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Expert advice for UVA Darden from Admissions Consultant blogs

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Expert advice for UVA Darden from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2018, 10:50
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Darden now has  an Early Action application round in addition to its three traditional rounds. This new round is designed for full-time MBA candidates who are sure that Darden is their first choice.
Application Deadlines:
Early Admission:
Application Deadline: September 7, 2018
Interviews: Schedule your own
Decision Date: October 17, 2018
Round 1:
Application Deadline: October 4, 2018
Interviews: By Invitation
Decision Date: December 12, 2018
Round 2
Application Deadline: January 10, 2019
Interviews: By Invitation
Decision Date: March 20, 2019
Round 3
Application Deadline: April 3, 2019
Interviews: By Invitation
Decision Date: May 8, 2019

 For more information click here:

Darden has completely revamped its essay questions for the new application cycle. The single question that Darden has asked for the past few years has been replaced with five new prompts, that cover applicants’ personal, professional, and educational objectives. The applicants have a total of 750 words to present their candidacy to the admission committee.

“Tell us what you would want your learning team to know about you– personal, professional or both.” (100 words)

Through this essay of only 100 words, you will introduce yourselves to your learning teams. At Darden, case study method is the core of study methods wherein you will be solving cases within your learning teams of 4 to 5 members. So in your first introduction, your learning team members should learn that you will be a great team player who will contribute significantly to the team. Tell your team members what team working skills and attributes you have and show them what you will bring to the table by sharing some stories/anecdotes that highlight those skills in a personal or professional context.

“Each year, Darden connects with over 80 countries. If you could choose any location in the world, where would you want to go with Darden? And why?” (50 words)

Darden expects its students to participate in at least one global opportunity during their two years of MBA. In 50 words, identify the name of the country that you would like to choose for your global assignment, explain reasons for your choice and how your choice will enhance your learning as well as learning of your peers. This super short question not only reveals your knowledge of Darden, but also speaks about your personality and interest.

“Darden strives to identify and cultivate leaders who follow their purpose. At this stage, how would you describe your evolving leadership style and please provide an example.” (200 words)

To approach this question, you will share a leadership story. To describe your ‘evolving leadership style’, you will choose an experience that taught you something new and changed your perspective towards things. For organizing your ideas, follow the same 4-part structure we always recommended
  • Situation/Challenge
  • Action
  • Result/ Outcome
  • Significance

Since you only have 200 words to share your story, you can allocate 125-150 words to describe the first 3 parts of the story and use the remaining 50 words to explain the significance of the experience in terms of the growth that occurred.

“Please provide an example of a situation in which you have made a meaningful impact.” (200 words)

This is another leadership story that Darden wants you to share; however, the emphasis here is more on the impact you made on the organization. This means the ‘outcome part’ of your story is of utmost importance here. That is, you will elaborate that the decisions you made and the results you achieved benefitted your organization or your team member in a significant manner. The essay prompt doesn’t ask you to reflect on the significance of the experience, still I would encourage you to wrap up your story (if space permits) with a final comment about how this experience was meaningful to you.

“What is your short-term, post-MBA career goal and why?” (150 words)

This is a fairly straightforward goals essay question. Note that the question asks you only about your short-term goal, and not your long-term vision. So, you need to elaborate your post MBA objectives. Please identify the position that you hope to hold immediately after MBA program, specifying a job title/role, industry and 1-2 organizations/companies that interest you. Please make sure that your goals are ambitious as well as realistic. The schools want to know that the path you have chosen is attainable and the program has resources to aid you to reach that goal. To provide a convincing response, you can explain what skills and knowledge you possess that will help you accomplish your goal in your chosen field.

To further help you in developing your application essays, you may review the general Essay Tips.

Since 2011, MER (myEssayReview) has helped applicants get accepted into top 20 MBA, programs, including Darden.

Want to discuss? Email Poonam at poonam@myessayreview.com

This post first appeared in myEssayReview blog.

For essay tips of other schools by MER,click here.

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Tips to Nail your Darden Essays + Deep Dive into Essay Prompts  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jan 2019, 20:36
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The Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia prides itself in building a close-knit community of students, faculty, and staff. In thinking about constructing this community, admissions counselors are looking to bring in students with different perspectives and backgrounds with the goal to build a diverse cohort that shapes the way students will interact in their classes and extracurricular activities. With that said, the Darden essays are a fantastic opportunity to highlight who you are, what your passions are, and what unique perspective you would bring to the Darden community.

Here are 3 success tips to guide you in your Darden essay writing process:

Answer the prompt - This might sound simple, but you would be surprised by how many applicants avoid answering the stated question and take the essay real estate to communicate their love of the school, their career goals, or something else that was not asked. Simply put, if the essay prompt doesn’t ask you to explain why you like Darden, then do not write about your interest in Darden. There are other opportunities to do that, most of the time the interview captures your interest in Darden, or perhaps a short-answer question.

What are the lessons learned? - Spend less time describing the what of the situation and more time on the why. For example,

if you had to describe your most meaningful work contribution, try to spend less time describing the task or nature of the work, and more time describing what you did, how that added value, how you grew, and what you learned. Every success or failure in the workplace has a lesson, and writing that lesson out for admission counselors lets them know you are a self-aware leader prepared to learn more and grow in an MBA program.

The blind test - One of the best ways to know if you’re answering the prompt and providing a compelling answer is to form a “board of directors”, these people can be friends, family, roommates or colleagues, and ask them to read the essay without giving them the prompt. If your “board member” can reasonably guess the prompt after reading your essay, then you’ve done a great job in providing a clear story.

Now let’s take a look at Darden’s prompts for 2018 - 2019 and dig a little deeper into what the prompts may be looking for:

“Tell us what you would want your learning team to know about you - personal, professional or both."(100 words)

Be honest and be yourself! With only 100 words, think about those skills, interests, and passions that are unique to you - these can even include personal interests, travel interests, or goals that you have for yourself.

"Each year, Darden connects with over 80 countries. If you could choose any location in the world, where would you want to go with Darden? And why?" (50 words)

Global programs are becoming more popular at Darden each year. Think deeply about the brand that you’re presenting to Darden. Are there any travel spots that highlight your interests or what you bring to Darden? Take a look at Darden’s global courses and their corresponding topics to get a better idea.

"Darden strives to identify and cultivate leaders who follow their purpose. At this stage, how would you describe your evolving leadership style and please provide an example." (200 words)

The keywords here are purpose and evolving; consider thinking about an example where your leadership style grew or changed. Providing an answer that not only describes your leadership style but why it is the way it is, will help the reader better understand you.

Interested in a free consultation with the BeSpoke MBA Consulting Team? Sign up here: https://www.bespoke-mba.com/free-consultation
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Joined: 23 Mar 2014
Posts: 1051
Re: Expert advice for UVA Darden from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jun 2019, 22:34
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Darden full time MBA application for the 2019-2020 application season is live now. Darden has retained its short question format that it had introduced last year. Two of the five questions have been modified, two questions remain unchanged, while one question has been replaced by a new question. The applicants have a total of 700 words to present their candidacy to the admission committee. “We want to get to know all of the various facets of your background and personality.”

Application Deadlines:

                        Early
Action 
            Round 1                      Round 2                      Round 3

Deadline:        03 Sept. 2019              04 Oct. 2019               06
Jan. 2020                06 Apr. 2020

Interviews:     Schedule your own     By Invitation               By
Invitation               By Invitation

Decisions:       09 Oct. 2019               11 Dec. 2019               18
Mar. 2020              06 May 2020

Darden’s
Early Action round introduced last year is designed for full-time MBA
candidates who are sure that Darden is their first choice. Applications for
Early Action are due Tuesday, September 3, 2018 and decisions will be released
on Wednesday, October 9, 2019. All applications for the full-time MBA are due
by 11:59 p.m. ET on the deadline day. For more information click here.

Essay Questions:

  • Darden
    strives to identify and cultivate responsible leaders who follow their purpose.
    Please provide an example of a situation in which you have made a meaningful
    impact. (200 words)

This
question about significant impact is modified a little bit. The first statement
about the kind of leaders Darden cultivates has been added to it (it was
part of another question last year). This addition will help the applicants
to remain more focused when choosing their leadership story. Your story should
emphasize your ‘responsible leadership’ and ‘focus on purpose’ that led to meaningful
results and significant impact on your organization. That is, you will elaborate
that the decisions you made and the results you achieved benefitted your
organization or your team member in a significant manner.

For
organizing your ideas, as always, we recommend following the STAR Method
(Situation, Task, Action, and Result); however, keeping in mind the stringent
word limit, you MUST highlight the ‘result/ outcome part’ of your story. You
have the option to choose a professional story or non-work story (extra-curriculars
or community work). Though the essay prompt doesn’t ask you to reflect on the
significance of the experience, you may wrap up your story (if space permits)
with a final comment about how this experience was meaningful to you.

2.   Diversity and
inclusion are critical to our mission, and they work best when they are an
integral and celebrated part of our community. Read
University of Virginia’s Diversity &Inclusion Vision Statement.
Share a time in which you engaged with a perspective, identity, community or
experience that was different from your own and how it impacted your worldview.
(200 words) 


This is a new short question this year.
However, Darden had asked a somewhat similar question two years back wherein it
asked the applicants “about a time when their opinion evolved through
discussion with others” who had different “views and perspectives.” In Darden’s case
method of learning, students are presented with an actual business problem,
along with all the relevant associated data, and tasked with identifying a
solution to that problem. Each student analyzes the situation and information
on his/ her own, then discusses it with the members of the learning team, and
finally does so in the classroom. So having one’s ideas and opinions challenged
is vital to Darden experience. This is the reason why the admissions committee
wants to assess if an applicant has the ability to listen, reflect, learn, and
grow in this environment.

Again, you may choose a personal or
professional example/ story. Given the word limit of 200 words, you may not
write more than 1-2 sentences on setting up the situation but focus more on
your thought process and the resulting change in your opinion/ perception. It
is important to describe ‘before’ and ‘after’ situation, so you can share the inflection
point that triggered the change in your thinking.

3.   The
Batten Foundation Worldwide Scholarship provides all Darden students in our full-time MBA program
with an opportunity to participate in a
Darden Worldwide Course. If you could choose any location in the world, where would
you want to travel, and why? (50 words)


This
question has been modified a little bit. That is, an introduction has been
added; however, the response to the question remains the same. Darden expects
its students to participate in at least one global opportunity during their two
years of MBA. In 50 words, identify the name of the country that you would like
to choose for your global assignment, explain reasons for your choice and how
your choice will enhance your learning as well as learning of your peers. This super
short question not only reveals your knowledge of Darden, but also speaks about
your personality and interest. You may use this essay to share a different side
of you that is not presented elsewhere.

4. “Tell us what you would want your learning team to know
about you– personal, professional or both.” (100 words)


This
question remains unchanged from last year. Through this essay of only 100
words, you will introduce yourselves to your learning teams. At Darden, you
will be solving cases within your learning teams of 4 to 5 members, so your
learning team members should learn that you will be a great team player who
will contribute significantly to the team. Tell your team members what team
working skills and attributes you have and show them what you will bring to the
table by sharing some stories/ anecdotes that highlight those skills in a
personal or professional context. Again, you have the option to choose both
personal and professional examples. When selecting examples for these 3 essays,
you want to make sure to maintain a balance between your personal and
professional examples so you can showcase your well-rounded personality to the
admission committee.

 5. What is your
short-term, post-MBA goal and why? (150 words)


This question is again a repeat from last year and is a
fairly straightforward goals essay.  Note that the question asks you only about
your short-term goal, and not your long-term vision. So, you need to elaborate
your post MBA objectives. Please identify the position that you hope to hold
immediately after MBA program, specifying a job title/ role, industry and 1-2
organizations/ companies that interest you. Articulate your goal and explain
why this goal is interesting and important to you. Please make sure that your
goals are ambitious as well as realistic. The schools want to know that the path
you have chosen is attainable and the program has resources to aid you to reach
that goal. To provide a convincing response, you can explain what skills and
knowledge you possess that will help you accomplish your goal in your chosen
field.

Darden’s Tips on Essays: “Use the essay
to display your writing skills and tell us more about yourself. You will be
asked to organize a persuasive argument to show us how you think about and
approach business challenges. Emphasize those experiences, values and goals
that are most important and meaningful to you. Be sincere and be specific. Tell
us what particular experiences and expertise you will bring to the mix. The
essay question field is large enough for you to answer the question thoroughly.”

For
further assistance in developing your application essays, you may review the
general Essay Tips.

here.

For
some useful techniques to help you meet the tight word limits of 200
words, click here

Since
2011, Poonam, founder and president of myEssayReview (MER) has helped applicants get accepted into top 20 MBA,
programs, including Darden. (Poonam is one of the top 5 most reviewed consultants on the GMATClub )

Want
to discuss? Email Poonam at poonam@myessayreview.com

This post first appeared in myEssayReview  blog.

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Re: Expert advice for UVA Darden from Admissions Consultant blogs   [#permalink] 10 Jun 2019, 22:34
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