Thursday, December 20, 2012

The MUST-KNOW Darden traditions

Perhaps the Darden website doesn't tell you these, but they truly make Darden what it is...  

First Coffee
Dated years back - I mean, years. All-you-can-drink coffee and tea. No one is supposed to be doing work or attending classes. Monday through Friday at 9:30 A.M., the entire Darden community takes a moment to kick back and chill out for a bit before returning to their rigorous day of work. By entire Darden community, I mean faculty, staff members, students, guests, Dean Bruner and you, prospective students. Everyone is welcomed and encouraged to attend. This is what tight-knit is all about: people talk about the case they just did in class, the movie they watched over the weekend and their favorite professors at Darden. Every now and then, you get to witness one or more of the below special moments during First Coffee:
  • The Darden Chorus group performing Dardenized songs
  • A company sponsoring First Coffee and networking with students
  • Award presentation by the school to recognize outstanding students
  • First-Year students meeting with Second-Year students for career advises
  • Affinity clubs organizing fundraising booths  
  • Section B singing a song as ransom to reclaim its (our) stolen house mascot, the renowned Bird
  • People who stand right next to each other screaming to chat (it gets loud!)
Sounds pretty cool, huh?! See you at First Coffee.

P.S. The second break between classes is increasingly known as "Second Coffee" among Dardeners.

Cold Call
Interestingly, the term "Cold Call" carries multiple, vastly different meanings at Darden...

Cold Call [kohld kawl]
noun, verb
1. You have been randomly selected (sometimes drawn from a coffee cup or an excel spreadsheet) to start the class discussion or present your analysis on the case. Good luck.
2. A Thursday afternoon tradition featuring food, beer, drinks and social time
3. Name of Darden's own Chorus group - The Cold Call Chorus
4. Name of Darden's own newsletter - The Cold Call Chronicle

P.S. There is no way one can escape #1. It is going to happen to you, more than once.

Darden 100-case celebration
100 cases = BIG DEAL. And 100 cases will be logged before you even realize. Even better, it usually happens in late October, which means...Halloween! You are highly encouraged, aka semi-required, to dress up as Avatar or Mario to celebrate a huge milestone of your Darden life. No information disclosed until the event means you got thrown on a coach bus and transported to the party! 

Darden Cup
Who said business school kids know just how to do discounted cash flow or calculate operational bottleneck? Come to Darden and you will find former football quarterbacks, softball coaches, wild runners... Sections compete for the annual Darden Cup, which features a series of sport events throughout the year, from 5K to dodgeball to basketball. Competitiveness is upgraded on the sports field, where bragging rights and section pride are on the line. No section feels more pressure than Section E to keep the trophy and the winning streak in its house. But no section is as dominant and talented as Section B to have a realistic chance of winning this year. Sorry, A, C, D (and E), truth does hurt sometimes!

Section B, the hub of traditions
The Section B song - it's the winner song! Sing it every week after the last class, after winning championship at Darden Cup events and anytime Section B pride runs through the roof!
The Bird - it LIVES in Section B. Our dear friend travels around world with our people, attends weddings, crashes parties, goes to class and participates at Darden Cup events. Make the most ridiculous comment during class, and you will have custody of the bird for the coming week! Deal, B'ers?
The Finger - the super-sized foam slip-on finger signifies insightful minds. Make the most insightful comment during class, and you will earn the opportunity to use the finger once in the following week. Professors HAVE TO call on you to speak during class when you use the finger. Powerful stuff!
The Medal - the good citizen award. Whether you have volunteered to teach an exam review session or organize service events, your name will be on the list!

Section B, straight-up coolness.

BGiA Auctions - Building Goodness in April
Fundraising for charity and community services are at the core of Darden student life. BGiA Auctions, the biggest annual fundraising campaign at Darden, puts creativity and goodness to work. Faculty and students offer the widest (also wildest) selection of prizes up for auction, then donating all proceeds to charities. Monopoly night at the Dean's house, homemade dinner at professors' homes, 3-night stay at a Miami resort, 2-minute all-you-can-shop at Kroger, a 1-month personal Mandarin lesson, private Accounting tutoring, free rides to airport...you name it. This is the time you see the most creative side of your classmates - a legit LOL-in-tears time! All for raising the most funds for good causes!

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