UPDATE: The tips for the 2011 UVA Darden MBA Application are now available online. Please post questions or comments to the new post.
Darden is asking entirely new questions this year, and unusual ones too. While the triggers and prompts have changed, your goal remains the same: Answer the questions and reveal what is impressive and distinctive about you. Tell them what you want them to know in response to their questions.
My comments are in red:
1. How have the changes in the global economy over the last 18 months affected you and your plan for the future? (400 words)
The first part of this question is fairly easy for those directly affected (laid off for example) as a result of the financial crisis and recession. For those who were not laid off, the impact may simply have been a new frugality or sense of vulnerability as friends and family experienced lay-offs and hardship. It could also have been more significant — activism prompted by the crisis, a re-evaluation of goals, etc.
Regarding the second part of the question, one appropriate response to the Great Recession would be the development of a Plan B for your post-MBA goal especially if you are a career changer or you are interested in a career in finance. The need for flexibility and a sense of how your skill set and experience may be useful in more than one industry or function benefits you as you apply and navigate economic uncertainty. My correspondence with MBA admissions directors last winter and discussions at the recent AIGAC conference made clear the wisdom of having a Plan B.
2. What will you contribute to an MBA program and what are your personal and professional expectations of the program you attend? (600 words)
Showcase both your knowledge of Darden and your strengths by discussing how you have contributed to organizations or to your community in the past and how you will use the same qualities to contribute to specific aspects of Darden’s community and program. Make sure you include in your response your “expectation” of the program or in other words, what you hope to extract from it.
If you would like help with your Darden MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and admissions consulting or a UVA Darden Comprehensive Packages, which provide essay editing, interview coaching, consultation, and a resume editing for the Darden MBA application. And if you purchase before July 31, 2009, you can save 15% on all editing and comprehensive packages.
||Oct. 28, 2009||Jan. 28, 2010|
||Jan. 7, 2010||Mar. 26, 2010|
||Mar. 31, 2010||May 12, 2010|
*Application due by 11:59 PM (EST)