Tag Archives: Darden School of Business

UVA Darden Students Create Impact Investing Course

Did you realize that as a business school student, you can influence the MBA curriculum in more ways than you ever imagined? Students at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business recently created their …

Did you realize that as a business school student, you can influence the MBA curriculum in more ways than you ever imagined? Students at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business recently created their own class on impact investing, an emerging investment style that simultaneously generates both financial and social/environmental returns.

Take a look at this video with MBA Admissions Dean Sara Neher as she interviews Ross Rosenstein, a third year JD/MBA at Darden. In it, Rosenstein explains how he and fellow students took the idea of the newly formed Darden Impact Ventures club, an initiative of 2014 graduates, and launched a student-led, for-credit course this term under the guidance of finance professor Elena Loutskina.

Rosenstein explains that this experiential course involves finding a start-up company and helping them with their business plan and raising capital. The iLab and Batten Institute have been very supportive of this initiative, says Rosenstein, who is also co-president and CEO of the Darden Impact Ventures fund, noting that the alumni community has also stepped in to help find potential companies.

There are currently five contenders in the running, but Rosenstein expects they will select one of them in the coming weeks who they will later present at a competition with other  schools to be held at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in May.

This is just another great example of how MBA students can shape their own educational experiences while in b-school, and we look forward to sharing the results of the competition later this spring.

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Separate GMAT Rankings for U.S. and Asian Applicants

Segregation in education sounds like a relic of the distant past, but according to a recent story in the Wall Street Journal, Asian and Indian applicants to U.S. MBA programs trounce American applicants so badly …

Segregation in education sounds like a relic of the distant past, but according to a recent story in the Wall Street Journal, Asian and Indian applicants to U.S. MBA programs trounce American applicants so badly on the quantitative portion of the GMAT that business schools will now sort candidates based on the country and region of the world they hail from.

Over the last ten years, the score gap between Asia-Pacific and U.S. applicants in the math portion has only widened, with the former group scoring an average of 45—seven points above the worldwide average of 38, and 12 points higher than the American applicant’s average of 33.

The disparity in scores is likely rooted in the problems with math instruction in this country, but the situation isn’t helped by the vast difference in test preparation. According to GMAC, students in Asia spend an average of 151 hours in test prep, while U.S. students average just 64 hours.

Sangeet Chowfla, GMAC’s chief executive officer, told the WSJ schools have complained that the test’s global rankings were becoming more difficult to interpret, and asked for new ways to assess both U.S. and foreign test-takers separately. In response, GMAC has introduced a tool that allows schools to apply filters to benchmark scores by country of citizenship, gender, and college GPA.

Sara Neher, assistant dean of MBA admissions at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, was among those who reached out to GMAC for help. “I need to be able to show my scholarship committee, which includes faculty, that this person is in the top 5% of test takers in his region,” even though that individual might not rank highly against test takers world-wide, she told the WSJ.

It sounds like in the future, business schools will increasingly need to deny seats to the top scorers if they want to stay true to their mission of creating a dynamic learning environment through a cohort with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

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Tuesday Tips: 2014 University of Virginia Darden School of Business MBA essay tips

While writing only 500 words for your University of Virginia Darden School of Business application essay may seem simple, it requires discipline to highlight all of the important parts of your profile for the admissions …

While writing only 500 words for your University of Virginia Darden School of Business application essay may seem simple, it requires discipline to highlight all of the important parts of your profile for the admissions committee in less space. Writing a compelling essay with such limited space is actually quite challenging and requires you to focus only on the most important aspects you need to communicate.

Leadership is a crucial attribute for successful Darden MBA applicants. Personal qualities are also particularly important for a close knit community like Darden School of Business. 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 courageous professional decision you have made or action you have taken. What did you learn from that experience? (500 words maximum)

In this question Darden is seeking to understand how you view courageous decisions and to demonstrate lessons learned from a specific action or decision. The best use of this essay space will use specific examples to illustrate the courageous decision and the action you took.

Lessons learned are crucial as well, and it will be helpful to be introspective about how you have changed as a result of this situation, and to consider why you viewed it as the most courageous action or decision in your professional life.

Before you start answering the question it may help to brainstorm some of your best professional accomplishment stories. As you think about the areas where you have excelled you may find that many of your accomplishments required courageous decisions or actions. Work backgrounds from the accomplishment to see where the moment arose and what the learning experience was.

Once you have a list of all of the potential experiences to discuss, choose the examples that will also demonstrate some of your personal qualities to the admissions committee. You have your career history submitted in your resume. Your GPA, transcript and GMAT will demonstrate academic ability.

This essay is one of your few opportunities to show how you think, what your leadership approach is, and how you handle teamwork and conflict. 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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MBA Trends at Harvard Business School and Beyond

The shift to fewer and shorter MBA essays has taken hold across the elite business schools of the United States, and the Wall Street Journal published two interesting articles yesterday exploring the changes afoot at …

The shift to fewer and shorter MBA essays has taken hold across the elite business schools of the United States, and the Wall Street Journal published two interesting articles yesterday exploring the changes afoot at MBA programs this season.

In Adam Rubenfire‘s article, Want to Get Into Business School? Write Less, Talk More, the author shares a table showing how the Harvard Business School application has changed since the 2004-2005 season.

Ten years ago, HBS required six essays for a combined word total of 2,600 words. Applicants for the Class of 2012 had to write four essays totaling 2,000 words. And last year’s applicants, as many know, faced just one essay—optional at that—with no word limit. Ditto for the Class of 2017 applicants.

Admissions officers at schools that have scaled down the essays say they’ve done so to avoid the cookie-cutter approach adopted by so many applicants each year. At Michigan Ross School of Business, admissions director Soojin Kwon tells the WSJ that “applicants increasingly tell us what they think we want to hear,” so now they need to write just two short essays totaling 800 words.

Sara Neher, assistant dean for MBA admissions at UV Darden School of Business, explains the move to a single essay three years ago came about after she discovered “applicants were writing one essay specifically for Darden and then recycling essays from their applications to other schools.”

Moving away from the topic of essays for a moment,  Melissa Korn offers a preview of Harvard Business School’s “sassy” new tone in this season’s application, where a laid-back, conversational approach is designed to retain the attention of Millennial applicants whose eyes glaze over while reading instructions from so many programs.

Director of admissions and financial aid Dee Leopold tells the WSJ her office receives lots of questions that are already answered in the application, so “this new, friendlier wording is also intended to engage applicants so that they actually read, and follow, directions.”

Korn points out that Harvard Business School recently came in second-to-last among elite schools in an applicant  survey questioning how well each institution got to know them through the admissions process. Perhaps this new, chattier HBS admissions will leave b-school hopefuls feeling warm and fuzzy…and remind them they’re dealing with actual human beings behind the AdCom desk.

“Why be stuffy and formal if we don’t have to?” says Leopold. Why indeed!

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Darden School of Business 2014-2015 Deadlines

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business has announced the application deadlines for the 2014-2015 MBA admissions season. Round One Deadline: October 10, 2014 Decision: December 17, 2014 Round 2 Deadline: January 7, 2015 …

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business has announced the application deadlines for the 2014-2015 MBA admissions season.

Round One

Deadline: October 10, 2014
Decision: December 17, 2014

Round 2

Deadline: January 7, 2015
Decision: March 25, 2015

Round 3

Deadline: April 1, 2015
Decision: May 6, 2015

The MBA application will be available in mid-August. For more information, please visit the Darden School of Business admissions website.

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Darden School of Business 2014-2015 Essay Prompt

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Round 2 Updates From Darden MBA Program

Selected Round 2 applicants will continue to receive invitations to interview both on and off-campus, notes a recent update on the UV Darden School of Business MBA admissions blog. In fact, those highly coveted invites …

school-darden

Selected Round 2 applicants will continue to receive invitations to interview both on and off-campus, notes a recent update on the UV Darden School of Business MBA admissions blog.

In fact, those highly coveted invites will go out up until the decision release date, which is March 25th.

If you’re interested in scheduling a class visit—always a great idea—take note that no visits are available in March due to spring break and exam schedule. Full-time MBA class visits will start up again in April, with registration opening up in late March.

Admitted students can look forward to attending Darden Days on April 11-12, 2014, a weekend of events to show you what the Darden experience is all about, as well as opportunities to meet potential roommates. This event also includes a mock class taught by Darden faculty members.

As mentioned above, application status will be updated on March 25th, so hang in there and best of luck to Darden’s Round 2 hopefuls.

You may also be interested in:

Upcoming MOOCs Offered by UV Darden School of Business

 

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