Sunday, March 21, 2010

Q4: Preview of *GULP* Second Year

For the first three quarters of my time at Darden, I bought into a lie. I bought into the lie that Second Year was much easier than First Year. I also bought into the lie that Q4 would be much like Second Year.

I suppose, if you aren't volunteering as a House Captain for Building Goodness in April, a consultant for OCI (Opportunity Consultants, Inc.) and still looking for an internship, that this could be true. That said, I am doing all of the above things, and as a result, it seems that the free time formerly occupied by learning teams has been gobbled up by meetings and interview prep.

Anyway, Q4 brings with it a wealth of changes: electives and the end of learning teams. Since the only classes that are required are leading organizations and ethics, there is less need to meet to go over spreadsheets and calculations for classes. This means that learning teams are finished. Of course, as I struggle to value interest rate swaps for my valuations class tomorrow, I am wishing that I still had my learning team to meet with.

There is a whole range of electives. I am taking data analysis and optimization (DAO), valuations and creative capitalism. I can't decide which I am most excited about. DAO provides the opportunity to model business problems in Excel, something which may not excite the average person but gives me feelings of great control. On the other hand, I am doing a tangible project for my creative capitalism class. Plus, this whole business thing is supposed to end up with me doing something good for society at some point along the way, and creative capitalism gives me the opportunity to start exploring what options will allow me to do that.

So, that's Q4. I can't complain too much. After all, the weather is infinitely nicer than it is back home, and this weekend (despite interview practice, volunteer meetings and case prep) has included a hike, Arch's frozen yogurt on the patio, and dinner on the Downtown Mall (Charlottesville's most redeeming feature, in my opinion).

Oh yeah, and did I mention that this is also leadership transition time? I'm taking over as president of Darden Christian Fellowship (DCF) for next year. Super excited... especially since it's the only thing on my plate for next year. Hoping to make it awesome, and would love to get in touch with any incoming students to hear some of your thoughts on DCF. Shoot me an email at (Or my Darden email address, which is

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