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Sample MBA Essays

In this example, after following a traditional software engineering route as an associate and senior associate and finally earning a quick promotion to earn the role of a team lead, the applicant is transitioning into Product Management as managing the product requires skills beyond programming and strong analytical skills.

A perspective of the market, the competition, and user preference as well as working with the restrictions of product strategy also play into the success in the role.

Fascinated by the multi-level thinking, applicant <x> is hoping to leverage Darden’s strong foundational core course and global learning experience to develop the cultural and regional understanding to translate a behavior to a winning product feature.

Sample Darden MBA Essay: Short-term Post-MBA career goal (150 words) (Product Management)

Managing a team of twelve in enforcing <Y> insurance standard in 120,000 terminals used by insurance agents in under 2-hours was the first time, I witnessed how technology could beautifully solve complex ‘scaling’ problem and save $20M in fine. Following the success, I was assigned as...

In this example, the applicant, responsible for building a team for the developmental project in X, is faced with a unique problem. The success of the project depends on an equal priority approach to fieldwork and fund-raising. Watching the team’s productivity drop after the initial high, the applicant makes a conscious decision to change the culture of the organization by re-visiting the recruitment policy.

Sample Darden MBA Essay – Different Perspective and IMPACT on worldview (Team Diversity and Attitude Towards Controversial Opinions) (193 Words)

Working as an interface between corporates and non-profits was a bitter-sweet experience. We boldly improved fund allocation efficiency through the aid of technology, but the lives of beneficiaries on the ground remained marginal. Never suspecting our recruitment policy, I evaluated the on-the-ground interactions and quickly learned that after the initial discussions with the beneficiaries, follow-up communications were non-existent. Fund-raising was a more interesting problem as the reward was immediate, whereas developmental work on the ground that requires time and where the real impact lies, began to be ignored.


In the second example, we look at an applicant - a Venture Capital professional,  who was raised in a military family where the chain of commands, and “yes-no sir” were music to ears. The command over the room and body language play an equal role in the person’s family as the courage to sign up for combat. The exchange program to Kenya is the backdrop for this narrative. A quiet weekend with friends turns into one of the most memorable life events, breaking assumptions, and a chance to acquire a new value.

Sample Darden MBA Essay – Different Perspective and IMPACT on worldview (Courage)(199 Words)

My one-month exchange program as part of y’s start-up accelerator program was winding up. I had the chance to share my journey with Kenyan friends. While we were engaged in our second round of merriment, a loud blast ripped through the ..

In the first example, we look at an applicant who had a debilitating fear of pathogens. His mother tried to change his perspective through operational knowledge of germs, bacteria, and virus. The presentation made the case worse. Camping - a uniquely American experience is used as the backdrop in narrating how the applicant overcame his hypochondriac tendencies and learned to apply a new mantra when the day to day challenges are overwhelming.

Sample Darden MBA Essay – Different Perspective and IMPACT on worldview (Life Experience) (191 Words)

As a 6-year old, when friends were making plans to outperform the defense in Soccer, I was calculating the chances of catching a cold. I had developed a debilitating fear of the ‘unknown’ pathogens. My mother – a Doctor...


Applicants seldom are part of transformational times. The Early 2000 and post-2008 applicants experienced the uncertainty and shift in the attitude of the market. However, for the past two years, we have seen a definitive change in the attitude of our clients. It might be generational or perhaps an idealistic call to take part in a transforming world.

Narratives where you were part of the history or contributed towards pioneering a new policy, change in culture, or technology is application gold.

Not many have the experience or the insight to measure their contribution at a functional, organizational, and societal level. Not many works in such industries.

In this example, the applicant, who is working for the Oil and Gas industry has a rare perspective on where the world is heading. The narrative starts with the declining oil reserve in the North Sea and switches quickly to the reluctance of the industry leaders to make the transition to the inevitable.

The subsequent narrative flows from a...

Sometimes the cause could lead the applicants to a journey that was never anticipated.

Climate change, declining compliance with vaccination, the negative influence of social media on democracy, prescription drug addiction, air pollution, access to drinking water, the threat of war, and market forces that weaken government institutions are all problems that affect all of us.
Applicants who take on such a problem has the advantage of narrative recall. In this example, the applicant’ journey from a Philanthropy Consultant to IMPACT investor is chartered with an experience in 2017. The problem facing coastal dwellers is the backdrop for this narrative.

Yale SOM MBA Essay prompt: Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. (500 words)

Commitment could be in the form of reaffirming a personal value or a professional mission. In this case, the applicant’s vision to build a fund for the 200 million underprivileged communities inhabiting coastal areas is fueling the desire to learn about IMPACT investing.

In 2017, during my third engagement...

In this example, we look at the fictitious profile of a Medical Doctor, who wants to be at the helm of real-change – Investment. A multi-faceted individual, who found impact in every engagement he participated as a Medical Doctor to Strategist, is finally seeking one of the most ambitious career transitions – to switch from someone serving the patients to leading investments in a value-based healthcare system.

The first paragraph starts with a narrative of the applicant as a child when he kept organizing the building blocks on size, hinting that even as a child, his passion was in reimagining existing systems. The lines on his involvement to 'improve' systems in school, college and professionally, affirms this behavior. Once the applicant summarizes his passion, a specific example of how his initiative improved patient care for the critically ill is offered.

The second paragraph dives into this initiative and how the applicant's innovation became the standard operating procedure for Emergency care in the UK. The applicant then transitions into his search for a larger impact by connecting with a Partner of a leading consulting company in London on improving Healthcare systems. The interaction becomes a basis for a 10-month consulting engagement - the first for a Medical Doctor. NHS funding cut  - the austerity measure, is cited as an example to demonstrate that government-funded...

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