Admission Q&A : Darden School of Business

Admission Q&A; with Katherine Alford, Associate Director and Sara Neher, Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions

1)How would you define the Darden MBA experience to a new aspirant?

Darden’s case study method, top-ranked faculty and tight-knit community combine to prepare you to lead in any organization throughout your career. Darden professors teach via the case method: they engage students in active class discussions about real business problems. The case method strengthens your communication and leadership skills and you learn to make difficult decisions with limited information.

A critical part of the case method is collaborating with your learning team. You will learn to persuade and inspire others, to reconcile differing viewpoints and to prioritize objectives and capitalize on opportunities.

The Darden experience builds strong community: you quickly develop lasting connections that extend long past graduation.

2)What are the most important factors that Indian students should keep in mind in their application?

Darden is looking for students who are ready to share their perspective, ready to get involved and ready to make an impact.

Darden also looks for evidence of superior academic performance and intellectual ability. We seek innovative students with leadership potential .

Lastly, we look for breadth of life experiences, an interest in community service and characteristics that cannot be quantitatively measured, such as motivation, maturity, integrity and self-awareness.

3)What are the types of scholarships available for international students ?

Students who are offered admission to the Darden School are automatically considered for a merit-based scholarship; there is no additional scholarship application. Approximately 150 scholarship offers are made each year to qualified students.

4) Is there any advantage for students who apply early (in Round 1)?

It is recommended that applicants apply for admission by the earliest deadline to be considered for the largest pool of available scholarships.

5) In terms of career opportunities, where do you think Darden’s strength lies industry wise ?

Darden’s curriculum prepares students to work in a variety of industries.The Economist ranked Darden No. 1 in diversity of recruiters. Over 100 companies travel to Darden to recruit. Top hiring companies include McKinsey, Microsoft, Amazon, BCG and JP Morgan.That being said, post-graduation, the largest number of Darden students enter the fields of consulting and finance. We are also seeing strong growth in entrepreneurship and technology.

6) What percentage of students get jobs in the USA and what percentage return to their home country ? Do you support students in getting jobs in their home country ?

92% of the Class 2013 pursued full time jobs in the US and 4% pursued jobs outside of the US. Our Career Office has staff dedicated to supporting international students as they pursue positions within the U.S. as well as internationally.

7) Anything that you would like to say to the Indian applicants?

Be yourself. Tell us who you are and not who you think we want you to be. Do your research and know what differentiates Darden from other programs.