Monday, August 20, 2007

Pre-school madness

Before I talk about what my first 2 weeks in Charlottesville have been like, I want to bring your attention to the recent Forbes ranking that put Darden 4th best Business school in the country. Yuuuuhoooooo!!

The school has not yet started but these past 2 weeks have given me every indication that the school belongs amongst the best. Here is the link to the Forbes ranking for more.

Continuing on… so what has happened since you get admitted to one of the top MBA programs in the country? Of course your immediate priorities are
accept your admission and enjoy the admitted students weekend
quit your job and vacation and maybe travel a bit
Pretty soon, however, you are down to more serious stuff.

I landed in Charlottesville on 8th August. My roommate was already here so my apartment was almost set by the day I arrived. We were able to buy and move the remaining stuff in the next few days.

International student’s orientation started on the 9th with different groups taken us through student life, cultural aspects, career, and academic challenges specific to international students. We were also briefed on student visa, work opportunities, other regulations and university rules. The sessions over two days were very informative and it was quite fascinating to see classmate from all over bringing so much experience and diversity to the table. We were all just thrilled to be in such elite company.

The first week was pretty much lot of social activities and getting to know each other. We did have unofficial soccer and basketball games that seemed like a world cup with people from all over. Some of took foundation classes in Finance, accounting and Math skills. Darden requires us to clear pre-enrollment tests in each of them. Another pre-school activity was to complete 15 hrs (5-10 in actual) of self-discovery and assessments for career discovery purposes. Throughout the week leading to the grand opening we were joined by US students and joined in the fun evening activities. We feel truly welcome by all staff, student affairs and faculty and are pleasantly susprised to see them so well prepared and organized for us as we arrive. Faculty graciously hosted an evening event at their homes that just topped off the week for us.
The official welcome started this Sunday ( 19th) with a speech from our Dean Bruner. His speech has been aptly summarized by my fellow classmate - Christof, read here for more We then headed out for a class picture followed by a picnic.

The first couple of week’s activities have been really fun. All of us have enjoyed meeting our classmates and are really excited about times ahead. However, we have on several occasions be told about the rigor of the Darden program and its slowly beginning to sink it that ‘Time’ is one thing we’ll be very short of. At the same time I feel honored to be here at the prestigious University of Virginia and Darden School with so much tradition and so much to be proud of. When you walk the grounds at Darden, you cannot help but be awed by the brick builds that are symbolic of the foundation and prestige of the school. Looking forward to getting into the thick of things from tomorrow when we start preparing our first cases.


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