With a bang, that’s how! Last week, briefings began at Darden for us privileged FYs. While the banking guys are definitely having an “interesting” time – BofA visited D on Black Monday – consulting opened with Deloitte yesterday. This marks the season of lunch briefings, cocktail parties, networking dinners and lunches. It also means I’ll be wearing those darned high heels of mine a lot more. Sucks!
As an international, the whole concept of networking is very new to me. I’m not entirely sure how it is done and how much small talk is too much small talk. The one thing I don’t think I will ever master is how to ask for a business card. Luckily for me the two companies I have attended briefings for, made it very easy to contact them post-briefing. Nevertheless, I would be really curious to learn how it’s done. Another important lesson I learnt over the week was to be organized – not in my head, but in my bag! Seriously. At one of the briefings I had to give my card and it took me forever to dig it up from inside my bag. The Monica in me revolted at the mess in there! It would not be the first time either. I’ve pulled out my kaajal pencil when I have been looking for a pen, more times than I care to remember.
Having said that, I will admit that the SYs and CDC have been doing a great job with trying to get us FYs to shed the gaucheness at these networking events. One of the more innovative things they came up with was a speed networking session open to the International Business Society (IBS) and the National Asso. Of Women MBAs (NAWMBA) members yesterday at the PepsiCo Forum. Think of speed dating but for a job, and you get speed networking. It was a great experience and by the end of it I could see my comfort level increasing at delivering my pitch without the umms and aahs.
On a different note, I finally managed to check off one thing on will-do-at-Darden list – write for the Cold Call Chronicle, our very own student run newsletter. It’s not a big article and definitely poorer in comparison to the quality of the other articles on the newsletter, but it makes me feel like I’m contributing to the Darden society and it’s a good feeling.
Spinning off a completely unrelated stream of thought, I had to go to UVA hospital yesterday to visit a classmate who’s been there all week. I looked around to see if it really looked like the hospitals they show on Scrubs and Grey’s Anatomy. It did really look like that, and had Doogie Howser look-alike residents walking around too! Get well soon, AO; Section D misses you big time.