Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Midterm Madness is back...and a few other things

This Friday I'll be back in the middle of another round of Midterm Madness. Last quarter I was spared from the "fun" that is MM, and that was pretty awesome. It ultimately meant that I didn't have a big spike in work at the middle of the quarter, so my stress level remained well below that of a pet rock up until the end of the quarter.

I only have two take-home midterms, so it's not bad at all, but school is back near the top of my priority list. This is pretty much how things worked out in undergrad too; after a few semesters of not focusing as much on classes, I stepped it up in the last semester. I guess I like to finish things strong.

I had a mixture of events, including the Special K! show on Friday, assignments, and other ToDo items all align this week to make things pretty hectic, but then my Human Resources Management professor decided to push back the midterm due date by a week in response to students' concerns about overlapping assignments. I always forget how responsive professors can be to student feedback/requests until something like this happens. Score!

A lesson on teams
The MarkStrat simulation in Marketing Strategy seems like the perfect catalyst for a lot of team drama/arguing, and yet my team is handling it like a bunch of champs. If there has been any negativity, I haven't picked up on it all. The team has been working very well together, and that brings me to a lesson that I've picked up on teams at Kellogg.

It's not just about having the "smartest" team, it's about having a team that can work well together.

This is something that I hear echoed all the time by people working at start ups. They like to talk about building the right team early on because of how critical it is to success. And when they bring up the "right team," I've rarely if ever heard them distil this down to having the "smartest" team. 

When a team clicks, it's pretty amazing what can happen. I'll repurpose a phrase I heard at the Tech Conference and say that "what a team can do is equal to the aggregate ability of the team raised to how well they work together." The best example I have of this was my FinD team, though I'm sure it's influenced by Recency Bias because I've had a lot of great team experiences. Every week we destroyed all of the cases, and after a rocky start, we began getting check pluses left and right. It was groovy.

I don't know what determines if a team will "click," but I do know that I've experienced varying degrees of it at Kellogg.

ClearAdmit Best of Blogging
The time has come once again for ClearAdmit's best of Blogging competition. I consider myself pretty lucky to be considered among a great list of nominees, not the least of which includes Military to Business, Rocky, Dino, Jeremy, and Shobhit.

Way back when I was impatiently waiting for grad school to start, ClearAdmit was the only place that I found curating student/applicant blogs through Fridays from the Frontline, and it was extremely useful, if anything, just to know what the active blogs were.

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