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In-Office Chat With Associate Director of Admissions, Darden School of Business

Posted on Nov 08, 2019
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The Darden School of Business is a graduate business school associated with the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Darden School offers MBA, Masters, PhD and Executive Education programs.
Today we interacted with the associate director of admissions from Darden school of business – Whitney Kestner for an open-house session at our office to get a broad perspective on the experience of studying abroad. Whitney enlightened our minds with an informative session covering the whole admission process. She also shared some insights on how to get admitted into Darden school of business

Key Takeaways from an in-office Interaction session between Whitney Kestner and Vibha Kagzi, CEO, ReachIvy.com are as follows:

  • 1.Case Study Method
  • The USP of this business school stresses how the case study method is conducted taking into consideration the high engagement and active participation between the students. They say the best way of following an approach is only when the system has gone through change and iterations. Guess what? Darden like any other college used to have lecture-based learning but have now shifted to the case study method of learning as they have understood that this method creates a sense of engagement among the students. The method is adapted when each student prepares the case on a narrative story or on an organizational challenge and discusses it with their learning team. As each one has worked and prepared themselves in different cases, it helps bring more knowledge to the table which in a way strengthens the fundamental basics of the subject and increase teamwork amongst each other.

  • 2.Social Life
  • Darden believes in the saying “experience is the best teacher”. They encourage their students to join various clubs on campus to learn and experience the life lessons each club teaches. Darden has over 40 different clubs with three different categories. First, the career-focused clubs where students are so instrumental focused in their career search process, secondly the Asian business club (ABCD) which focuses on helping the Asian students. This ABCD club organizes and supports the following activities: cultural and academic activities; recruitment and professional activities; admissions activities; and communicates and supports relevant initiatives of related committees and organizations within Darden, third we have the community-focused club which focuses on having a responsive bond within the communities and helping society towards a good cause. An additional benefit of these clubs are the different conferences and events which help students to strengthen their network across the globe.

  • 3.GMAT or GRE
  • Today competitive exams are stressing students to the highest level. Students have no choice but to do a GMAT exam for a management course but it’s not the case with Darden, they accept both GMAT and GRE. They believe that the student should be comfortable and choose any of these exams based on their capability and feasibility. An amazing fact for the matter is the class of 2020 where 17% of students were admitted by the GRE score. They prefer a score of 161 in Quants and 162 in verbal, However, there isn’t any specific cut off.

  • 4.Work Experience
  • The average work experience at Darden school of business is about 4 years but as they have adapted to the case study method, the school accepts students with work experience ranging from 2 up to 10 years from a different domain for every student will be working with their peers. This helps every student to gain a few things and share from their experience. If a person has 2-3 years of experience, the admission officers will look for their experience and leadership role in their under-graduation college events. If the student has more than 7-10 years of experience the admission officers will look into more of a management role, the budget handled aspect and projects handled.

  • 5.Scholarship
  • At Darden, they have a range of Scholarships but the most prestige one is the “Jefferson”. This Jefferson scholarship is funded by the Jefferson college foundation. This scholarship waives off the entire fees and gives a student a stipend to manage his/her expense. Another prestigious scholarship is the Batten Scholars Program, which is sponsored by Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. This scholarship waives off full- and partial-tuition fees for students admitted to Darden’s two-year, full-time MBA program.
    Darden also gets past alumni who are willing to sponsor a scholarship to students as they want to give back to the student and want to help other students gain knowledge.

    Hope all these key takeaways were helpful. If you ever need help or any further guidance- Reach out to ReachIvy.com.


    Note – ReachIvy sincerely hopes that this article serves as a critical tool to increase your knowledge base. For study abroad consultation or career counseling with ReachIvy, Submit a Query now! Also, review our resources to access our free premium content.

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