Essay #1

Darden strives to identify and cultivate responsible leaders who follow their purpose. Please provide an example of a situation in which you have made a meaningful impact. (200 words)

You should naturally choose a situation where you made a considerable and hopefully lasting impact. It is important that the selected story also puts a solid picture of your leadership style.

Responsible and purpose are crucial words to consider and extracurricular and volunteer work would fit nicely here. There are many examples of informal leadership that could work well if you do not have a strong extracurricular story. As you brainstorm topics for this essay, you should consider both personal and professional examples.

Essay #2

Diversity and inclusion are critical to our mission, and they work best when they are an integral and celebrated part of our community. Read University of Virginia’s Diversity & Inclusion Vision Statement. Share a time in which you engaged with a perspective, identity, community or experience that was different from your own and how it impacted your worldview. (200 words)

This question covers a topic that is becoming increasingly important to many leading MBA programs. Once again, a personal or professional example would work here. Ensure that you limit the amount of time spent on set-up and instead focus on your thoughts and actions.

While remaining authentic is important here, think about the qualities Darden is looking for from applicants and make sure the story selected clearly shows how you demonstrated them.

Essay #3

The Batten Foundation Worldwide Scholarship provides all Darden students in our full-time MBA program with an opportunity to participate in a Darden Worldwide Course. If you could choose any location in the world, where would you want to travel, and why? (50 words)

The “why” is more important than the “what” here. When selecting a country, assess your overall story, goals and passions. Naturally, it may be good to have a tie. Further, the learning or experience should prepare you to achieve long-term success.

Feel free to also use this to tell a different side of you that is not reflected elsewhere.

Essay #4

Tell us what you would want your learning team to know about you - personally, professionally, or both? (100 words)

When determining the balance between personal or professional for this essay, consider your entire application and ensure your responses provide insight into both aspects of your candidacy. If you chose professional examples for the earlier questions, go with personal details here and vice versa.

Instead of a list, focus on one or two things. These examples should enhance your story and allow admissions committee members to learn more about you. Remember, you want to show how you are someone others would want to live, work and socialise with.

Essay #5

What is your short-term, post-MBA goal and why? (150 words)

With this short essay, be specific and include both your ideal position and organisation type. Articulate what you hope to accomplish in this desired role and why this objective is interesting and important to you.