Is it already second year? For the past few months, I have been interning with a consulting firm in Washington, DC. The experience was challenging, but I felt fully equipped from day one to be a contributing member of the team all thanks to the preparation of the Darden first year curriculum. My summer engagement was heavily analytical and I found myself thankful that I was paying attention during the quant-heavy cases of my first year.
The last day of my summer internship ended on Friday, so that evening I packed up my apartment and prepared to hit the road to Charlottesville on Saturday. I was in a hurry to get back to Charlottesville because I wanted to attend the Darden Community Picnic that Saturday afternoon. I remember being a first year at the Picnic, feeling only moderately overwhelmed. I was in a new environment, making new friends, meeting new faculty. Most of that afternoon as a first year was a blur, but what I remember more than anything was how excited the returning second years were to catch up with one another after a summer away from Charlottesville.
Remembering that was motivation enough for me to make it back to Charlottesville. And it was well worth it. It’s hard to describe how I felt at the picnic; excited to be reunited, thrilled to hear about my classmates’ successful summers, and afraid that this year is going to pass too quickly. (Is this what my second year has succumbed to? Am I really talking about my emotions at a picnic?)
If Saturday was all about catching up, Sunday was all about ramping up. Sunday was my day to get organized. I figured out what classes I was taking and made sure to prepare the cases for my first day as a second year.Monday afternoon, my class assembled in Abbott Auditorium for a Welcome Back address. The strangers I sat among at my Welcome address as a first year are now some of my best friends and principled leaders at our Welcome Back address to start off the second year. What a difference one year can make.