Tag Archives: Darden School of Business

The Economist’s 2016 Ranking of the World’s Best MBA Programs

In The Economist‘s recently published ranking of the World’s Best Full-Time MBA Programs, the Chicago Booth School of Business once again comes out on top…for the sixth time in seven years. Despite Booth’s reputation for finance and super quants, The …

In The Economist‘s recently published ranking of the World’s Best Full-Time MBA Programs, the Chicago Booth School of Business once again comes out on top…for the sixth time in seven years.

chicago booth tops Economist MBA ranking

Despite Booth’s reputation for finance and super quants, The Economist finds it to be a well-rounded MBA program, with graduates gushing about finding nearly guaranteed employment in the widest range of industries, and students believing the Chicago Booth career services, faculty, and facilities were top-notch.

While acknowledging that rankings are controversial, and that what makes a good MBA program varies for each individual, The Economist aims to look at business schools from the students’ perspective.

Their responses on how well the program delivers the things students themselves cite as most important inform the criteria The Economist measures and the weightings they apply. Four factors have consistently emerged when students assess the quality of their MBA program:

  • open new career opportunities and/or further current career (35% weighting)
  • personal development and educational experience (35%)
  • increase salary (20%)
  • networking potential (10%)

(see full methodology)

Top Ten Full-Time MBA Programs

  1. Chicago Booth School of Business
  2. Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management
  3. UV Darden School of Business
  4. Harvard Business School
  5. Stanford Graduate School of Business
  6. Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business
  7. UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
  8. IESE Business School
  9. HEC Paris
  10. University of Queensland Business School (Australia)

There’s a fair amount of volatility to be found within this newly released ranking, with Kellogg School jumping five spots in the 2016 ranking, up from 7th place last year. Stanford GSB, meanwhile, ranked 13th in 2015, and IESE held 14th place.

More dramatically, Spain’s ESADE Business School fell 33 places to No. 54 this year, and IMD of Switzerland has also seen a precipitous decline, going from the top spot in 2008 to 23th place today.

Darden School was ranked No. 1 for educational experience for the sixth consecutive year.

While we don’t like to encourage clients to focus too heavily on rankings when they’re making their MBA program selections, we also know those headed for b-school really can’t help themselves. But placing too heavy an emphasis on rankings can actually become a distraction for some applicants, so be sure to consider multiple factors when making your final school selection.

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Tuesday Tips: UVA Darden Fall 2017 MBA Essay Tips

While answering only one essay question for your Darden MBA application essay may seem simple, it requires discipline to highlight all of the important parts of your profile for the admissions committee in one short …

Darden MBA essay tipsWhile answering only one essay question for your Darden MBA application essay may seem simple, it requires discipline to highlight all of the important parts of your profile for the admissions committee in one short essay. Writing a successful essay with such limited space requires you to focus only on your most compelling attributes.

Think about the other areas of your application and what they cover. Your academic potential should be highlighted through GMAT or GRE scores and your academic transcripts, leadership and professional accomplishments should come through clearly from your recommendations, and finally your essay is a chance to outline your personal qualities.

When considering which personal qualities to highlight in this essay, consider that leadership is crucial to future Darden MBAs. Your ability to work well within a team of peers is also important to Darden, a school with a small, tight-knit community.

Darden, similar to HBS, is devoted to the case method of teaching business subjects. Learn more about the school by visiting the Darden website, attending events and speaking with current students and alumni.

MBA Application Essay Question:
Describe the most important professional feedback you have received and how you responded to this feedback. (500 words)

In this question Darden is seeking to understand how you take feedback and how you process and learn from feedback. Feedback is often the first stage to grow and develop as a professional and as a leader. Learning to take all feedback – both positive and critical – and examining and incorporating the lessons from that feedback into your development is a sign of maturity.

As you describe the professional feedback you will want to set the stage for the feedback by describing your relationship with the person who gave you the feedback and any background facts. Take the time to describe how you felt while receiving the feedback, and don’t be afraid to talk about having uncomfortable feelings about it.

It’s a normal reaction to feel threatened by criticism, which is often what professional feedback is perceived as. If the feedback was positive make sure you can use the story to demonstrate development and growth.

If you can’t think of the most important moment of feedback you have received, think about working backwards from a professional accomplishment you are proud of. As you think about the areas where you have excelled you may find that the trigger was a piece of important advice or feedback from a manager, peer or customer.

Make sure your feedback story enhances the overall package of your application. This essay is one of your few opportunities to show how you think, what your leadership approach is, and how you improve as a result of input from other people. Think about the situations that showcased your best performance at work, or that taught you something about your interests or future career goals.

Because you have only one essay question to present yourself, make sure you have a trusted reader to tell you if you are effectively communicating why you are going to be a strong leader who deserves a spot in the UVA Darden MBA class.

Looking for perspective in your approach to your Darden MBA application? Contact us to discuss how Stacy Blackman Consulting can help.

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Financial Times Best B-Schools for Entrepreneurship

Are you itching to start your own company and wondering which business schools would best help you achieve that dream? Entrepreneurship is a hot topic and very popular course of study at today’s business schools. …

business school lifeAre you itching to start your own company and wondering which business schools would best help you achieve that dream? Entrepreneurship is a hot topic and very popular course of study at today’s business schools. As someone who has started more than one successful business, I can attest that I leveraged a lot of my MBA classes and resources into my business ventures.

Let’s take a look at the recent Financial Times ranking of the top 25 business schools for entrepreneurship.  As you can see, seven of the top 10 programs are located in the United States. In fact, US schools accounted for 15 out of the 25 ranked programs.

These programs offer a broad range of courses in entrepreneurship, as well as  significant opportunities for networking with established entrepreneurs, launching start-ups, and developing the skills needed to start successful businesses.

Top Ten MBA Programs for Entrepreneurship

  1. Stanford Graduate School of Business
  2. Babson College’s Olin Graduate School of Business
  3. University of Virginia Darden School of Business
  4. Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business
  5. UCLA Anderson School of Management
  6. UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
  7. University of Pennsylvania Wharton School
  8. IE Business School
  9. London Business School
  10. IESE Business School

According to the Financial Times, the ranking examines the percentage of graduates who started a company and how many of those businesses were still trading at the end of 2015. It also took into consideration how big a role the school and its alumni played in getting the company off the ground. FT also applied a size threshold–requiring responses from at least 15 entrepreneurs at each ranked school.

I think most people would agree that an entrepreneur needs to know the same basic skills as someone running a more established company. After all, every company began as a startup, launched by an entrepreneur.

If anything, you need to know all of the basics as opposed to specializing in one area. My advice to current and prospective MBA students interested in entrepreneurship is to pay close attention in all of your classes—even in the areas you plan to outsource as soon as you have the budget.

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UV Darden School Fall 2017 Application Deadlines, Essay Prompt

The Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia has previewed the MBA application deadlines and new essay question for the 2016-2017 admissions cycle via the Darden MBA Blog. Deadlines Round 1: October 4, 2016 Round …

Darden MBA application deadlines, essayThe Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia has previewed the MBA application deadlines and new essay question for the 2016-2017 admissions cycle via the Darden MBA Blog.

Deadlines

Round 1: October 4, 2016
Round 2: January 9, 2017
Round 3: April 6, 2017

Essay Question

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

In asking this question, the Admissions Committee invites you to reflect on your professional experience – both the lessons you learned and how you have used that information to move forward. Through your answer, Darden hopes to learn more about your background and about how you use feedback to better yourself, as well as how well you can articulate your learnings.

The application for the 2016-2017 Full-time Residential MBA is now live. For more information about the program, please visit the Darden MBA admissions website.

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UVA Darden Launches ‘IDEA’ Course

First-year students at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business will tackle some of the business world’s biggest problems as part of the new “Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship in Action” (IDEA) course, which debuted …

First-year students at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business will tackle some of the business world’s biggest problems as part of the new “Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship in Action” (IDEA) course, which debuted February 23rd.

In this class, teams of students will work with leading companies, nonprofit organizations and government agencies in a variety of sectors to solve live field challenges over the next several weeks.

“We want Darden students to develop unparalleled aptitude for real-world problem solving and effective decision making.”

“IDEA is a perfect addition to Darden’s immersive, experiential learning culture,” says Professor Mike Lenox, Darden senior associate dean and chief strategy officer.

Devised in part out of student interest in more experiential learning opportunities, the new course is now required for students in the Class of 2017.

Participants will learn problem-solving skills and project management tools such as design thinking, agile project management, lean startup and data analytics. At the end of the course, students will be able to comfortably handle complex, often ambiguous problems for which there may not be one right answer.

Thirteen companies are participating in the inaugural IDEA course, including:

  • American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
  • Capital One
  • Land O’Lakes Inc.
  • LinkedIn with the Markle Foundation

Sample challenges for these companies include:

  • How can we improve the market for employers looking to hire skill-based, middle-skill employees? (LinkedIn/Markle Foundation)
  • What role should genetically modified organisms play in feeding the world in a responsible manner? (Land O’ Lakes Inc.)
  • What is the future of rewards within financial services? (Capital One)
  • How can oncology practices integrate palliative care services in a financially viable manner? (American Society of Clinical Oncology)

At the conclusion of the seven-week program, students present detailed solutions to leadership of the sponsoring company.

“In our increasingly turbulent health care environment, sharp business acumen and novel approaches to real-life problems are critically needed in the delivery of high-quality cancer care,” says Dr. Julie M. Vose, president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

“ASCO is delighted to participate with Darden on this innovative business curriculum, and we look forward to learning how the students address their assigned challenges.”

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Interview Tips from the Darden MBA Program

Is the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business on your short list of dream MBA programs? Then be sure to check out this new video blog from the Darden admissions team, which shares solid …

Is the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business on your short list of dream MBA programs? Then be sure to check out this new video blog from the Darden admissions team, which shares solid advice for those hoping to interview at this top-tier MBA program.

In it, Admissions Dean Sara Neher gives an overview of the Darden interview process and stresses the three things candidates should focus on for a successful interview experience, which we’ve summarized below.

Pay attention to first impressions: The interview actually begins before the interview, says Neher, so make sure your interactions with your interviewer—or the person setting up the interview beforehand— via email, by phone or in person, are positive and demonstrate your enthusiasm and positive attitude.

Answer questions in C.A.R. format: Applicants should expect to answer behavioral questions during their interview. The “Tell me about a time when…” question can cover many areas, and Neher suggests framing your answer using the CAR format, which she says she learned while working a Procter and Gamble.

The acronym stands for Context, Action, Result. As you answer the question, you’ll first summarize the situation, then tell the interviewer what you did, and finally discuss what happened afterward. Remember to include anything quantifiable—give them the numbers—whenever possible.

Ask a question at the end of the interview: Your interviewer can learn more about you from the kinds of questions you ask him or her, Neher says. So, think of something you’d like to know that you couldn’t find on the company or school website and that works for many kinds of interviewers, no matter their level.

If you can follow these three steps successfully, you’re sure to ace your Darden interview.

You may also be interested in:

UV Darden Tops Forbes List of Most Satisfied MBAs

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