It's been a pleasant day in Charlottesville, VA. You can't beat the 70 degree weather we've had today! I arrived on campus around 10:30 am. I'm definitely glad I planned a day to get acquainted with C'ville and Darden. I asked admissions for a self guided tour packet and needless to say, I ended up on a student led tour, the first one Michael had ever given. It was splendid in a crash course type of way. Furthermore, Darden has the prettiest parking garage I have ever laid eyes on, it could be and probably has been mistaken for a Darden classroom building. The group I joined was compiled of fellow applicants and they are just as brilliant as the rest of the Dardenites I met today. After our tour, we congregated in Abbott hall for lunch with a few faculty members. Unfortunately, there were not enough to go around, so Sara Nehler (director of admissions) sat at my table, she too was delightful. I get an incredible warm fuzzy feeling as I think about my interaction with everyone today. But here is where it starts to get weird. (In a good way)
I'm walking to the dessert table and Nikki walks up to me and goes... aren't you the girl to whom I sold my GMAT books? Yes, yes indeed I am. I bought 7 GMAT books back in March before I embarked on this crazy journey. The Brit gave me 10 min of her time, which proved to be very rewarding, but as I was almost late for soccer, I had to bid her adieu and moved on quickly. So here we are, months later, both at Darden, both interviewing, and both without local friends or accomplices. I walked with her through another tour as I had time to kill before meeting Elizabeth at 3 pm in the PepsiCo Forum. Nikki said she'd ring later and we could make plans. As I sat in the rotunda of the PepsiCo Forum, through the doorway I watched some sort of skit. Five guys, each carrying one shoe, singing something about their boot, moving about their table... as you can imagine, it was quite comical and it made me feel right at home.
Elizabeth arrived at a few after 3 o'clock and because her classes had gotten a little jumbled, she was unable to stay long. Elizabeth has been my one-to-one correspondent at Darden since September. We've emailed and she's been a great source of advice like most the Darden staff. I left her and drove around town a little more until Nikki called. We agreed to meet at her hotel at 6 pm and head downtown.
Though I purchased books from Nikki, I didn't know much about her, but we talked like old college buddies that hadn't seen each other in years. Somehow, we started discussing our ages. She asked my birth month, same as hers, birth day, same as hers, and of course, SAME YEAR! Ok, you must admit that's freaky. Additionally, I have always believed that Cancers have this instant connection, yep, she brought that up and we discussed the astrological side for a few moments. After dinner we decided on ice cream for dessert, ordered the same one, Mint Chip. Just a bit strange at this point.
Next she and I met two Darden alums for drinks as she has a good friend who attended Darden about 4 years ago. One of them informed me of three buzz words to use in the Darden interview, Case Method, the Network, and something I have failed to remember at the moment. There again, if you truly know Darden, those words shouldn't be hard to recall. On that note, I'm signing off as the big day is tomorrow. I've been told the interview is simply a conversation and I don't doubt that. Darden simply wants to know more about you and what makes YOU tick. I'm looking forward to it!!