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Darden MBA Essay Tips 2014-15

Darden MBA Essay TipsDarden MBA Essay question for 2014-15 has been released. There is only one question for this year’s application.

Q) Describe the most courageous professional decision you have made or action you have taken. What did you learn from that experience? (500 words maximum)

Unlike other schools, the focus is on courage more than leadership or teamwork, and it is about professional courage. To dissect the question and find relevant experiences from your professional life that might fit this essay, let’s look at what courage is in this context.

Although you might feel that the AdCom is not evaluating your application on leadership, teamwork or communication, instances of courage will intersect these three skills.

Courage in Communication

Instances of crisis where you had communicated and conveyed crucial message to the team and to the management should find a place in the essay. Cite examples where you had to escalate the issue due to incompetence or lack of focus of the supervisor. This requires courage since the protocol demands communicating with immediate supervisor. The group dynamics resulting from the escalation should also be mentioned. You should also explain why you felt that it was important to escalate the communication. The greater good of the project and brand often leads associates to escalate crisis message to a higher management. They are risking their personal evaluation for the greater good of the company. This proves team spirit and vision.

Courage in Leadership

In your professional life, there will be cases where you would have led a team, and the decision might have been taken with limited information and support. When the luxury to make well-thought and planned strategies is missing, your instinct and understanding of the problem dictates the next action. The action might have led to failure or success but even in failure if you had shown courage, it is the true mark of leadership. Taking responsibility of the outcome even when you know that the result was not your doing, shows courage in leadership.




Courage in Teamwork

The difference between leadership and associate role is that the latter does not require owning up to the outcome of the project but only to the task assigned. Courage in teamwork requires going beyond the responsibilities assigned to you. Don’t include examples of overseeing other’s work or micromanaging team members. Owning up to the most challenging tasks in the project is one example that shows courage in teamwork.

Ideal Example – Courage in Teamwork + Leadership + Communication


The best example is the one where you have shown courage in all three crucial contexts – teamwork, leadership, & communication. The essay clearly asks you to point out the learning experience. Therefore, spend 45% on the context and 55% on the lessons learned. Upload your essay here, and check whether you have answered the question asked by the Darden AdCom. We will offer a comprehensive review.

Recommended Download: F1GMAT's Winning MBA Essay Guide




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