Tag Archives: Darden School of Business

UV Darden 2013-2014 MBA Application Deadlines

The Darden Admissions & MBA Blog at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business has posted these application deadlines for the upcoming MBA admissions season. Round 1: October 15, 2013 Round 2: January 7, …

darden deadlines

The Darden Admissions & MBA Blog at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business has posted these application deadlines for the upcoming MBA admissions season.

Round 1: October 15, 2013

Round 2: January 7, 2014

Round 3: March 27, 2014

The online application will be available by the beginning of August.

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UV Darden MBA Program Announces Single Essay Prompt

Will abbreviated MBA application essays officially become a trend (see HBS)? The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, which required just one essay prompt in last year’s application, will again pose a single essay …

Darden at night horizontal

Will abbreviated MBA application essays officially become a trend (see HBS)? The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, which required just one essay prompt in last year’s application, will again pose a single essay question for the 2013-2014 admissions cycle.

Here it is:

Share your thought process as you encountered a challenging work situation or complex problem. What did you learn about yourself? (500 words maximum)

Stay tuned for the updated application deadlines, coming soon. For more information, visit Darden MBA admissions.

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UV Darden Admissions Updates

The MBA blog from University of Virginia Darden School of Business recently posted a few important reminders and clarifications for current and upcoming applicants. Round one applications have already been reviewed, for the most part, …

The MBA blog from University of Virginia Darden School of Business recently posted a few important reminders and clarifications for current and upcoming applicants.

Round one applications have already been reviewed, for the most part, but the admissions committee is still reading and conducting interviews either on campus or via Skype for international applicants. Darden will continue to extend interview invitations until the final decision release date coming up December 19, 2012.

If you do receive a request for an interview, the turn-around time between receiving the request and coming to Charlottesville is generally one to two weeks, though the school notes it can be somewhat flexible on timing.

Some MBA candidates planning to apply for the Round two deadline on January 9, 2013 have asked whether they can submit an optional essay, which many other programs allow. The admissions committee candidly admits they don’t want to read an extra essay, but do offer a section for additional comments that applicants may use should they feel the need to elaborate or clarify any issues.

If you do land on the waitlist, UV Darden asks that you keep in touch and provide updates if anything in your personal or professional life changes.  The admissions committee will continue to review your application in subsequent rounds. Candidates should note that you can’t be placed on the waitlist without an interview.

Classes are already out of session, so UV Darden won’t be scheduling visits or open houses this month. Any R2 applicants who had hoped to make a school visit prior to hitting submit will have to wait until late January when classes are once again in session.

That doesn’t mean you’re completely out of luck however, since current students are hosting a series of coffee chats in their hometowns around the world throughout December and January. This is a great way for prospective students  to learn more about UV Darden straight from the source, so be sure to take advantage of this opportunity if you find a student host near you!

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The Case Method: Alive and Thriving or On its Way Out?

The case method approach has come under increased scrutiny of late. Established by Harvard Business School more than a century ago, it is still widely used at top MBA programs worldwide.  Harvard relies on the …

The case method approach has come under increased scrutiny of late. Established by Harvard Business School more than a century ago, it is still widely used at top MBA programs worldwide.  Harvard relies on the case method for approximately 80 percent of its instruction, and students at Darden School of Business are exposed to more than 500 cases in a variety of industries and functions during their time at the UVA MBA program.

By definition, case studies are authentic business or management scenarios that present executives with a problem or uncertain outcome. The case lays out the situation in the context of the players, events and issues that influence it, and enables students to identify closely with those involved. The next step is to perform the necessary analysis””examining the causes and considering alternative courses of actions to come to a set of recommendations.

If the case method approach is so useful, why doesn’t every top business school embrace it wholeheartedly?  In an article that created quite a buzz in management education when first published, Harvard Business School professor James Heskett pointed to concerns that the case method is too time-consuming, ill-suited to teaching quantitative techniques, and based on the idea that there’s no right or wrong answer””only some that are better than others.

Columbia Business School uses cases about 40 percent of the time, and in a recent interview with MBA Channel, Vice Dean Amir Ziv explains where he thinks the approach succeeds, and where the criticism is valid. For Ziv, the obvious advantage is that the case represents a real-life situation and forces students to solve it.

The second big advantage,” he adds, “Is that a case draws on everyone’s experience. If you have 60 students and everyone has four years of work experience that is many more total years than what I have myself. In the case method everyone benefits from the shared experiences of everyone else in the class.”

As for the downsides, Ziv agrees that sometimes the problem is efficiency. “In order to teach two plus two, I don’t need a case””I can teach that in a lecture, which is less time-consuming,” he says.

Another big problem: most cases are already too complete. When handed a 30-page analysis, students already have everything they need to know and don’t need to do any additional research. “That is artificial and doesn’t allow students to think what additional information they might need and how to get it,” Ziv notes.

In order to deliver a good case analysis you need lots of preparation from your students, Ziv adds. “If people are stressed or tired or do not prioritize academics, they don’t prepare, it shows, and all the benefits of the case method are absent.”

Columbia has come up with an alternative method called the decision brief that teach students to handle tough, real-world issues by providing them with incomplete data that forces them to become resourceful, and hence, better decision-makers.

“In one case we hand out two emails and one picture. You have to figure out what the issue is, who on the team should work on what, and what other information you need,” Ziv explains. “That’s how we overcome the weakness of the case method: by giving our students incomplete and unstructured information.”

The case method approach is considered a proven winner because it brings the subject to life, brings business back to reality, and allows you to benefit from the professional experiences of a diverse group of classmates. But judging by the interview with Ziv, and other media stories on the issue, this method may not be for everyone.

Are you applying to school that relies heavily on the case method approach? Or, are you looking for an MBA program with a broader teaching style that combines lecture and experiential learning? We’d love to hear feedback from our readers on the usefulness of this teaching approach, so please leave us a comment with your opinion below.

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UV Darden Offers Free Online Course on Smart Biz Growth

Come January, anyone with a computer and an Internet connection will be able to take advantage of Darden School of Business‘s first “massive open online course”, or MOOC, called “Grow to Greatness: Smart Growth for …

Come January, anyone with a computer and an Internet connection will be able to take advantage of Darden School of Business‘s first “massive open online course”, or MOOC, called “Grow to Greatness: Smart Growth for Private Businesses.”

Last month, the school announced the upcoming course, which comes as part of University of Virginia’s partnership with online-learning pioneer Coursera, a social entrepreneurship company that works with the top universities in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. Dean Bob Bruner believes the course can advance Darden’s mission of developing principled leaders for the world of practical affairs.

Professor Ed Hess, the executive-in-residence at Darden’s Batten Institute who will teach the online course, says it will reach thousands of students and small business owners around the world who otherwise wouldn’t be able to come to Darden’s campus and learn.

“If we can help some of them be more successful as they face the common growth management problems, we can not only help people achieve their dreams but also help create jobs and have a positive impact in their societies,” Hess says.

Darden is one of the few business schools to offer a course in its MBA program focused solely on the challenges of growing existing entrepreneurial businesses. The course content will be offered free by Coursera in two “Grow to Greatness” courses, the first of which will begin on January 28, 2013.

Since the course was announced in mid-July, more than 15,700 people have signed up. Registration is available via Coursera’s course page.

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Tuesday Tips: UVA Darden MBA Essay Tips

Continuing the trend started last year, UVA Darden again asks candidates to answer only one essay question. While you only have to write 500 words, you have to make those words count. Leadership is crucial …

Continuing the trend started last year, UVA Darden again asks candidates to answer only one essay question. While you only have to write 500 words, you have to make those words count. Leadership is crucial to future Darden MBAs. Personal qualities are also crucial to Darden, a school with a small, tight-knit community. Learn more about the school by visiting the Darden website, attending events and speaking with current students and alumni.

MBA Application Essay Question:
Share your thought process as you encountered a challenging work situation or complex problem. How did this experience change your perspective? (500 words maximum)

In this question Darden is asking to understand how you behave in a challenging or complex situation and what such challenges have taught you about yourself. The best use of this essay space will use specific examples to illustrate how you handled the challenge or problem and how you arrived at your change in perspective.

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 were preceded by a challenge or problem you needed to solve.

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 and your GPA, transcript and GMAT to 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 were a turning point in your approach to problem solving.

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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