Things I Have Learned In The Last 12 Months

HIs friends call him the "Happy Lawyer"

My first anniversary of matriculation at Darden is at hand. I remember this because I got married on Friday, August 13, and strangely I never forget that date. From the time I started my Darden journey until now, I am exactly one year older, one more year married and one more year a father to my great kids.

Yet, I find myself many years wiser in the ways of the business world. Let me count the ways . . . .


I no longer run from numbers, I run numbers. And when I do, I open Excel . . . . and I find myself getting a little excited as the blank spreadsheet loads!

“Net present value” can be an emotion!

A binomial distribution can help you make the “fight or flight” decision whether or not to pursue a deal

Communications class can come in handy when you are facing the crisis of how to tell the Operations professor that your assignment will be a teeny-weeny, tiny, late-ish, in a technical sense.

Although each of them can tell an interesting story, it is much easier to manage numbers than to manage people. For example, I have never heard 6 say, “I can’t work with 2”.

You can accrue goodwill with your family and friends between burying yourself in MBA studies, but that human goodwill depreciates – quickly!

Your ethics professor can help you avoid unethical statements such as “Yes, you can find a work-life balance that pleases everyone.” And no, even though you may feel this way, you cannot list the members of your learning team as co-dependents on your tax return.

I don’t have all of the answers, but at least I have a lot more questions! Supposedly these questions are going to get me the answers, from others. . . . . eventually . . . . .

Happy anniversary, Class of 2012!

Peter Vanderloo is an in-house lawyer at a well-known tech company in the first year of the Executive MBA program at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. His previous posts at Poets&Quants for Execs:

Meet Peter: He’s a Darden Student Blogging on his EMBA Journey

The Fundamental Value Proposition of an EMBA Program: Personal Transformation

Work-Life Balance in An EMBA Program? What Balance?

A Generous Gift in an MBA Experience: A Learning Team

On the Grounds

When You’re CEO for the Day–Or Class

The Mantra at Darden: “Trust the Process”


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