2004 Darden MBA Admissions Chat with Dawna Clarke


2004 Darden MBA Admissions Chat with Dawna Clarke

Please feel free to let us know if you would like to be informed of future chats by sending e-mail to chat@accepted.com. We would also be interested in knowing if you would prefer a different format or different topics.

Chat Transcript:

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 8:56:34 PM)
Welcome Dawna!

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 8:56:50 PM)
Thanks Linda and Hello Everyone!

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 8:57:58 PM)
OK. Let's start.

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 8:57:59 PM)
First I want to welcome you all to Accepted.com's Darden Discussion.

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 8:58:08 PM)
I also want to welcome Dawna Clarke, Director of Admissions, and Tim Witcher and Katie Bisbee, second-year students at Darden. And last but not least, I want to welcome Paul Bodine and Cindy Tokumitsu, Accepted.com's editors.

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 8:58:20 PM)
In the past, we have enjoyed the spontaneity of unmoderated chats at Accepted.com. However, the increasing popularity of these chats meant that spontaneity was occasionally turning into chaos. So tonight, we are going to go to a moderated chat format.

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 8:58:27 PM)
In a moderated chat, all your questions go to the moderator (me). I will choose the questions that have the broadest application and those questions will appear in the main window for our Darden guests to reply to. You will only see your question in the main window if it is chosen.

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 8:58:38 PM)
Please post you questions, and I will choose as many as possible from the ones you post and Dawna, Tim, or Katie will respond. You can also post follow up questions.

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 8:58:55 PM)
I guess Tim and Katie will be here momentarily.

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 8:59:08 PM)
Final request: We would like to avoid the brief summary of qualifications (or even the long laundry list) followed by the question, "Can I qualify?" Or "What are my chances?" This isn't the forum for that kind of question.

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 8:59:28 PM)
Other than that limitation, this is your chance to ask questions about Darden's program and admissions policies.

J-nice (Sep 16, 2003 8:59:40 PM)
Good evening all.

diedo (Sep 16, 2003 8:59:50 PM)
Hello Dawna: I want to know if we can submit three recommendations to the ad com? Also, is it necessary to do it all online? I mean can it be one online and two on paper?

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 9:00:06 PM)
Linda, I am here with Darden also. I am Everette Fortner, Director of Career Development.

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 9:00:17 PM)
Welcome Everette

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:00:58 PM)
Diedo, yes, you can submit three letters of recommendation. However, only two are necessary. If the third offers something new, fine. I wouldn't recommend a third letter of recommendation if it doesn't add something new.

Vince_B (Sep 16, 2003 9:01:19 PM)
How many applications are you expected to receive per round this year?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:01:29 PM)
Hi Everette. Everette Fortner is a Darden Graduate and our new Director of Career Development. He can answer questions from the perspective of a Darden grad as well as career questions.

Vince_B (Sep 16, 2003 9:01:42 PM)
I have worked as a contractor in the past. As I filled out the online application, I wasn't sure exactly how I should fill in this information. Is the admissions committee more interested in the company I was contracted through, or more interested in the company I worked at?

Vince_B (Sep 16, 2003 9:01:55 PM)
For the students -what, if anything, do you wish you had done previously to enrolling in Darden that would have better prepared you for your first year?

indo (Sep 16, 2003 9:02:03 PM)
How good is Darden for career switchers like me who has work experience of 5 years in manufacturing, supply chain and now wants to broaden to finance? I am good in quants.

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 9:02:33 PM)
Tim, can you tell us a little about yourself? Specifically what did you do before you attended Darden? Did you have a summer internship and if so where? What do you want to do after graduation?

garronh (Sep 16, 2003 9:02:47 PM)
Is there any advantage or disadvantage to being a UVA alum from an admissions perspective? Go Wahoos!

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:02:50 PM)
Vince, we are more interested in the company you worked for, your responsibilities, and progression.

Aaron (Sep 16, 2003 9:03:02 PM)
Can you discuss the entrepreneurial environment at Darden and how that is specifically related to the application process/qualifications of prospective students?

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:03:13 PM)
Indo, nearly all of my classmates are career switchers! That really isn't an issue.

Yolanda (Sep 16, 2003 9:03:40 PM)
Hello. I would like to know if it is necessary to complete and submit the application before interviewing?

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:03:44 PM)
Linda, I graduated from The College of William and Mary in 1997 with a degree in Government. I was hired by General Reinsurance Corp (now Berkshire Hathaway) and moved to Atlanta. After 3 years in Reinsurance, I left to become VP of Sales and Marketing for an Internet Start-up. I got great experience and learned a great deal. Mostly I learned how much I didn't know and decided to investigate an MBA. Six years later I'm at Darden. Not a day goes by that I don't learn something I wish I had known when I was in the working world. I worked for United Technologies this summer in a marketing role with Carrier Corp. Things went well and this summer I received an offer for full employment. I'm very excited. Darden has brought me a long way.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:03:53 PM)
Garronh, we have a great deal of respect for UVA's undergraduate program. There are many UVA undergrads at Darden. However, it's not a major factor in the admissions process.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:04:21 PM)
Yolanda, no it is not necessary to submit an application prior to interviewing. We'd love to have you visit.

Darden#1 (Sep 16, 2003 9:04:27 PM)
Since international applicants need a great deal of time to obtain a visa, when is the latest that Darden will accept an international student?

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 9:04:35 PM)
Career switchers are welcome and will find a great deal of resources for them to determine what they want to do next, and how to get there.

indo (Sep 16, 2003 9:04:43 PM)
Tim, oh cool and how are they faring? My concern is regular summer internships, as I am an international student with no background in finance.

ChrisC (Sep 16, 2003 9:05:28 PM)
Hello all. Please comment on the case method of teaching. To what extent is it used in the classroom, i.e. is the majority of time spent on cases or are cases selectively integrated into a lecture based format? Thanks.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:05:38 PM)
For international students, I'd highly recommend applying by January. You're right, the VISA process and financial aid process can take longer for international students.

Preete (Sep 16, 2003 9:06:17 PM)
I wanted to know if you guys are going to be conducting interviews at the MBA tour in Chicago?

GCG (Sep 16, 2003 9:07:14 PM)
I work alone in my own real estate investment company, and the only people with whom I work are in some sort of beneficial partnership. Does this disqualify them from writing recommendations, and if so, what do you recommend as an alternative?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:07:14 PM)
Preete, no we aren't conducting interviews in Chicago. However, please stop by the MBA World Tour Fair to meet some of the members of the admissions committee and Darden alumni.

flav (Sep 16, 2003 9:07:28 PM)
Dawna, what about international students currently in USA?

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 9:07:53 PM)
International students are frequently career switchers. We have special resources for Int'l students in Career Development to help prepare you for your career desire and to assess your chances of getting in that field. You have to answer many questions for yourself, like where you want to work and what is most important.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:08:13 PM)
GCG, just explain the circumstances that you're in.............not everyone comes from a traditional corporate setting and we understand that. I don't see it as problematic.

J-nice (Sep 16, 2003 9:08:31 PM)
I heard about learning groups in which students are paired together and study and do projects. Does this just naturally occur, is it enforced, or just suggested? Thank you.

diedo (Sep 16, 2003 9:08:39 PM)
I am planning to visit Darden for an interview. Is it necessary for me to have submitted my application by then.. If not, do I need to bring my resume along? What do you look for in your interviews?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:08:59 PM)
Since there are many questions about interviewing, let me explain the process to you a bit more. We highly recommend visiting Darden for an on-grounds interview. We feel that it's much more fair to the applicant to meet with a member of the admissions committee or a trained second year interviewer. We realize that interviewing on-grounds is a big investment on the part of the applicant. Therefore, we try to make it well worth you're while. You can visit a class with a first year student host, have lunch with a 2nd year student, take a tour of our facilities in addition to interviewing. I'd like to encourage you all to come visit.

STWZ (Sep 16, 2003 9:09:09 PM)
Tim, what sort of marketing role did you have at United Technologies?

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:09:12 PM)
Indo, the General management format at Darden will prepare you for any career path you choose

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:09:38 PM)
STWZ, I worked for the President of Carrier's North American Residential Unit.

linda (Sep 16, 2003 9:09:52 PM)
I just got word that Katie Bisbee cannot get onto the site. She is currently driving to Darden to try to get onto one of the computers there. She is so sorry for the delay.

indo (Sep 16, 2003 9:10:12 PM)
Tim, that is true. A lot depends on Plans and capabilities one develops. So how is the career market of Int'l students in Darden regular internships/jobs at graduation? Can you throw some figures?

diedo (Sep 16, 2003 9:10:20 PM)
What is the hiring scene at Darden for international placements? How well is it recognized and what has the growth been?

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:10:33 PM)
Indo, I helped consolidate a strategy to regain market share in the Add-on and replacement segment, and actually helped facilitate the hiring of a management consulting firm to help us with this process.

Preete (Sep 16, 2003 9:11:30 PM)
What about people who cannot come to Darden for an interview ?

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 9:12:05 PM)
BTW, I visited Darden a couple of years ago. I completely understand why Darden so strongly encourages visiting the campus. It is spectacular.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:12:10 PM)
For people who can't come to Darden for an interview, the admissions committee will evaluate your application first then contact you about what to do next.

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 9:12:16 PM)
Figures for int'l students are hardest to quote. Less than 50% of Second Years had offers at graduation, but the number rose over the summer to above 65% and is still rising. We believe these numbers are even with peer schools. This year we have added to our staff a leader of International business development who is solely focused on obtaining opportunities for international students. We also have classes for int'l students in job search strategies and techniques. In addition, we have four professionals dedicated to student career counseling.

RyanG (Sep 16, 2003 9:12:24 PM)
Tim....How is student life at Darden? Do most of the students live close to each other or is the main interaction done at campus facilities?

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:12:47 PM)
Most of the students live close to each other. Nearly my entire apartment complex and the one next door is full of graduate students, both law and business. It's a tight knit community. Darden life is unique, challenging, but extremely rewarding.

STWZ (Sep 16, 2003 9:12:55 PM)
Thanks, Tim. Would you say that your internship was a quant-heavy marketing role?

slies (Sep 16, 2003 9:13:02 PM)
How are younger candidates with fewer years of work experience evaluated?

Col (Sep 16, 2003 9:13:48 PM)
For career switchers that have a background in art and have been out of school for 10 years, do you recommend taking accounting or statistics prior to the application?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:13:49 PM)
Hi slies, for younger applicants with less work experience, we'll look more for potential than actual accomplishments. Your letters of recommendation will be particularly important as is an interview.

Darden#1 (Sep 16, 2003 9:13:50 PM)
What changes to the MBA program will occur while the class of 2005 is attending Darden?

max (Sep 16, 2003 9:14:19 PM)
Tim, could you quickly comment on your extracurricular activities at Darden and perhaps those of some of your classmates? Given Darden's reputation for a such a rigorous course load, do you find that students still find the time to volunteer in the community and participate in various social clubs?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:14:41 PM)
Col, you are so smart to think about taking courses to prepare for business school. It will help you both in the program itself and in the admissions process. Yes, I'd recommend accounting and business statistics. Good for you!

Aaron (Sep 16, 2003 9:14:47 PM)
Are we at a significant disadvantage if we don't come down there for an interview?

slies (Sep 16, 2003 9:15:25 PM)
Thank you, Dawna. Could you please give us a flavor of the topics covered in the interview?

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:15:26 PM)
Max, we have many school sponsored tutoring, and community development events. There are elected officers for the student body whose main purpose is to seek out, and coordinate, and encourage community outreach. I personally play intramural sports year round, and find time to go out on the town with classmates at least twice a week. Don't let the workload full you; Darden students know how to have fun.

JulioC (Sep 16, 2003 9:15:36 PM
Everette, how easy is getting a work visa for internships and full time work post-MBA? Does the Career Office get involved in that process?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:16:19 PM)
Aaron, interviews tend to help candidates far more often than hurt them. Interviewing gives YOU a great opportunity to tell your story in person as well as via your application itself. For that reason, I think it's a missed opportunity not to come to Darden. Again, they help an applicant far more often than they hurt an applicant!

J-nice (Sep 16, 2003 9:16:54 PM)
How hard would it be to attend Darden without a car? Are most of the available apartments in walking distance, or is there public transportation?

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 9:17:09 PM)
If you have your student visa, you are able to work one year on that visa. This includes your summer internship. Beyond that, your company must sponsor you. The office of student affairs works to help you obtain your student visa.

Matt Sorenson (Sep 16, 2003 9:17:18 PM)
Any recent recruiting trends, e.g., industry vs. consulting/banking, 2003 vs. 2004, full-time offers from internships, etc? How do you project the market for 2005 MBA's?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:17:27 PM)
Tim is also president of the student body!

joonki (Sep 16, 2003 9:17:32 PM)
Are there any educational programs for spouses or family members for students who bring their family?

Paul_Bodine (Sep 16, 2003 9:17:49 PM)
How does Virginia's traditional emphasis on ethics get reflected in Darden's program?

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:18:06 PM)
Sorry I am late in entering the chat. But I can second that Darden is a very social and fun atmosphere, despite the workload!

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 9:18:18 PM)
Katie, I'm glad you could get in.

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 9:18:28 PM)
Matt, the market is always hard to predict. Darden fairs well in both good and soft markets, but the efforts that the students have to put forward increases in soft years. We have an extensive alumni network that helps students with career options as well

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:18:28 PM)
Joonki, there are great continuing education courses available at UVA. We've had many spouses work on one degree while the other is attending Darden.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:18:39 PM)
Hi Katie, thanks for joining us!

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:19:07 PM)
Paul_Bodine: Darden has a required ethics class for the First Year program. In addition, Darden and UVA place a HUGE emphasis on the Honor Code. The Honor Code is important in the classroom, in social activities, and in the classroom!

Preete (Sep 16, 2003 9:19:08 PM)
What about science graduates in terms of admissions - what kind of numbers do you have?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:19:18 PM)
Everyone, Everette may be too humble to mention this so I'll boast on behalf of him and his staff. The CDC office has consistently been ranked as #1` or #2 in Business Week rankings. They have a reputation for being particularly proactive and responsive!

nirajk (Sep 16, 2003 9:19:22 PM)
I have a question about transcripts? Can I send the transcripts I got from my undergrad school last year?

CindyTokumitsu (Sep 16, 2003 9:19:39 PM)
Could you briefly walk through the admissions/application review process at Darden, from the time an application arrives?

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:19:41 PM)
Preete, engineers do well here.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:20:56 PM)
Cindy, every application is reviewed by two members of the admissions committee. The person who interviewed a candidate will not be involved in making a final admissions decision.

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 9:21:12 PM)
The trends by industry are interesting. Due to the economy, consulting is down at Darden and other top schools, while industry jobs are increasing. IB is also down in favor of marketing, but both consulting and IB are still large parts of the Darden students placements.

indo (Sep 16, 2003 9:21:16 PM)
Hi Katie, we were looking forward to you :)...How much emphasis does Darden put on leadership or is it that it weighs more on academics and other scores?

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:21:17 PM)
Preete -- Engineers are definitely great here! There are people here from so many backgrounds, and I think that all backgrounds learn from each other.

J-nice (Sep 16, 2003 9:21:29 PM)
Tim, you said engineers do well at Darden. In applying, are you looking for engineering experience or would a recent grad also be warmly welcomed?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:22:04 PM)
In terms of admissions criteria, we look generally at 3 areas: academic credentials, work experience and personal credentials such as activities, the letters of recommendations and the interview. The essays are how we get the most information about you and your background and credentials.

GCG (Sep 16, 2003 9:22:25 PM)
What other ways besides business accomplishments convince the admissions committee that a poor GPA does not reflect the present candidate?

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:22:33 PM)
Experience is key! The case study method makes it imperative that students be able to bring real world examples into classroom discussions.

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:22:44 PM)
Our average age is currently around 28. I wouldn't discourage applying though, we had a few 22 year olds admitted in my class.

Aaron (Sep 16, 2003 9:22:46 PM)
Tim/Katie - what is the academic environment like at Darden? Competitive? Cooperative?

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:22:49 PM)
Hi Indo: I am not sure if you are asking about the Admissions process or about the time you spend here at Darden. Dawna could speak better for the Admissions process, but I know that Darden greatly values leadership as well as academics. The average work experience coming in to Darden is about 4 years, and that is because the atmosphere here is very student-centered. Students learn more from each other than from teachers, so leadership experience is SO important!

Ryan_McNelley (Sep 16, 2003 9:23:06 PM)
I have a question: Can anyone comment on Darden's ability to place people in technology companies?

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 9:23:08 PM)
When the economy rebounds, I expect the consulting companies will respond and increase their recruiting.

diedo (Sep 16, 2003 9:23:22 PM)
What is the mix of students who have worked in non-profit or the government in the class? Or is it all consultants and IBs, mostly as it is in top schools?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:23:25 PM)
GCG, I'd recommend taking courses that show that you are more mature now and capable of achieving better grades. A strong GMAT can also help off-set a weak GPA.

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:23:31 PM)
Aaron, the environment is a very cooperative work environment. The program is designed so that you must depend on your learning teams to fully understand and complete assignments. We have student run study sessions where students share all of their notes and knowledge with classmates. I was very surprised by this, but that's the Darden way. Each first year is assigned to a multi-disciplined and multi cultural learning team. You meet each night to discuss cases for the next day. It is the purpose of the learning team to assist each other in gaining knowledge about particular subjects. The CPA on my learning team last year really helped me learn the accounting assignments.

Yolanda (Sep 16, 2003 9:23:38 PM)
I will like to know what one can do if they intended to apply to Darden through CGSM? The application is not available through them at the present time. Also, I have begun to fill out parts of the application at Darden's website. If I continue and submit the application directly to Darden will this hurt my chances of a CGSM fellowship if I was to be accepted to Darden?

Garima (Sep 16, 2003 9:23:47 PM)
Do you specifically need the applicant to have completed a minimum number of years of community service in order to be considered for admission? Does community work make an application stronger?

Aaron (Sep 16, 2003 9:23:57 PM)
Everette - Is there any concentration of internships/post school jobs resulting from the school's location in Virginia? Overweight south? East?

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:24:07 PM)
Aaron: I can't emphasize how great the academic experience here is. Coming from a sociology background (i.e.: NO business or numbers background), I have been wowed how helpful other students are. From a second year/first year tutoring program to learning teams sharing files, the academic atmosphere is INCREDIBLY cooperative.

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 9:24:27 PM)
Katie, had you taken calculus or stats before you started the program?

Aaron (Sep 16, 2003 9:24:42 PM)
Thanks Katie that is helpful

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 9:24:49 PM)
Ryan, of course technology is a very specialized field. Darden has a center that supports and encourages small technology companies. The center is called the Darden Incubator. In addition, another Darden center, the Batten Foundation, supports and encourages academic advancement in technology areas.

Preete (Sep 16, 2003 9:24:59 PM)
How about team work? Are case studies done by a team of individuals?

cv (Sep 16, 2003 9:25:20 PM)
I am planning to visit the campus with my spouse and my child. Does the admission office or the partner's club have pre-planned activities for a family during a campus visit?

andrea (Sep 16, 2003 9:25:25 PM)
How does Darden look at a high college GPA and a mediocre GMAT score (80s percentile)?

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 9:25:43 PM)
Finally, we do have several west coast based large tech companies that have hired Darden grads in the past two years.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:25:45 PM)
Linda: I had taken stats my senior year in college (4 years before starting the program). I had also taken calculus the year before I started, which helped me get reacquainted with math skills. But that wasn't necessary. If you don't get to take stats or any quantitative classes before coming to Darden, Darden has three pre-school classes: numeracy (stats), Excel, and accounting. I would highly recommend those!

Coles (Sep 16, 2003 9:26:00 PM)
Hi Dawna, I just wanted to know if you could provide me with your/someone's email address so that I can email you directly. Is that a possibility?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:26:04 PM)
Andrea, have you taken the GMAT once or twice?

andrea (Sep 16, 2003 9:26:19 PM)
Twice.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:26:23 PM)
CV: Spouses and children are welcome to attend tours and to join second years for lunch when they visit the campus.

Adeel (Sep 16, 2003 9:26:35 PM)
What opportunities are there for students looking for an entrepreneurial track? Or what is the curriculum like?

mahesh_hegde (Sep 16, 2003 9:26:46 PM)
Is 16 years of education compulsory to join Darden? In India the educational curriculum that I have undergone is only 15 years.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:26:59 PM)
Coles, you may e-mail me at darden@darden.virginia.edu or ClarkeD@darden.virginia.edu

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:27:30 PM)
Adeel: In terms of entrepreneurship, we have a first year entrepreneurship class, many classes in the second year curriculum, and the Batten Institute, which you can visit on our web site: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:27:43 PM)
By the way, my email is witchert04@darden.virginia.edu if you have further questions.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:27:49 PM)
Mahesh, Hi, we're familiar with the Indian educational system and that is quite typical. Use the e-mail address above and I'll put you in touch with Cheryl Jones who coordinates recruiting from India.

Preete (Sep 16, 2003 9:28:03 PM)
How important is it to get both recommendations from the work place - for applicants who graduated about two years ago - and, is it okay to get an academic letter if it is hard to get a second professional letter?

Coles (Sep 16, 2003 9:28:06 PM)
Dawna, thank you very much for that. I will be in touch soon. Best regards.

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 9:28:17 PM)
Darden prides itself in its entrepreneurial track. The foundations I mentioned, the Darden Incubator in particular, focuses on funding startups or providing connections for funding. In the second year, there are several entire courses to take, in addition to the foundational courses that include many cases on start ups.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:29:23 PM)
Preete: Darden encourages workplace recommendations because workplace employees will be able to best judge your leadership experience. In addition, it is best to have people who know you really well write your recommendations. Perhaps Dawna can speak more to that!

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:30:06 PM)
Yolanda, you should apply through the Consortium; don't use the Darden application form if you are a minority student applying for a scholarship via the Consortium. It will enable you to a) apply for admission as well as b) compete for a full-tuition fellowship. I'm on the Consortium Board and it is a great organization that provides networking as well as financial opportunities.

Adeel (Sep 16, 2003 9:30:08 PM)
Thank you Katie and Everette. What would you describe as the primary focus of Darden? For example, many business schools these days focus on finance and churn out people for Wall Street.

slies (Sep 16, 2003 9:30:35 PM)
When do you encourage applicants to submit the optional essay? What might the admissions committee like to see in that essay?

Ryan_McNelley (Sep 16, 2003 9:30:46 PM)
Another question: I know that in applying to B-schools, it helps to "fit in, while standing out." I would like to know what Darden considers "standing out?" I have a background at a technology firm (not a dot com) in the Silicon valley. Does that qualify as standing out?

bdrew (Sep 16, 2003 9:30:53 PM)
Are most of the students from Virginia?

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:31:14 PM)
Adeel: Darden is a General Management school, so the emphasis is on becoming a general manager. In the Second Year, there are no required classes other than a Leadership class, so you are welcome to concentrate on anything from Finance to Entrepreneurship to Marketing to Operations. But the focus is definitely on the corporate manager.

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 9:31:26 PM)
Darden focuses on general management perspective while providing functional excellence.

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:31:26 PM)
I'd like to offer some admissions advice. When in question, visit Darden. Those who have questions when they come, generally have none when they leave. You will know one way or the other whether this is the place for you.

Preete (Sep 16, 2003 9:31:51 PM)
My supervisor agreed to write a letter for me but it is because she is leaving the company - otherwise it is against company policy to give anything but a neutral recommendation so it is hard for me to get a second letter from the workplace but my research supervisor for my MS knows me well and is willing to write a letter for me.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:32:01 PM)
Bdrew: I am not sure of the exact figure, but I think that about 15% of my class is from Virginia. 30% are international, and the rest are from around the US.

HIMADRI (Sep 16, 2003 9:32:20 PM)
Is Darden not the place if i want to specialize in Systems????

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:32:32 PM)
Adeel, Darden is among the strongest general management programs in the country. I consider it to be a "liberal arts" business schools. MBAs from Darden gain strong financial, accounting, marketing, economic, communication skills. I think the breadth of the skills the program offers is among it's greatest strength. I also think breadth is important in tough economic times...........to have such a wide skill set provides a great deal of flexibility.

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:32:45 PM)
Darden isn't the place to specialize in systems

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 9:32:50 PM)
What do you mean by specialize in systems?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:32:56 PM)
In terms of Virginians, about 19% were from VA this year.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:33:03 PM)
I have to second Tim's comment. You will definitely get a gut feeling when you visit this campus. For me, I really liked the feel of the students and the learning environment!

Preete (Sep 16, 2003 9:33:07 PM)
What about applicants interested in a future in Marketing ?

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 9:33:37 PM)
Darden provides an excellent background for marketing and brand management. As a testament to that, before returning to Darden this year, I spent 17 years in consumer marketing after graduating from Darden in 1987.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:33:41 PM)
Himardi, you may want to contact the McIntire School of Commerce. I believe they offer the type of program you are referring to.

Preete (Sep 16, 2003 9:33:52 PM)
Thanks Everette

Darden#1 (Sep 16, 2003 9:33:56 PM)
What changes to the MBA programs will occur while the class of 2005 is attending Darden?

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:34:01 PM)
Preete: I am an officer of the Marketing Club at Darden, which is a great organization. I think that about 1/3rd of the school is members. You are welcome to email Dennis Ortiz, President of the Marketing Club at Darden, for more information. His email is: ortizd04@darden.virginia.edu. It's a great organization that is super involved!

HIMADRI (Sep 16, 2003 9:34:11 PM)
Specializing in systems would imply: from product design/architecture to business mapping and development.

Paul_Bodine (Sep 16, 2003 9:34:15 PM)
Are military applicants at any advantage applying to Darden?

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:34:26 PM)
Preet: In fact, Everette comes from a marketing background, so he knows!

bdrew (Sep 16, 2003 9:34:29 PM)
Do you have a summer session for students without a business background?

STWZ (Sep 16, 2003 9:34:35 PM)
Everette, can you provide some examples of non-traditional firms that hire for marketing roles?

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:34:42 PM)
Paul, we have many military people here at Darden. I think the admissions committee looks at a combination of things. If military experience allowed someone to demonstrate leadership and teamwork capabilities, then I would see that being an advantage.

Justin (Sep 16, 2003 9:34:44 PM)
Why is Darden known among graduate schools as being the most rigorous?

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:35:12 PM)
bdrew: There isn't a whole summer session, but there are pre-school classes that are fantastic. In addition, you can't go wrong reading "The 10-Day MBA" before going to any business school.....

STWZ (Sep 16, 2003 9:35:26 PM)
What is the dress code for class visits?

Aaron (Sep 16, 2003 9:35:36 PM)
Re the recommendation question: What if there are concerns about people at work knowing that I am applying to school?

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:35:44 PM)
STWZ: I worked at Kate Spade, the fashion accessories company, this summer. That's an example of a non-tradition marketing firm that hired a Darden student!

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:35:46 PM)
Bdrew, Darden doesn't offer a summer-long program. However, prior to orientation there are several "mini" sessions in accounting, excel and numeracy. The McIntire School of Commerce at UVA offers a summer long program for non-business majors.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:36:06 PM)
STWZ: Wear business casual, I think! The Admissions web page will probably help you out on that one.

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 9:36:40 PM)
STWZ, if you would email me tomorrow I will send you a list of the companies that hire marketing, but that are non traditional fortnere@darden.virginia.edu

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:36:41 PM)
Aaron: Dawna always suggests that you get people who know you well at work if you can't tell your direct supervisor.

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:36:46 PM)
STWZ, there is no dress code. As Katie said, most people dress business casual.

Vince_B (Sep 16, 2003 9:36:49 PM)
Other than the case method methodology, what do Tim, Katie, and Dawna think differentiates Darden from some of the other top 20 schools? What influenced Tim, Katie, and Everette to apply?

STWZ (Sep 16, 2003 9:37:00 PM)
Katie: Very cool. How did you land that? Was it a personal contact or on-campus recruiting?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:37:10 PM)
Aaron, if you're worried that asking for a work-related recommendation will jeopardize your job, just let us know. That's a common fear and we can offer some back-up plans.

mgoliveira (Sep 16, 2003 9:37:12 PM)
Is it true that some companies hesitate in recruiting at Darden due to the school's relatively remote location? Or more of a myth?

ChrisC (Sep 16, 2003 9:37:40 PM)
How much of a factor in the admissions process is the reputation of the university from which one received his/her undergraduate degree? How would mediocre grades from a competitive school compare to excellent grades at a less competitive school? If this is a difficult distinction to make, is it safe to assume that the GMAT would be the "tiebreaker?"

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:37:53 PM)
Mgoliveria, I think that used to be a much greater issue than it is now. C'ville is far more accessible than it used to be. Everette, what do you think?

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 9:38:08 PM)
Vince, a visit to school is the biggest influencer to apply. Once you visit a class, you will know if the culture is for you. You will meet faculty that will blow you away with their dedication to teaching.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:38:15 PM)
Vince_B: The culture of the school. The size is great because everyone is able to participate in the learning. In addition, students take each other seriously. Whether you have a traditional or a nontraditional background, you have something to contribute here -- and everyone believes in that. It really is more student-centered learning than teacher-driven learning.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:38:34 PM)
Vince_B: I also was impressed by how friendly and upbeat the students here were compared to other schools I visited!

diedo (Sep 16, 2003 9:39:49 PM)
What's the number of people from government and non profit at Darden. Are such profiles welcome?

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 9:40:02 PM)
mgoliveria: This is more of a myth. While we are remote, there are direct flights from NY, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington. We also get creative in ways of creating interview opportunities for students with companies of interest like our Trek to London, and Week on Wall Street.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:40:04 PM)
STWZ: It was a combination. I was having trouble in my First Year Finance class, and so I got a Second Year tutor. His fianc had just started to work at Kate Spade, so my tutor gave me her number, and I ended up with a job there. I talked to the Human Resource director before I left, and they are eager to hire more Dardenites. A great example of how networking with other students works....

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:40:04 PM)
Chris C, we look at a multitude of factors in the admissions process. There are students at Darden who came from Ivy League Schools to community colleges, liberal arts schools, state universities, etc. I think the rigor of the curriculum is more important. A strong GMAT can help offset a weaker GPA.

STWZ (Sep 16, 2003 9:40:13 PM)
Thanks, Tim.

carl (Sep 16, 2003 9:41:16 PM)
Are you expecting an increase or decrease in applications this year?

ChrisC (Sep 16, 2003 9:41:18 PM)
Dawna, thank you for the input.

Shilpa (Sep 16, 2003 9:41:39 PM)
Tim , Everette, & Katie, what percent of your time is spent job hunting and interviewing? Does it affect the time you spend on coursework?

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:41:48 PM)
diedo: I'm not sure of the number. But there are definitely several government/non-profit folks in each First Year section. Enough though we have a voice to persuade others in class about the need for companies to be socially responsible! :)

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:42:13 PM)
There are two approaches to job searching. One is to try to interview and connect with as many companies as possible in order to increase the likelihood of an offer. If you do this, your job search will definitely eat into your coursework time. If you are very selective and choose companies carefully, you can narrow down to a few where there is a great fit and really prepare for interviews with them. Although this may be putting eggs in fewer baskets, it is affective and requires much less time. It worked for me!

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:42:24 PM)
Diedo, yes candidates with a background in non-profit are welcome to apply. I think Darden is a great choice for candidates interested in non-profit careers. Because it's a general management program and the skills you'll acquire are so broad, it's great training for non-profit jobs where one often has to wear many hats and needs multiple business skills.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:42:48 PM)
Shilpa: In the First Year, there are dedicated class sessions to Professional Development. Darden makes it fairly easy to follow the deadlines of the job search. When things are organized like that, it takes much less time. I spent more time in the second half of last year doing job search -- at least a couple of hours a week. I expect to do the same this year.

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 9:43:03 PM)
Shilpa: as Director of Career Development, I spend all my waking hours working on job search for Darden students. Students will need to spend a little time every week, attending company briefings and networking.

slies (Sep 16, 2003 9:43:16 PM)
I apologize for posing my questions a second time, but I was wondering if you might be able to comment on the topics covered in the interview as well as situations that warrant writing the optional essay?

bdrew (Sep 16, 2003 9:43:33 PM)
Do you have semester exchange programs with schools abroad?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:43:50 PM)
Carl, it's too early to say if applications will increase or decrease this year. The first deadline isn't until late October. You're welcome to contact me later this Fall and I'll let you know.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:43:55 PM)
Diedo: We also have a non-profit fund, where First Years donate a percent of their internship salaries, and divvy them up between First Years who are embarking on nonprofit internships!

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:45:04 PM)
bdrew: Tim and I have at least two classmates in Barcelona this semester for an exchange program, and we have at least 1 in Hong Kong. In addition, we have trips over spring break called "Global Business Experiences" where you get credit for studying in another country for 1/2 weeks.

Amber (Sep 16, 2003 9:45:21 PM)
Please ignore this question if it has already been asked, but what kind of mentorship programs do you have in place for females? I've heard Darden has always been interested in developing strong female leaders and want to know more about why Darden's a great place for women...

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:45:49 PM)
slies: The interview is really informal. You should address whatever topics show your leadership. And you should tell us stories of what you have done in your life that make you proud!

Darden#1 (Sep 16, 2003 9:46:04 PM)
Some schools like Wharton are conducting background investigations on accepted students in an attempt to deal with fraud. Is Darden doing the same thing? Will Darden do the same thing in the future? Thank you.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:46:14 PM)
slies: My understanding of the optional essay is that it is used for extenuating circumstances. Maybe Dawna can expand on that.

life river (Sep 16, 2003 9:46:17 PM)
Do companies from abroad, specifically Asian, recruit from Darden? If yes, what percentage?

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:46:38 PM)
GWIB-Graduate Women in Business is a power house organization at Darden and provides speakers, networking events and support for women here at Darden.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:46:43 PM)
Slies, our interviews tend to be intentionally relaxed and more casual than typical business school interviews. You can prepare by asking yourself why you want an MBA, why you're interested in Darden, etc. I'd recommend thinking of 3-4 facets of your background that you really want your interviewer to know about you. The optional essay is your opportunity to tell us anything that you haven't had the opportunity to cover in the other 4 essays or in your interview. Common responses have to do with explaining extenuating circumstances, hobbies, travel experiences. I definitely recommend completing it.

dave (Sep 16, 2003 9:46:45 PM)
Katie: On a scale of 1-5, how competitive is the atmosphere among MBA students? Does the level differ form 1st to 2nd year? Thanks.

Preete (Sep 16, 2003 9:47:22 PM)
How is the international recruiting scene at Darden?

Keith (Sep 16, 2003 9:47:52 PM)
Does being a Virginia resident increase one's chances of admission?

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:47:52 PM)
Amber: I am a member of GWIB, Graduate Women in Business. It is a wonderful community of female students and faculty members. We have panels between First Years and Second Years to help each other in class. We have networking dinners at faculty houses to get to know each other. We have optional golf lessons, which were surprisingly really fun! And there are National Graduate Women in Business conferences and resume books, which can help you in the job search process.

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 9:48:13 PM)
We do have companies from Asia that hire Darden students, but usually through networking rather than on campus interviews. We estimate that 50% of our international students get jobs in their home countries.

slies (Sep 16, 2003 9:48:15 PM)
Thank you Katie and Dawna, that's very helpful!

STWZ (Sep 16, 2003 9:48:20 PM)
I am curious about how accounting courses are taught using the case method. Can anyone comment on this?

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:48:20 PM)
Amber: You can email Eliane Payne, the President of GWIB, at paynee04@darden.virginia.edu with any additional questions!

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:48:21 PM)
Darden#1, no we aren't conducting investigations on applicants. There is a strong tradition of an honor code at UVA and that honor code is articulated in the application and we ask students to sign it. We have made follow-up calls to recommenders on occasion to verify information but that's not the norm.

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:48:40 PM)
That is a great question STWZ. All I can say is that it works. The combination of practical applications in cases and time spent in learning team balances the learning of technical rules of accounting and how those principles apply in a real company setting. There are pre-matriculation courses during the week before orientation to help familiarize students with the basics.

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 9:48:54 PM)
When the economy is soft, firms cut back on recruiting, including international students. That is why we have hired additional resources to recruit companies to come to Darden.

Preete (Sep 16, 2003 9:49:26 PM)
Sorry if I missed this - but do you have any numbers on how many admitted people are international students - what about international students with higher US degrees - are they considered in the international quota? Also, do you evaluate international students against the select group belonging to that particular country?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:49:53 PM)
Keith, Virginia residency is one of many factors taken into consideration in the admissions process. I don't consider it one of the most important factors but yes, it is taken into consideration positively. This year roughly 19% of the first year class were Virginians.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:50:03 PM)
Dave: Darden is the lowest level of competitiveness, and that doesn't change from first year to second year. I sit down with classmates on a daily basis and give and receive help. Before exams, each class has a review session where several students put together a review deck of the class and share it with the class. The classroom is definitely a learning setting, but people are not competitive at all. And that's speaking from someone with no prior business experience, which was a surprise to me!

STWZ (Sep 16, 2003 9:50:39 PM)
Thanks, Tim. Do the learning teams usually meet every night?

Yolanda (Sep 16, 2003 9:50:42 PM)
What can one do if they wanted to apply in the first round but also wanted to apply through the Consortium?

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:50:53 PM)
They meet Sunday-Thursday. The time of meetings usually depends on the next days case load. Yes, they become your new family. You will learn as much from them as you do in class.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:51:01 PM)
STWZ: I am sitting in a "Learning Team" room right now where First Years are discussing an accounting case! There is some text book learning in the class, but the text book examples are built from real companies (and written by the Darden faculty). The cost accounting segment of accounting is 100% case.

justin (Sep 16, 2003 9:51:11 PM)
Can you talk about the JD/MBA program briefly please? Thank you.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:51:21 PM)
Preete, this year roughly 30% of applicants accepted were international students. There are students from 28 countries in the first year class. The most well-represented countries are Brazil, Mexico, India, China, Japan, Argentina and I'm sure I'm missing a few.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:51:21 PM)
STWZ: Learning teams meet Sunday-Thursday!

Preete (Sep 16, 2003 9:51:33 PM)
I am sorry if I am repeating my question but how are international applicants evaluated - country wise? Also, what about applicants with international credentials but higher US degrees?

STWZ (Sep 16, 2003 9:51:42 PM)
Thank you.

Preete (Sep 16, 2003 9:51:44 PM)
Thanks Dawna.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:52:22 PM)
justin: Not sure how many JD/MBAs there are, but feel free to email Billy Bey with any questions. His email is: beyw04@darden.virginia.edu. And I am sure that Howard Hechler would be happy to talk about it. His email is: hechlerh04@darden.virginia.edu.

STWZ (Sep 16, 2003 9:52:25 PM)
Tim or Katie: Have either of you been "cold called?" If so, how was it?

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:52:35 PM)
Oh yeah, STWZ. Not too bad actually. Knowing you may be called upon at anytime forces you to prepare and be alert. Rarely is someone caught off guard by a cold call

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:53:20 PM)
Yolanda, I don't think the application is available through the Consortium quite yet. The downside of applying directly to Darden for the first deadline is that you won't be able to compete for the CGSM scholarship. I think it would be better for you to apply through the Consortium, even if the process is somewhat later. Have you received an invitation yet for Discover Darden?

Preete (Sep 16, 2003 9:53:22 PM)
What about the 'MBA boot Camp' reputation of Darden - that could be a little intimidating for some.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:53:55 PM)
STWZ: I got cold-called my first class of my first year at Darden, and I have been cold-called numerous times since then. It's not that bad, really. Class participation is so important here because of the emphasis on student-centered learning, so it's really a way to make sure that everyone is involved. Teachers all have different methods of cold-calling, some worse and some better than others!

Col (Sep 16, 2003 9:54:08 PM)
Dawna, for minority/non citizens, is there any advantage to applying in the first round rather than through the Consortium?

Yolanda (Sep 16, 2003 9:54:20 PM)
Yes Dawna, I have. I received it yesterday.

mgoliveira (Sep 16, 2003 9:54:28 PM)
Everette, do you think that some "not stellar" grades during college in statistics and math compromise Darden's impression of a prospective MBA student, or does it automatically make it required that this candidate performs very strongly on the GMAT (>700)?

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:54:32 PM)
Preete, Darden treats school like business. In the real world, you can't decide whether or not you are going to go to work in the morning. You have to show up to the office. At Darden, you have to show up to class. In the real world, you are given an office or cubicle and expected to do your job there. Very similar to Darden. You don't typically get to choose your assignments or your co-workers in the real world. Darden mirrors this approach. Most often you are working in diverse team settings. Darden prepares you for this. And simply because of these metrics we get the boot camp label but in reality, it's the same structure posed upon people with jobs everyday.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:54:40 PM)
Preete, are you a permanent resident or international student? That information will help me answer your question.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:55:00 PM)
Preete: If I can do it, anyone can. I swear! My background coming into Darden was probably the least businessey of anyone. We can talk about this more offline if you're interested. But you really pull together as a learning team, as a section, and as a class when you're working hard in the first 6 months.

Paul_Bodine (Sep 16, 2003 9:55:20 PM)
What's the one area in which Darden most needs improvement?

Preete (Sep 16, 2003 9:55:29 PM)
I have an MS from Ohio State University and have been working in the US for 2 years but I am an international person from India.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:55:37 PM)
Col, no there aren't any advantages. In fact, I think there's a disadvantage (not in the admissions process but in the fellowship process).

justin (Sep 16, 2003 9:55:45 PM)
What is the difference in applying in one round as opposed to another? Is there one? Thanks.

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 9:56:09 PM)
mgoliveira: I defer to Dawna on that question.

Preete (Sep 16, 2003 9:56:40 PM)
Dawna, I am an international applicant.

Aaron (Sep 16, 2003 9:57:00 PM)
Sorry to repeat, but can you discuss when you would recommend coming down to visit/interview based on the round that one is applying?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:57:17 PM)
Justin, I think the biggest advantage to applying early is that applicants can stand out earlier in the process. We reserve space for applicants for each round. For candidates with a common background such as consulting or investment banking, I think it's easier to distinguish yourself earlier in the process. I hope that answers your question.

Darden#1 (Sep 16, 2003 9:57:25 PM)
How many hours each week on average do students study?

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:57:42 PM)
Paul_Bodine: We are working on improving the amount of interaction between First Years and Second Years. The curriculums are so different, that the two don't get to spend as much time together as either would like. As members of the Darden Student Association, Tim and I are working on a Big Sibling/Little Sibling program, Second year learning teams visiting First year learning teams, and lots of other events to get the two interacting.

mgoliveira (Sep 16, 2003 9:57:45 PM)
And I am sorry - lots of people seem to be familiar with the term - but what is a "cold call" from a teacher?

Amber (Sep 16, 2003 9:58:09 PM)
Thank you Katie and Tim... what are the top 3 things I should do when I visit Darden next month to get a good feel for the school?

Preete (Sep 16, 2003 9:58:15 PM)
That was a very thorough explanation Tim - thanks

STWZ (Sep 16, 2003 9:58:17 PM)
Thanks for that perspective, Tim. Another question: Are the classes reserved for class visits first year classes? That is, will I only see what a first year class is like?

justin (Sep 16, 2003 9:58:28 PM)
Dawna - Thanks.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:58:38 PM)
Aaron, it's not necessary to submit your application prior to the interview. In fact, we don't read them in advance of the interview because we feel that it's more fair to a candidate not to. If you are applying for the October 22 deadline, you want to interview prior to that date.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:58:47 PM)
Darden#1: I spent several hours a day studying, depending on the day. It depends how many cases we have, how many team projects, and the time of year in the career search.

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:58:57 PM)
Most first years are relieved because the school isn't half as strenuous as people made it out to be

Aaron (Sep 16, 2003 9:59:00 PM)
Thank you Dawna

michael (Sep 16, 2003 9:59:03 PM)
How does Darden look at re-applicants?

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:59:04 PM)
Darden #1: A lot of the studying is done with friends and learning teams, which makes it a bit better. :)

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 9:59:31 PM)
Everette, what percentage of 2003 grads have jobs at this point? Were there any relatively strong markets for Darden grads this past year?

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:59:33 PM)
mgoliveira: Teachers call a random person at the beginning of each class to start off the case discussion. It's a great way to work on speaking in public!

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 9:59:41 PM)
You have to visit Preete. It will put many myths to rest for you.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:00:03 PM)
Preete, if you are an international applicant and have also studied in the US, that can work in your favor in the admissions process, particularly if English isn't your native language. Where are you from?

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:00:09 PM)
Amber: Spend as much time as possible around students! 1) Go to First Coffee, 2) Go visit a class, 3) Stop students in the hallway to chat -- they are all really friendly.

Raghu (Sep 16, 2003 10:00:14 PM)
Hi Katie, if I am not able to visit the school for an interview, how else can I take the interview? Does it affect my chances? How do you conduct interview for international applicants?

diedo (Sep 16, 2003 10:00:18 PM)
What is the recommended size of essays since you do not specify the word limits?

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 10:00:33 PM)
Linda, we will report numbers at the end of Sept. based on guidelines by the national career services organization. However an approximate number is over 80%. The stronger markets were general management type opportunities.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:00:43 PM)
STWZ: You will visit a First Year class!

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:01:44 PM)
Hi Raghu: Dawna may have to follow up on that one. Darden strongly encourages students to interview, although I know that the Admissions Office also conducts interviews internationally.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:01:57 PM)
Diedo, I'd recommend about 1.5 pages per essay.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:02:26 PM)
diedo: I kept my essays at the same length as I kept them for other schools. The Admissions Office has lots of essays to read, and it is a good idea to be concise!

telecom (Sep 16, 2003 10:03:38 PM)
In what area does Darden have better placements than other universities?

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:03:39 PM)
Linda: what time are we chatting until? :)

bdrew (Sep 16, 2003 10:03:57 PM)
How many students were waitlisted last year?

Preete (Sep 16, 2003 10:04:03 PM)
Thank you guys for all your help.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:04:05 PM)
Raghu, where are you from? We have international alumni interviewers in several countries. You'd be surprised by how many international students visit Darden but if that's not possible, submit your application first, the admissions committee will review it and will make arrangements for an alumni interview if necessary.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:04:36 PM)
Bdrew, about 250 students were placed on the waiting list last year.

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 10:04:54 PM)
Dawna, how many were admitted off the wait list?

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 10:05:42 PM)
Our guest have graciously agreed to extend the chat, so you can post additional questions if you like. We can go for a little longer.

indo (Sep 16, 2003 10:05:53 PM)
Thanks Tim, Katie and Dawna

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 10:05:59 PM)
Darden is very strong in placement in several areas: Inv Banking, general management/leadership development programs; It is hard to compare versus other schools until final statistics come out at the end of Sept.

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:06:03 PM)
Good Luck

life river (Sep 16, 2003 10:06:07 PM)
How many applicants apply to Darden each year?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:06:13 PM)
Linda, roughly 50 students were admitted from the wait list last year. The number admitted off the wait list varies considerably. It's been as low as 0 and as high as 75.

Preete (Sep 16, 2003 10:06:37 PM)
I guess I just feel a little discouraged by the fact that engineers seem to be doing better and I have a science background with 2 years of Pharmacology industry experience but nothing in the corporate setting, so to speak. But thank you Tim.

Michael (Sep 16, 2003 10:07:00 PM)
Dawna: I was turned down because of my English. Should I retake my TOEFL test? My TOEFL score is 613. And now I have moved from China to Canada. I speak English every day now.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:07:05 PM)
Life River, we receive about 3,000 applicants each year. The good news is that our class recently expanded by 25% so there are more spaces available at Darden than there were a few years ago.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:07:06 PM)
Preete: It takes all kinds to fill the Darden classroom. The more diversity in background, the better.

Raghu (Sep 16, 2003 10:07:08 PM)
Dawna, I am from India.

Preete (Sep 16, 2003 10:07:20 PM)
Thanks Katie

Preete (Sep 16, 2003 10:07:27 PM)
Thanks Tim

Yolanda (Sep 16, 2003 10:07:45 PM)
What consideration is taken to putting an applicant on the waiting list as opposed to admitting them?

Preete (Sep 16, 2003 10:07:48 PM)
Can I have your email address Tim?

life river (Sep 16, 2003 10:07:51 PM)
What is this year's class size?

chris (Sep 16, 2003 10:07:59 PM)
What percentage of the Darden '02 and '03 class went to healthcare related business?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:08:06 PM)
Michael, yes, I'd recommend retaking the TOEFL. If you didn't do as well on the verbal portion of the GMAT, you may want to consider retaking the GMAT too.

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:08:35 PM)
witchert04@darden.virginia.edu

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:08:35 PM)
Life River, this year's entering class was 316. Last year's was 312.

justin (Sep 16, 2003 10:08:54 PM)
How many people did you say applied for the MBA program last year??? Sorry, missed that one.

Preete (Sep 16, 2003 10:08:56 PM)
Thanks again Tim!

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 10:08:57 PM)
chris, I don't have that number but if you will email me I will try to find out. The number is low, but not zero. fortnere@darden.virginia.edu

CindyTokumitsu (Sep 16, 2003 10:09:25 PM)
I have to log out -- thank you, everyone from Darden, for a VERY informative and interesting chat. Good luck to all the applicants!

carl (Sep 16, 2003 10:09:38 PM)
Dawna - on the Virginia residency question - I am not currently a Virginia resident, but I attended the UVA's undergrad, and am highly interested in moving to Virginia after my MBA - would there be any particular benefit to this goal in regards to my application?

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:09:39 PM)
Cindy: Take care, and let us know offline if you have any questions!

Amber (Sep 16, 2003 10:09:58 PM)
Does it help at all if you were admitted to UVA's undergraduate program? Also, I have a good understanding of your GMAT range, and fit within this range; however, do you have a quant percentile you look for?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:10:05 PM)
Yolanda, it's a tough question to answer because a candidate could have been waitlisted vs. admitted for a variety of factors. For example, it could have been due to a slightly lower than average GPA or GMAT score, a slightly weaker recommendation or essays, etc.

chris (Sep 16, 2003 10:10:19 PM)
Thanks Dawna

michael (Sep 16, 2003 10:10:25 PM)
Thanks, Dawna.

STWZ (Sep 16, 2003 10:10:43 PM)
Dawna, I have not yet received an invite to Discover Darden, though I have received a view book. Might it be in the mail?

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 10:11:33 PM)
Is Darden affected by budget cuts at UVA? If yes, how so?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:11:35 PM)
Carl, there's a completely separate committee that evaluates Virginia residency. They'll look at factors such as where you're registered to vote, where your car is registered, taxes, etc. If you're not officially a Virginia resident at the time you submit an application, it won't have an impact one way or the other on your application.

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 10:11:53 PM)
Katie and Tim, what do you like best at Darden? What would you like to see improved?

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:11:54 PM)
STWZ, you might want to contact Dia Draper.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:12:10 PM)
STWZ, call 1-800-UVA-MBA-1 tomorrow and ask for Dia Draper.

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:12:28 PM)
Linda, I like the quality of my classmates and the faculty best at Darden. I'd like to see greater focus on student self governance.

STWZ (Sep 16, 2003 10:12:31 PM)
Tim, I have spoken to Dia but will follow up again tomorrow.

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:12:48 PM)
ok

STWZ (Sep 16, 2003 10:12:49 PM)
Thanks!

Darden#1 (Sep 16, 2003 10:12:53 PM)
What changes in the MBA program will occur while the class of 2005 is attending Darden? Any thing interesting in the works?

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:13:02 PM)
Linda: I like the culture of the school the best. Everyone in the community is friendly, upbeat, and respectful of others. As I said before, we are working on increasing First Year/Second Year interaction!

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 10:13:15 PM)
Thank you both.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:13:42 PM)
Tim: Maybe you should tell everyone about the new Darden theme!

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:13:54 PM)
Sure. The students voted on a quote that best describes the spirit of Darden. The winner was a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson. "Success usually finds those who are too busy to be looking for it."

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 10:14:01 PM)
Everette, even though I know career-changer make up a large percentage of the class, are they at a disadvantage when they enter the job market because their prior experience may not be as relevant? Do they appear less focused?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:14:01 PM)
Linda, Darden is slightly more insulated by the budget cuts going on in the state of Virginia because of it's financial stability............eg: Darden is among the most well endowed business schools in the world.

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 10:14:15 PM)
Great Dawna!

slm (Sep 16, 2003 10:14:26 PM)
Have you had many Australian students attend Darden over the years?

kofi (Sep 16, 2003 10:15:02 PM)
Dawna - wanted to know if a permanent resident can apply through the consortium?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:15:26 PM)
slm, we have two Australian students at Darden currently. I personally think I should travel there EXTENSIVELY to recruit more!

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 10:15:50 PM)
Career changers are not at a disadvantage when they enter the market. MBAs are expected to be career changers to a large degree. They must however be focused as early in their search process as possible. Once they lock in on their new chosen career, they must prepare hard and understand the field and demonstrate how their past experience combined with their MBA has prepared them for this new career.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:15:53 PM)
Kofi, you have to be a U.S. citizen to qualify for the Consortium scholarship.

JY (Sep 16, 2003 10:15:59 PM)
Hello Dawna, I am Korean... first, thanks for the chance to talk to you. Darden will visit Seoul on Sep 27th and I would like to know if I can get interview with one of your officers during visit to Seoul. Can you advise if I can?

Darden#1 (Sep 16, 2003 10:16:05 PM)
This one is for everyone at Darden. In one sentence, why should a student come to Darden? Why is it unique?

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:16:07 PM)
Speaking of too busy, Katie we should talk financial management after this is over!

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:16:27 PM)
Tim: I agree! That was a tough case for tomorrow. :)

kofi (Sep 16, 2003 10:16:44 PM)
Thanks Dawna!

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:16:55 PM)
HI JY, Cheryl Jones spearheads our Asian recruiting effort and will be in Korea. I do know that her interview schedule is booked. However, I'd encourage you to visit her at the MBA Fair and you can meet Darden alumni as well.

JulioC (Sep 16, 2003 10:16:58 PM)
Dawna, which cities do you plan to visit in Latin America?

Preete (Sep 16, 2003 10:17:24 PM)
Good night you guys and thanks for your help.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:17:39 PM)
Darden#1: Come visit, and you'll see! I'm afraid that I'm being repetitive, but the culture: how everyone interacts. It's amazing to be in a place with 300 classmates of such high caliber. It's inspiring.

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:18:12 PM)
No one denies that Darden is Unique. One most visit and see for themselves why this place is so special. Every visitor may see something different that attracts them here.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:18:45 PM)
In Latin America, we'll be visiting Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Rio, Lima, Mexico City, Monterrey . Where are you from?

chris (Sep 16, 2003 10:19:01 PM)
Would any age be considered unfavorable during admission process?

JulioC (Sep 16, 2003 10:19:09 PM)
Dawna, Bogot, Colombia.

Raghu (Sep 16, 2003 10:19:17 PM)
Any of you visiting India?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:19:59 PM)
Julio, I love Bogot...........I've been there 3 times. We have a Darden grad there, Pedro Medina with McDonalds. If you'd like, I'll put him in touch with you.

JY (Sep 16, 2003 10:19:59 PM)
Thank you Dawna.. On another issue, I am in the administrative dept. (actual position is office manager) and I am concerned that most MBA programs recruit applicants in business functions. (This is what I heard during my feedback with one school.) How about Darden?

Yolanda (Sep 16, 2003 10:20:11 PM)
Is there any particular hotel near UVA that you recommend to visitors?

Darden#1 (Sep 16, 2003 10:20:15 PM)
What is the age range for the class of 2004?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:20:22 PM)
Raghu, we may be in India in February for interviews.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:20:42 PM)
The age range in the 1st year class was 24-38

JulioC (Sep 16, 2003 10:20:54 PM)
Please, Dawna!!!

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:21:28 PM)
JY: I come from a nonprofit organization where I worked in the fundraising department. I don't think that Darden specifies that you need to have any specific background. The more backgrounds here, the merrier!

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 10:21:31 PM)
What is the role of students in the admissions process?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:21:40 PM)
JY, I'd have to know more about your position and responsibilities to answer that fairly. Contact me directly at Darden and I'll help you.

michael (Sep 16, 2003 10:21:53 PM)
Will you come to Vancouver? Is it necessary to be interviewed again for re-applicants? I was interviewed by Rita in Beijing last year.

JY (Sep 16, 2003 10:22:03 PM)
Thank you so much Dawna. I will!!!!

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:22:12 PM)
Yolanda: The Residence Inn is in walking distance to the school, but it might be more expensive. There is also SPONSORS HALL, which is on campus. You can probably find the phone number on our web site: www.darden.virginia.edu.

JY (Sep 16, 2003 10:22:44 PM)
Thank you Katie.. I am really encouraged by your kind note.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:22:48 PM)
Linda, due to the high volume of requests for interviews, we have 45 2nd year interviewers. They are selected by the admissions committee as well as their peers and go through extensive training. Students are also involved in hosting prospective students and taking them on tours. They are not involved in reading applications.

ivan (Sep 16, 2003 10:23:00 PM)
When are you going to come to Lima, Peru?

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 10:23:11 PM)
How many of you are from outside the US?

Yolanda (Sep 16, 2003 10:23:16 PM)
Thank you, Dawna.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:23:26 PM)
Michael, we won't be in Vancouver this year unfortunately.

JulioC (Sep 16, 2003 10:23:39 PM)
Dawna, could you please repeat your email address?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:23:57 PM)
Ivan, I don't have the date right in front of me but check out the recruiting section of our website.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:24:00 PM)
Linda: I am one of the 10 members of the Student Admissions Committee. In the First Year, we plan Darden Days, which is the prospective students event. Also, about 100 First Years work with the student host program. In the Second Year, the Student Admissions Committee conducts interviews, with about 30 other Second Years. Second Years also participate in a Tour & Lunch program for prospective students. Almost the entire school is involved with Admissions in one way or another -- from the hosting programs to sitting on panels at Darden Days, etc. etc.

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 10:24:20 PM)
Thank you for the thorough answer.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:24:25 PM)
If anyone has specific questions, you're welcome to contact me at ClarkeD@darden.virginia.edu

mgoliveira (Sep 16, 2003 10:24:25 PM)
Linda - I am from Brazil but I have worked in the US for the last 3 years, for BearingPoint.

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 10:24:43 PM)
Anyone else connecting from outside the US?

Col (Sep 16, 2003 10:24:56 PM)
For letters of recommendation, in an industry were managers come & go and I was transferred 7 times in 5 states, I have a hard time getting a letter of recommendation. I have since left that employer, tired of moving. How would you view personal recommendations?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:24:58 PM)
You're welcome.

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:25:05 PM)
ivan: Not sure when we're coming to Lima, Peru. But there are many Peruvians here! If you have any specific questions, feel free to email a good friend of mine: Jorge Palet Abad. His email is: paletj04@darden.virginia.edu.

michael (Sep 16, 2003 10:25:07 PM)
Linda, I'm from Canada.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:25:32 PM)
Col, contact me directly at the e-mail above and I'll give you some suggestions.

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 10:25:36 PM)
I think we also had a couple of participants earlier who logged in from India.

ivan (Sep 16, 2003 10:26:07 PM)
Dawna, do you know Peruvian graduates? I would like to be in touch with them.

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 10:26:10 PM)
What is a common mistake applicants make in their applications?

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:26:35 PM)
Ivan, I'm pretty close to some current students from Peru. I'm actually flying to Peru over Christmas for one of my classmate's wedding. If you like I can put you in touch with one of them?

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:27:10 PM)
Linda, let's see common mistakes. 1) Not answering the question asked in the essay. 2) Applying to Darden, not proofing essays and saying something like "that's why Harvard is my first choice"

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 10:27:26 PM)
:-)

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 10:27:38 PM)
Thank you again all for participating this evening. Special thanks to Dawna, Tim, Everette, and Katie for joining us this evening and to Paul and Cindy for their assistance.

Paul_Bodine (Sep 16, 2003 10:27:55 PM)
Thank you, Darden! Good luck to everyone . . .

ivan (Sep 16, 2003 10:27:57 PM)
Sure, I would like that, Tim.

Darden#1 (Sep 16, 2003 10:28:02 PM)
Thanks to Dawna, Katie, Tim, Linda, Cindy and Paul. I learned a lot tonight. I look forward to visiting Darden.

Everette Fortner (Sep 16, 2003 10:28:04 PM)
Good night everyone, best of luck in your decision process. Katie and Tim, good luck in the case tomorrow.

Amber (Sep 16, 2003 10:28:07 PM)
Thank you all - this has been VERY helpful to me.

Darden#1 (Sep 16, 2003 10:28:09 PM)
Thanks to Everette too.

DawnaClarkeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:28:10 PM)
Thank you Linda as well as all the participants. It was fun.

Adeel (Sep 16, 2003 10:28:11 PM)
Thank you. Good night.

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:28:13 PM)
witchert04@darden.viginia.edu

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 10:28:15 PM)
We look forward to seeing you at future chats. Here is a list of currently scheduled chats:

KatieBisbeeDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:28:18 PM)
Good luck, everyone! Tim, see you in the morning!

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 10:28:22 PM)
Michigan - Oct. 2

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 10:28:28 PM)
NYU - Oct. 8

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 10:28:37 PM)
Chicago - Oct. 20

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 10:28:42 PM)
UT - Oct. 27

TimWitcherDarden (Sep 16, 2003 10:28:47 PM)
Good luck and good night.

michael (Sep 16, 2003 10:29:02 PM)
Thanks, Darden. You are really special!

Yolanda (Sep 16, 2003 10:29:04 PM)
Thank you everyone at Darden for your help. I greatly appreciate it.

carl (Sep 16, 2003 10:29:06 PM)
Thanks everybody! Time to work on essays.

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 10:29:12 PM)
Please check http://www.accepted.com/chat/schedule.htm#mba for exact times and details.

Preete (Sep 16, 2003 10:29:17 PM)
Bye now

STWZ (Sep 16, 2003 10:29:22 PM)
Thanks, everyone!

JulioC (Sep 16, 2003 10:29:25 PM)
THANKS TO ALL YOU GUYS!!!

Linda Abraham (Sep 16, 2003 10:29:36 PM)
Have a very good evening! Good luck with your applications!

Guest (Sep 16, 2003 10:29:50 PM)
Thanks for everything!

Col (Sep 16, 2003 10:29:52 PM)
Thank you Dawna, Tim, and Katie.

chris (Sep 16, 2003 10:30:31 PM)
Thank you all for all the questions and answers, bye now.



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