Classes, clubs, and shoes

I am now two weeks into Q2, which means that I am done with 5/7th of my time at Darden.  Amazing.  This quarter is thankfully a bit lighter for me.  I am taking four classes and a research elective.  I am most thankful that there are no more 8AMs.  Early week I start at 10AM and have Operations Strategy, Systems Design & Business Dynamics, and a Reading Seminar in Management, which actually meets just once a week.  Late week I also start at 10AM and have just one class (nice!) which is Entrepreneurial Finance & Private Equity.  Considering how I wasn’t so sure I get everything I could in FY finance classes, I am really enjoying the the EF&PE class.  Maybe taking Valuation last quarter helped with that.  In any case, I continue on this liking trend.  I am currently reading Eyewitness to Power by David Gergen for the Reading Seminar.  Interesting perspective into leadership lessons learned from past Presidents.

I think I may have mentioned before that a huge chunk of my time goes to various club activities.  As the VP in charge of competitions for the EVC club my goal for this year was to increase participation and prize fund.  So far, I’m proud to say that my team and I have succeeded on both accounts.  The Darden UVA Business Concept Competition drew a record of 54 submissions this year!  For the first time ever, we also split the competition into two categories: Consumer Goods, Services and General & Life Sciences and Hi-Tech.  I spent last weekend along with a few other EVC members reading through all the submissions and picking the finalists who will present live in front of judges and an audience next Friday.

I also finally took my shoes to a cobbler.  I ended up dropping off a couple of pairs of boots at Ace Shoe Repair on Zen Road.  It cost me $22 for the 2 pairs of boots to put on new tips and the turnaround time was 1 week.  That is definitely more expensive than what I was paying in New York, but the quality so far seems good.  I’ll try to report if I notice any problems but so far I would go ahead and recommend this place.  I will most likely drop off the rest of my shoes there eventually.

Late nights

The week from hell is over.  Let’s recap.  Stayed up until 4AM Sunday night working on combo of presentation on Bumrungrad International for Integration & Innovation in Services and business plan for Venture Capital classes.  On Monday we were the last of 5 groups presenting in Integration & Innovation in Services class.  Ran out of time a bit, although we did do two run-throughs prior to class, hopefully it won’t have a big impact on our grades.  Spent the rest of the day working on business plan for VC and presentation on Etsy for Networked Business Seminar class.  Up until 3AM that night.  

Decided to print our business plan in color on Tuesday morning, which meant that fiance had to take me by his office to print.  Yes, we carpool now.  Saving on gas and helping out with the environment.  Yay!  Very close call thanks to Charlottesville traffic - had to run to class since business plan was due right at 10AM. Tuesday was a crazy long day too. Was there from 10AM until about 9:10PM without leaving once.  By the way, Networked Business Seminar is the longest class ever!  Three hours.  My group had 1.5 hours to give our presentation aka lead class discussion.  Now even more impressed with what Darden professors do so well.  We tried to make sure we have lots of questions and other ways to stimulate and lead the case discussion.  At times, I swear I could hear crickets chirping, but overall I think we did a great job.  After that class got out at 7:30, I had half an hour to myself, followed by a meeting with my group to prep for the Dollar Tree negotiation.  This was for Entrepreneurial Thinking class.  At 8:30 we met with the other team and tried to negotiate a deal.  By the time we reached an agreement it was 9:10.  Unfortunately, my day didn’t end there.  After getting home it was time to put the finishing touches on the prototype for the Developing New Products and Services design fair.  We were building a website and thankfully I have some experience with that.  Bed time - 1AM.  Not bad.  Although, I officially drink coffee now.  


Team at the design fair

Team at the design fair

Wednesday wasn’t too bad, except for the fact that I have 8AMs late week.  Was groggy but managed to make it through Valuation and Entrepreneurial Thinking without falling asleep.  I think.  Design fair went well, my group didn’t win overall, but we got “best presentation” award.  Plus, afterward one of the judges gave us excellent feedback.  The other teams also did an amazing job (I would tell you what the projects were but I don’t want to give away any trade secrets).  I’m sure our professor was very relieved that everyone pulled it together.  I was home by 5PM and 30 minutes into my three hour nap by 6PM.  It was glorious.  I woke up for a couple of hours to prep my valuation case and went back to sleep.


Thursday was a breeze compared to the beginning of the week.  It was the last day of classes for all late week courses.  We even had pizza in Developing New Products & Services class.  I then enjoyed a very nice long nap prior to watching the debate.  Thankfully Friday was a reading day.

Time flies when you’re having fun

Seriously.  Q1 is pretty much over, in fact by Tuesday next week I’ll be done with the deliverables for two of my six classes.  Not too bad.  What is bad, is that until then I have hardly a free minute to myself.  The hardest part about SY to me is managing all the group projects.  Last year we all had the same classes and thus the professors knew more or less how much work and time we had to dedicate to their subjects.  That is a little bit harder to accomplish this year.  Class load varies greatly, not to mention the amount of work each class requires.  Take that into account and try coordinate meetings with 3-4 of my classmates working on 4 different projects and phew!  See, that’s even hard to explain.  

The quarter flew by though.  And I have a feeling that the rest of this year will too.  Especially with all the traveling I’m planning on doing - Spain over winter break, Argentina or France for GBE, then destination wedding and finally honeymoon in Russia.  Woohoo!

Moving on to more mundane things - I am still looking for a recommendation for shoe cobbler / repair in Charlottesville.  Anyone?  I’ve searched online and while a few places come up, none of them have reviews.  I guess I might have to chance it.

Calling all shoppers

One of my favorite classes this quarter is the Developing New Products and Services course.  It is a lot of work, but we get to develop and prototype an actual new product or service.  I really like the hands on experience we are all getting in this class.  Anyway, my team is currently in the process of identifying target customers and their needs.  Please help us out by filling out this quick survey.  Thank you!

SY, it’s different…

I’m entering week 2 of SY and already I have noticed a ton of differences between this year and last.  And no, I can’t say that I have any more time than I did last year, but then again I am taking a  heavy load.  I think last week I just completely mismanaged my time.  Between 6 classes and a bunch of meetings, I hardly had time to prepare my cases and ended up staying up way too late all week.  Nobody to blame but myself, of course.  Anyway, moving on to some actual differences.

1. I actually like all of my classes so far.  I guess that’s what happens when you get to pick them out yourself.

2. Group projects.  Group projects.  Group projects.  In four of my six classes the major part of the final grade will depend on a large group project.  For Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital we will write a business plan.  For Developing New Products and Services we will actually come up with a new idea and come up with a prototype.  It will definitely be a time committment but I am excited.  Especially about the Developing New Products class.

3. Guest speakers.  I have already had 3 guest speakers between two of my classes.  Entrepreneurship and VC class had John Taylor, the VP of Research, from the National Venture Capital Association come and speak to us during the first session.  John May the founder and managing partner of New Vantage Group was at the second class during which we actually did a case about the New Vantage Group.  And in the Developing New Products and Services class we saw Mark Wilson the founder and president of Curvware, Inc.  I’m not sure if his product will revolutionize the way we eat, but I definitely think it has great potential for people with certain health problems and disabilities.

4. The biggest difference is probably that I already know what to expect.  I know some of the professors, I know how to do cases, I know how cold calling works.  And now with classes that I actually like, I know what I want to get out of them.

Sticker Shock

I wonder if it’s true that the older you get the faster time goes by. It sure feels like it sometimes. Certainly, my week at the beach was not nearly long enough. It was very relaxing however, and it was nice to spend time with my family.  Unfortunately, realization that school is about to start came quickly as I started receiving emails from my professors with assignments for the first week of classes.  I also spent a couple of hours on Wednesday morning trying to rearrange my schedule a bit and pick up some classes.  I wasn’t able to get everything I wanted and my Q3 seems a little heavy but I’ll keep trying.  I am excited about picking up a GBE to India over spring break though.  Woohoo!

This morning I got up bright and early, okay okay, it was around 9 and headed to the Darden Exchange book store to pick up my books and texts for Q1.  Wow!  I’ve totally forgotten how expensive books are!  I walked out $450 lighter but weighed down by two very heavy bags.  I do have to say that I really like the bound booklets for SY cases vs. the loose leaf packets from FY.  Aside from the course books I also have two text books which I’m going to order online used, since the bookstore is all out of used copies.  I think I’ll save almost $100 by going through AbeBooks.  And that’s including expedited shipping.

Before I head off to do some reading for tomorrow, here’s a run-down of my classes for this quarter:

Early Week:

  • Venture Capital
  • Integration & Innovation in Services - The New Economy
  • Networked Business Seminar

Late Week:

  • Valuation in Financial Markets
  • Entrepreneurial Thinking
  • Developing New Products & Services

Career Options

FY is in full swing for the class of 2010.  I just came back from sitting on a panel during the Entrepreneurship Forum.  I know it’s just the beginning of the year and everyone hasn’t gotten sucked into attending recruiting events just yet, but I’m excited to say that it feels like there’s a good number of entrepreneurs in that class.  I hope they continue exploring it as a serious career option.  I know that I am very happy to be where I am today and I look forward to talking to first years about their ideas and business plans.

Personally, my calendar is already filling up with meeting requests and club fairs and all that good stuff that comes along with Darden.  Soon I’ll be checking my calendar reminders to tell me exactly where I need to be at any given time.  Until then though I’m off to the beach for a week.  See y’all in a few!

Introducing Made to Fit

In the process of doing a lot of research for my incubated venture I’ve come across dozens of websites that allow you to customize, well, pretty much anything.  Since this is a topic that interests me greatly, I’ve created a separate blog to review the services of those websites that deal with clothing and shoes.  Check it out at Made to Fit.  As always comments and suggestions are welcome!

Less than two weeks until SY starts…

Tailor made

I’m generally pretty terrible at taking my clothes in to get tailored.  Mostly, I just end up wearing dresses, skirts and pants that are way too long.  That’s why all of my jeans end up ripped in the back and disgustingly eternally dirty.  While too-long jeans actually don’t really bother me that much, I realize that at my height skirts and dresses that hit mid-calf make me look short and stocky.  Yes, yes, I know, I AM short, but that doesn’t mean that I have to look all stubby.  I like to think that I have pretty nice legs.  In light of that, I decided to have a dress I’m planning on wearing to a wedding later this week, shortened.  I searched online for a tailor here in Charlottesville and while I got quite a few listings, only one place came with a review.  Two reviews, in fact, and both very good.  I decided to give Heidi’s Perfect Fit a chance.  I have to say I’m pretty happy.  The turnaround time was exactly a week, although when I spoke with Heidi on the phone, she mentioned it could be done faster if necessary.  The dress was shortened about 5 inches, the seams are even and expertly finished.  And the price seems reasonable - $20, not that I have anything to compare it to.  In conclusion, if you’re looking to have something tailored, I recommend Heidi’s.  I’ve already made a mental list of several more items that could really use to be a few inches shorter.

Now if someone could suggest a good shoe cobbler in Charlottesville…

iPhoning it in

I am so loving the 2.0 upgrade on my iPhone. Not only am I writing this post through the new wordpress application on the iPhone, but I also get Darden email, contacts and calendar sync over the air! That is so much better than going through webmail and having to sync everything else by physically connecting the phone to my laptop.

Sigh, less than a month left until year 2 classes start. Pretty amazing how quickly the summer flew by. I have a week left in the incubator, officially. I’ve made good progress in the past 10 weeks on getting my venture going. I hope that I have enough hours in the day to continue working on it as well as classes and my involvement with several clubs. They do say that the second year classwork is not quite as intensive as first. We’ll see. For now I’ll be “stalking” the add/drop period so I can pick up another class and hopefully rearrange my schedule a bit.

Oh, before I forget, everyone tune in to watch Adam Nelson in the Olympics!

  • Mohop shoes August 24, 2008
    This is a really neat concept of using one wood and rubber shoe base and an innovative patent-pending straping system to “create” a virtually unlimited number of sandals.  In fact, the mohop website states that their shoe has been dubbed the “infinity sandal.”  Aside from potentially saving the custumer money by eliminating the need to [...]