Thursday, January 06, 2005

My break has been absolutely FANTASTIC. I have accomplished almost everything I set out to do, which is quite unique for me on vacation. I was able to do some consulting work, make some calls and visits to bankers, read tons of prospective student essays, and study for my job interviews in a month.

AND not only did I do all that - but I also slept. OH did I sleep. The bags that had taken up residence under my eyes seem to have take a vacation from my face. While I'm sure they'll be back next week, it's nice to look fresh-faced again.

I've also been reflecting on my first semester. Wharton constantly surprises you. One of the biggest re-adjustments was getting used to the idea of being average. Like most of my classmates, I was used to rising to the top. Before Wharton, I can't remember a time when I applied myself and I didn't excel. Wharton is challenging because you have to figure out how to master the system while chaos swirls around you. Now I haven't mastered it, by any means, but I think I've figured it out. It's all about giving up sleep. If you had told me last year that I would come to regard a night of five hours of sleep as A LOT of sleep, I would have thought you were crazy. But I've come to discover is all you really need is 3 hours. Yep 3 hours is good...

I was also surprised by the time investment banking recruiting requires. In the beginning I was spending 20-30 hours a week on recruiting. I'm actually surprised I went to 95% of the events. There were so many nights when the thought of smiling through another reception with yummy crab cakes made me sick. But I went anyway. Even when I didn't want to go, I went anyway. Hopefully, my diligence will pay off with a job. I'll know in less than a month, thank goodness.

And I completely did not manage my money well. I had no idea how often I would need to make treks up to NYC. And I didn't realize how inadequate my wardrobe was for recruiting. And I completely under budgeted my car insurance cost. Now THAT killed me.

During the spring semester, I hope to continue to work towards a balanced experience. I will work on spending less money. I will continue to push myself beyond my comfort zone. I plan to have more fun. MUCH more fun. I know it's going to be a good year.

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