Thursday, May 14, 2009

Things I Learned This Year - Part I

First Year is over. I start my internship in T-4 days, and this summer is going to be quite unlike the year that's just gone by. I'm actually looking forward to going back into the corporate world, but my little cocoon at Darden has been a wonderful place to spend the last 9+ months.

So what have I learned? I spent the long drive from Virginia back to New York thinking about it, and here's what I would tell an incoming FY:

- Do the spreadsheets. It can be really tempting to sit in learning team and create a spreadsheet together, or have an LT-mate walk you through theirs. But, trust me, it won't sink in until you hash through the mechanics yourself - especially for those who weren't Excel monkeys prior to Darden, and even for those of you who were.

- Some professors teach directly from the tech notes. Read them. Sooner is always better than later.

- Get to know your sectionmates ASAP; first semester section camraderie is unlike anything I've ever experienced, and it really set the tone for the year.

- The case method can be infuriating. I may expound more on this later. But it can also be immensely rewarding. So give it a chance, even when you feel like you want to pull your hair out - which will be often.

- Don't skip First Coffee. I did this early on in the year, and learned quickly that First Coffee is one of the brightest spots in the day. You'll get to see all your friends, meet more, have casual chats with professors, and definitely have a few laughs. The coffee's not that good, but you'll get over it.

- Dean Carraway is by far one of the most awesome administrators at Darden. Get to know him. Between my own interactions with him and stories that I've heard from others, there is no denying this. He's also extremely easy to talk to, and you'll often find him at First Coffee chatting with students.

- Get to know the Second Years. There is no good reason for you to keep to yourselves, and most of them are very cool people. We were talking about this at the blogger dinner last week - even amongst the bloggers, we didn't spend enough time with each other, and there are certainly some regrets. We, as the SY class, pledge to make it different as well.

But most importantly, your friends will make it or break it for you. There is no case, no simulation, no project that I value more right now than some of my experiences with my fellow Dardenites. Maybe come the summer, you'll find me being grateful for having learnt regression. But I still feel extremely blessed to have them in my life, and some of the stories I could tell would blow you away. But I'll save those for another post.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


After a pretty neat discussion at Dean Bruner's house about Twitter, I've decided to give it another shot.

I joined Twitter almost two years ago when it first started to gain momentum. It's been pretty interesting to see how the technology has evolved since then, and how much it's been adopted by folks - especially now that you can update from your cellphone, or nearly anywhere. Am fascinated by the short-form communication style.

You'll see my tweets over in the sidebar, where I've just added the widget; otherwise, feel free to follow me in any way you choose - I'm PanicSania.

If you're interested in the twitterings of other Darden folks, check out Dean Bruner, Christof, and Bill.