Monday, September 28, 2009

Invite Lists, oh my!

It sounds all too familar as the whispers crowd the halls. The interview invite lists from the first round of resume drops are flooding in and many of us are waiting patiently for the "invited to interview" email. Applying to jobs on grounds is very different than off-grounds. On-grounds, you can see when an interview list has been received and there is no preformated "ding" email, just silence. Off-grounds, there's the typical, yeah, you were interesting and better luck next time "ding" email. I suppose the real difference I find is on-grounds, you can speculate that you didn't make the cut, yet until you hear someone else say they did, you don't really know.

The timing of recruiting this year is very different from last year. The idea that I could have an offer in hand by December excites and scares me. Exciting as then I could safely continue my quest to study abroad without the lingering thought of recruiting from Sweden. Scary because the offer is the beginning of the end of an incredible experience.

The list of jointly selected cities is sitting on the backburner right now. I suppose that's also frightful. On some level, I want the best job for me and my future that I can receive. On another level, I'm willing to make some sacrifices in the future. Leading me to wonder at the end of the day, for the first two years post business school, what's most important? Though "everything" sounds like a fine answer, what I've learned in business school is trade-offs and they exist everywhere.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Is the plate full?

I'm 30 minutes away for my Co-Chair of the Annual Gift Campaign for the Class of 2010 interview. I'm underwater in regards to recruitment as it never seems to end even when there's a pause. Classes and cases are quickly wrapping up. With two weeks left in the quarter, I dread the idea of finals and what it all means as far as the time crunch. Though I'm not playing soccer this season, I've transitioned into the true role of coach, constantly trying to ensure we have a full team for Sunday's 9am games.

So what makes me think I can manage all of this plus the position of Co-Chair of the Class of 2010 Annual Gift Campaign? I guess it's because Darden has taught me that I can!! That's the essence of first year at Darden. There's too much to do and not enough time to it all, yet priorities get made and you DO finish everything that needs to be done. The Annual Gift Campaign position is a multi-year commitment and in my opinion, this is a great way to give back to a community of which I'm proud to be a part. Is the plate full? Definitely. Am I still above water? Maybe. Can I add this and still survive? Unquestionably.


Last night, Darden's National Association of Women MBAs (NAWMBA) hosted their annual Women in Business dinner. This dinner is all about recognizing the achievements of women in business as well as the challenges women still face. Further, the event gives women a chance to network with representatives of companies. Platinum sponsors included Accenture, Danaher, Progressive and Target, all of whom had a panel representative. Other sponsors included Harris Williams, Deustche Bank, JP Morgan, BB&T, M&T Bank and Deloitte Consulting.

It always amazes me when we get Darden women together. The talent and drive is unlike anything I've seen before, even compared to my women's group in San Francisco. I managed a couple good touch points with some people from a company in whom I am interested. However, I also had an unexpected touch point in a company I had written off last year when banking didn't work out. It fascinates me how second year can be vastly different from first year as here I am deciding my FUTURE. In contrast with the non-committal nature of internship recruiting.

I would like to give a shout-out to the NAWMBA leadership for a job well done last night. The event was spectacular.

Friday, September 18, 2009

USPS v. Email

- Instant & Efficient
- Allows for immediate replies
- Less expensive
- Chances of getting lost: slim to none
- Often isn't forgotten once written

- Slow
- Handwritten is a nice touch
- Most mail = bills
- Incur an incremental cost per item sent
- Need to locate a mailbox

The list of amazing things the internet has allowed is long. Communication is something the internet has allowed to rapidly evolve with instant communication facilitating more productivity than was likely imagined. Indeed, many believe the postal business is a dying breed. These days, you can do almost everything you want on the internet. Of course, given that I come from a family with a long history in the envelope business, I hope for more uncertainty than many will give me.

Ever since college, my mom has sent me at least one letter a week and even though I talk to her on a regular basis, that letter makes me smile. Today, I received a letter with a $15 iTunes giftcard. I cannot think of anything else that would have made my Friday better after going to sleep at 5a upon finishing a number of cover letter/resume submissions. While I understand that email is fantastic and the capability surrounding it still amazes me today, there is nothing better than a handwritten note laying alongside the handful of bills that typically sit in my mailbox. Before you say the postal service is a dying breed, think about the smile you get when someone does take the time to write a note, purchase a stamp and locate a mailbox. Definitely a source of warm fuzzies for me!

Personally, I do think USPS should be privatized, but that's a whole new ballgame.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How well do you know European geography?

Test yourself here.


As I crutch around the halls of Darden, I'm met with a mixture of concern and condescending remarks. It's not as if I openly chose to return to crutches for my third time this year. I suppose on some front, I should give up the sport that gives me such agony. Even with the injured ankles however, I find that thought heart-wrenching. How can I actually give up something that I feel partially defines who I am?

This past Sunday I visited ER for the first time in a long while. Shortly after halftime of the first co-ed soccer game of the season, my foot jolted to the ground and I rolled over it with a large pop before pain began. Second degree sprain was the doctor's diagnoses and given that I own my own pair of crutches, he likely thought he'd leave the rehab to me.

I know my classmates don't mean to sound annoyed by my injury. I guess it does look funny seeing I started last year with the same injury. That said, it doesn't mean that I'm unaffected. I don't want to be in this state any more than they want to see me in it. In the future, do me a favor please, if you're not genuinely concerned with what I did, don't say anything. "Again?" equates to a backhand to the face in my mind. I take the proper precautions and I do the best I can to stay on my feet, but without quitting the game, I still risk injury. And the injury is never fun, even if it is the third time this year.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

To TV or Not to TV?

My roommate and I have managed to survive a year, sans TV! When I moved from California I contemplated bringing my gorgeous 42" plasma that I gave to myself as a post-undergraduate graduation gift, but then quickly decided it was too large to fit in any sensible suitcase given that I shipped my car. So I, like my roommate, arrived TV-less. I found that during first year at Darden, I didn't miss the TV much as I could watch movies on my Mac if I had time. Atlanta was much of the same for me. No TV = more movies on the Mac. Since I've returned there have been talks of a purchase, but no fruit.

While I was in Atlanta, I got accustomed to watching TV as I warmed up at the gym. This was my 10 minutes to catch up on the latest happenings in sports or the news. Though North Grounds (the gym closest to Darden) has TVs, I've found that I can't read the subtitles from the treadmill. This is clearly not the gym's biggest worry, however, TVs are a great distraction as you try to round the 2 mi marker. Hence, the need for BIGGER TVs. In contrast, TVs were put in half the learning team rooms at Darden. Maybe they have a few lying around that can be sent to North Grounds?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A Different Perspective

In the last few weeks, I have not been able to find a sense of balance. Early week is jammed with classes and during late week I try to complete everything I put off for early week classes. After class today, I finally went to the gym and there I saw an old section-mate whom I don't see often these days. We had a casual conversation of classes and then he asked me about recruiting. The first comment referenced if I would target banking again. The second asked when recruiting started. In that instant, I realized that we are living very different lives. He, with his offer in hand (and almost signed), is enjoying SY for all its worth. I, having interned at a company that does not use its corporate finance internship program as a pipeline to full-time (fancy way to say, no offers), am back in recruiting mode trying to meet and greet with the best of them. Perhaps the myth of SY is not a myth at all. It may be that SY is easy, if you have an offer and plan to take it.

Our conversation continued to discussions about India for a classmate's wedding this winter. Further, we talked about study abroad as he plans to attend ISB when I'm at SSE. I find the different mentalities interesting. Due to the fact that SSE starts later than Darden, I've already begun the legwork to see if study abroad is feasible from a logistics standpoint. On the contrary, ISB's quarter completes in mid-February which means there's no overlap. Thus, for him the only worry is whether or not classes transfer.

This conversation reminds me of the very different lives people can lead at Darden and I'm sure there are many other perspectives.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Summer Montage

Someone at Clear Admit made a comment that she would have liked to see more pictures of Atlanta. While, I have minimal pictures of Atlanta itself, I do have a plethora of pictures from the summer, so this is my summer in photos!

Second Year Myth

Last year, all the second years told me that SY is much easier than first year. After completing almost two weeks of school, I've deemed this comment a myth. My Sunday through Tuesday are much rougher than FY was. While I understand that I did it to myself, stacking four classes on Monday and one on Tuesday, it's still insane. I haven't even figured out how to fit the gym into Monday and Tuesday. Once Wednesday hits, I play catch up. I blog. I run blogger events as the president of Darden Student Bloggers. Further, I write cover letters and I've just completed revision 6 or so of my resume. And don't forgot, the usual errands like going to the grocery store.

Last night kicked off the first SY Networking night, where four companies had representatives to discuss open positions. This is the first of many SY Networking Nights that will take place every Wednesday. Wednesday nights starting next week, a group of girls are starting a workout routine. I suppose the good news is that I will be getting exercise. Darden's Bowling League starts next Tuesday and runs every week through November. I signed up as an alternate, but you know I'll show up more than I should.

Then there's soccer! The season hasn't started yet, however, I find myself scheduling pick up games and desperately trying to get a team together to go to the UCLA MBA World Cup on November 7th and 8th. Attending a MBA world cup is one adventure I wanted to have in business school and it was my one reservation about attending Darden, so I hope to make it happen!

Finally, I'm working on my Q3 study abroad. I sent a list of classes to SSE that I'd consider for my exchange. If the professors are a) teaching Q3 and b)say that I can take finals remotely from the US, then I can work on getting the classes approved for transfer to Darden. Lots of tasks to take care of these days and I've jumped back in head first! Welcome back to Darden, where "easy" is not a word we know well!