July 25, 2018

Darden School of Business MBA Short Essay 1

University of Virginia Darden

Darden Short Essay 1

Tell us what you would want your learning team to know about you - personal, professional or both. (100 words)

Have you seen THE AVENGERS? Or THE A-TEAM? Or “any heist movie ever”? If so, you’re familiar with the concept of individuals with special talents contributing to some group goal. The brute force guy: Hulk. The leader: Captain America. The espionage badass: Black Widow. The guy with remarkable six-pack: Thor. You get the idea. Each person should be capable of something that s/he can do better than just about anyone else on the squad. “Specialists.” It’s not that that’s the ONLY thing they can do, it’s just a more interesting proposition when you utilize everyone’s specialty and sum it all up.

The same idea applies to the “learning team” at Darden. You can read about it here. On the one hand, you could say something funny here that endears you to your teammates. Or you could wow them with some incredible thing you accomplished somewhere along your road to Darden. But, neither of those will necessarily help you as a crew “achieve your max potential as an Avengers-style squad.” In order to do that, you need to reveal what your “super power” is and how it will be of use to the CREW when the time comes. If you’re Iron Man, for example, it isn’t useful to talk about your preference for Tom Ford suits. It WOULD be useful to talk about how quickly you learned astrophysics, because THAT SKILL may come in handy in a “group mission.”

What’s the mission? You’re gonna be dissecting cases at Darden. What is it YOU BRING TO THE TABLE that would be of interest to your mates? Be sure that this thing isn’t something someone else might ALSO have, or it won’t prove useful in this setting.

In 100 words, spend 50-60 describing THE SKILL, and then use the remaining 40 or so to explain how this will be useful to the group. Without that piece, it won’t sing as loudly.


You can also read through our team’s analysis of the rest of Darden’s MBA application essays.

Learn more and explore each step of the Darden School of Business full-time MBA application process here.

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