Monday, October 18, 2010

Forming teams

The overwhelming majority of my classes so far have involved a group component to assignments, with Management Communications being the only exception.  That's to be expected given the school's emphasis on collaboration, and although it sounded dubious at first to have a group in a class like TurboFin, I've found it to be extremely helpful for discussing and understanding the material (as long as I've had time to prepare in advance of group meetings).

During the first year, most of my groups were picked by the professors, but this quarter, things have shifted around. In three of my four classes, we were able to pick the teams ourselves; in fact, lots of classmates recommend having a team set up for Financial Decisions, which has a comparatively high workload (but is an amazing class), before taking it. I tend to be very passive about forming teams, mainly to try to avoid my tendency to work with folks that I know, and although it's worked out really well so far, I know it's a bit of a risky strategy.

As far as I can tell, there are several considerations that influence team formation in a class.
  • Friend factor - are you good friends with anyone in the class
  • Prior experience - have you worked with someone before to the extent that they can vouch for you
  • Reputation - a bit of a corollary to prior experience, but do people regard you as a good teammate, where good is somewhat qualitative and can vary depending on the class content
  • Initiative - do you actively seek a team or wait to get scooped up

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