Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A few of my favorite things...

As we wrap up our last required set of classes today, I was thinking back over the last few months and the journey my classmates and I have taken.  But instead of reflecting on the last few months, I thought I would share my favorite things of the past week!

4) Nintendo!

Yes, ladies and gentleman, I am talking about playing "regular" Nintendo.  One of Darden's biggest community outreach activities of the year is called Building Goodness in April (BGiA).  As part of BGiA, there is a big auction in the Fall - and one of the things I bid on was an hour of Nintendo with a classmate.  We got to level 8-3 in the first Super Mario Brothers, but couldnt quite beat the game.  Man do I miss the time I was actually good at video games! 

3) Finance Merger Simulation

Darden loves simulations.  We have done simulations in almost every one of our classes, from Ethics to Decision Analysis to Leadership & Organizations.  Last week we did my favorite simulation of the year in our Finance class.  The simulation was a merger negotiation between Mars & Wrigley - modeling the actual 2008 Mars aquisition of Wrigley.  We were split up into teams of three and had to negotiate against teams in other sections playing the opposing stakeholders.  Coming in, each side had built financial models (DCF, multiple analysis, etc.), analyzed our optimal price/ranges for the aquisition, and decided on what qualitative factors we would hold our ground.  With more than 50 three-hour negotions happening all around Darden, you can only imagine the incredible scene and buzz around here:  "Who got the best deal?"  "Did you hear with happened with x,y,z team?"  Perhaps you had to be here - but from both a qualitative and quantitive perspective, there was definitely a lot learned!    

2) NAWMBA Board Meeting

Next year, I will be leading Darden's chapter of the National Association of Women MBAs.  Last Thursday, we had our first meeting with next year's Executive Board.  I am blown away by the passion and excitement of the team and am so excited for upcoming year.  After a year of "taking" all that Darden has to give - I am excited to start giving back to the school and the incoming class!  

1) My Last Learning Team Meeting

Last night, my learning team met for the last time in our official capacity.  As I have mentioned a few times in the past, my learning team has been one of my most favorite parts of the Darden experience - and yesterday was no let down.  We met last night and had our usual back and forth banter and prepared our homework, with moments of nostalgia here and there. 

I have been struggling with a summer internship decision.  I have been lucky to have had a lot of options from the beginning of this process, and have narrowed my decision down to two firms.  Both are fantastic and both are in a number of ways, "exactly what I want to do."  I have gone back and forth, and almost decided every day for the last two weeks.  Last night, after our homework, my learning team decided it was time for them to step in and help me make my decision.  We mapped out a decision tree (yes, that really did happen) and made some pro/con lists on the white board.  They asked me questions, grilled me on my assumptions, and helped me clarify my thinking.  I finally made a decision last night, and couldnt have done without the gentleman of Studio 54.  It was a perfect, bittersweet end to something so special.