Uva Darden Essays

Although the school’s prompt does not specifically ask you to reflect on the experience, wrapping up your story with some brief thoughts about why it was significant for you might make your essay slightly more compelling, and certainly would not hurt.

Darden wants to know that you are approaching the MBA experience with purpose—that you have a clear and attainable goal in mind.

We recommend allocating approximately 125–150 words to recounting the experience and then spending the rest of your limited space reflecting on the change that occurred, and most importantly, your growth!

Perhaps you have made an impact on another person at work or outside of work through mentoring.

Alternatively, you may have made a meaningful impact to your organization’s bottom line by improving sales by $X or customer retention by Y%.

The key is simply to show you bring something of value to the table in this context—perhaps you are a great debater and can clearly see and elucidate multiple sides to a story, or you have particular experience with and insight into geopolitics, or you are naturally intellectually curious and have amassed a broad range of basic knowledge. Establish that you have a skill or attribute that would be advantageous to Darden’s learning team experience, and you will send a compelling message. We love requests for examples, because they all but force you to write using a compelling narrative structure.

In just two or three sentences, you have an opportunity to show your adventurous or intellectual side by selecting a country that reveals something interesting about you. Just succinctly explain why and how your choice will enhance your education and others’ as well. In revealing your “evolving leadership style,” you will have to choose an experience that changed your approach.

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