Friday, May 29, 2009

No Reason for Silence

I'm not sure why I've been so silent. Last weekend my friend N.A. came to visit me here in Atlanta. First, it was great to see her, but more importantly, it was fun to have someone here with whom I could explore. We dined at a local Tapas restaurant (5 blocks from my house). The food was delicious and the sangria was even better. Turns out there's a gelato place a block further than the Tapas restaurant. That tidbit of information may become quite dangerous (I LOVE ICE CREAM!). That night we spent in the Virginia Highlands. Cute town and nice bars, but I really am a dancer. It'll still be good when I just want to grab a drink though.

Saturday was spent shopping in the Highlands. My friend and I both bought new dresses. Saturday night when we went to a lounge in Midtown, I realized that dresses and cute shorts are the "in" attire for nightlife. I suppose it makes sense given the typical humidity-temparture combination that has been very mild thus far. There was some overcelebraing in our party on Saturday night, so Sunday was very lowkey. My temporary roommate met a couple cute Italians and spent the next couple days hanging out with them, though she leaves this Monday. All in all a successful weekend!

On the work front, my manager finally returned on Monday, though she had training. We discussed expectations and had dinner at a traditional southern restaurant. It can't be good for you, but damn, it tastes like butter. On Day 8 of my internship, I joined the team for Habitat for Humanity. I basically spent all day caulking doors, baseboard and windows. It was an excellent way to "bond" with the team, even if we weren't working together on our house projects. And today is Friday!! I've discovered that I don't know anyone in Atlanta besides the other interns. The couple I've asked about plans this weekend are leaving town, so I may be flying solo. I've been to clubs solo in Paris, but I'm not sure about Atlanta. Should be interesting.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Day 5: Starbucks

I'm not a frequenter of Starbucks, but with extra time these past mornings and a craving for something warm, I've found myself there more than once this week. Every day, I set my alarm slightly later. I have found that this means the line is that much longer at Starbucks. I'm not one to go hysterical regarding lines, however, Starbucks is not a neccessity to my being and it drains my pocketbook. So convincing myself not to go, is NOT bad. I decided on my drive over today that if there were more than 4 people in line, I was going to walk out. Four, though an arbitrary number, made sense to me. Sure enough, I walked in to a line of 5 people. I stood there for a moment contemplating just waiting. Then I decided I should uphold the deal I had made on the drive over. I realize this story is a bit odd, but given the vast "temptations" of sweets and less healthy items at work (cafeteria food), I considered leaving a Win. I just need to remember my willpower going forward.

In other news, my friend from college, who ironically lives in SF, comes in today! Though I know nothing about Atlanta, she agreed to exploring the city together. I've spent the last couple days walking up and down N. Highland, the main drag of the Virginia Highlands with cute restaurants and expensive boutiques. I'm looking forward to trying a couple new restaurants over the weekend.

Back to the information dump we call internship.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Days 1-3

I didn't intend on being this silent. My first problem is the lack of email/ internet access at home. The other is likely getting used to full work days again.

The first couple days of my internship were spent in orientation. I never knew there was so much information about this company. It's incredible! It was also exciting to see who was chosen to speak with us. One thing is for sure, interns are taken seriously. I met my mentor and buddy. Apparently my boss is in Argentina. I've now met part of my team as well. All very nice people and excited I am here.

This is all great, but I admit the nerves are there too. They use SAP here, a program with which I have no experience. I'm not scared of the program as I know I catch on quickly. However, I do hope I know all that I am expected. I was always strong in finance class, yet somehow I feel this may be different.

Currently I have no computer and very little to do. I get the feeling this will change soon. Time to review a Power Point presentation then I have a meeting at 330p.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

ATL First Impressions

I spent the better part of 7 hours driving to Greenville, SC yesterday. It was weird to walk out of my apartment and know that is it for the next three months. I kept thinking I over packed because my SUV looked rather full, but I really don't own much in C'ville so it couldn't be true. I said goodbye to my boyfriend, fully knowing I'd see him in Vegas this weekend. However, it still felt too odd.

Last night I stayed at a friend's house. We chatted about her wedding details, a little about the MBA and mostly played catch up. She was a great hostess I just wish I felt better so that I could have been a better guest.

I arrived in Atlanta this morning a few sub-10am. My first thought as I saw the large city is that I have some directions to learn. Oh boy! My subletter was here for only a few minutes before he ran off to catch a flight. Being here, I feel like I'm in a hotel. Not because this place looks anything like a hotel, especially with my sheets on the bed, but because it all feels foreign. There's someone else's dishes in the cabinets, someone else's couches in the living room and my temporary roommate looks nothing like the beautiful Brit I've become accustomed to seeing.

Now to locate the store and return without getting lost. Baby steps.

(Thank goodness for is not always the most direct though it gets you there. )
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Summer Goodbyes

Many people have been celebrating the end of finals and our new second year status. Second years are holding their goodbyes and enjoying what's left of their new freedom. Some have already left to either be with loved ones or to enjoy a couple non-darden weeks before internships begin. All in all it feels good, however it is a bit strange to say summer goodbyes which is in the end what has happened every time you finish talking to someone. In the end, there are also some summer hellos as people slowly find out where everyone is going to be this summer.

I also find it comical how conversations don't revolve as much about darden anymore and are more directed towards summer activities. For instance, do you have an internship? Where are you going to be this summer? When do you start? How long are you working? Are you traveling with your free time?

It is a whole new ballgame. And the funny part, when we return next year, it'll probably feel as if we never left.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Camp Darden

Knowing which business school you're going to attend, in my experience, is one of the most exciting parts of going to business school. You have high hopes and great anticipation of what the next year to two will bring. This post is directed at incoming students, both for Darden as well as other business schools. If you have the flexibility to show up at your school a week or so prior to school, DO IT! At Darden we have pre-matriculation classes, which are basically a mix of refresher and getting people up to speed. TAKE ONE!! I realize it's more money out of the pocket, but it is a great place to make new friends.

In addition, if you're not on Facebook, start an account. Some people worry about privacy issues on the internet, there are tons of features on Facebook that allow you to restrict access to your profile. Fact is, with the internet, privacy is not what it used to be, deal with it. (I've also been informed that Twitter is a hot item right now.) Basically the great aspect of Facebook is connecting with people before school. Check out where people are traveling, exchange messages and build friendships before you get on campus.

Now for Camp Darden, this was a student driven list serve for all incoming students. We set it as a Google Group and people would essentially pick dates and places for either hosting a party or meeting up. It was fun because wherever we went, we took over. And of course, it was another way to build bonds among classmates. House parties were thrown, people visited Charlottesville bars and a group of 30 of us went hiking in the Shenandoah Mountains. This was a great way to kick off business school. The initial group consisted of about 7 people who were here for most the summer. It grew to approximately 3/4 of our class and there is a Camp Darden Reunion being planned for Vegas this June!

Hope all the incoming business school students enjoy their summers!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Is it time to join Twitter?

It is not as if I need more distractions in my life. It is taking me hours to finish even a page of BS on my paper... I mean a page of meaningful fluff. I recently received a request from my mother to follow me a Twitter. No, I am not currently a member of Twitter though I've heard good things. Typically, I'm on the forefront of innovation and I suppose in my business school box, I've turned into a laggard. Even Dean Bruner is on Twitter!

That's likely what spurred this thought of mine, as did this lovely lady's blog post. I'm not sure if I am ready to make the plunge yet. Between Facebook, GTalk, email, text and surfing the web, I surely have enough to keep me busy. Though seeing my old boss on Twitter, makes me revisit this idea.

Keep up with Darden on Twitter... check out this list.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Blogger Farewell and New Leadership

Tonight, the Darden Student Bloggers held a dinner at Dean Bruner's house. It was very nice of him to host us, but what is even more significant is that he IS one of us (though not a student). The Dean posts regularly about a variety of topics - mostly centered around business. It is rare that such a small group has the chance to meet with him face-to-face, but he set aside 3 hours of his night and opened his house to the Darden bloggers. A Big THANK YOU to the Dean and his wife for being such gracious hosts!

About the Group:
Darden Student Bloggers write about Darden because they want to write about Darden. There is no course credit and no negative consequences if we let our blogs disappear. The Darden bloggers are all about writing to give the world a closer look into our lives. And for me, I write in order to look back at my path and figure out where I have been. It's fun to read old posts, such as the day I graduated college or the day I got into Darden. I never would have dreamed this path 5 years ago.

Of course, with the end of our FY, we also have a changing of the guard. The SYs are off to bigger and better things (or perhaps just beach week for debauchery next week). In the meantime, the group has elected new leadership - I will become President and Mechanigal will be V.P. Thanks to all the bloggers for your support!! I'm very excited about this position.

I suppose this means I need to get an agenda going for next year. I'm hoping to coerce people into writing more than they do now. Excuses are a dime a dozen, but what is forgotten is that it's easy to throw up a couple paragraphs and that is about the length and attention span that most people have. (I know it's true for me, even though I do write dissertations sometimes.)

On that note, enough procrastinating... back to ELA!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

I Keep Telling Myself

Last week concluded first year classes for me. Unfortunately, I still have a week of finals ahead. I took off on Thursday and drove to Louisville, KY where I met the family and kicked off Derby weekend. The Derby is an event like no other (more on that later). Subsequently, I failed to do ANYTHING productive this weekend.

I've returned to ELA hell (which is a LARGE group project due on Friday) and have still managed to be unproductive though I know how important being a group member is. I keep telling myself to power through and not to drop the ball now, but find that is much harder than I'd like to admit. I suppose it's because as much as I understand now what the end goal of all our muddling was, I'm extremely irritated by the fact that I don't have any of the right answers to my questions. We've already interviewed people with questions that I now deem unworthy. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if we can go back to the company because of the massive hoops we had to jump through in the beginning. FRUSTRATING!!! I am NOT a lazy person or group member, yet my worth is dwindling. ONE MORE WEEK! I can't wait for a break from school.

Note: ELA = Enterprise Leadership Audit. It is a new project in one of our first year core courses where we work with a company to figure out where they invest in their people/processes that helps support their strategy. The ideal company for this project is around 50 members, local and you know someone of power in it to collect the information you need. Unfortunately, that is not our company.