The Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia is certainly minimizing its focus on its essays this year, offering only one essay question as part of its 2011–2012 MBA application. In fact, the school is potentially narrowing its scope so much that candidates who have difficulty answering its one and only question may ultimately be discouraged from applying. We are going to be bold and predict now that more than one essay question will be posed next year. Time will tell.
Share your perspective on leadership in the workplace and describe how it has been shaped by the increasing influence of globalization. (500 words maximum)
As you present your view on leadership in the workplace for this essay, take care to avoid writing about leadership in a vacuum. Your perspective should incorporate your personal experience, possibly including reflections on interesting and innovative examples of leaders you have known firsthand, or even some (diplomatically addressed) negative examples of leadership that you have witnessed. For many, integrating globalization into this discussion will be challenging, but fortunately, globalization is a very broad term that is malleable and can therefore be thoughtfully applied in most situations. Everything from layoffs at a firm to introducing a new product to a leader coaching a challenging employee could arguably fall under the purview of globalization. Of course, just making the association between leadership and globalization will not be enough—your description of that connection will need to be meaningful and reveal that you fundamentally understand both the kinds of issues a true leader faces and the responsibilities he/she subsequently holds.