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My day at Darden - article from a current FY student

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Current Student
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Joined: 28 Oct 2017
Posts: 61
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, General Management
GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V40
My day at Darden - article from a current FY student  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Mar 2019, 09:13
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This article is written as part of the MBA Chronicles project. For more such articles, check MBA Chronicles


Day at Darden

Hey everyone. I am a current first year student and this article will describe my typical day at Darden. I deliberately chose on the most intense periods during the fall in the first semester to show you full experience and what it’s like to be a Darden student.

6AM – I wake-up have a quick breakfast and run to the Gym to swim and box for 40 minutes. Gym is free at Darden and it’s amazing. It has all facilities that you might imagine – weightlifting zone, treadmills and cycling machines, boxing and dancing zones and swimming pool with sauna and hot tub.

7:00-7:30 – get back home, put on my suit and tie, grab my study stuff and walk to school.

7:50 – grab coffee in the PepsiCo forum (like lobby hallway) and go to class.

8:00 – 9:25 – first class. At Darden, as you might have heard, we have case method, which means that you can’t miss any classes at all, you shouldn’t be late and you have to be prepared. 50% of the grade is student’s participation in class. Plus you might also be cold-called.

9:30 – 10:00 – First coffee. Darden has had this tradition from fifties I guess. All students, some professors, career advisors and sometimes the dean gather together in the PepsiCo forum and have free coffee or tea. It is a great opportunity to get to know people in your class, second years and professors. Also First Coffee is a time when you can check-in with Career Development people and discuss your progress, ask questions. You could also schedule appointments with them in other times as well, but I found it very useful to quickly check-in every morning, rather than have an hourly meeting.

10:00 – 11:25 – Second class. Nothing to add much here.

11:45 – 1:10 – Third class.

1:15 – 1:30 – hopefully lunch. Not always worked for me. My wife would bring me the food, which I would quickly devour and run to the company briefing.

1:30 – 2:30 – company briefing. They would come and tell how different they are from their competition or even companies from other industries. Same conversation every time and usually they start with 20 minutes introduction of themselves and which undergrad they are from and college team they support, which for me didn’t make any sense at all. Sometimes you would have two company briefings if you’re recruiting for two different industries but that’s a rare occasion.

2:30 – 4:00PM – Your time for networking calls. I would do at least two a day, because was recruiting for both IB and Consulting. In total I did more than a hundred 30min calls during that period. You wanna make sure you do at least one call per week with a low touch company and two per week with a high touch one.

4:00 – 6:00PM – a little window for you to read three cases for the next day. Usually they are anywhere from 5 to 30 pages of heavily dense reading each. It becomes especially bad when you have tech notes, which are complicated if you not aware of the subject matter. My learning team split the work and each of us would do 2-3 cases for the following week on Sunday. But that’s the actual work on the case, like building the model or writing-up a strategy or doing some T-accounts. You anyway want to read all the cases, because you can’t come to class unprepared.

6:00 – 8:00PM – Then usually at 6 you will have a networking reception with a bank or a consulting firm. It is a two hour speaking and listening marathon. Its hard both for you and for the company reps. Circles of one company rep + 6-7 are formed and you are listening to who the person is and waiting for your chance to say something memorable. Your goal is to be remembered by at least 3 company reps at that event. For some people it was ridiculously hard to be in those circles. I found it pretty easy because my story is not traditional and they easily remembered me.

7:50 – you run to your learning team (LT) meeting after drinking three beers at the event. You are already late because LT starts at 7. It is going up until 10PM. You are discussing cases for the next day. Some are difficult and remain unsolved by the team, some are nailed down. My LT was pretty efficient so we more or less crushed all the cases.

10:15PM – you come home and have to prepare ‘thank-you’ emails to send in the morning. You need to write one to every banker/consultant who you spoke with, to refresh their memory about you in the morning.

11PM – I went to sleep after exchanging couple of phrases with my wife. Completely exhausted at this point.

The next day is all over again. Just different classes and another company. Monday through Thursday is like that and the Friday is your phone-call day. I usually did 10am – 5pm to call people. During the weekend you prep cases for the next week and go to the gym. Hopefully you had your Saturday rest a little bit. Also each Thursday we had TNDC – Thursday Night Drinking Club. A social event for all Darden students. Every week at different bar. It’s a lot of fun.
So that’s about it. I was doing that starting August 20 and finished this marathon January 11, when I got my internship offer from BCG. We're very proud of the rigourness of the school and life here. Unlike some other schools, which are way more chill than Darden.
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Joined: 12 Mar 2017
Posts: 4
Concentration: General Management
GMAT 1: 720 Q48 V41
GPA: 3.59
Re: My day at Darden - article from a current FY student  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2019, 12:02
Sounds like I need to order a few more suits...
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Re: My day at Darden - article from a current FY student   [#permalink] 28 Mar 2019, 12:02
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