I’m not dead…

February 25, 2008

Please note this is a historical post moved from my old site. This is from November 8th, 2007. 

Hey all,

Thought I’d finally update. The first year at Darden has lived up to its reputation, and the time affectionately named “Black November” by preceding classes has begun. The first quarter exams finished almost a month ago, and we started right into our new classes. Now I’m taking marketing, accounting, finance, global markets, and operations. I’m pretty happy with my exams grades… I could have done better on a few, but all of them were good enough for me to be happy.

The real reason that I’ve been busier recently though is the recruiting process. My spare time is often spent practicing case interviews, although spare time is certainly a rare commodity at this point. Add to that the company briefings, cocktail receptions, networking dinners, open office hours, and even sponsored tailgates on weekends, and it’s a real rat race. It’s worth it, though… one of the reasons you come to a good b-school is to land an exciting job at a good firm. You want to study and learn the material, and get good grades, but at the end of this experience you want to walk into a new career that is rewarding and that fits you. And the firm that eventually hires you wants to know that you are a good fit for them. So, they do a lot of tire-kicking first… multiple interview rounds. I’m interested in strategy consulting, which means that I am mostly looking at case interviews, which are unique among interviews. Case interviews are basically a situation in which the interviewer gives you a business situation and you conduct an analysis and make a recommendation… usually in about 20-30 minutes. It’s not a written test, it’s given to you verbally, and you’re expected to communicate your thought process as you work through it. There is some basic math, of course. Ever try figuring out 8% of 63 million in your head while someone is looking at you? Yeah… takes practice.

I am trying to find time to do more fun things, as well. Tonight I’m headed out to the Thursday Night Drinking Club (or TNDC), which is every bit as scandalous as it sounds (and twice as much fun!). I’m still managing to make it to the gym several days a week, although it’s definitely getting tougher to find the time. I have taken up watching The Office and Curb Your Enthusiasm when I can make it home in time. And UVA’s football team is really pretty good this year (8-2). Basketball season should be a blast here, too, and it’s just getting started. I loved going back to Penn State in September to see the Notre Dame game, see my little brother’s place (typical undergrad apartment), and just see how SC has changed.

A lot has happened since my last update. Keith is engaged to Kelleigh in NH, my friend Jim was married (I got to be the best man!), and my friend Troy has become an uncle. It’s all good news, for sure.

Looking ahead… it looks like I will get a few days to get away over Thanksgiving, which will be great. I’m heading to San Francisco in December to see some companies that don’t recruit on grounds here at Darden. That will bite into my Christmas break, but I’ll still have a few weeks to see family and friends. For spring break, I’m heading to Costa Rica for a week of beach and surfing. If anyone thinks they might have some time off in the spring, let me know if you’re interested, I’m openly recruiting a small crew for this great trip.

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