Here’s the overall theme of Q4 so far: calendar craziness! I remember some Second Years telling me that Darden’s as busy as you want it to be once you get through the core curriculum, and it’s proving true. Suddenly there’s an explosion of group projects, and I’m starting to see why Darden is known for producing collaborative leaders – they make us work together all the time! Sure, Learning Team went away (miss ya, LT 33!) but now I have one project each with my Leading Organizations and Communications teams, and two projects with my Marketing Intelligence team.  I can’t turn around without tripping over a team. Take working in teams non-stop, add my newfound paranoia about my interpersonal communications skills or lack thereof (thanks, Interpersonal Communications class!), and it adds up to a pretty hilarious few weeks. Thank goodness my team members are a combination of indulgent, amused and indifferent, and put up with me anyway. (sidenote, and shameless use of blog to boost project success: please take my Marketing Intelligence survey? Click here! Will take 4 minutes, and very much help my team project!)

In other news, Darden’s experimenting with us next year. Before we finish Q4, we have to register for all our classes next year and we’ll be the first class to explore an option to take our MBA degree with a “concentration” in a particular area. I can’t help it, I just think of orange juice from concentrate. Anyway, barring frozen citrus products, we don’t have to concentrate in any area – but we can. There will be 10 concentrations offered, and I was glad to see Corporate Innovation, Sustainability and Entrepreneurship offered, along with two different marketing concentrations, and what you’d expect in terms of finance and banking. For me, my plan was to take at least one outside-my-comfort-zone class next year, and I have the Princess Problem of having too many fantastic classes to choose from, and not enough time. Sigh. I’m actually not sure I’ll end up concentrating in Marketing, and I’ll tell you why. As a marketer, with a corporate career in marketing before Darden, with a marketing internship, planning to pursue a post-Darden career in marketing…. well, of course I’ll take marketing courses, but I sort of want to explore other stuff, too. I (shockingly!) really enjoyed Finance classes, and want more, and I’m hoping to get into the Ops course about product development, and Creative Capitalism is a MUST for me next year. Plus Starting New Ventures, Business Ethics Through Literature, and Corporate Innovation & Design. Not to mention, Hot Topics in Finance and Bargaining & Negotiating. I mean, when and where else would I get the opportunity to try this stuff? I’ve heard to take professors you like, not classes – and I think this advice is sound, and a good way to explore as well. So, this concentration stuff? I’m not sure yet. It’s bound to be controversial, as Darden’s known for being a General Management school that has historically prohibited taking too much of any one subject (all the better to make you well-rounded, my dear). I’m excited about the opportunity to try this out, and proud that Darden is willing to experiment and take risks with the curriculum. For the next week, I’ll be here poring through syllabuses trying to make some hard class choices about next year…

Advertisements