This school is seeing a lot of interest right now!!! All that advice to “be authentic” really will need to come into play with how you answer these questions.
2022-2023 Darden MBA Essay Questions – Class of 2025
Darden Round 2 is 3 weeks, 5 days ago (January 5).
The Darden Class of 2023 boasts a 715 average GMAT, which is another indication of how competitive things have gotten even at “easier” schools! This is off their all-time high 717 from a pre-COVID year, but still super impressive. Darden is accepting the MCAT or LSAT for applicants to its MBA programs — or you can apply for a waiver and get out of taking any test at all!! See below for quick discussion.
Either way, you have a lot of thinking to do to construct your MBA admissions essays for Darden.
How do you answer them?
Thankfully they have increased the word count on these this year! Even 300 words will seem extremely short, but it is possible to do a good job with these length requirements.
Darden short-essay questions
- Given that you will be forming lifelong connections with your classmates that extend beyond the classroom, what is important for your classmates to know about you that is not on your resumé? (200 words)
We’d kinda lean towards something personal on this question, provided it’s relevant to what you think your peers would find interesting. Remember your audience! Yes you’re writing this for the adcom’s consumption but the question is asked how you’d introduce yourself to your peers.
- Please describe a tangible example that illuminates your experience promoting an inclusive environment and what you would bring to creating an inclusive global community at Darden. (300 words)
Darden has focused on questions like this for a few years now – which isn’t a great surprise, given the events that happened in the Charlottesville community in 2017, and the events of the world and especially America since 2020. They want to know how you’re flexible, open-minded, accommodating of other’s viewpoints, and willing to change. If you aren’t bringing in many markers of diversity within the standard demographics of your profile, this essay is an exceptional opportunity to help differentiate yourself. You don’t have to be a liberal; it’s fine if you hold conservative views. Just show how you’re willing to listen and change when faced with others’ perspectives, and talk about how you’ve made an effort to go outside your comfort zone.
- At this time how would you describe your short-term, post-MBA goal in terms of industry, function, geography, company size and/or mission and how does it align with the long-term vision you have for your career? (200 words)
Pretty straightforward. Shouldn’t be that difficult to lay this out in the 200 words they’ve given you. Just don’t go too lofty on the “vision” thing! Keep it grounded, and not that far out into the too-distant future. It should be obvious how the S/T goal you’ve identified connects to the L/T thing you tell them you’re aiming for down the road. You don’t need any “why Darden” content in this answer.
We’ve published the 2022 Darden MBA Application Guide for these Class of 2025 questions. Learn what the school is about, and gets tips for the essay development process for Darden as a whole, while also learning important and detailed information on requesting a GMAT/GRE test waiver.
If you decide to get some assistance on your Darden application, then we’re able to support you with all of these questions through our Standard Essay Decimator MBA essay critique service.
UVA Darden 2022 MBA Deadlines
Early Action (either binding or non-binding – your choice): September 8, 2022. Darden is legit on the promise of “early action” per the name of this round: Darden is going to be issuing decisions on these EA apps super fast, which is a nice advantage. Duke has a similarly-structured “early” process, yet theirs is binding only; Columbia also has a binding “Early” option however their admissions is rolling, so it works differently. Darden also has an Open Interview period, which presumably can be done on Zoom (details pending at the school). Our Darden MBA guide explains the Early Action opportunity in detail.
Round 1: October 5, 2022This option is totally fine and won’t put you at a significant disadvantage compared to Darden EA if you can’t pull everything together in time. Your decision will come in the same December timeframe that most other schools release Round 1 decisions. Darden Rd 1 interview invites should begin to come out at the tail end of November, and they can come all the way through the decision day in mid-December.
- Round 2: January 5, 2023 – Unfortunately one of the earliest Round 2 deadlines which is a bummer, says EssaySnark (and you BSers who had to scramble to make it happen right after New Year’s). Other schools have started to move their Round 2 dates out (thank you Columbia and Wharton!). We’d hoped that might become a pattern, oh well. For Round 2 at Darden, don’t expect interview invitations to start coming till well into February.
UVa Darden MBA RecommendationsDarden is using (pretty close to) standardized recommender questions in 2022.
UVA Darden and Standardized Tests
Do you even need to take any test to get into Darden? Maybe not!
For the Class of 2023 cycle, they conducted an experiment: Do test scores matter? Apparently the answer is, sometimes. For the Class of 2025, Darden appears to be continuing its practice of allowing applicants to request a waiver of the standardized test. If you think you have enough proof of intellectual vigor evidenced in the existing parts of your profile — college transcripts, work experience, stuff you have already proven — then you can submit for a waiver of the standardized test. Check out their FAQ on standardized tests for information.
In 2019, University of Virginia started accepting the GMAT, the GRE, or the MCAT (the test for medical school) or LSAT (for law school) for applying to its MBA program. When coronavirus first happened, at the round 3/tail end of the 2019-2020 admissions season, Darden even opened up their admissions process to those with only an SAT score from back when they applied to college from high school.
They are pushing the envelope, which is kind of awesome. Just report the existing score from whichever test(s) you’ve taken on the Darden application. They will be looking for similar qualities through the respective tests, mainly reasoning skills and overall intellectual ability. As far as we know, your test still needs to have been taken within the past five years, but perhaps if you have an expired score, you can use that to try and get a waiver of the test requirement entirely.
The message is this: If you are a non-traditional candidate who’s looking to go to bschool now, Darden would love to see an application from you! Remember that the first year core curriculum at any MBA program is quite quant-heavy, so it might be helpful to supplement your application with recent evidence of taking a quant-focused class like statistics, if you’re applying with an LSAT especially instead of a score from the more typical MBA-specific tests. The MCAT does test for some math and so that will help the Darden admissions team understand your proficiency, but it would still help to find ways to demonstrate quant skill elsewhere in your application.
Darden made our list of 5 favorite business schools back in Fall 2014! A *lot* has changed since then but we still are quite fond of them and are seeing positives happening on campus for all of you BSers to benefit from.
University of Virginia Darden MBA General Info
- Darden Admissions Blog
- Darden Admissions Tips Videos – that’s their previous Admissions Director talking about different essay questions but the info is still legit!
- @DardenMBA on Twitter
Our Darden guide has been updated to help you with this year’s unique essay questions – pick it up now and get started!
from the EssaySnark blahg:
- “evolving leadership style” Darden essay (December 2018)
- more on Darden’s evolving leadership style essay (December 2018)
- Too much professional feedback – aka, I screwed something up! (December 2015)
- Darden’s “most important professional feedback” essay (December 2015)
- essay critique: challenging situation – written for the 2013 app but comments still relevant today (December 2014)
- essay critique: Darden courageous professional decision (August 2014)
- essay critique: Darden challenging work situation (September 2013)
- Rare opportunity: feedback available from Darden (June 2011)
- essay critique: How will you contribute? (May 2011)
- adcoms that we trust part 2 (October 2010) and The one less traveled by: DARDEN (December 2010)