Kenan-Flagler vs. Darden

I was asked to put together a comparison of Kenan-Flagler and Darden since I visited both schools. I am going to do a summary of location, recruiting, class/teaching method, and students. I will go through each of these topics and state which school I give an edge to.

Note: This is based solely on my research, campus visits, and conversations with students. Please take this entire post with a grain of salt.

Edge - Even
I can’t really give the edge to either of these schools for the location. I really enjoyed both locations. The one thing that I liked about both of these schools is that the business school buildings are not in the middle of the campus. They are somewhat separated from the main campus. That makes for easier access. However, Kenan-Flagler is close to the Research Triangle Park (RTP) area. This could be considered an advantage for recruiting. That said, I think Darden has does well recruiting with companies in RTP. If nightlife is an important aspect of your decision, Kenan-Flagler has the edge there. Franklin Street seems like a great place for nightlife.

Edge – Darden
I have exchanged numerous e-mails with students at both schools regarding recruiting. In general, I think it has been a tough year everywhere for recruiting. However, I think it has been a little more difficult at Kenan-Flagler. Here is some information from the employment reports from both schools to back up my highly scientific (haha) hypothesis.

Employment Reports:



Class of 2009
Kenan-Flagler – 57.31% offer received by graduation.
Darden – 77.2 offer received by graduation

Kenan-Flagler – 71.15% offer received by three months after graduation.
Darden - 81.6% offer received by three months after graduation. (Not 100% sure this number is accurate)

Kenan-Flagler Average Base Salary: $93,012.12
Darden Average Base Salary: $102,903

From the employment reports the one thing that sticks out to me is the percentage of students accepting consulting positions. At Darden, 31% of the students accepted consulting positions. At Kenan-Flagler, only 14.44% accepted consulting positions. This is probably due to Darden’s use of the case method.

Darden’s information for the class of 2010 internships is not nearly as detailed as Kenan-Flagler’s information. Therefore, I won’t state any facts from those reports.

Class/Teaching Method
Edge – Personal choice
It is tough to give an edge to either school for teaching method because it is highly personal. It truly depends on each individual and how he/she best learns. For me personally, I think 70% case and 30% lecture would be ideal. My one concern with 100% case is in classes such as accounting. This was one of my key questions to Darden students. I never received a good answer. I get the feeling that the case method doesn’t work well for accounting classes. In fact, on my Kenan-Flagler visit, one of the students mentioned she had to help a Darden student understand accounting at a competition that both schools participated in. Again, this is a highly personal subject. Thus, I will leave it up to my readers to decide which school has the edge.

Edge – Slight edge to Kenan-Flagler
The students at Darden were great. They were very welcoming and they have a fun way of introducing you to a class. The students at Kenan-Flagler were very welcoming and passionate about the school. I know in the class I sat in on, the students were very interested in talking to me (not the ones from the admission office). I thought that was interesting and didn’t know if it was like that at all schools since Kenan-Flagler was my first visit (it’s not like that at all schools, trust me). This is why I am giving the edge to Kenan-Flagler students. I know it’s not the best reason, but I felt like I was just another class mate while I was at Kenan-Flagler.

Beat The GMAT Scholarships

I just wanted to let everybody know about the scholarships at Beat The GMAT for 2010!

Here is some more info about the scholarships.
  • This is the 5th year for these scholarships
  • There are 6 scholarship packages to distribute
  • Include GMAT Prep classes from Grockit, Kaplan, Knewton, Manhattan GMAT, The Princeton Review, and Veritas Prep

I encourage everyone to apply for the scholarships! You can find more information about the scholarships at the following website:

GMAT Error Logs

I have been working on a project to create excel based error logs with some other team members from BeatTheGMAT. I just want to announce that the two projects are complete and the files are available to download.

Error tracking is extremely important during your preparation and these two files should make tracking much easier for you!

The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 12th Edition - Error Tracking Tool

Description: Custom error log built for tracking your Official Guide for GMAT Review, 12th Edition practice. Track your performance across five categories of test questions: problem solving, data sufficiency, reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and sentence correction. Includes custom built reports to analyze your performance, as well as a comprehensive answer key.


Error Log for General GMAT Practice

Description: Custom error log built for tracking your Official Guide for GMAT Review, 12th Edition practice. Track your performance across five categories of test questions: problem solving, data sufficiency, reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and sentence correction. Includes custom built reports to analyze your performance, as well as a comprehensive answer key.


You can read more about the error logs here:

Darden Visit

Day before visiting Darden

I left Pittsburgh early Sunday (March 21st) and drove to Charlottesville. I ended up making only one stop on the Pennsylvania turnpike and made it to Charlottesville in about 6 hours. It was a pretty interesting drive. The GPS brought me through the middle of nowhere. At one point, I was on a road for over an hour and didn’t see another car! Once I got to the Residence Inn in Charlottesville, I checked in and relaxed in my room for about 45 minutes. I grabbed a quick bite to eat and had a few hours before it was dark, so I walked to see the school. It was a 10 minute walk from the Residence Inn to Darden. All I can say about the school from the outside is WOW, such phenomenal architecture and a great location. I walked all around the outside of the school snapping pictures for a half hour before making my way back to the hotel for the night.

Arrival in the morning
My class visit was scheduled for 8:00 AM, so I arrived at Darden around 7:30. I wanted to walk since Darden was close to the hotel, but it was raining out. I stopped at the gatehouse when I arrived to get a parking pass for the day. Unfortunately, I walked out of the gatehouse and on my way up to the main building without asking where the admissions office was. So I wondered around the main building for awhile until I found someone to lead me in the right direction. Once I got in the office, I checked in but the lady wasn’t sure what class I was sitting in on. I was the only prospective student in the admissions office at that time (I always seem to be the first one at these visits). Luckily, it wasn’t long before the student came to get me and we made our way to class. If anyone is interested to know how to get to the admissions office, here is a picture below with directions.

So to get to the admissions office, you go up the steps and make a right. You then walk down the pathway and will enter the building on your right. Once you enter the building, immediately go down the stairs and you will be in the admissions office.

Class Visit - Global Financial Markets
The class I sat in on was a first year elective, Global Financial Markets. I was really looking forward to going over a case and seeing the case method in action, but the class didn’t have a case to review. I was a little disappointed about it, but nothing I could do about it. They went over the yield curve in class (should ring a bell If you read my Tepper debrief). Although there was no case to review, the class was fantastic. There was so much interaction during the class. The professor seemed pretty tough on the students, but he was just forcing them to get the most out of the class. I felt that there was far more interaction among the students at Darden than the students at the other two schools I visited (Kenan-Flagler and Tepper).

First Coffee
After the class, the student brought me to first coffee. I got the feeling from him that First Coffee isn’t something you go to that often. This is the time I had to talk with the student most, so I asked him a bunch of questions. I was a little disappointed with his answer about the weaknesses of Darden. It was more tailored around him specifically than the school. We talked about the other schools that he applied to (Duke and Kenan-Flagler). He had to decide between Duke and Darden. He was really torn between the two schools. Ultimately, he chose Darden because he hates Duke basketball. Yes, you read that right, because he hates Duke basketball! I got a good laugh out of that! Also, we talked with a professor that teaches Ethics.

I didn’t have anything scheduled for awhile after first coffee, so the student asked me if I wanted to go with him to his second class. I jumped on the opportunity to sit in on another class! The only stipulation was to not tell the admissions office he let me sit in on a second class J.

Second Class Visit - Leadership in Organizations
The second class I sat in on was a first year core class. I got a very warm welcome from the class. Just a warning to anyone visiting Darden, you may have to go to the front of the class for an interesting introduction. That’s all I am going to say because I don’t want to ruin the surprise for anyone!

The class discussed a case about Wyeth (the pharma giant acquired by Pfizer). The case was about creating the right type of incentives for the Wyeth employees to ensure a strong development pipeline of new drugs. This time I really got to see the case method in action. The class was exceptional! The professor essentially was a facilitator and the class debated different ideas the entire time. It was very interactive and everybody was so willing to share perspectives. I knew for sure after this class that the case method would be a great way to learn!

After Class
After class, I went back to the admissions office and talked with a few other prospective students. Most of the prospective students visiting that day will apply at the same time as me (class of 2013). This is the first visit that happened. Every other visit, I was the only one visiting to apply for the class of 2013. There was one student waiting for his interview. He seemed a bit nervous because he didn’t have much time to prepare. I believe Darden called him for the interview only two days earlier. Definitely not much advance notice.

I was scheduled to go to lunch in the late afternoon, but that was over 2 hours away. Unfortunately, something came up back home and I had to leave Darden early. I was disappointed that I had to leave early, but if I get an interview with Darden, I will definitely be going back!

Darden Visit Debrief Coming Soon

Well, it's been a few weeks since I visited Darden and I haven't had a lot of time to put together a debrief. I have actually been working a tool with some team members at Beat The GMAT to help GMAT test takers. I hope for it is finalized and released soon. Once I finish this tool, I will have my debrief from Darden up.

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