Two cents worth…
Last 12 weeks flew in frenzy as I did my summer internship at Expedia in Bellevue, Washington. I thoroughly enjoyed cruising my way through the complexities of online travel industry. As much I learnt in my challenging role as a Product Manager at Expedia, I had a blast living in the beautiful state of Washington. Seattle summer was indeed more spectacular than was advertised. My summer project also took me around the world as I traveled to Central America and Philippines. I couldn’t have asked for more from this summer, or from my first year at Darden! The picture above is our Section E group photo from one of the craziest parties at Darden and speaks for the volumes of fun we’ve had in our first year!
I am officially ready to start the second year and so looking forward to meeting my friends and Darden classmates soon. As an official second year, I figured it’s my turn to offer my two cents for the first years, who as per all the Facebook posts on Darden groups, have already started immersing deep in the Darden experience.
To all the first years, I was once in your shoes not long time ago. My two cents for my first year self would be:
“Darden can be a life-changing experience if you could anticipate the changes you aspire for. Darden will offer you a host of opportunities that would be instrumental in your professional and personal advancement. It is important to introspect and find out a couple of things that you want to work towards and make the best of all that Darden has to offer.”
I am glad and thankful for everything that Darden offered, the best of all is the guidance we got from our senior batch- Darden class of 2013. Some of my second years were generous to offer their advice for all of us at Darden. I hope their words of wisdom would be as insightful for you as they were for me.
- “Push yourself – Do at-least one thing every week that makes you uncomfortable”
- “Don’t multitask – Darden throws several things at you. Do one thing at a time and do it right – 100% commitment to that one thing. So, no emailing/instant chatting while in class, no messaging in those project meetings, no facebook while preparing your cases”
The two years go by very quickly, don’t waste a second of it. Take the time to get to know your classmates and professors. Don’t just take regular classes, go in GBEs, field experiences, DBPs, etc.
“Darden life is similar to the Impossible Trinity of economics. The three vertices are studying, sleeping and socializing – and you can (more often than not) choose only two at any given point in time. To that I would say – sacrifice sleeping if you must, but always make the most of your academic and social experiences in your two years here. It’s a time that you will always look back to, professionally and personally.
No phase in your life will emphasize the FOMO vs. YOLO trade-off as much as the Darden experience does. Right from the FOMO nervousness of an incoming First Year to the YOLO indulgences of a soon-to-graduate Second Year, you will find yourself at different points on this spectrum. Darden is a great way to find out where your balance lies.”
“Remember to make time for doing the things you enjoy, especially during first year when schedules are filled with classes, recruiting, and club activities. Whether it’s going for a run, doing some leisure reading, getting away for a weekend, or other things you enjoy, make sure you make time for them. FY can be overwhelming, but these things will help keep you grounded and sane :-) “
“Find a field you can contribute to. Find your strength in Darden. Find other people’s strength. In this way, you can leverage all your strengths and people’s strength together.”
With this, I sign off to come back soon with indulging tales from the second year of my MBA at Darden. So excited !