Congratulations on passing your CCENT!
As far as your question about switches....then no, out of the box they come with ZERO configuration and you must configure anything manually before they will work. At least if it's an "Enterprise-switch"....in the Small-business segment it's usually pre-configured like you discovered above.
Mind you this is a Cisco-forum but most of us have experiences with Extreme and other vendors as well over the years...that said, if it's an enterprise switch then most vendors will let you configure everything manually when it's "out of the box".
Buying second-hand equipment may or may not come with a pre-configuration.
In the cisco-world, talking about enterprise switches, then you need to manually setup your switch management. This requires you to:
-Setup a SVI and provide it with any ip-address.
-IF the SVI is in a different IP-subnet than your management-station (computer?) then it also needs a default-gateway configured so the routing will work.
You can provide the IP-address manually (static) or through other means (e.g DHCP). In short, if you got an ip-address it was configured to obtain it through DHCP....so the switch you bought was not "emtpy" of configuration.