The MBA degree provides candidates with the tools, skills, networks and opportunities to advance their current career or switch their career path in a new direction. For those looking to use the degree to expand their career opportunities, understanding which business school programs provide the greatest access to which careers is critical.
The UVA Darden MBA recommendation questions are now available to applicants and their recommenders. UVA Darden uses the Common Letter of Recommendation by GMAC. One recommendation is required from an individual who can speak directly to the applicant’s aptitude and capabilities for graduate study and future success as a manager, but applicants may submit up to two, if desired.
2022-2023 UVA Darden MBA Recommendation Questions
Section 1: Recommender Information
Context of Relationship:
University / Academic
Extracurricular / community
Nature of relationship
Advisor / mentor
Colleague / Peer
Client / Customer
Business Partner / Investor
Less than 1 year
More than 10 years
During which period of time have you had the most frequent contact with the applicant?
Please select the option(s) that most closely matches your affiliation with Darden or the University of Virginia, if one exists.
May we contact you regarding this applicant?
Did you use a translator?
In this section, you will find 12 competencies and character traits that contribute to successful leadership. The competencies and character traits are grouped into five categories:
For each competency, please select the one button that corresponds to the behavior that you have seen the applicant most consistently exhibit. We acknowledge that all applicants have both areas of strength and areas of development. Your candid and honest appraisal will assist in evaluation of the applicant. Please assume that each level builds upon behaviors of the previous level.
1. Initiative: Acts ahead of need/anticipates problems
2. Results Orientation: Focuses on and drives toward delivering on goals, objectives, and performance improvement
3. Communication, Professional Impression & Poise: Delivers messages and ideas in a way that engages an audience and achieves buy-in; uses listening and other attending behaviors to reach shared understanding; remains calm and measured even in time of crisis or conflict
4. Influence and Collaboration: Engages and works with people over whom one has no direct control
5. Respect for Others: Acknowledges the value of others’ views and actions
6. Team Leadership: Manages and empowers a team of formal or informal direct reports, including virtual teams
7. Developing Others: Helps people develop their performance and ability over time
8. Trustworthiness/ Integrity: Acts consistently in line with or follows explicit values, beliefs, or intentions
9. Adaptability/ Resilience: Adapts to changing demands and circumstances without difficulty. Maintains calm optimism in the face of challenge, problems, or apparent failure
10. Self Awareness: Aware of and seeks out additional input on own strengths and weaknesses
11. Problem Solving: Frames problems, analyzes situations, identifies key issues, conducts analysis on the issues, and produces acceptable solution
12. Strategic Orientation: Thinks beyond one’s span of control and into the future to reshape the approach or scope of work
(Optional) Is there anything about your competency ratings on which you’d like to comment?
Based on your professional experience, how do you rate this candidate compared to her/his peer group?
Unable to Assess
Very Good (well above average)
Excellent (top 10%)
Outstanding (top 5%)
One of the best encountered in my career
Do not recommend this applicant
Recommend this applicant with reservations
Recommend this applicant
Enthusiastically recommend this applicant
Please answer the following questions and provide specific examples where possible.
How would you characterize your relationship with the applicant and, if applicable, the applicant’s role in your organization? (Word limit: 50 words)
How does the performance of the applicant compare to that of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? (E.g. what are the applicant’s principal strengths?) (Recommended word count: 500 words)
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