Thursday, April 29, 2010

Last Day of Class

Today was my last day of classes at Darden. My brain refuses to process that the madness is over – no more three cases a night, excel models, hanging out in the LT rooms trying to hammer out a model worthy of a cold call. The ride’s been hard but boy has it been good! This experience comes highly recommended for anyone looking for a complete outside-the-comfort-zone experience in business school.

There will be room for reflections and wrap-ups later. I am on my way to the last Cold Call (social) of the year to be followed by the final deliverable of the Leadership and Ethics Through Theater class, which is a play they are staging this evening at Abbott Auditorium.

I couldn’t bring myself not to have this video from the Follies last week (by my classmate Shepro) on my blog. It was a great way to wrap up Follies and had many students in tears. Since then we’ve all watched that video on YouTube multiple times; today, as farewell to students in my General Managers Taking Action class, our professors played this video for us (and then took the whole class out to lunch at The Tavern!).

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Home Stretch - Last Week.5 of Class!

We’re on the last week and a half of classes here at Darden. And things have never been crazier! Trying to find time on people’s calendars for an hour long meeting to discuss our project has been impossible! We’ve come to the stage where we are – counter-productively perhaps – splitting up and meeting in batches to get our work done. It’s that insane out here!

Meanwhile Q4 – about which I haven’t written much lately – has been awesome fun from the academic standpoint. Yeah you’re thinking, who even goes to classes anymore in Q4. But trust me, all of us do, and all of us are engaged and MOST of us are reading our cases! I’m doing four classes – Data Analysis and Optimization (awesome!)with Casey,one of my favorite Darden professors, Marketing Analytics (love it!), General Managers Taking Action (carried forward from last quarter) and Hot Topics in Ops & Technology, which is another speaker class and is my third class with Prof Tim Laseter. I absolutely love my courses this quarter and I feel like I’m getting so much out of my ‘technical’ (ie spreadsheet) courses that I get a real kick out of ensuring I'm fully prepared for these classes! This quarter I have also officially relinquished all my club responsibilities at DSAS and the Blog Club making it hard to remain in denial about leaving this place.

Of course, since this is Darden, if you’re working your brain off at school, you’re also socializing like crazy and Q4 is the pinnacle of it all. Dinners and I-got-a-job celebrations are spilling over into the weekday evenings and the result of it is that every day I push the limit on just how late I can wake up in the mornings and STILL make it to my classes! And I haven’t been late to a single one of my 8AMs (although I did ‘forget’ to wake up for one).

The weather has been kind of erratic, oscillating between cold, rainy and sunny and the pollen count super high so Halls and tissues and sniffles are commonplace these days. I think we’ve all just decided we’re going to carry a jacket to school anyway, just in case! We have concluded our headshots for the Yearbook, pledges for the class gift (100% of our class pledged!) and ordered for our diploma frames – so yeah I guess we’re definitely getting out of here soon!

This weekend is the Alumni Reunion weekend and there’s a festive spirit going on in Flagler, with the tent put up and the banners up. Again, it reminds me of last summer when I watched the Class of 2009 gear up for graduation. And it signals to me that the end is near. In fact, same day next month I will be wearing the cap and gown and getting my diploma. And I still remember sitting on the other side of this great two year experience wondering if I would make it out of here in one piece.

I’m putting up these pictures I took on my phone a few weekends ago when the weather was awesome and I was sitting by TJ’s fountain and contemplating life, the universe and everything in between. That’s correct, I still don’t have an offer and I’ve hit the panic button.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Getting inside The Circle

Last Monday I did something I’ve never done before! I rushed home from class last Monday, ate a tub of Yoplait Lemon Parfait for lunch as I walked from my apartment to that of the Costas – I was a bundle of excitement, that’s for sure!

The Costas, Nacho and I were heading for DC to watch Bon Jovi perform at the Verizon Center as part of their The Circle tour. We recruited one more SY to come with us and headed to DC from Charlottesville. We parked close to the Verizon Center and the overwhelming majority of men in the group ensured we headed to Hooters for lunch – I’d never been there before and as the Costas like to joke, my American experience was incomplete without a visit!

The concert itself was fantastic. In fact I have no trouble admitting it was the best concert experience of my life! Jon Bon Jovi was my first crush – and I cannot watch the music video for “Keep The Faith” on YouTube without literally holding my breath and reliving that sense of awe I felt when I first saw it way back in 1992. Back then, Jon Bon Jovi and the crew – funky hairdo, pierced ears, superman tattoo, skinny jeans and Richie Sambora’s guitar solo on Brooklyn Bridge – represented everything cool in the world! That crush on Jon Bon Jovi stayed true despite the many hairdo changes, and evolution of their music from hard hitting head banging rock to ballads and back again to the guitar-resurrecting new album. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see these guys in flesh and blood, as you can probably tell by now!

Bon Jovi played in Milwaukee a couple of weeks after I landed in Madison a couple of years ago. At the time I couldn’t go for a bunch of different reasons – so I made sure I got inside the circle this time, buying my tickets well in advance! The venue was packed and the crowd was on its feet the whole time – Jon made sure they stayed that way. If there was ever a thought that they’d gotten old, I think this concert just proved it wrong.

I became a Bon Jovi fan all over again! The hair's still cool and so are the tattoos - what's cooler is the music!

Set List: Happy Now, We Weren’t Born to Follow, Bad Name, Whole Lot of Leavin’, Born to be my Baby, Lost Highway, When We Were Beautiful, Superman Tonight, We Got It Going On, Bad Medicine (with a Roadhouse Blues interlude), It’s My Life, Lay Your Hands on Me (by Richie Sambora), Hallelujah, I’ll Be There For You, Something for the Pain, Someday I’ll be Saturday Night, Keep The Faith, Work for the OWrking Man, Who Says You Can’t Go Home, Love’s the Only Rule
Encore: Runaway, Wanted Dead or Alive, Livin’ on a Prayer

And here's the video that started it all for me!


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