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Would I have any chance at Darden?

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Would I have any chance at Darden? [#permalink] New post 05 May 2013, 10:13
Hey folks, I have a question for those who are much more informed about B-school admissions standards than I.

I will, unless something changes, be starting my 1L at UVA Law in the fall. I've had my eye on adding an MBA for a while now and would love to save the year/$ by doing the JD/MBA with Darden instead of waiting until later. I wanted to try and get an opinion about whether I should move forward with the process in the fall or not. So here's my situation:

-I am essentially shooting for a 760+ GMAT. I consider myself to be a good standardized test taker (176 LSAT/2380 SAT). I say that not to brag, but just to point out what I believe would be the strongest part of my application. My studying hasn't gotten serious yet, and I know it would take a few months of solid studying to get there. I've PT'ed in the low 700s a couple of times. Presume, just for the sake of argument, I do in fact score well moving forward, because if I don't (which is a very real possibility), I won't bother applying.
-3.45 UGPA, from a good-but-not-great school.

-Now here's my glaring weakness--my only WE consists of four positions--three of which were internships, and only one of which was paid. I know that puts me way, way behind the curve at a place like Darden. The positions I've had are good and reputable in their own right, but they aren't IB or consulting, and two are public-sector. If I matriculated in fall 2014, I would be barely 22 years old.


So my question is: Do I have any chance at all? As I understand it, Darden has no official WE requirement, but it is at all heard of for someone in my position to get in? Would I have a chance that could be described as anything other than nonzero? Am I wrong to think "What the hell, as long as I don't get my hopes up, there's no harm in at least applying?"

I know nearly nothing about the B-school application process, so if I've missed glaring things, feel free to condescend; I'll have to learn at some point.

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Re: Would I have any chance at Darden? [#permalink] New post 05 May 2013, 10:32
MonochromaticOeuvre wrote:

-I am essentially shooting for a 760+ GMAT. I consider myself to be a good standardized test taker (176 LSAT/2380 SAT). I say that not to brag, but just to point out what I believe would be the strongest part of my application.

-Now here's my glaring weakness--my only WE consists of four positions--three of which were internships, and only one of which was paid. I know that puts me way, way behind the curve at a place like Darden. The positions I've had are good and reputable in their own right, but they aren't IB or consulting, and two are public-sector. If I matriculated in fall 2014, I would be barely 22 years old.




Your instincts are correct. If you're going to be 22 with mainly internships as your WE, it's gonna be tough sledding even with a 760+ GMAT. B-school admissions is different from Law (where LSAT and GPA can carry the day). If a 760 GMAT score is the strongest part of your application, you won't have much of a chance. A lot of applicants apply with strong GPA and GMAT, but what gets you in are demonstrated leadership and impact...it sounds like you don't have any full-time experience.

I suppose it wouldn't hurt to apply since worst case scenario if you're rejected you'll still be going to law school, but an MBA may be something to add later in your career, as most JD/MBA candidates are applying with significant work experience.
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Re: Would I have any chance at Darden? [#permalink] New post 05 May 2013, 14:59
I agree with CobraKai. I don't think it would be impossible, but even with a 760 GMAT, it's going to be tough. Think of it this way: Darden is entirely case-based, so the quality of the classroom experience is a direct function of the collective experience of all the students. What would you uniquely add to the Darden experience? For what it's worth, I was asked that question in several school interviews.

That said, I wouldn't give up just yet. Can you reach out to other JD/MBA candidates at UVA and see how their work experience aligns with yours? If all the current and recent JD/MBA students had several years of work experience, that would definitely be a strong signalling factor that it could be tough sledding for you.
Re: Would I have any chance at Darden?   [#permalink] 05 May 2013, 14:59
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