I’m excited about the upcoming long weekend as I’ll be in DC to witness President Obama’s inauguration. As he begins his second term, we (FY students) will be starting the second half of our first year at Darden. While the President did not enjoy a long December vacation as he tried to negotiate a deal with Republicans to prevent the country going over the fiscal cliff, a lot of FYs recruiting for on-campus internships probably felt just as busy. We were on job treks and then doing interview prep that involved some combination of cases, company research and technical review depending on our industries of choice.
So what did my break involve? I started with Darden’s New York job trek, aptly dubbed Week on Wall Street. This was followed by a week in Miami to participate in a kaizen event at Danaher Corporation’s Beckman Coulter facility. While we unfortunately did not get to relax on the beach given our long work days, it was a great learning experience. A classmate, Caroline Kalinoski, who also participated in the kaizen event and is a fellow Darden blogger, has written an entire post on our experience in Miami. Check it out here.
After Miami, I went home to Mumbai, India for a couple of weeks. While this was my time to do interview prep, I also had the chance to spend some quality time with my family and friends. The only downside was that I fell sick for a couple of days. I guess one loses immunity to the Indian bugs after living in the U.S. for several years. This was particularly depressing as I couldn’t enjoy the delicious Indian roadside delicacies while I was recovering.
After returning to the U.S. last week, I started interviewing for summer internships and was fortunate to land a gig within the first few days. As I wait for classes to start now, I’ve been helping my friends and classmates with their interview preparation. Looking back at the last five months the camaraderie among my classmates, even when we were competing for the same position has served as evidence that everything I was told during my Darden interviews about the school’s collaborative culture holds true and is not a marketing line used by the admissions staff.
There’s a lot to look forward to in the months before we start our internships in May/June. This includes Darden Cup events like dodge ball, bowling and cricket (yes, cricket at an American business school!); more case competitions like the 2013 Hult Prize President’s Challenge that I’m participating in with some of my classmates; and preparing to take on leadership positions in clubs from graduating SYs. First, however, I’m waiting to see my section in class on Tuesday as we begin our last term of required courses together before splitting up to take electives.