Tag Archives: Darden School of Business

Darden Adds August Deadline to Future Year Admissions Program

The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business has added a second deadline for its year-old Future Year Admissions Program designed for exceptional college seniors as well as students who have gone directly from college into …

The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business has added a second deadline for its year-old Future Year Admissions Program designed for exceptional college seniors as well as students who have gone directly from college into a fifth-year master’s program.

In the video below, Katherine Alford, Senior Associate Director of MBA Admissions at Darden, says that the school added an extra deadline to allow more time to interested students who might not have been able to complete the application during their hectic senior year.

“So all of you seniors who thought you were going to be able to apply but got caught up with graduation, exams, finding a job—you now have three more months to study and prepare for the GMAT or GRE and pull your application together,” Alford says.

With a future offer in hand, Darden believes candidates may be willing to take even greater risks in their career after college, with the added bonus of not having to tackle the business school application process while working full time. In this program, accepted candidates will complete two, three, or four years of professional work experience prior to enrolling.

The final deadline for the Future Year Admissions program for the 2016-17 application cycle is August 1, 2017.  Also, the application fee is waived for all eligible future year applicants.

For more information, consider starting a conversation with Katherine Alford at alfordk@darden.virginia.edu.

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Time to Think About Funding Your MBA Plans

With Round 2 applications behind us, it’s time to turn your attention to the next step in your MBA journey. Business school is an expensive investment, and it’s never too early to start figuring out how to pay …

PAYING FOR YOUR MBAWith Round 2 applications behind us, it’s time to turn your attention to the next step in your MBA journey. Business school is an expensive investment, and it’s never too early to start figuring out how to pay for it. An MBA is a long-term investment, and fortunately, schools want to work with students to find a solution to financing school through a combination of loans and scholarships.

Therefore, the first resource to tap is your target program. Once admitted, your school will present you with a package of information about public and private loans and scholarships.

In addition, you may be considered for merit fellowships based on your academic credentials, accomplishments and experience that has already been communicated in your application. Most elite business schools offer merit-based awards at the time of admission that do not require a separate application, and some schools may also offer additional fellowships that you can apply for directly through the program.

Find out whether your target program offers fellowships or scholarships to applicants with extremely high GMAT scores, or who have otherwise excelled in academics, work experience, and service to the community.

For example, the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business offers full-ride fellowships through the Jefferson Scholars Foundation that include a living stipend, funds for travel and research, and health insurance.

Some candidates look to their employer, especially those working for a large Fortune 100 company. Often, these employers will help fund your tuition if you commit to remaining with the company after graduation.

Finally, here are a few words of wisdom for individuals planning to attend business school in the near future:

  • Get your finances in order first
  • Think about living slightly below your means before school
  • Save as much as possible
  • Avoid credit card debt
  • Scale back on things you don’t need (including big things like a car if you don’t really need one)

Consider seeking out diversity organizations where applicable. Forté Foundation does an amazing job preparing women for the journey to business school, and The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management orients applicants of color during the application process and awards full-tuition scholarships to top MBA candidates.

Starting early – about three months before applying – is also really helpful if you’re pursuing scholarships, fellowships or grants. Since scholarships are free money, competition can be fierce, and you’ll benefit from having the extra time to create strong scholarship applications and from knowing the key deadlines so that opportunities don’t pass you by.

You may also be interested in:

You’re In…Now How Will You Pay for the MBA
Weigh if an MBA Makes Financial Sense
Show Me the Money: Highest Paid Consulting Firms for New MBAs
Does an MBA Pay Off? Ask Paul Ollinger

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Snapshot of Darden’s MBA Class of 2016 Employment Report

Students in the University of Virginia Darden School of Business Class of 2016 found a job market eager for their talents, with the most recent graduating class reporting a year-over-year increase in both average base …

Darden MBA essay tipsStudents in the University of Virginia Darden School of Business Class of 2016 found a job market eager for their talents, with the most recent graduating class reporting a year-over-year increase in both average base salary and signing bonus, the school announced last week.

According to the new MBA Employment Report from Darden’s Career Development Center (CDC), graduates of the residential MBA program reported an average base salary of $122,806, up from $119,819 for the Class of 2015, and an average signing bonus of $31,370, up from $29,634 for the previous class.

“It’s validating for everyone at Darden to see this strong employment data,” said Jeff McNish, assistant dean of the CDC. “The annual employment report confirms that Darden helps students build skills and abilities employers demand and, most importantly, students are getting the jobs they want.”

Consulting moved to the top spot for most popular industries for the Class of 2016, attracting 38 percent of graduates, outpacing financial services, which drew 27 percent of graduates. Jobs in the field of technology have grown more popular in recent years, with 17 percent of the Class of 2016 taking technology positions.

The Class of 2016 also saw more international opportunities, with 9 percent of the Class of 2016 taking positions outside of the United States. Consulting, financial services and technology will likely remain leading choices for the next class of Darden graduates, as the three fields remained the top choices for internships for members of the Class of 2017.

You may also be interested in:

UVA Darden Launches IDEA Course
Interview Tips from the Darden MBA Program

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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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