Sunday, September 27, 2009

Retrospective: International Student Orientation (yep, they let US students come, too)

This year, Darden invited US/domestic students to attend International Student Orientation (ISO). I figured it would be a good opportunity to get used to sitting in "class" again, to meet some new folks before full orientation started, and to prevent myself from using my copious free time do something stupid, like go buy tons of unnecessary housewares for my new apartment. The schedule also suggested that there would be some good coverage of the job search process, and I thought I could benefit from every bit of help or insight I could get in that area.

I did get used to sitting in the same chair for protracted periods of time, I did definitely meet some great new people (some of whom I now consider my closest acquaintances at Darden), and I spent far less time and money at Target than I probably would have if I didn't attend ISO, but I also became completely petrified of the entire job search process. Yes, I know there is a recession. Yes, I know that finding a job is never a piece of cake. Yes, I know that it's important to start early. But I feel like a ton of gloom and doom was thrown at us all at once (more on this later), and I don't even have to worry about things like visas or sponsorship.

I also, frankly, think that ISO could easily be consolidated into a shorter time period and merged with Orientation for everyone else. By the end of the three days, I felt like everything was becoming a little bit repetitive, and certainly I heard a lot of the same content again during full Orientation the next week.

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