Friday, July 17


After Cornell i was supposed to write on "Tuck" but then somehow bumped on some statistics for Darden school of business and decided to dig in a bit more.

Median work ex: 4 years
Acceptance Rate: approx 25% (which is a good sign)
Class size: approx 330
International students:approx 30%
countries represented: 35
{GMAT distribution for class of 2009 }

Like Cornell, Darden is essentially a school with a small class size. I have heard that it has a stunning campus and school is renowned for its general management program. Darden alums are considered to be one of the most loyal of the lot. Per alum endowment is one of the highest for Darden. This fact shows that Darden is a closely knit community and people nurture long time relationships here. I would like to be a part of such small but closely knit community.
Darden is heavily tilted towards "case study method". Students are selected via "cold calls" and are supposed to intiate the case. The huge positive of case method is that it inculcates decision making ability in the students. Also, students become articulate and more insightful while presenting their viewpoints or while defending their arguments (the very qualities which managers use day in and day out). No prizes for guessing that Darden will grill an applicant to judge how he/she will contribute to the class discussions. A student not only acts as a student in Darden but also as a Teacher.
Darden has also added other learning tools into its learning arsenal, namely : video cases, articles, simulations,and experiential activities. Experiential activities are one of the best method to teach. Just to highlight the value of experiential learning i would like to quote "Confucius":
"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. "

Students are divided into learning teams and have to work in teams. Thus one can emphasize the ability to deliver in a collaborative environment in his/her application. {Working in teams comrising ofindividuals from diverse backgrounds sounds awesome to me. }
On average Darden students solve 13 cases/week and are expected to have a basic knowledge of accounting, statistics and economics ( i am zero in all three of these and thats why i have second thoughts about Darden). The MBA program at Darden is rigorous and it is this intensity that pays off while looking for internship and jobs. {well in sync with the saying that "The more you sweat in peace the lesser you bleed in war"}
"First Coffee", a tradition which is prevalent in Darden since its founding year, also caught my eye. Every weekday morning “First Coffee” is held, during which the Darden community sits down and discusses topics that are pertinent to the school. If you want to read more about this tradition then go to:

Last but not the least, placements -- 22% of the class goes to consulting and other major chunk to finance. Remuneration packages are comparable to top 5.
In sum, Darden is a great school but its heavy inclination towards case method puts doubt in my mind. I am trying to get in touch with some alums and try to clear my doubts. For those who already have basics in place Darden is a great school.


samarpan said...

Hi Illuminati

I found your analysis on GMAT score for Darden very interesting. Do you have any idea about the GMAT distribution of Indian applicants? Can you pls drop me a line at I would gretly appreciate it. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Hi, as you can see this is my first post here.
Hope to receive any help from you if I will have any quesitons.
Thanks and good luck everyone! ;)

Anonymous said...

hello all

I just thought it would be good to introduce myself to everyone!

Can't wait to start some good conversations!


Thanks again!