Archive | January, 2012

Darden Faculty

28 Jan

This afternoon I was reminded of one of my favorite things about Darden – the connections we make and access we have to professors. After a busy first week back from winter break, four of my section mates and I had lunch with our GEM (aka economics) professor at a local favorite, Peter Chang’s. This is his first term teaching our section and he wanted to meet with a group of volunteers to get a sense of who we are as a section and to get some feedback on how things have moved along so far — his treat! Now, if you know me well, you’re probably thinking I was just psyched about the opportunity to get two of the things I most enjoy – free stuff and lunch. But, it was great to have the opportunity to get to know him and learn about his professional experiences. He is pretty amazing!

The great thing is that this is a normal part of the Darden experience. As students, we constantly have the chance to engage with our professors. This year, for example, all of my professors have taken time to have lunch with students in my section. This is in addition to the many hours they have spent providing support during office hours. And, at a recent school-wide fundraising auction, the most coveted, highest selling items were dinner events at various professors’ homes with their families. (One of my favorites was an evening of Monopoly with Dean Bruner – what an awesome part of a business education that would’ve been!)  In the coming weeks, I look forward to having lunch with some of Darden’s brightest minds through the “This Professor Is A Big Deal” lunch series sponsored by the Hispanic American Network at Darden (HAND). And, I can’t talk about the strength of faculty-student relationships without recalling my visit to the home of Associate Dean Peter Rodriguez. I had the opportunity to visit his home during our orientation week, when professors and Deans host receptions in their homes to welcome the incoming class to the Darden community. I was able to visit Peter’s home again a couple months later – this time, with my husband – when he hosted a second reception for a number of students. (Incidentally, Peter always takes the time to check in and see how my time here is going.)

As an applicant researching business schools, I quickly learned that Darden’s faculty consistently makes the top of the b-school rankings. As a student I have learned that the faculty’s stellar reputation is warranted not just for what they do in the classroom, but for being an integral part of the community experience.

What’s Next?

25 Jan

Just four months ago I started one of the most challenging and amazing journeys of my life. If you had told me before starting Darden all the life lessons I’d learn and how drastically different I’d come to view the world in just four months, I might not have believed you.

After a very long and amazing break — from which I returned to Charlottesville grateful for 8 hours of sleep a night, home cooking, time spent with my husband & family, tv, and post holiday sales at the mall — I began my second semester Darden. I am at the edge of my seat waiting to see what the next four months have in store. I realize there will be many surprises, but thought I’d share the events/adventures I’m most looking forward to:

1- Day at Darden & Darden Days — These days, my to-do list has packed in an increasing number of action items, as the Student Admissions Committee prepares to welcome newly admitted (Round 1) students to Darden. I am excited for these months of work and planning to come to fruition with the first event, Day at Darden, just around the corner, on February 10th. I look forward to meeting potential members of the Class of 2014. (I can hardly believe it was already a year ago I came to the same event, deposit in hand, having recently received my acceptance letter!)

2 – Recruiting Victories — I returned from my break excited to hear good news from friends and classmates, who have either landed interviews or received summer internship offers at some of the best firms in the country. There’s more great news to come, as people continue the recruiting season. I look forward to many celebrations after all these months of networking, interview prep, and hard work.

3 – Brazil & Israel — As part of the school’s Global Business Exchange program, I will be traveling for 2 weeks to Brazil in March — less than 2 months away! — and another 2 weeks to Israel in May. I can go on and on about how amazing the itinerary is and how great the projects we’ll be working on will be. Mostly, I’m excited about the time spent with friends and the unforgettable experience I’ll be sure to have.

4 – All things Darden — Super corny and all-encompassing, I know… but, I just look forward to all things Darden: another two months with my section; Foxfield; the conclusion of Darden Cup; spending more time with friends; working on cases that frustrate me, only to come to love them; continued access to unlimited quantities of free tea and coffee; exploring Charlottesville’s many amazing restaurants…

5 – Finally, I look forward to thinking about and planning for a semester spent abroad. Currently, I’m flirting with the idea of spending next fall in either Australia, France, Spain or Italy. (I’ll keep you posted).