Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Back Home with the Big Kids

Home sweet home! You have no idea how great it felt to sleep in my own bed and have my own space after living out of a suitcase for 4 days. However, when I return to work, I always wonder if the break is worth the mound of paperwork on my desk and list of tasks I have to redo because someone didn't take the time to do them right. ARGH!

Anyhow...I know everyone is wondering... the interview. I'm happy I waited until today to write this post because I think I would have written a different story yesterday. The interview at Darden is indeed on one hand as lax as everyone says. It's a "conversation" in which the applicant does the majority of the talking and dictates the direction. You have one question to answer, tell me about yourself and what has driven you to make the decisions you have made. They want the WHY!

I started at the beginning which in retrospect may have been the right place, but seeing I didn't practice as I probably should have, I left out some important things about what I do and who I am today. There are things I mentioned, but I guess wanted to mention and move on, however, my interviewer was interested in why I did or did not do something, which all in all simply ate up time.

I took too long explaining how the company has changed and the small hand I have had in that instead of how I have changed processes and shaped a once undefined position in my company. Besides mentioning the name, I failed to mention anything else about my women's philanthropic group and how I essentially coordinate 60+ volunteers. Just silly on my part. She had trouble wrapping her head around the WHY MBA question. She suggested I go into operations somewhere else, which of course, I don't exactly want to do for the rest of my life - 4 years is enough. On one hand maybe she was challenging me as Darden is completely case based, of course on the other, perhaps she just didn't get it. Honestly it's hard to say.

I mentioned something about wanting a consulting job with an international twist. She asked why and I brought up globalization and my thoughts on China, which apparently didn't suffice as she mentioned I could have read that in the journal. Needless to say, she pushed a bit more and I kept coming back with new thoughts and insights.

Finally, we talked about WHY DARDEN. This was probably the easiest question there is and I NAILED it. At the end she mentioned how some of my comments about Colorado and my undergrad reminded her of Virginia and the Darden community. Hopefully this is a good sign.

I walked out of the room and was grabbed to attend another faculty lunch. I was happy that this time I sat at a table with a finance professor, but my mind was running 10,000 miles a minute and I'll admit, I was fried. I forewent food and listened to the conversation before me. At the time, I had no clear thought process and was out of questions to ask as I had probably used my last on my interviewer. I've spoken with and met so many friendly people at Darden that I don't know what else to ask anymore.

The rest of my day was spent trying to get home. I didn't even look at my itinerary to see what time I was supposed to be home, but someone did mention we were two hours late. Oh well. Over the course of the day, I was in contact with some delightful people and some not so delightful. As I boarded my last flight in Zone 2, I noticed a guy inching to the front of the line and he was Zone 1, so I told him he could go ahead. I was being courteous and figured he was going to ask somewhere along the line anyhow, he looked at me, told me he didn't need my permission, he was in Zone 1. I HATE when people feel entitlement.

Now the hurry up and wait process begins... February 1st is D-Day.


Wingman said...

Congratulations on finishing the interview! I think we all feel that way when the Darden one is complete - I've been going over every word I said while sitting in that chair and just hope I said enough to express who I truly am.

Anonymous said...

I hate ZONE 1 bastards like that.

Ameya said...

Congratulations on your interview (Y). I hope I get a chance to write about my interview as well... as of now I just need to wait and watch...

Kiran said...

Hi There,

I interviewed on the 21st with Sara.

Let me know how it goes.