By UVA - Darden October 11, 2011 Leave a Comment

Several questions came up during the Weekly Wednesday Admissions Chat last week that we thought many applicants may be interested in:


Question: Can you share your perspective on Darden’s essay question this year? What are the key things to keep in mind while approaching this question?

Answer: We have been asked by many people why we only have one essay question this year. My first recommendation before writing the essay is to read the application from start to finish. Yes, we only have one essay but we do have short answer questions. The application is designed for us to learn more about you, what you have accomplished and what you hope to do. Whether we have one essay or five, our bet is that you will always want to tell us more. So use the essay as a place to provide one or two solid examples that answer the question and that will help us be able to picture you in the classroom and on a learning team. We want to hear what perspective you will bring to the learning environment. If you are invited to interview, then you will have the opportunity to further tell your story and share more about your background and goals. The advice I probably give the most is just to be authentic in your application. Easier said than done, I know! But don’t try to be different or to be something that you are not.


Question: What is the most common mistake or oversight you see candidates make in their application?

Answer: I think a common mistake is not thinking about the application in its entirety. From the employment section, we will learn about your job responsibilities and progression, so in your resume, be sure to highlight your accomplishments. In the essay, don’t be too general but as I mentioned, give us 1 or 2 examples we can draw from. Educate your recommendation writers — ask them if they can write you a positive recommendation and then remind them of your accomplishments. Tell them why you are looking to go to b-school and why Darden. This will help them as they write your letters.


Question: Do we need to upload soft copies of our transcripts while submitting our application?

Answer: We ask that you upload unofficial copies of all transcripts. At the time of submission, you do not have to have send us official transcripts. If offered admission, then we will ask for you to send us official ones. In the education section, please enter the data requested and upload the copy.


Question: What % of your applications usually get invited for an interview?

Answer: The % of people invited varies from year to year. We will invite everyone whom we think has a strong chance of being offered admission. The interview is a valuable part of the application and provides more information as to your communication skills and ability to articulate your story and goals.


Question: Is the Capstone Leadership Experience something that all First Years have the opportunity to engage with as part of the full-time curriculum? Or is it more of an extracurricular that takes place at the end of the year?

Answer: The Capstone Leadership Experience took place last April for the first time. All First Year students participated. The Darden faculty is in the process of finalizing what the experience is going to be like for this year’s class. It is meant to bring the class together at the end of term 4 once all core courses have been completed and before the students begin electives. It is meant to be a culminating event for the First Year experience.

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