Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Before we start over

Q1 is over, finished and done with! But in the words of the Surfer Guy (J"B"S, Section D), “the repercussions are not.” I agree with that, but for today, just today, allow me to revel in this sense of freedom that I last felt on my final day at work!

Today we wrapped our exams for the quarter, leaving behind 6 days of myriad experiences as we tackled case after case, crunched a million numbers, and ate more granola bars than I can count on my two hands! As I pushed open the doors of the library after the exam, I was happy just at the thought of not having to camp out there for the next couple of months and constantly speak in hushed tones. I chose not to bid for one of the learning team rooms for the exam, choosing instead to hole up in the library, where I am more comfortable and insulated from a lot of the madness.

Funnily enough, I’m a little disappointed that the exams are over (I hear a range of disapproving noises) because while they were on, I had something to do all the time. Not that I won’t have something to do now, but no exams means having to tackle a whole lot of other work from the “real life” – errands, laundry, resume polish, company briefings prep, all the phone calls I’ve been promising people back home but haven’t gotten round to doing… you get the idea…

So in true Darden case method style, I figured I should make a little note of the key takeaways from this quarter and the exams, to be tucked away till Monday, when Q2 begins.

1. Exams are supposed to be the easiest time at Darden. Why, then, was I so hassled? Back to the drawing board as I figure out where my study-style was messed up.
2. My learning team rocks, but I might have depended on them too much. A lot of exams had me struggling to get something I thought I’d done at LT. I remembered trying to figure it out on my own before LT, and then getting help from the folks there. But turns out I didn’t really learn the concepts as well as I could/should have.
3. Time management. Q2 is much harder than Q1. There is a whole lot more going on then and if that’s not enough, I have signed up for a bunch of stuff that’s going to take up a lot of my time. I have to find a way to balance all of it.
4. Self takes priority. I noticed that when in crunch situation, I tend to forget myself. I stop eating or sleeping properly, and pretty much lose touch with the outside world. Very in-the-box behavior. Must fix it.
5. Decisions under duress – strict No-No. Ok so I know this. And I know it well because my dad hammers this into my head all the time. But I make the mistake again. And again. Strict no-no. Note to self: Apply LO concepts to life.
6. If you hear the voice of your DA professor in your head while you’re taking the DA exam, realize that you could be more stressed about the exam that you should be. Or that the knowledge that the case was written by your own DA professor has the ability to throw you off balance. Or you could be genuinely messing up the exam big time.
7. Keep nail polish handy. I tend to chew my nails a lot during exams. I’d forgotten that habit of mine. Right after I am done with this post, I am going to sit with the file and try to salvage what’s left of my nails. For the next exam, I'll make sure my nails are painted well in advance.

The good thing about the exams is that I have now learnt to flag and categorize my emails pretty well – I do have quite a few to act upon, but they’re all there where I can see them, so that’s good! The best thing, though, is that Q1 is over and I survived! Sometimes it really is hard to believe that I’m here, doing what I always wanted to do and being able to tell the world about it.

In true Darden spirit, the school that never lets you stay idle long enough has started the cycle all over again by leaving our Q2 case packets in our mailboxes. Off we go on another whirlwind ride! But for today, I’m just going to relax at the Section D party and maybe head over to the Moustache competition afterwards.

“And for the sake of time, let’s move on!”


Jackie said...

Great post! Very thorough and spot on. Your take-aways were good for me too...think I'll have to borrow one or two (or 6...esp the one re: learning teams). :)

Oren said...

It's going to be another fun ride. I just checked the seating, is it just me or did they take half of us and simply mirror our previous seating?

MechaniGal said...

@Jackie: Thanks, J! I think the LT one is for a lot of us, esp if we think we're the Herbies of the team.

@Oren: Fun ride? I don't know man... I still haven't bought my text books! Seating arrangement is definitely mirrored for the most part - I'm not complaining too much :)

Irene said...

I was big on granola bars, too. Made a mental note to remember to apply LO concepts to stressful times!

Kiran said... did not write about the mush competition...


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