Before I left my last organization, the CEO of the company told me to make sure I took some time to rest before starting school because, "once you get to business school, and from then onwards, your life speeds up." After being an active undergrad, spending two years in investment banking, and then running an under-resourced program at a non-profit for a few years, I casually shrugged off his advice. I knew what busy was.
And now I am at Darden. Between classes, homework, extracurricular activities, recruiting, and, well...life, my old definition of "busy" is my new description of a light day.
SO - what is all that "busy" filled with? Well, let me highlight my three favorite things in the last few weeks:
1) Factory Tours for our Operations Class - the first year class was split up last Wednesday to visit local manufacturing plants, call centers, and distribution facilities across Central Virginia. I could write pages about my experience, having never been to a distribution center before, but I will summarize to say, "holy moly!" - there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes to get a piece of fruit to a supermarket or a chair from an online catalog to your doorstep!
2) In Marketing, we recently did a case on Google and search engine optimization. The next day, we didn't have a case (a rare, and cherished event), but were cryptically told to go to a larger classroom for a guest speaker. The speaker ended up being the Managing Director of Sales at Google. Over the class period we walked through one of the most fascinating presentations I have seen - talking about Google's approach to marketing. I was at the edge of my chair for the entire class, definitely smiled with my eyes wide for most of the presentation...and I may have shed a tear or two watching a Google "make-your-own" commercial...
3) Class with the Dean! This year, Darden piloted a new seminar series for first years on "Business & Success." There are three pilot seminars with 15 students a piece and two professors in each class. When I got to class, I learned one of the teachers is Bob Bruner, the Dean of the Darden School. Unbelievable. Our first class was on "greed" - we watched the documentary on Enron, The Smartest Guys in The Room, and then discussed our reactions and views on business, success, greed, power, and money. At one point in the discussion, one of my classmates started a sentence with, "I would really have liked to ask these guys..." After a pause in the classroom, Dean Bruner stepped in and said, "well, I sat down with a number of the Enron executives after the scandal and their reaction to..." Our jaws of course dropped.
...so, while most of the "busy" is chaotic, and at times painful (I really thought resume draft #18 was a winner...), there are hidden moments every day that make me realize that this is the coolest experience ever.
For your amusement, a screenshot of my calendar for last week: