UVA Darden 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

UVA_DardenDarden led the way with a one-essay application.  Some may feel that fewer essays indicate that essays are losing importance. My suspicion is that the remaining essays and short-answers are as important or even more important than they ever were. Especially at a program emphasizing the case method and experiential learning, evidence that you can communicate, analyze a problem from multiple perspectives, and handle the rigorous program that Darden is famous for are all critical. 

My tips for answering the Darden application essay are in blue below.


Describe the most important professional feedback you have received and how you responded to this feedback. (500 words max)

First of all, I strongly encourage you to watch the video with Darden’s Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions Sarah Neher where she lays out what they’re looking for in this essay:

As Sara Neher says in the video, they want to see how you respond to feedback in the work place. It could be interpersonal or technical feedback, but how did it change your behavior on the job? How did it transform your approach or attitude?   

You could start with the feedback or the event that prompted the evaluation. Then discuss your initial reaction to it and how it influenced your professional performance.

Alternatively, you can start with an event or interaction that reflects you successfully incorporating that feedback into your work. Then flash back to the feedback, perhaps the event the prompted it, and reflection on the importance of that feedback. 

Final tidbit: Make sure you answer all elements of the question. 

If you would like professional guidance with your UVA Darden MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the UVA Darden application. 

UVA Darden 2016 Application Deadlines:

Application Deadline Decisions Released
Round 1 October 8, 2015 December 16, 2015
Round 2 January 8, 2016 March 23, 2016
Round 3 April 8, 2016 May 11, 2016


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Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Related Resources:

• School-Specific MBA Application Essay Tips
• UVA Darden Zone Page
• Have an Open Mind, Learn Skills, Build Relationships: Darden MBA Interview