6:45 AM: Took the girls (Sadie and Fender) on a potty walk. Mission accomplished… I’ll spare you the details.
7:00 AM: Shower, change into business casual clothing for networking events. Clip on my trusty nametag.
7:30 AM: Jeff, Liz and I carpool to Darden, picking up our friend Bridget along the way.
8:00 AM: Financial Accounting class. I get cold called to present my balance sheet, saying a silent thank you to my awesome learning team for prepping me on the case the night before.
9:25 AM: First Coffee. This is a misnomer, though. It’s really Second Coffee (almost every one of us fills up before our 8 AM class). It could also be called First Bathroom Break (the men's rooms are usually packed during this time- that coffee runs through you!). As Section E athletics rep, I use this window to plan a flag football practice for the Darden Cup. As three time defending champs, we take this stuff seriously.
10:00 AM: Our first Global Economies and Markets (GEM) class. First words out of our professor’s mouth: “This will be one of the hardest classes, if not the hardest, you’ll take at Darden.” Oy. Sure enough, the class involves lots of complicated models and arrows and abbreviations. Fortunately, Professor Li is interesting, engaging and intelligent (like every other professor I’ve had so far at Darden).
11:45 AM: Our first Operations Class. I get cold called AGAIN. This time, I’m on the ball and provide some game-changing analysis on why Shouldice Hospital performs the best hernia surgeries in the biz. I’m beginning to realize, however, that my new seat is right at professor eyelevel. This is both a good and bad thing. Not surprisingly, Professor Weiss is outstanding. He keeps us laughing and learning nonstop for 85 minutes.
1:30 PM: Company briefing with Johnson & Johnson. We had briefings all last week, but J&J’s is today immediately after class. Fortunately, they provide some yummy vegetarian wraps. In the briefing, my initial impression is confirmed: J&J is an awesome company to work for. It is massively successful, environmentally responsible, and incredibly supportive of its employees.
3:45 PM: Sneak into a learning team room to finish my Personal Career Plan (PCP) for our Career Development Center. It was due at 3:00… oops.
4:30 PM: Head back to the house to walk/feed the pups and study some more.
5:00 PM: My learning teammate Vikram calls. He, like me, is up to his ears in Darden stuff. He has two critical company briefings and asks me to take the lead on our finance case. I say absolutely, because Vikram is a rockstar who has already helped me on more occasions than I can count.
6:45 PM: I drive back to Darden. I’ve rocked finance, but the other two cases (GEM and Accounting) not so much.
7:00 PM: Our LT looks at each other, sighs, and laughs. We’re all aware that things are about to get intense this term.
7:15 PM: We knock out the cases as a team. I’ve already said it, and this won’t be the last time, but our learning team ROCKS.
8:45 PM: I hurry to a J&J networking event at Bang, a downtown restaurant. When J&J says it prides itself in its people, they mean it. The company’s reps (also Darden alums) are easy to talk to and full of passion. And, they are so sincere in their efforts to help us rookie first years learn the ropes. I’m still in awe of the fact that companies like J&J COME HERE to see US. So humbling.
10:15 PM: I head home, take the pups out one last time, and sit down to read my Decision Analysis case to prepare for a presentation team meeting tomorrow. I end up writing this blog entry first.
P.S. I’m exhausted.
Darden is no joke. There wasn't a free minute to be had today. And yet despite all of the work and the chaos, I’m loving every second of it. I’ve never felt so empowered, so excited, so satisfied. They throw the kitchen sink at us because that’s what the real world is like. Here's the thing: we can’t just cope when pots, pans, dishes and silverware are coming at us- we have to thrive and lead in these times. I love the challenge of it.
First term is done. The training wheels are off… and so it begins.
I say bring it on.
I say bring it on.