If you are excited about the prospect of taking on the decision maker’s role by using the case method to navigate real-life business situations, then consider applying to University of Virginia’s Darden MBA program. Darden is one of the largest case publishers in North America, and because of Darden’s commitment to the case study method, a Darden student will examine many, many business cases throughout the course of their two-year Darden MBA studies.
The Darden essay questions serve to draw out people who will thrive in this case-oriented, experiential academic environment and process. Participants in the case method must make their points succinctly yet incisively, hence the essay word limits are tight. The essay topics however have breadth, taken all together, enabling the adcom readers to identify applicants who will bring something to the table from all aspects of their life.
Here are the essay questions and related tips for writing the essays as effectively as possible.
Darden MBA short answer questions
For the 2022–23 application cycle, we will again feature short essay questions, which provides a broader platform to showcase your background and personality. These questions are a great opportunity for you to help the Darden Admissions Committee understand who you are and who you will be at Darden.
Darden MBA essay #1
Given that you will be forming lifelong connections with your classmates that extend beyond the classroom, what is important for your classmates to know about you that is not on your resumé? (200 words)
Darden is one of the smaller MBA programs, with 351 students in the class of 2023. That class size means that every single student needs to be congenial and contribute a unique perspective.
With the brevity of this essay, the hardest part may well be identifying the best topic(s). I suggest one or at most two topics; the key will be to dig in and provide enough anecdote and detail to really make it come alive for the reader. Potential topics include a relevant formative experience or relationship or a nonwork activity or passion. Ground the essay in example and detail. To select the best topic, look at the application overall including the other essays and think about what would really add to and further animate this holistic picture.
Darden MBA essay #2
Please describe a tangible example that illuminates your experience promoting an inclusive environment and what you would bring to creating an inclusive global community at Darden. (300 words)
First, note that the requested example can come from work or outside work – while it’s great to show that you promote an inclusive work environment, if you have a dynamite, impactful example from outside of work, feel free to use that. Keep in mind that “inclusive” can include, beyond obvious things like ethnicity, geographic background, sexual orientation, etc., less obvious things like political perspective, socio-economic background, atypical academic path, etc. Devote most of the essay to narrating the story, showing how it promotes inclusivity. At the end add a reflection with some specific detail about how this will enable you to help create an inclusive global community at Darden.
Darden MBA essay #3
At this time how would you describe your short-term, post-MBA goal in terms of industry, function, geography, company size and/or mission and how does it align with the long-term vision you have for your career? (200 words)
The question itself guides you through the requisite details to provide. Even with the tight word limit, I suggest contextualizing the requested information in a couple of ways. First, with just a phrase or sentence, indicate how the goals arose – what is the “origin story”? Also, express what you hope to accomplish, what impact you’d like to have, by pursuing and achieving the stated goals. These two elements together constitute your motivation, and that is what will allow the adcom to feel engaged by (and ideally invested in) these goals.
UVA Darden at a glance
UVA Darden MBA average GMAT score: 715
UVA Darden MBA average GPA: 3.52
UVA Darden MBA acceptance rate: 29.9%
U.S. News ranked UVA Darden #14 in 2023
Check out the Business School Selectivity Index for more stats.
For expert guidance with your UVA Darden MBA application, check out Accepted’s MBA Application Packages, which include comprehensive guidance from an experienced admissions consultant. We’ve helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to top MBA programs and look forward to helping you too!
UVA Darden MBA 2022-2023 application deadlines
|Early Action||September 8, 2022|
|1||October 5, 2022|
|2||January 5, 2023|
|3||April 5, 2023|
All applications for the full-time MBA are due by 11:59 p.m. ET on the deadline day.
Source: UVA Darden website
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***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***
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