Join Darden Admissions every Wednesday at 12:30 – 1:00 p.m. (ET) for a live chat with an admissions committee member. Here is this week’s transcript:
Question: Are there any advantages applying in Round 1 vs. Round 2?
Answer: I would recommend applying in the first round, provided you have your best application ready at that point. Advantages of applying in Round 1 is that all seats are open and every scholarship dollar is available.
Question: I just changed jobs two weeks ago. Would it be better to wait and get a recommendation from my current boss, or ask for a recommendation from someone who works at my previous employer?
Answer: I would definitely use your manager from your previous job. You might want to explain this in the “Additional Information” area of the application.
Question: Should letters reflect my recent work or should I approach a previous employer (who holds a senior-level position)?
Answer: Ideally your recommenders will reflect relatively recent experiences. If you use recommenders from the past, they will share information about your skill level and performance at the time they knew you. These are probably not at the same level you are today. Also, we’re not all that impressed with titles. What we want are comments from individuals who have been able to directly observe your work.
Question: I am retaking the GMAT. I may get a better score — I may not. Would you recommend that I apply Round 1 with my current score or apply in Round 2 when I get my new score?
Answer: It is at least somewhat risky to submit your application and then retake the GMAT. There is some chance that your application will have already been reviewed before the new score comes in. If that happens, there will be no re-read of your application — the old score will stand.
Question: I have a question about the essay. Is it more effective to use a recent challenge or to use one that happened a few years ago but you think is a better example?
Answer: I’d use the better example.
Question: What are the differences between the full-time MBA and the Executive MBA formats?
Answer: Our EMBA students have, in general, more work experience than the MBA’s. Typically 6 or 7 years is the minimum.
Question: Can a person apply to both the full time MBA and the EMBA at the same time?
Answer: Yes, you can apply for both programs. What you might want to do initially is schedule a conversation with a member of the Admissions Committee who could help you decide which program likely is best suited for you. E-mail ExecMBA@darden.virginia.edu to schedule a phone call.