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The school wants to feel that you will be able to attain your aspirations after completing its program, so you want to avoid goals that could sound farfetched.Instead, as a journalist, you would need to identify a far more realistic path, but one that is true to who you are.
With Dawna Clarke back at the admissions helm for the University of Virginia’s Darden School after almost a decade and a half since her previous tenure there (and a stint as an mba Mission Senior Consultant), we were not surprised to see that she has put her stamp on the application process for this season, completely revamping the essay prompts.
The single question Darden has posed the past few years has been replaced with five new prompts, each requesting a short blast of an essay that together total 750 words and cover applicants’ personal, professional, and educational objectives, while subtly acknowledging Darden’s character (its learning teams and 80-country reach, in particular).
For example, you might start by briefly describing a challenge: “I had never led a committee that spanned three departments before, but I found myself…” By launching into the narrative this way, you are clearly explaining the “newness” of your experience, and the idea of evolution is naturally understood.
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!
Download your free copy of the UVA Darden Interview Primer today.
HOW TO WRITE GREAT UVA DARDEN ESSAYS Darden has tweaked its essays this year, adding a question on diversity and inclusion.
Avoid just reiterating the thesis—“I grew by leading others across the firm, and it was meaningful!
”—and instead share some insight into As with the previous essay, we suggest that once you have identified a compelling relevant experience, you launch directly into your narrative.
Being ambitious is great, but the goal you present must be connected to reality, and to demonstrate that connection, you will have to spell out why your objective is a reasonable one for you.
Establishing briefly that you have the skills and knowledge to enter your target field will make that logical connection for your admissions reader, reassuring them that you can be a happy and productive graduate.