There’s this adage that gets thrown at you ever so often: your network is a measure of your net worth. It’s a great little note to tuck away at the back of your head as you speed through business school and I guess life in general.
Last week we had to have an emergency phone call with our client for the Enterprise Leadership Audit (ELA) we’re doing for our OB (here it’s called Leading Organizations or LO) class. And we needed some help. Particularly, our client wanted to know what they would get out of our ELA since the project involved significant time investment from them. Our own LO professor was on leave that day and we did not know where to go. So we checked the faculty directory for the LO faculty closest to where we were standing and went to his office. Prof Quinn was not our professor, had never taught any of us, and he was just leaving for lunch. When he heard of our problem, he took a good twenty minutes to sit down and answer our questions. He made sure we did not leave until we were comfortable with what we needed to know. Needless to say our call was a success.
Last week, we had a session with some second year students on advice on electives for the second year. We got great and candid advice. We also got some very very practical advice. Some encouraged us to view the subjects as experiences, other made the case for ensuring we got all round knowledge – we were going to be in business school just once and we wanted to make sure we learnt all we could. For me the best advice came at the end – make sure there is time for recruiting because when you graduate you will value having a job more than you will value having an A in the most difficult course in Darden. At the farewell party the Indian FYs threw the Indian SYs, a lot of us FYs wished we had had more time to get to know the fun bunch that they were.
What can I say about this awesome support system I have in my section D friends that will possibly do them justice? All sections got together last week in their section classrooms to talk about how they can help those classmates that were still looking for internships. Although at first it was hard to raise my hand and ask for help, I’m glad I did it because I found so much support – not just hugs and we’re-all-here-for-yous but also contacts – I got a bunch of emails from classmates with contacts that I could send my resume to. For those that emailed me and are reading this: I will get back to you soon – I’ve been down with the flu all weekend and been pretty zoned out the whole time. But THANKYOU! Your support means a lot.
The best thing about this network from school is the extended network you get into by way of partners. I’ve met some fantastic partners – JFA’s wife is probably an honorary Darden student already and his super cute kid has probably already reserved his place in Darden’s class of 2035! I’ve been out of action this past weekend because of a nasty bout of flu and after a day of silence from sitting at home (that does not bode well with me), I had surprise visitors yesterday evening – AK and his fiancé, N, who had come over to make dinner for me, and Sania who came to add some much needed cheer! Gotta love the girlfriends!
To anyone who’s starting grad school this year: invest in the relationships, they make the ride so much fun.