Planning to apply to one of Darden’s Professional Degree Programs? We offer both a Part-Time MBA program and an Executive MBA program! Our next Part-Time MBA deadline is 1 April and Executive MBA deadline is 10 April. March is a great time to get organized for these upcoming dates, and we have a number of upcoming admissions workshops that will help you craft your best application! We are also hosting just-in-time application hotlines for each program.

Workshops are interactive sessions that focus on key aspects of the application process. Application “hotline” webinars provide an overview of the application process and answer attendee questions in real time. All of these events are a great chance for you to connect with members of our Admissions team and get your questions answered as you finalize your application materials. We look forward to seeing you online! 

Check out a list of upcoming workshops and hotline sessions below and read on for 5 key tips for Part-Time MBA and Executive MBA applicants.

Upcoming Workshops and Webinars

Part-Time MBA Application Hotline Webinar

Tuesday, 29 March | 6:00 p.m. ET


Take a Turn as the Admissions Committee

Monday, 4 April | 12:00 p.m. ET


Executive MBA Application Hotline Webinar

Thursday, 7 April | 6:00 p.m. ET


And now, on with the tips!

Application Tips

  1. Before you start filling anything out, take 15-20 minutes to simply read through the application? What is required? What materials will you need to gather? Simply taking a few minutes to review the application will allow you to identify those parts of the application that might be slower or require more effort (which will help you determine how much time you will need to finalize your materials).
  2. You won’t be able to share everything about yourself in the application. For this reason, we encourage you to think of the application as an “initial introduction.” What is most important for you to convey in your application?  How do these priorities map onto the various parts of the application? Having a clear sense of your application priorities will allow you to put your best foot forward.
  3. A business school application is NOT a job application. Business school applications are about narrative and storytelling, and there are three key dimensions to any business school application: Personal, academic and professional.

    As you might guess, most applicants tend to focus a lot on academics and career, but very little on the personal dimensions of their story. The metaphor we share with applicants is to help visualize all of this is the three-legged stool, with each leg of the stool representing one of the dimensions listed above. To stand, each leg of the stool, i.e. your business school application, must be strong. As you develop your list of application priorities, think about how they align with these categories. While these dimensions are not perfectly discrete, a little reflection can help ensure you are crafting a well-rounded narrative.
  4. In our Part-Time MBA and Executive MBA application process, the test waiver request is in the application itself. As a result, when approaching the application process, applicants have a decision to make – submit a standardized test score or submit a test waiver request?

    When weighing this decision, we encourage applicants to think about their candidacy as our Admissions Committee will: Holistically and objectively. Can you build an objectively convincing case for your academic readiness for the Darden curriculum, a curriculum that includes both quantitative as well as qualitative classes, without a test score? Or would you benefit from having a test score as part of your application materials?Next steps: Our recent blog post exploring the Part-Time MBA and Executive MBA test waiver process is essential reading.
  5. In our Part-Time MBA and Executive MBA application processes, interviews are by invitation only. If you are invited for an interview this is a positive development, and it means you are being evaluated for an offer of admission! However, as you prepare for your interview (and you are definitely going to want to prepare!), there are a few things to keep in mind:
    • Darden interviews are conversational in nature, and the interview is an opportunity for you to share your story. Be prepared to drive the conversation.
    • Darden interviews are anonymous, and your interviewer will not have read your application prior to the interview. Why? We think this is the fairest way to interview, as your interviewer will not come to the interview with a formed idea of who you are.
    • Your interviewer will not have a copy of your resume. Again, the role of the interviewer is to listen and to learn more. Of course, your interviewer will also  ask some follow up questions, but you should have a plan for how you would like to use the time. Darden interviews are typically 30 minutes or so, and the time will go quickly. Did we mention that you should practice?
    • What happens after the interview? Your interviewer will write up this interaction, and these notes will become part of your application. With this in mind, consider how the interview can complement and supplement the information in your application. What haven’t you shared yet? How can the interview provide more depth to the information you have already shared? How can the interview help you give the Admissions Committee a truly comprehensive sense of who you are? 

Prefer your application tips in audio form? Be sure to check out our application tips playlist with step-by-step app guidance from members of Darden’s Admissions Committee.