Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Perfect...on Paper

There's something to be said for following dreams. I've followed mine into business school, though 5 years ago, that's not likely what I dreamt. Maria on the other hand has been following her dreams for 3 years.

Tonight, I ventured into the city for one last night of festivities before tomorrow's trek to Colorado. It was a good friend's birthday (a heaven sent angel as I recall my b-school essay reviews). We met at a local bar and I ran into Maria, a fellow soccer stud. She mentioned that she may speak at UVA in the future for her book and next thing I knew, I was listening to the story of how she wrote the book. She always said she wanted to write a book, but never started. A short trip to Argentina resulted in a year stay and the first draft of her book. She shopped it to a number of agents and one found it aw inspiring. However, the publishers said "chicklet", which is the category of book she wrote, was on its way out. The aftermath of Bridget Jone's Diary had sucked out all the readers. After millions of disappointments, she decided to go it alone and publish the book herself. The release was well met by friends and family, but to her surprise, the book received even greater acceptance from the general public. Maria has marketed via word-of-mouth and other innovative channels. She's a case study of her own. However, without a publisher, the book will never be sold in stores such as Borders or Barnes & Noble. Given that she has won a number of awards for the book this year, she's hoping that she can take the book and its awards to a publisher soon and this time hear positive news instead of negative.

In my opinion Maria Murnane is inspiration at its best!

With the crazy interview schedule around the corner, odds are it'll take me a month to read this book, but I'm looking forward to it! And will post a full review when complete.

Check out her page: www.mariamurnane.com

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas and the Job Search

I returned home on Saturday afternoon after a weather delay in New York. The girls and I rocked out at a charity party that night and I slept past noon on Sunday (don't remember the last time I did that). Since then, mom and I played Santa to the cousins and thus hit 3 malls in two days. I've slept, lounged, and been as lazy as can be. However, there's one problem, I FEEL lazy. No exercise, lots of TV and a couple nights out may heal the overworked mind, but does nothing for the body.

I sat down today and started browsing jobs on the CDC (career development center) webpage. A number of cover letters for CorpFin are due at the beginning of January and ideally I'd like to have them complete before I leave for Colorado. Additionally, it's time to start the job search off campus. In some ways, I feel I've managed my search well and in others, I know I missed the boat. It always seemed like it was on the horizon and now, I feel it's right here, staring me in the face! Where did the year go? How did we get to 2009? It's been a blur and there's little clarity ahead.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Sometimes I wish I could change what I hear. I'm sitting in NYC, my last night, after an intense week of networking and hear that one of the banks released their invite list. It's a bank with whom I have felt an enormous amount of traction and I'm a bit confused right now. At this moment, I presume that I am not on that invite list given I have yet to receive an email. On one hand, it's ok. On another, it worries me about my prospects of actually getting an internship in banking this year. I'm as composed as I can be given the circumstances, though I am a bit rattled.

It will be good to be home tomorrow, assuming the weather holds and I have no delays. I'm looking forward to a little R&R after 3 very taxing weeks. Nothing like writing cover letters, which leads into exams, and then a week of crazy networking!! Part of me wants to celebrate the end tonight in NYC and the other part would be perfectly happy falling asleep on the couch until I need to head to the airport at 4 or 5 in the morning. I had so much more energy thirty minutes ago. Maybe I can rally after dinner.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Currently I'm without computer and thus blogging via BlackBerry. The week on
Wall Street gang is relaxing for a moment in the lounge of the W Hotel, waiting to meet with Morgan Stanley. This week has been a good way to get a feeling of the institutions. Some banks scream they're hiring and they want and love Darden. Others emulate a different perception than their words. Given the small keypad and public nature of these thouhts I will remain partial and not divulge thoughts on individual banks. It is sufficient to say many of my notions have been confirmed.

The days her have been long and busy. Though they're likely no longer than Darden. The constant networking and degree to which you need to be alert accumulates to end in exhaustion. On another note, we held a Darden reception last night. There were likely 80+ current students, at least that many alumni and a number of prospective students in attendance. With a group that diverse, the dynamics are a bit strange. Hopefully everyone got what they wanted out of the conversations. Personally, it felt good to put someone else in the hot-seat. All in all, NY has been a great trip including a little snow and some caroling. Time to network...

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I am one 5 hour exam away from FREEDOM! I can hardly contain myself! Do you remember when I said in Q1 that I wish all the exams were in one week? I retract that statement. This has been HELL! It isn't that the exams are overly hard, although I have had a few WTF moments, but spending 5 hours a day, every day, on a different test is taxing. Of course, it doesn't help that on the horizon is a couple well deserved weeks off. Granted, I complain now, but the scary part is, I am 5 hours away from finishing 25% of my business school tenure. WOW!

Truth is, all I want is to be able to sleep in tomorrow. It's been raining cats and dogs all day and over the last few days, it's been cloudy. That just screams lay on the couch and drink cocoa! Maybe Saturday before I head to DC. On that note, I'm going to crawl in bed and watch a flick on the computer before we go celebrate ECC's birthday with dinner!

Monday, December 08, 2008

4 More Finals and then a "Break"

About halfway through today I realized it's Monday. I suppose on some level I probably knew it subconsciously, but I was more focused on my GEM final than the day this morning. Five contiguous hours later and my final was done! WOO HOO, one down. I have another 4 finals to complete and feel less of a sense of urgency than I should. At this point, I just want it to be Friday at 3pm, the last possible moment finals are due. Next week is Week on Wall Street, which will be both fun and work, but the week after, I'm headed home for the first time since Labor Day. Needless to say, I'm excited.

One of my best friends had her birthday on December 1st and I was not around to celebrate, nor was I around to plan some giant night out, for which I'm known. Come Friday afternoon, there were still no plans for her birthday and she adamantly told me that she was not celebrating this year. Being the lover of birthdays that I am, I couldn't possibly let her get away with that, so with a few key strokes, I put a rally call out to my friends at home to drag her out of her house on one night over the weekend for a celebration. Since Friday is practically a blur after a 5 hour exam, I forgot to ask, but instead go a nice thank you for putting together the festivities. It seems even across the country, I can still put together one hell of a night. It makes me happy that I have the pull, however, I'm also saddened that I wasn't there to celebrate. Maybe in 2011.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Darden "Prom"

What's better than boys dressed up in fancy suits/tuxes? Girls, decked out in formal gowns and cocktail dresses!! Last night was Darden "Prom" aka the BGIA Winter Formal. It was held in true prom style in the ballroom of a local hotel with heavy hors d'oeuvres and an open bar.

Before I moved from San Francisco, I attended many formal and cocktail events, however, since the move, I haven't had reason to breakout the gowns. This was perfect! The first person to see me (besides the roomie) gave me the exact reaction I had hoped for, "wow, you look really good."

I loved seeing all the girls dressed up and the night definitely had a prom-like feel as I ran around and said hi/took pictures with a number of my classmates. For those who chose not to go, you missed out, but the good news is, there's always next year!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Last Class in Section D

It's a sad and exciting day for me. The good news is, today is the last day of Q2 classes. The bad news is Section D will be disassembled and redistributed into new numbered sections come January. Twenty-five percent of my section will remain with me during the section transition, but besides Darden Cup Athletic events, there will be no formal gatherings of the section (though the social chairs are promising Q4 festivities). The last two days have been incredible and remind me why I love the banter within my section. I've been doubled over in laughter with little sign of relief.

Yesterday, we held the BGIA (Building Goodness in April) live auction. The direct competition between bidders made the spirit of the auction that much lighter. Of course, the borderline inappropriate comments flowing from the MC also enhanced the fun.

This morning didn't start as I expected. After three hours of sleep, I was rushing to get to school by 7:45a, the promised arrival time to our professor for our last day of class. Our marketing professor has Parkinson's disease. He hasn't exactly been shy, however, at the same time, he hasn't offered much. Today, he demonstrated a high level of humility and with that came vulnerability. He read a presentation he had written about acceptance and mindfulness. I was in aw, as this man, who has lived an incredibly full and "successful" life talked about his shock that brought him back to reality. His successes, in many minds, would be in the right places, yet, when was diagnosed, he realized that success don't simply encompass work. Some great lessons were stated in this masterful presentation, the first being, love thy self. As EB said, "the underlying point was that we are all human and sometimes people get caught up in their own successes and don't realize where they are failing until it is too late." There is a balance in life that we all hope to achieve and each of us needs to be mindful enough to figure out the aspects of that balance. As I sat in class, trying to hold myself together, I saw the emotion on the other side of the room. Everyone listened intently and after class let out, I personally, thanked him for sharing. It's hard to be vulnerable around peers and even harder around those you mentor.

Not to discount the importance of my last paragraph, but to brighten the mood, I will continue with the day. We had section superlatives during first coffee which consisted of categories such as most likely to be on the late show, cause the next financial crisis, get fired from their next job, stick their foot in their mouth, run for president, become CEO, etc... They were all in good fun and encompassed some good speeches and great laughs.

I'm going to miss the section and though I know we will see each other around grounds next quarter, it's hard not to feel a little solemn today. It's been an incredible first two quarters and I will never forget Section D (partly because I will still harass each individual to attend Darden Cup events next quarter).

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Conspiracy Theory

I anticipate being up very late tonight! I have a number of cover letters to complete by Friday, but more importantly, I have just as many online applications to complete. It has been said that the online applications take approximately 30-40 minutes each and I'm estimating, there are 10 applications. OUCH!

Back to my theory though... it is my assumption that the drop date for resumes does not vary much year over year. However, Thanksgiving is not on the same day every year. This year in particular, Thanksgiving fell very late, November 27th to be exact. Subsequently, when we returned from Thanksgiving break, we returned to a hell week. In each class, we are reviewing exam cases from previous years, consulting and banking companies are on campus and hosting dinners, resumes are due on Friday, preparation for interviews has begun and there simply aren't enough hours in a day. Given how late Thanksgiving fell this year, we essentially lost a week and the pressure is on to take those precious hours we missed and fit them into this week.

I'm sure I should feel more stressed than I do. It could be the mentality that I KNOW I will complete everything. It's just the way I work. Luckily, I've run on a reduced amount of sleep before. Actually, about this time last year, I slept 8 hours in 4 days to complete my Georgetown essays. Turns out, they came out quite well. Hopefully, the same happens this week!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

On the Verge of Apathy

In my head, I know I must finish this quarter strong, but with 2 days of class left, it’s hard to focus. Six more cases, 5 finals and I’m off to NYC! I can’t say the week in NYC will be easy, but it will be without cases and that’s enough for me at this moment.

My cover letters are still in slow motion unfortunately. Hyper speed needs to kick in soon so that I can not only get the letters done by Friday, but also the online applications. We have a few banks on campus this week, however, our schedule is slow compared to the consultants – I don’t envy them right now!

Additionally, I welcome distractions at every turn and I know I will regret that come Thursday night when I need to focus on my cover letters. Unfortunately, I received one more distraction today, the new blackberry Storm! I finally gave into the Blackberry regime, at least mentally. We'll see what I think once I get the new "toy" up and running. For safety, I may leave the phone in the box until Friday when I have a break in my schedule. Things to complete/do this week: cases, classes, accounting review slides, final reviews, cover letters and to finish out the week, Darden "Prom". Oh yes, getting all dolled up on Friday night!!!