Tag Archives: Darden School of Business

Stay in the Know with News Recommended by MBAs

Once you’re in b-school, your time is at a premium and it can be a struggle to stay on top of everything that’s going on across the business world. I think the new website 10Thoughts, …

news for MBAs

Once you’re in b-school, your time is at a premium and it can be a struggle to stay on top of everything that’s going on across the business world. I think the new website 10Thoughts, started by a Darden School of Business 2015 MBA grad, can really help applicants and students (or anyone, actually) who want to keep up with today’s relevant problem solving, thinking and ideas across the business spectrum.

Jack Mara, founder and CEO of 10Thoughts, says he became frustrated with having to search through many publications in order to stay well-versed on important topics and issues in business while a student at Darden.

The site shares original content as well as news stories recommended and vetted by actual MBAs, professors, and executives, and covers content across different topics, functions, and publications.

“Our readers trust the quality of the content because it comes with the recommendation of a talented peer rather than a machine or algorithm,” Mara says, adding that 35% of students across the top 20 schools in the incoming class of 2017 currently use 10Thoughts.

The site is a great resource for b-school applicants because, while most professionals tend to focus closely on their own area of expertise, it’s really important to be conversant on a range of relevant business issues—particularly for those MBA interviews.

“Companies are looking for general managers and leaders that can think across functions and understand how different pieces of the puzzle all interact,” Mara says. ” This will help you speak more intelligently about the business world and different career paths in both your MBA applications and interviews.”

I contributed an article of my own last week called Filling in the White Spaces for the Job Hunt, but the advice rings true for MBA applicants as well. So go ahead and check out 10Thoughts – it’s free – and you can sign up to receive the weekly featured article email, too.

image courtesy of www.gotcredit.com

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How Do You Know if You’re Ready for B-School?

Is there such a thing as a right time to apply for an MBA? Many prospective b-school applicants confront this question when they feel that their current career trajectory has stalled. For others, pursuing an …

timing your MBA

Is there such a thing as a right time to apply for an MBA? Many prospective b-school applicants confront this question when they feel that their current career trajectory has stalled. For others, pursuing an MBA straight out of undergrad is a no-brainer, as they avoid putting their lives on hold for two years—and forgoing a potentially significant salary to do so.

While everyone’s timing for applying to business school varies depending on their circumstances, there are a few things you should be able to clearly articulate when you’re ready to take the plunge.

This week, the MBA blog published by the UV Darden School of Business poses four questions you should ask yourself to determine whether now’s the time to start cranking out those essays and rounding up your references. The advice is spot-on, and valid no matter where you plan to apply.

  1. What are my career goals?

Darden says: Not everyone knows their specific career goals when heading to business school, but as a general rule, they have a pretty good idea. Maybe you want to move up within your current industry or company. Maybe you want to switch to an entirely different industry and need to build the foundation to get the job that you want. Or maybe you’re aspiring entrepreneur who wants to learn more about business so you can start one of your own. Business school can propel you in many directions, but you can also miss out on great opportunities if you don’t know what you are looking for.

2. Do I have enough work experience?

Darden says: Most MBA programs want you to have an average of four years of work experience. At Darden, the average age of students in our full-time program is 27. Having work experience is important because it teaches you how to work with a team, practice your leadership skills and learn more about the business world, which in turn will help you lay out your career goals.

3. Do I have the basic skills necessary to thrive in business school?

Darden says: While Darden looks for students with a wide range of experiences, there are certain skill sets that will come in handy as you embark on your MBA journey. One of those is quantitative analysis, which will be useful as soon as you start to study for the GMAT or GRE, and will continue to be helpful as you prepare to lead in the business world. If you didn’t take many quantitative classes in college, it might be helpful to brush up on your skills so you are ready for the first day of b-school.

4. Do I know what I’m looking for in an MBA program?

Darden says: There are all kinds of MBA programs around the world. Some are full-time; some allow you to work while you get your degree. Some excel at finance, while others specialize in general management or consulting.  The options are endless, so it is up to you to figure out which school is right for you.

It’s no surprise that an MBA expands your skill set and your network of contacts, as well as significantly increases your long-term earning potential. Candidates should talk with family, friends, and mentors—and potentially an MBA application adviser—early in the application process to determine where they are in the so-called “window” for business school.

But only you can judge when all of the necessary elements have come together to make the time right.

You may also be interested in:

Think You’re Ready for an MBA? Use This Checklist and Find Out!

Advice from an Early Career MBA

image credit: Flickr user Cam Evans (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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UV Darden Fall 2016 MBA Application Deadlines

The Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia has announced the MBA application deadlines for the 2015-2016 admissions season. Round 1 Application deadline: October 8, 2015 Decision released: December 16, 2015 Round 2 …

Darden application deadlinesThe Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia has announced the MBA application deadlines for the 2015-2016 admissions season.

Round 1

Application deadline: October 8, 2015
Decision released: December 16, 2015

Round 2

Application deadline: January 8, 2016
Decision released: March 23, 2016

Round 3

Application deadline: April 8, 2016
Decision released: May 11, 2016

All applications are due by 12p.m. EST on the day of the deadline, and all decisions are released at 12 p.m. EST on the decision release day.

For more information, please visit the Virginia Darden MBA admissions website.

You may also be interested in:

Tuesday Tips: UV Darden School of Business Fall 2016 Essay Tips

Darden Announces Enhancements to MBA Curriculum

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Tuesday Tips: UVA Darden Fall 2016 MBA Essay Tips

While writing only 500 words 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. …

While writing only 500 words 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.

Leadership is crucial to future Darden MBAs. Personal qualities are 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 it. (500 words maximum)

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. 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 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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UV Darden School Announces Enhancements to MBA Curriculum

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business has just announced several changes to its MBA program that will take effect beginning this fall, including a new, required experiential course as well as more opportunities …

Darden essay question

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business has just announced several changes to its MBA program that will take effect beginning this fall, including a new, required experiential course as well as more opportunities for students to customize their learning experience.

Marc Lipson, associate dean for the MBA program, says “Each year, we enhance the program in small ways based on student feedback and innovations in business and higher education, but this past year has been a period of more substantial review and innovation.”

Incoming first-years will now take the required course,”Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship in Action” or IDEA, designed to bolster students’ ability to work on real-world, global projects of consequence, which have a high degree of ambiguity and uncertainty. Students will be organized in teams and tackle live field projects over seven weeks. The challenges will be sponsored by corporations, government agencies or nonprofit organizations.

“Our goal here is to make Darden students the best prepared in the world to make effective decisions when facing real-world ambiguity. Our world needs innovative solutions to open-ended problems, and we want to equip our students with the tools they need to innovate the future,” says Mike Lenox, associate dean for innovation programs and academic director of Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

The second enhancement will further customize the Darden First Year experience. In August, Darden will launch the Darden Academy, a learning enrichment program that will offer a changing, weekly suite of opportunities that — though not required — will explore topics of interest to students, faculty and the broader Darden community.

It will include meaningful analyses of global current events, reflections on our purpose as leaders, opportunities to build skills that enhance the ability of all students to engage meaningfully in class conversations, and events that explore the links between classroom learning and business practice.

Darden students hail from all over the world; the Class of 2016 alone represents 36 countries. “Each student brings a unique background and experience,” says Peter Rodriguez, senior associate dean for degree programs. “Our goal is to meet each individual student where they are — to help them obtain in their First Year at Darden the skills and knowledge they want to deepen, in distinct areas.”

“At the end of the day, we are here to present opportunities that help our students realize their full potential as responsible, entrepreneurial and global leaders and learners,” says Rodriguez.  “These two enhancements to the MBA experience were developed in collaboration with Darden students. We know that if we listen carefully to our students and co-create with them, we will deliver on our goal to continue delivering the most compelling graduate management education experience available today.”

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Join us and @GMATClubForum on Wednesday, June 24 at noon EST for a Twitter party! Use #AskStacy to get all of your MBA questions answered. RSVP to be eligible for a prize from us: https://goo.gl/p73IYG

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UV Darden School of Business Fall 2016 MBA Essay

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business has posted a brand-new essay question for the 2015-16 MBA application season. Describe the most important professional feedback you have received and how you responded to it.  …

Darden essay questionThe University of Virginia Darden School of Business has posted a brand-new essay question for the 2015-16 MBA application season.

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

Deadlines for the upcoming admissions cycle have yet to be announced, but Darden encourages applicants to get a head-start on writing the essay. The application will go live later this summer.

You may also be interested in:

UV Darden School Announces Enhancements to MBA Curriculum

UV Darden School Names Scott Beardsley as Dean

 image credit: Flickr user tldagny, CC 2.0

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