Friday, February 27, 2009

Crisis of Credit

Are you still confused about how we got into the credit mess? Do you scour at the mention of CDO? If you need clarification, one of my classmates shared this link with us. It is a great video that explains how we got here in laments terms. Check it out!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bite-Size World

People claim six degrees of separation, though as social networking sites grow, I'm convinced it's less. I received an unexpected interview invite today. I had practically written off IB for the summer due to the market, but it seems the light is flickering again. With the exciting news, I decided to browse our directory for current alumni at the company, sure enough, someone who is one of my Facebook friends and an alum of Darden works for Oppenheimer. What are the chances?? This is why I say it's a bite-size world.

HC added me as a friend on Facebook when I first got into Darden. We're both Colorado alums and at the time, we were both living in SF. I thought nothing of the addition expect perchance another friend in the world. I was supposed to meet him and some of his buddies for drinks in SF during winter break, but the logistics didn't work out and now, I'm half kicking myself. Little did I know this person would end up being a great resource and friend. It's amazing how small connections can make all the difference.

In another instance, another person I'd met during business school application season is a Facebook friend of mine and sent me a number of job requisition numbers for Wells Fargo. One of the internships sounded fantastic. At the rate this market is going, perhaps the bite-size world will play to my advantage. Here's hoping.

This may additionally be a reason you should be nice to everyone!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Number of kegs brought to the cabin: 5
Number of people crashing in the cabin: 50
Number of people who had cellphone reception at the cabin: 0

Number of times the girls beat the boys in flip-cup: 8
Number of times the boys beat the girls in flip-cup: 0

As much as Snowshoe is about coming to West Virginia to ski, it's also about relaxation and the company of fellow Darden students. The mountain itself is absolutely backwards in my opinion. For a west coast skier, I never imagined that you'd start at the top of the mountain and ski down, before sitting on a chairlift. At Vail, you are scanned every time you hit the bottom. Here, there is a person who scans tickets, but doesn't stop everyone. Needless to say, I never had my ticket scanned, odd. Unfortunately, my first day of skiing was cut short by a recurring knee problem, which was the exact reason I had quick skiing 3 years ago. It's hard to pinpoint what was different this trip versus New Years in Vail because there are many factors to consider. All I know is, instead of skiing today, I'm sitting in Starbucks, catching up on a blog post.

Last night was definitely a good time. The lodge had a giant common area and the organizer made sure we had party music, beer, games and fun, all night long. We even blew a circuit breaker. It took us a while to find the breaker box because each room had its own, so we eventually plugged the equipment in on the other side of the room. The craziness ensued when 3 tables were moved to the center of the lodge for flip cup. Unfortunately, it seems the boys need a little more practice. My beer-pong team managed to lose 3 straight... of which I will take most the blame. This trip was a fantastic time with great company, good food, and lots of laughs. Nothing beats jack-dog (who is literally a dog) trying to hump the girls sitting on the couch.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wednesday Night Bowling

I just realized, I don’t enjoy myself enough. It’s like that morning that you woke up and discovered you’re boring. That’s likely a bit rash, but I was thinking tonight as I prepared for my Merger-Negotiations meeting that I haven’t taken enough time to myself lately. I work hard, which is good, yet, life is about more than work. I spend a lot of time with people who are close to me, though lately, not enough time pretending I’m back in college. This is not to say that Darden has anything to do with these findings. If anything, it’s my driven personality. In fact, my roommate invited me out of a drink last night and I kindly declined. It seems to be twisted. I would like to enjoy myself, but feel if I don’t have an internship, I should be “working” instead. Of course the weight of non-enjoyment and limited release builds up until I breakdown. I never thought of myself as one to stress out. And even now, for the most part, I believe this is still true, but I do have my moments. I think this is a factor of an economy no one really expected. I’m among the best of the best, mostly type A personalities, and it is these people that I must “beat” to land a job. That alone sounds stressful, so to blow off some steam, I am going bowling.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Spring Break via

After a short conversation with my mother regarding spring break, I was kindly told NOT to come home. My original plan was to return to San Francisco, network and hopefully find an internship. Mom pointed out that there are limited opportunities to go travel for a week and once I start working again, these opportunities may become even fewer. On that note, it was time to decide where I wanted to go. Unfortunately, when the world is your oyster, picking one place can be difficult. This spurred a website idea: A travel website where you can input your available travel dates, your home airport code, and the region to which you would like to travel, it would return a number of packages that can then be customized further.

On that note, I’m a huge fan of Kayak for flight travel as it searches the majority of travel websites, quickly and easily, though I was disappointed regarding the flexibility of Kayak’s vacation search. So for this trip, I was reintroduced to another website – Expedia. Expedia allows you to fly into one city, book a hotel for that city, book a hotel for a second city and fly home from the second city. You can choose to find your own transportation between cities or Expedia will book it for you. I was quite impressed with the overall functionality. Additionally, the price was competitive to boot.

After careful consideration, we decided to book our trip to Spain – landing in Barcelona, spending four nights there, and then going to Madrid for three nights. Expedia does offer various tours and passes, though we declined all but one. We couldn’t pass up tickets to a match in Barcelona!! (I’m a huge soccer buff.) This doesn’t remove the looming stress of an internship; however, it should be a fun and relaxing trip. Let me know if you have any must see suggestions. We leave March 8th! :D

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Where does the week go?

So, it’s Thursday and I meant to write this post on Monday. I often wonder where the week goes. The trip to Toronto was a great time and one of my favorite parts of the city was the PATH. The PATH spans 27 km of downtown and in my opinion, is one big mall. It’s an underground path that connects a number of buildings and businesses in downtown, so that during the cold winters, residents can avoid going outside. It is lined with stores, often similar to those you'd find in a mall. Additionally, it reminds me of the “mole people” from various movies. I’m just waiting for them to take over! Check out the map here.

On a more interesting note, tonight kicks off Day@Darden. Last year was the first time Darden hosted an admit weekend for R1 students. (Big Congrats, by the way!!!)I found it quite beneficial and am still friends with a number of the people I met then. I still can't believe it's been a year since I received "the call". Time flies! For festivities tonight, we're hosting Darden Cup Bowling, followed by TNDC in the same venue. I suppose the admits will get to see the wild-side of Darden and tomorrow they join us in class to experience the case method firsthand. I guess that's the balanced view.

This was my experience: Day@Darden c/o 2010, but it will be interesting to get a new take on it this year. We've tweaked a couple aspects to, hopefully, make it better. Further, I'm interested to see the split among committed Darden members and still researching admits. We had both last year! The other good news is that there are 77 admits coming to campus versus approximately 50 last year. Woo hoo Darden! :D

Thursday, February 05, 2009

first impressions

I just dropped my significant other off at dinner and popped into a local Italian restaurant. It's swanky, but I'm enjoying the music. Toronto is definitely cold, but that's to be expected. There's more snow than I anticipated and you could almost walk to the islands in the middle of the lake because the lake is frozen. I probably wouldn't try it though. The CN tower glows multiple colors. I'm told it is taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris, but I'm not convinced. The Eiffel Tower seemed quite tall at 15. The city looks quite modern and I'm excited to explore this weekend.

I'm also looking forward to a little relaxation outside the city limits of Charlottesville. I contemplated a martini though decided to wait until the hotel bar. That way I'm much closer to sleep. I used bid points for an interview on Monday. If al works out this trip will comprise more studying than initially anticipated.

One last note, I'm happy to say the exchange rate is favorable for this trip. It's definitely interesting looking at exchange rates given all the knowledge I've learned in economics over the last three weeks. I'm not sure why I find it so fascinating. Perhaps it is because I finally understand the competitive implications of strong currency relative to another.

Hope everyone enjoys their weekend. Signing off from the BB.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


It seems that with everything going on, I couldn't come up with a better title than stuff, but that's exactly what this post is about. The days have been busy - cases, job search and various meetings/activities. Ok, maybe less true activity...I miss the gym. Tomorrow afternoon I head to Toronto for the weekend. I'm still convinced that my forehead says sucker as warm weather is more appealing than cold weather, yet I still think the weekend is going to be a good time. And crossing my fingers, turns into a job offer for my counterpart.

DSA elections are upon us and nominations must be accepted by Friday at 2p, which means I need to choose by tomorrow, if I'm going to run and what position I would like. Being a member of the Darden Student Association means that you cannot be on the board of any of the individual clubs. For me, I'm ok with that idea and if I end up not winning a DSA position, I will likely return to the clubs. There are a variety of positions and initially I wanted "treasurer", however, I don't want to run against EV. Sounds silly, I know! I've been nominated for Athletics Chair and though that does sound like fun, I'd much rather be able to play next year, instead of organize/ref. Finally, I'm eying V.P. Of course, I'm not sure who would vote for me.

The Outdoors Club is putting on a ski trip to Snowshoe in 2 weeks, which I'm attending. Fifty people, 2 nights, big lodge and some skiing. It's going to be a blast!! I fear with all this playtime that I am putting a dent in my spring break. Meaning, I may have to focus on the job search then. Hmmm, we'll see!

Q3 is 6 weeks long and thus, we're half way through! WOW!!! That's a scary thought. And someone how, even having almost every Friday off this quarter, I'm still cased out. Definitely going to take some "me" time on Friday and RELAX!!!

...Yes, for whatever reason, I'm in better spirits. I suppose this is the way I normally am, positive.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Direction, Please Come Back

Life's trials and tribulations definitely make me who I am, but lately, I'm not sure where they are leading. At times, I've been far too content with the status quo, but Darden has shown me a revived need for direction. And with that, the daunting task of making new and harder decisions. In the last few days, I've been all over the map. I woke in a funk the other day that didn't seem to vanish until the wee hours of the next morning. I can't even pinpoint what make me so distraught.

I suppose I don't show it much, but I'm worried about my internship prospects. Yes, the game is not over, but for IB, it has concluded. I've sent out a number of CLs and CVs since, however, I've received little, if any, positive response. I sometimes wonder if my resume doesn't lend itself to my chosen direction and perhaps that's simply the economic conditions. I have academic strength where I need it to prove my aptitude for financial concepts. Maybe I'm just highlighting the wrong aspects of my background.

Recently, I've tried using my network. Nothing has surfaced, but I'm hopeful. I have had an entire 4 interviews and am starting to feel sub par. Two months ago, I knew exactly what I wanted whereas it's fuzzy today and I'm starting to feel that I simply want a job, which is something I could have gotten without business school.

(Please note that by no means would I ever change my decision to come to business school...)