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How Leverandon is going to get off of the waitlist at Darden

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How Leverandon is going to get off of the waitlist at Darden [#permalink] New post 01 Feb 2009, 16:55
Hey guys,

So, I got waitlisted at Darden on Friday. This application season has not been kind to me so far, and Darden is about the only ray of light.

Here are my stats:

710 GMAT (44 Q, 44 V), 3.3 GPA from UC Berkeley (upward trend after a rough first year as an engineer) graduated with a double major in Political Science and History. I've worked as a Teach for America teacher in NYC for the last two years. I'm interested in going into non-profit, or perhaps private sector general management first and then non-profit management after a few years.

I'm currently planning on calling the admissions office at Darden tomorrow and expressing my continued interest in their program and explaining that it is my top choice. I felt like I did a pretty solid job at my interview day last month, but wouldn't be opposed to going back to Charlottesville if necessary to sit in on a class (which I was unable to do before because it was finals season). Do you think it is possible to request a feedback session to see what they recommend that I do to improve my application in the next couple of months to covert the waitlist to an admission?

Any thoughts or advice would be great!

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Last edited by Leverandon on 01 Feb 2009, 16:59, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How Leverandon is going to get off of the waitlist at Darden [#permalink] New post 01 Feb 2009, 16:58
This is a BRILLIANT IDEA!!!!
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Re: How Leverandon is going to get off of the waitlist at Darden [#permalink] New post 01 Feb 2009, 17:07
Did they send you any sort of waitlist rules or FAQ? If so, FOLLOW THEIR RULES/SUGGESTIONS.

If they allow update letters, additional rec, and such, do that. Dont call. Letters will get uploaded into your application file while a phone call may not even leave a trail.

Again, I cant stress enough that you need to follow their rules. There is a very fine line for waitlisters between helping your candidacy and hurting it. I am on two waitlists and I made sure that I followed their rules 100%.

Edit: If they did not give you a waitlist FAQ, then you can call them to inquire.

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Re: How Leverandon is going to get off of the waitlist at Darden [#permalink] New post 01 Feb 2009, 17:16
I'm definitely planning on playing by the rules. The Darden Waitlist FAQ, I found to be a bit vague on what I should do next:

http://forms.darden.virginia.edu/admiss ... istFAQ.htm

I responded on the form and told them that I wanted to remain on the waitlist. But beyond that they don't give too many instructions. Thoughts?

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Re: How Leverandon is going to get off of the waitlist at Darden [#permalink] New post 01 Feb 2009, 19:54
I don't know buddy, it seems pretty clear that they only want to know about big events in your life. I'm no expert on all of this, but I'm not sure how phone calls and visits would come off. It might be seen as needy and desperate and not really understanding of the situation. At a place like Cornell, which seems to favor active participation of wait listed applicants, yours might be an advisable strategy. However, my sense from reading that is that Darden would prefer a more hands off approach. You might talk to Pelihu about this and see if he knows of anyone or remembers anyone that has had success getting off the wait list. Either way, you're halfway there so don't give up hope! Good luck!
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Re: How Leverandon is going to get off of the waitlist at Darden [#permalink] New post 01 Feb 2009, 20:40
Leverandon, sorry to hear about your situation. It looks like you have excellent stat. I don't have any educated suggestions. But I wish you best of luck on getting in Darden.

If things don't work out this year, try to apply for more schools that has a focus on non-profit like Haas and Fuqua.

Good luck.
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Re: How Leverandon is going to get off of the waitlist at Darden [#permalink] New post 01 Feb 2009, 20:45
Thanks guys!

You might be right, dharmabum. I messaged pelihu and he gave me a few tips. I'm going to think on this for a day or so and if I do anything, perhaps an understated letter expressing continued interest and highlighting a few things (my quantitative background) that I think might have not come across well in my application.

My ex-girlfriend when she was waitlisted for law school went nuts and emailed every alum she could find, had them write letters on her behalf, showed up at each of the schools, and called them constantly. It worked out for her in the end, but I get the feeling that that strategy could definitely backfire for business school. So, I'm going to keep it cool and if I do anything, write a simple letter.

Thanks again! I'll keep you guys posted.

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Re: How Leverandon is going to get off of the waitlist at Darden [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2009, 08:07
Leverandon wrote:
Thanks guys!

You might be right, dharmabum. I messaged pelihu and he gave me a few tips. I'm going to think on this for a day or so and if I do anything, perhaps an understated letter expressing continued interest and highlighting a few things (my quantitative background) that I think might have not come across well in my application.

My ex-girlfriend when she was waitlisted for law school went nuts and emailed every alum she could find, had them write letters on her behalf, showed up at each of the schools, and called them constantly. It worked out for her in the end, but I get the feeling that that strategy could definitely backfire for business school. So, I'm going to keep it cool and if I do anything, write a simple letter.

Thanks again! I'll keep you guys posted.


Hey Lev, what about taking your GMAT to raise your Q. Keeps your mind occupied at least.

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Re: How Leverandon is going to get off of the waitlist at Darden [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2009, 08:22
hi leverandon ,
I can offer you some company on the waitlist :)
I also have my status as waitlist for now...have you been able to find any historical data for the conversion of waitlist to admit .
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Re: How Leverandon is going to get off of the waitlist at Darden [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2009, 08:24
I am waitlisted too and the only thing I can think of doing is retaking the GMAT. I got a 680 the first time around and always felt that retaking the GMAT for 20 points would make me look neurotic. Now I really have no desire to study for the GMAT again and I just see myself getting a decision the day before I plan on taking the GMAT.

Even though the FAQ states more of a hands off approach, it is not my personality to just sit back and wait for them to make a decision. If I eventually got dinged I will wonder if the outcome would be different if I took some action. I am going to go back for a visit and sit in a class since I interviewed during finals week as well. If Darden is turned off by tenacity and expressing my desire to become a student, well I guess it is not the place for me

Best of luck Leverandon, hopefully we both get in.
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Re: How Leverandon is going to get off of the waitlist at Darden [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2009, 09:12
I don't think a visit specifically to sit in on a class does much...you've already been there, they know that. Sounds like Darden is a pretty wait and see situation...
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Re: How Leverandon is going to get off of the waitlist at Darden [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2009, 09:30
I think it'd be good just to relax and play it cool. Dont want to come across as desperate or anything.

If its meant to be it'll happen. Otherwise there is always next year :) .
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Re: How Leverandon is going to get off of the waitlist at Darden [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2009, 12:09
Glad to have some company in Pergatory, 24 and hidan. I'm starting to think that the playing it cool approach is probably the way to go. I think I'm going to send a letter of interest and maybe retake the GMAT. I feel like with some more work I can boost that Q score up to 48. At least that's something I can put in the bank if I have to apply again next year. Question on the GMAT, my V 44 is pretty high, I was a little worried about putting that in jeopardy. If my V dropped to like 43 or 42, would schools still look at the higher V score?

Good luck to everyone on the waitlist!

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Re: How Leverandon is going to get off of the waitlist at Darden [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2009, 12:14
having 43 or 42 verbal would still be great

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Re: How Leverandon is going to get off of the waitlist at Darden [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2009, 12:18
Leverandon wrote:
Glad to have some company in Pergatory, 24 and hidan. I'm starting to think that the playing it cool approach is probably the way to go. I think I'm going to send a letter of interest and maybe retake the GMAT. I feel like with some more work I can boost that Q score up to 48. At least that's something I can put in the bank if I have to apply again next year. Question on the GMAT, my V 44 is pretty high, I was a little worried about putting that in jeopardy. If my V dropped to like 43 or 42, would schools still look at the higher V score?

Good luck to everyone on the waitlist!



Don't worry about dropping, you might even go higher. Seems like you're stronger in verbal anyways. I think it is equally likely to score a 45-46 on verbal without trying. So I would not worry about. BTW I went from a 29/31 to a 44 on verbal, so starting at 44, I don't see it too far fetch that you can hit ninkorn's 50.

I think you have room to improve on both sides, now go rock that test.

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Re: How Leverandon is going to get off of the waitlist at Darden [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2009, 19:21
I didn't thoroughly read through the Q&A, but retaking the GMAT unless it is below the median by far would almost look like a waste of time. It might even imply to Darden that you are not using your spare time for more impacting and unique activities.

A visit, although would benefit you more than Darden also would not do much at this time.

However, if they did ask for updates on large events in your life, I think anything large in your mind should be sent to Darden. For instance, any newly achieved positions at work or in organizations you have joined and made any recent impact. Or a passionate activity you have left out, or something along the lines of things you haven't already expressed in your application. I guess what I am trying to say is instead of thinking about re-doing something within your application, think outside the box and send something new and refreshing if anything is acceptable to the Q&A.

Again this is all my opinion and could be completely off.

Hope you get off the waitlist.
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Re: How Leverandon is going to get off of the waitlist at Darden [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2009, 21:16
Hey mate I was in your situation last year with two waitlists and zero admits (and subsequent dings). All I can truly say is its a cruel gut wrenching situation. Here are the things I'd suggest :

- Firstly understand that the school likes some aspects (probably most aspects) of you, but their might be a lingering red flag and you need to understand what it might be. For instance last year when I applied, I was between jobs. This year, I had a brand new role that I was able to highlight to the schools. To understand what the red flags might be perhaps let others review your application package.

- Write that letter. It can't hurt. But dont be so sure that it will help either. Be sure to write about things very specific (for instance that new promotion, or that conversation with the professor who teaches about your post MBA aims at Darden)

- App in R2 to other schools. Waiting for the WL to materialize can be seriously harmful the one's mental well being.

- All said and done, you are extremely well placed next year for the spot. I've seen several instances of WL turning into admits the next admissions year.

Good luck.
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Re: How Leverandon is going to get off of the waitlist at Darden [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2009, 07:06
Leverandon wrote:
Glad to have some company in Pergatory, 24 and hidan. I'm starting to think that the playing it cool approach is probably the way to go. I think I'm going to send a letter of interest and maybe retake the GMAT. I feel like with some more work I can boost that Q score up to 48. At least that's something I can put in the bank if I have to apply again next year. Question on the GMAT, my V 44 is pretty high, I was a little worried about putting that in jeopardy. If my V dropped to like 43 or 42, would schools still look at the higher V score?

Good luck to everyone on the waitlist!

Leverandon,
Difficult to suggest what can you or others on wait list do. But having followed you closely through your posts, I would suggest you to ponder a little over your application and see where are you lacking. About GMAT, your essays, campus visit, interviews - I guess you must have done well. Then, is there an area with scope for improvement? what about extra curricular? what about leadership story outside office? Did you put in so many extra curricular interests to result in suspicion about genuineness?
If you did not show good extra curricular interest, what about taking one activity, build your group, show your leadership potential (the activity should be such as to continue indefinitely at the same time offers you an opportunity to organize some event recently for you to showcase your leadership potential)? If you can think about one of these and find, indeed you can add something to your file, go ahead, use the interviewer or wait list lead(what ever they call) and submit single letter expressing your interest and how much you are passionate about their program in one para and then your recent leadership experience in next para, and how it would be a great experience to share with your classmates and how it will make a good management lesson or interesting case study for the class in the last para.
Think about it, It may help.
Best of luck to all on wait list.
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Re: How Leverandon is going to get off of the waitlist at Darden [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2009, 07:26
OK, I just have to chime in here even though I have no first-hand experience of getting off of waitlists. However, if there's anything this past application cycle has taught me - it's that there isn't really a formula to getting admitted to business school.

I don't think Leverandon should be thinking about what it is that the admissions committee wants to hear at all. Unless Darden Admissions has dropped a hint or anything about potential areas of concern, it's impossible to get a sense of where an application might be "lacking." Maybe Leverandon's too young, maybe there were a lot of applicants with experience similar to his (unlikely, but not impossible) - who knows! It's the last thing you want to do, draw additional scrutiny towards aspects of your application that might be perceived negatively. The best course to follow is really what Raabend suggested - follow their instructions to a T and in a broader sense make a pitch about why Darden is the best school for you and why you will succeed there.

My own application experience is admittedly based on the four schools I applied to, so take my opinions with a grain of salt. However, all this emphasis on extracurricular involvement and leadership within and outside the workplace is hugely exaggerated. I did not have any extracurricular involvement anywhere outside of college, heck even during college I was working part-time throughout and was not involved in clubs or community service or such. "Leadership" is such a subjective concept, that I personally find it rather ridiculous it's given so much importance. Not to take anything away from those who have genuinely impressive leadership stories from their time in the armed forces or managing large and diverse teams, but whenever I was faced with a question about my leadership experience in interviews, I chose to deflect it and responded instance with instances of where I had exercised "thought leadership" - and that gave me a card to talk about anything at all, really. In any case, Leverandon's teaching experience gives him more than enough material to cover that "leadership" front.

In my own experience, "leadership" and "extracurriculars" will not make or break an application. Neither will a 44Q on the GMAT. There is enough evidence of that on these boards.
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Re: How Leverandon is going to get off of the waitlist at Darden [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2009, 07:35
Re-reading the original post, I'd also be careful as to how far you push "Darden is my first choice". Unless it was when you applied and you made that very clear in your original essays (which, looking at your school list, I'm going to guess was not the case), I think this could easily come across as "Darden is my first choice...because I'm not in anywhere else." Not to say that you shouldn't express your sincere interest - I just wouldn't make it a love letter if that's off message from what you said before.
Re: How Leverandon is going to get off of the waitlist at Darden   [#permalink] 03 Feb 2009, 07:35
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