Friday, August 21, 2009

And We're Off

Yesterday, I sat in Abbott Auditorium with my 310 peers, the people I will be graduating with in less than 2 years. It is interesting to think of it that way, but we finished yesterday's Office of Student Affairs introduction by writing a letter to ourselves that will be in our mailboxes the day we graduate.

The kick-off and welcome session was one of those moments that for me was the culmination of many months of anticipation. For details on the class demographics and specifics of the event, I will simply refer you to the Darden article about the class.

This week has been intense. I have heard time and time again that Darden has the most rigorous first year program of any MBA, and judging from this week, which has only been the lead-up to the start of Q1, it will most certainly prove to be true. I am sitting here in my office cherishing the quiet part of my Friday evening, hoping that the phone doesn't ring so I don't have to be tempted to go out. I've been out late most nights this week, and getting up early every morning.

And now, at the risk of rambling off on yet another unrelated topic, we were assigned our learning teams today. If you are not familiar with Darden, I'll try to explain the anticipation that has come with section and learning team assignments. I started meeting people at the applicant stage, where I spent way too much time on BusinessWeek's student application forum. Then once we were actually accepted, I started meeting and emailing more people. Since arriving in Charlottesville on August 5, I have met so many people that I'm starting to forget names I had previously remembered.

So by the time sections are announced, you have already met a lot of really cool people that you would love to be in a section with. On Monday, when section announcements were made, I was excited to see this was the case! Today, as we sat in Abbott Auditorium waiting to be released to find out who was in our learning team, there was a palpable anticipation in the air. Learning teams are an integral part of the Darden curriculum. They are step two in the case study method, and a functioning learning team is a vital part of academic success.

I was pleased to discover that my learning team is really awesome. We fought valiantly through this afternoon's bonding activities, despite the intense heat. We have a variety of backgrounds and judging from today, everyone seems to be willing to work hard to make LT work. I am, ironically, the only person who wasn't living in the US (yay for being the token international student!), though two of my teammates were born in Russia and one of them is not an American citizen. The BEST part of my learning team is that there is another girl! Someone had warned me that I might be the only one, so I was happy when I looked down the list and saw a distinctively female name.

Anyway, this has been way too long! It's been a good week, but I am tuckered out and looking forward to resting tonight so I can head off to the mountains for a hike tomorrow.

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