Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Year, Leap of Faith

I’m a pretty risk-averse person at heart.   That typically means I don’t take a chance on something without doing the calculations first.  I’ll do everything I can to maximize the probability of a positive outcome—work a little longer on a project, or pay a couple bucks more for the right gift.  Give me surefire bloop single over a chance at a homer any day.  The simple phrase “roll the dice” kind of freaks me out.

But obviously, there are times in life where you have to take a leap.  That’s how this former TV reporter ended up at Darden.  I saw that my industry was changing, my development was slowing, my ambition waning.  It was time for a change. 

I wasn’t the only one seeking new opportunities.  Almost all of my classmates gave up good jobs to return to school—it was a gamble that we believed was worth it, so we jumped at the chance to come to Charlottesville.

Now, the Class of 2013 is about to leap again.  The first chapter of our Darden experience is nearing an end.  We have just one more week of core classes in our sections, one more week of learning team meetings, and we’re currently choosing our electives for the spring.  This is kind of a sad time.  I’m going to miss meeting in room 293B every night, where intense and remarkable collaboration meshed with surprise birthday celebrations and impromptu dance lessons.  And, I’m incredibly attached to Section E— room 120 is where we witnessed Drew Barrett’s wolf shirt howl, where Leo Hergenroeder and I took opposing sides on countless class debates, where unsuspecting prospective students became sketch-a-scholars, and where 62 of the smartest people I know dominated during simulation competitions.

After exams, spring break and electives we’re on to our summer internships, where many of us will be dipping our toe into completely new waters.  We’ll have new job responsibilities, new cities to live in, new colleagues to work with and learn from, and a new career trajectory.  It’s extremely exciting, and yes, a little bit scary.

These are the thoughts that cross my mind on leap day of leap year—where strangely enough, it feels like we’re moments away from actually making our own leaps of faith.  The skies are beautiful, the wind is at our backs and the sun is shining joyfully down on us.

Now, all that’s left to do is fly.

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