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.

49 comments:

Julie said...

As a soon-to-be FY, I promise to hold you to your pledge. :-)

Thanks for the tips!

MechaniGal said...

Gosh, really so much has happened this year! The amount of support and sense of community you get here has been the best part of it all... As the ville empties out, I can't wait for fall when the roller coaster ride begins all over again... We should do more outdoor dinners at the downtown mall in the fall - nevermind the bad food :)

Fareed said...

Are you originally from Pakistan?

Greg said...

Thanks for the advice for us soon-to-be first years. Looking forward to meting you in August. :-)

Allen said...

Hi

I found your blog through Google search and I noticed that you are/were a MBA student too. My classmates and I recently launched a website (www.mbaNERDs.com) providing free case summary and discussion area for MBA students. In this way, people can better prepare their case study before the class and network with other talents around the world.

Please feel free to take a look and let us know how you feel so that we can improve our services. Thank you so much!

Best Regards,


Allen
http://www.mbanerds.com
allen.lin@mbanerds.com

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客服 said...

Since it is the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late. ....................................................

雪糕 said...

先告訴自己希望成為什麼樣的人,然後一步一步實踐必要的步驟。........................................

馬甲 said...

這麼優的部落格一定要持續下去!........................................

touch said...

A liar is not believed when he speaks the truth. .........................................

VJhala said...

Thanks for these insights - this blog comes handy for UV-Darden Aspirants :) btw, it has been a while since you have written a blog here..

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you have a good outlook in life and do keep it up.


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N. Nagajyothi said...

I just ran across your blog today. I'm planning on applying to business school in the near future. And so reading about your insights at Darden has inspired me.

I've been reading lots of MBA blogs recently and have a suggestion for how this blog can reach to many other needful B-school applicants. Beat The GMAT, which is a very active GMAT/MBA site, recently launched a blog directory (http://www.beatthegmat.com/blogs/all) to promote MBA blogs. If you add your blog to their blog directory, a lot more people like me will find your blog!

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瑜吟 said...

行動養成習慣,習慣培養人格,人格影響命運..............................

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如果成為一支火柴,也要點亮一個短暫的宇宙;如果是一隻烏鴉,也要叫疼閉塞的耳膜。 ....................................................

o0625TaylorJ_Duraz said...

噴泉的高度,不會超過它的源頭。一個人的事業也是如此,它的成就絕不會超過自己的信念。 ....................................................

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ElwoodK_Rank佳玲 said...

Some people cannot see the wood for the trees. ............................................................

huntb said...

Lets cross the bridge when we come to it........................................

兆以 said...

出遊不拘名勝,有景就是好的..................................................................

宇軒宇軒 said...

要持續更新下去喲!!祝你心情愉快.............................................................

彥霖 said...

這麼好的部落格,以後看不到怎麼辦啊!!......................................................................

李哲維 said...

知識可以傳授,智慧卻不行。每個人必須成為他自己。......................................................................

江婷 said...

一棵樹除非在春天開了花,否則難望在秋天結果。.................................................................

芸茂芸茂 said...

閱讀您的BLOG文章,真是件快樂的事!..................................................................

吳婷婷 said...

沒有經過反省的人生,是不值得活的人生..................................................

江美娟江美娟 said...

嗨~~留個言跟您問好!!謝謝您的分享............................................................

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Knowledge is power................................................

建邱勳 said...

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到處逛逛~~來繞繞留個言囉~~~~............................................................

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路過留言支持~~~............................................................

Redford said...

A year in any MBA, for me a year in a london business school mba, is a rollercoaster ride to say the least. I've been thinking about moving stateside to see what all the hubbub is about. Hopefull my applications get a couple bites...

scarletth said...

Well written. It was good to read your first year experience.
Nice sharing and keep posting.
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