Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Second Year

When you're running around like a chicken with your head cut off, forgetting to eat dinner and staying up to all hours of the night in hopes of dodging cold calls, second year seems like a distant Mecca. No one who researches Darden really worries about second year; all the focus is on whether or not you can handle first year.

Being the over-prepper, psyched-for-Darden, type that I was, I knew exactly what to expect for first year. I knew November would be black; I knew I'd have to bust out the 80s gear for the 100 Case Party; I knew about Cold Calls.

Somehow I managed to work my way through the maze of first year and now find myself solidly on the ground in second year, and I'm not really sure WHAT I expected, but it wasn't this.

Yes, I have more time. No, I do not have enough time.

It would be a stretch to say that I miss the comfort of the rigid first year schedule. After a time, I made peace knowing I wasn't going to accomplish everything I wanted to accomplish, and did the best I could. Now, I am back to thinking I'm super woman and can be a master case interviewer, savvy networker and charismatic club president while maintaining a straight "DP"* average.

Anyway, I could do all those things and be burned out by the end of the month. Instead, I'm learning to delegate club responsibilities to my more-than-capable VPs, spacing out the case interview prep, and staying on top of the course work. I am still only human, with 168 hours in the week, and life's too short to obsess over all these things. The biggest lesson I learned in first year was that you can do more with less, and taking breaks and maintaining relationships are the best thing you can do for your career.

*"DP" is the Darden code word for "A" and stands for "distinguished performance". Apparently "A" is a designation which produces too much competition and self-loathing, thus they changed it to "DP" so we would have to translate it for everyone and perhaps in the translation would lose the self-loathing? I never really understood why they changed it. Especially since we still have to submit our 4.0 scale GPAs to certain recruiters.


Anonymous said...

from reading the dean to you, im starting to love darden. think i may app here this year.
btw, whats "cold call"


Julie said...

I love it... but I guess I'm biased. ;-) (Though I loved it as much when I was in your shoes!)

See my latest post for a definition of cold call.