Sunday, February 21, 2010

SHE Auction

Every year the National Association of Women MBA (NAWMBA) organizes the SHE Auction. The Shelter for Help in Emergency's goal is to eliminate domestic violence and the auction is a great source of donations. This year the event was held at the Boar's Head Inn, which is a good enough reason to attend by itself. A red carpet greated the guests along a reception of two of our more entertaining second year students. Various items were on sale in a silent auction from artistic photographs to a basketball signed by the Cavaliers. During dinner, a live auction was running selling the higher priced items such as a flat in London that went for a thousand dollars per night and a famous dinner made by a few of our professors.

This is one just more example of Darden students giving back to the community during the two years they are here ( and having fun while they're at it).

A few items has some fierce competitors. My main rival for the basketball did not want it to get on the hands of a non-double 'Hoo.

The evening ended with dancing to the wee hours of the night.

While the dancing was still going on, a few of us second years retreated to the inn's old-fashioned bar.

As for the basketball, I joined forces with my friend and after sending his girlfriend to bid for us, I now have a 50% stake in a basketball investment.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Women's Leadership Week

This week is women's leadership week.

The week was full of interesting events and speakers. Today I participated in a discussion about "women and the labyrinth of Leadership: Why women don't make it into the c- suite" moderated by professor Ed Freeman. On the panel were four women in leadership roles and a man for diversity's sake.

I was looking forward to a discussion led by Ed Freeman, who always seems to get discussions to a new level, forcing people to defend their positions, drilling in behind the blunt statements to carve out what people really think. Not this time though. Today, Prof. Freeman was very low key and so was the discussion.

The panelists asked us to be honest and even provocative. Sadly, we were not.

Questions such as "what advice could you give us as we enter corporate America" after stating how difficult it was to adjust post undergrad were politely addressed by the panelists with an "every company has a different culture". Thank god men don't need to adjust because we all come genetically prepared, love football, NASCAR, Golf and drink a gallon of Guinness before we brush our teeth in the morning.

In my past, when I was young and pretty, I used to be razor focused. I went into a meeting, knowing what the agenda was and I would get to it. Why waste time on irrelevant chit chats, right? My boss commented on this and told me to loosen up a little before meetings, maybe crack a joke or talk about other things outside of work before starting a meeting. I am so glad I took his advice. It was something I had to learn and I'm grateful for the feedback. I was surprised to hear a similar story today from a female student who thought she only got this feedback because she was a woman.

Don't get me wrong. I am not doubting the fact that there are still people in the world who are prejudiced based on sex. I just think that this group of people contains women as well as men.

The discussion almost started to be interesting when another female student raised the fact that women often overcompensate and then stopped herself from using a word that is used to describe female canines, but nobody wanted to leave the comfort zone of discussion.

It was disappointing to see such a shallow discussion in a school known for it's invigorating discussions.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


A state of emergency has been declared in Charlottesville due to the expected snow storm. Last time it snowed at least that much was during winter break. I remember bathing in the sun on the beaches of the red sea, looking at the facebook photos and statuses of snowed in people, who were stuck at home for a few days.
This time around people wanted to be prepared. So, they stormed the shelves at all the supermarkets and bought everything. After all, nobody wants to get stuckat home watching the super bowl without beer and food. So now, in the event of a nuclear war, the city can now sustain the state of Virginia.

While everyone was preparing for the snow, and signs warning against driving were posted, 75 Dardenites were driving to Snowshoe in WV for the outdoors club ski trip.

Some people on the site told me yesterday that these are the best skiing conditions they've seen. The wind and snow did force us to dress like one would, climbing the everes, but as one of my friends put it, it was west coast skiing on the east coast.

The evening in the cabins may sometimes confuse you into thinking this was an undergrad event and just this morning I woke up to find the front doors were barred by two big snowmen.

4 of us had to leave our cars on the mountain last night due to the road conditions and one car was rescued and took four hours to get back.

All in all it was a fantastic way to spend the emergency weekend.

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