processes are things that I can learn from, and I will continue to absorb and learn from throughout my life. I believe this is important for any individual, and especially important in an MBA program.

Darden’s diverse community offers exactly this and creates an environment I truly appreciate and enjoy every day. Inside the classroom, I have had the pleasure of hearing opinions on domestic and international issues from a wide range of nationalities and backgrounds. These conversations have opened up my eyes to how others perceive issues that I had before thought of more as black and white. The gray is much more fulfilling to investigate and ponder than strictly looking at a problem as a yes and no.

Outside the classroom, I love conversing with my fellow European and Latin American football fans everyday about games, players and news. In fact, I love it so much I will be traveling to Brazil for the World Cup this summer with many of my classmates. This is just one instance of how diversity has impacted me at Darden and what it means to me.

In the end, I can’t say enough about the Darden community and the way diversity is such a strong part of it. I try to bring my experiences, interests and views to the community as I know everyone else does as well. This is what makes Darden such a great place to continue to learn and grow as an individual and member of a larger team. I look forward to welcoming future candidates to join in on the experience as well and hopefully become future alumni and friends.”

Bill Besash was raised in the suburbs of South Jersey in a small town called Voorhees. Upon high school graduation, he ventured south and attended Wake Forest University. While there, he studied finance and accounting, and enjoying the adaption to the southern lifestyle. Post Wake Forest, Bill moved to Washington, D.C. for the next five years working his first three years in a mid-size litigation consulting firm called Navigant Consulting and then spent two years working at Fannie Mae.

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Learning About Leadership in the Galiuro Mountains of Arizon [#permalink] New post 17 Apr 2014, 09:00
FROM Darden Admissions Blog: Learning About Leadership in the Galiuro Mountains of Arizona
As more students have become interested in taking experiential learning courses, Darden has responded by offering new pilot programs through partnerships with organizations such as the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Earlier this year, 13 Darden students spent a week in the Galiuro Mountains in Arizona with Darden professor Yael Grushka-Cockayne, a Darden alumnus and three NOLS instructors. Darden Second Year Alex Fife reflects upon their journey:

“As the last light faded and I clicked on my headlamp, two things had become clear: 1) it is very dark in the wilderness, and 2) this was not going to be a simple walk in the woods. Though night had fallen, we still had to cover a considerable distance before reaching and setting up camp. I thought back on the day: we had hiked at least six miles, first across an expanse of cactus and thorns and then through a rocky canyon with gnarled Arizona sycamore trees. When not hiking, our time had been filled with instruction on fundamental outdoor skills such as how to cook with a camp stove, how to read a topographic map, and the multistep process for going to the bathroom in the woods. It was the beginning of a class unlike any other offered at Darden.

This January marked the first Darden collaboration with the National Outdoor Leadership School, NOLS for short. In addition to running custom programs for companies like Google and Salesforce.com, NOLS Professional Training has offered courses for a number of MBA programs. Jake Freed, Assistant Director of NOLS Pro and one our instructors, believes that “the wilderness actually draws many parallels with the landscape business school graduates will face. It is an ambiguous, dynamic setting where decisions with real consequences must be made, often with incomplete information.” Dr. Freed notes that the course structure encourages participants to ‘practice leadership skills in a challenging, unfamiliar environment where it is OK to fail and where both success and failure ultimately lead to profound learning.’

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Photo credit: Mark Silvers

When asked about Darden’s decision to collaborate with NOLS, Professor Yael Grushka-Cockayne responded that ‘The Darden/NOLS field elective was about experiencing leadership. The idea was to empower our students by allowing each and every participant to discover their capabilities as leaders, while operating in a unique and challenging setting. When the decisions you make as a leader can result in your team hiking in the dark, getting lost, or not having enough water, outcomes are direct and consequences clear. Leaders and team members alike are called to think and care for each other in new ways and to rely on trust, extraordinary teamwork, non-selfish behavior and mutual respect.’

Our course took place in the Galiuro Mountains in Arizona. Never heard of the Galiuro Mountains? Neither had we, but being in the desert in January sounded reasonably warm and the course description spoke of an area ‘renowned for its rugged terrain, spectacular Sonoran ecology and beautiful vistas.’ It is also a treacherous place where, in the words of Second Year student Amanda Miller, ‘EVERYTHING will bite, prick or sting you.’ So it was with a mixture of excitement and trepidation that 13 second year students, Yael, one alumnus and three NOLS instructors ventured into the wilderness.

The objective for the week was clear: to hike south through the mountain range, a distance of roughly 40 miles through canyons and high mountain passes. While our NOLS instructors would serve as advisors, Darden students were responsible for almost every aspect of the expedition. Every day three students would act as expedition leaders, each responsible for leading a small team from dawn until dusk. These leaders would plot the course for the day, draw up contingency plans, and make dozens of critical decisions along the way. NOLS instructors would give their advice when asked, but would not intervene if a leader made a mistake.

‘We had to make real managerial decisions in the middle of nowhere,’ said Amanda Miller, ‘We had to manage our peers in uncharted territory.  We had to use a compass and a topographical map to figure out how to get down mountain faces by the light of a headlamp with no trail in sight.  We all learned about our leadership styles and how they can evolve when you move between carefully planned scenarios and chaotic uncertainty.’

‘We were able to exercise both our leadership and active follower skills while receiving concrete feedback from our Darden peers and NOLS instructors,’ noted Kat Baronowski, a Second Year student and DSA President, ‘It was a great opportunity to put into practice a number of the lessons we’ve learned in the Darden classroom.’

Mark Silvers, a Second Year student and Marine Corps veteran, agreed that the experience was a dramatic departure from learning leadership in a classroom. ‘It is completely different to lead a team in an environment where a leader’s mistakes can cost daylight, calories, warmth and morale.’ he said, ‘Darden students aren’t Marines, and the trip provided an extraordinary opportunity for me to adapt my leadership style to a diverse group with a wide range of backgrounds, risk tolerances, and priorities.’

Our NOLS instructors also pushed us to improve our ‘expedition behavior,’ a mantra that embodies good teamwork, active followership and mindfulness. If you see something that needs to be done in camp, do it. If you have a suggestion for a better route on the map, speak up. If you see a teammate struggling, offer to carry some extra weight to lighten their load. Share the precious last Fig Newton you had been saving when you notice someone needs an energy boost. The Darden team fully embraced this mentality and their small acts of unselfishness had a huge impact on the success of an expedition. I will be forever grateful for the untold number of sacrifices, words of encouragement and respect that my teammates gave me.

Never was that spirit more critical than on our final day, when we rose before sunrise and hiked five miles to reach our rendezvous point. Bone tired and freezing cold, it took every ounce of energy and will to keep going. Yet despite our miserable state, all I could hear in the darkness (on our supposedly ‘silent hike’) was laughter and encouraging comments. One student sang a song about breakfast burritos and we chuckled to discover another, in the dim light, proudly sporting his favorite purple long johns sans pants.

As the rising sun filled the canyon with a red glow, I was struck with a pang of sadness that our journey had come to an end. I was going to miss the camaraderie, the cheesy bagels fried over a carefully balanced camp stove, and our intense sense of common purpose. Yet as I hiked the last miles of the trip, I took heart in the fact that the hard-earned lessons of the past week extended far beyond the trail.

Truly, this course was unlike any at Darden.”

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Photo credit: Kenny Schulman

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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2014, 09:59
Hi Guys.
I am an R3 applicant from India. I received invitation to interview on 10th April and gave the interview today
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2014, 11:17
amitiitr05 wrote:
Hi Guys.
I am an R3 applicant from India. I received invitation to interview on 10th April and gave the interview today



How was it?
Could you share your profile?

Kind of nervous with R3, there is no life in the thread. seems as if first two rounds were the real deal.
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Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants! [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2014, 11:22
mbawannabe2016 wrote:
amitiitr05 wrote:
Hi Guys.
I am an R3 applicant from India. I received invitation to interview on 10th April and gave the interview today



How was it?
Could you share your profile?

Kind of nervous with R3, there is no life in the thread. seems as if first two rounds were the real deal.


I am working with an e-commerce company in the DataScience role.. GMAT 710.. extracurriculars -- Community service, sports etc..

The interview was typical Darden one with a monologue on Life story for about 30 mins, After that interviewer asked questions like Why MBA? -- Why Darden? ---Why R3?
It was pretty cool and nothing unexpected happened..

Also don't worry .. From what the interviewer (works in ad-committee) told me there are still many invites that need to go out..So keep the hopes up..
Re: Darden (UVA) Class of 2016: Calling all applicants!   [#permalink] 22 Apr 2014, 11:22
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