“In order to plan your future wisely,
it’s necessary to understand and appreciate your past.”
“Have you prepared the Finance Case? Are you ready for your mock interview? What is the next race you’re training for? Where are we going out on Thursday night?”
The Future. It’s something we are always looking forward to, dreading, or maybe in some situations, just bracing ourselves for.
As a first year student at Virginia’s Darden School of Business, so much of our time is spent preparing, getting ready, and in the case of a random “cold call” in Accounting, just bracing ourselves for the inevitable. Believe me, I’m a full proponent of planning and looking ahead.
In high school I studied hard and involved myself in athletics and activities to prepare myself for college. While at college at Villanova, I forged my way through a Liberal Arts education, new activities, and lasting friendships to arm myself with the tools I thought I would need for the real world.
That “real world” of a corporate job (Capital IQ) and big cities (NY and Chicago) proved to be no different. Always pushing ahead with my eye on the next big client, bonus, (or in some cases vacation was great fuel), I saw many successes and yes, plenty of failures.
The future can be a powerful thing. It can motivate you to reach new destinations, challenges, and opportunities. Seeing the possibility of a new career track is what led me to apply to business school and eventually to Darden, and for that I will forever be grateful.
Sometimes, however, I think a little peak into our past can be just as powerful. It can remind us of how far we’ve come, and yes, a sense of appreciation and pride in how much we’ve learned.
As I sit here writing this post, my table is covered with notes, binders, and one, oh wait, two Diet Cokes. Deep into what is lovingly called “Black November” here at Darden, we are swamped with school work, recruiting events, student activities, and yes plenty of social events (don’t let any MBA students tell you otherwise).
Having been deemed the “constant planner” by friends and family, I am now surrounded by 319 other “constant planners” who have incredible goals and aspirations. But what’s even more incredible are some of the things we have already accomplished.
Each day we push through another case, another class, another cold call, and sometimes we succeed; many times we fail, but every time we learn. We learn about new concepts, new frameworks and new perspectives. With the pace we move it’s often impossible to see the changes each day, but I know they are there.
They’re in the DCF model I was able to build from scratch in Finance Class (but never could imagine doing as an undergrad English major); in the Aggregate Supply and Demand curve I drew last week, and in amazing friendships I’ve built in a short amount of time.
The future is important, but sometimes appreciating and being proud of how you got there is just as important.
It’s November 17th and finals and interviews loom in the near future. But as I try to stay grounded and sane over the next few weeks I hope I can remember how far I’ve come, how hard I’ve worked, and I can be proud. At least while I wait for that next Darden “cold call”….
Thanks, Lisa, for that great reminder to all of us.
What about you? What have you learned? What are you most proud of? How often do you step back and reflect, appreciating that “objects in your rear view mirror may be LARGER that they seem?”
To your success,