Albers School of Business and Economics

Bridge MBA Blog

  • Business School and the Art of Group Projects

    Posted by Autumn Johnson on 3/6/2014 02:50:02 PM

    As winter quarter draws to an end, I find myself in the midst of completing four group projects for four different courses. Add this number to the three group projects from the previous quarter and my grand total is seven group projects in six months. You can pretty much call me a group project master at this point. Okay maybe not a master, but you see the trend. The Bridge MBA program provides many opportunities for group work in the form of reports, presentations, and analyses. My classmates and I have grown accustomed to this style of work, helping us to prepare for our future careers.

    Each quarter my classmates and I are divided into different study groups (4-5 members in size), giving us the opportunity to work alongside different people. These study groups are then the same groups used by our professors for group projects, which makes it easier to juggle the many different projects going on at one time during the quarter. This is nice because it gives us the ability to work on different projects at one time (in some cases) and not have to worry about meeting with different people at different times. Schedules conflict enough as it is at times, so it is nice to only have to schedule around 3 or 4 other people’s schedules for four projects, instead of many other people’s schedules for separate projects.

     As you can imagine with four projects, my group has had to meet many times during the quarter. Often times we meet before class once or twice a week and occasionally after class to touch base and possibly work on other aspects of a project. As the due dates for these projects become closer, we have scheduled a couple of weekends in advance to meet and spend a few hours dedicated to organizing, outlining, and practicing presentations. This group time is great because it gives us all a chance to bounce ideas off of one another, makes us feel productive in our completion of project milestones, and allows us to rely on one another for aspects of the course we might not grasp as well as another group member. This is not to say we meet for every aspect of each project. Both of my groups from each quarter have been good about delegating different aspects of the group work that can be completed individually. Often times it does not make sense to meet to work on something we could all be working on separately. 

    The biggest thing I have learned from this group work is selflessness. I will not lie to you, there are times where I am so exhausted from class that the last thing I want to do is meet with my group about a project. I am probably not the only person in my group who feels that way. However, in those moments I suck it up and remember that the meeting is important to more people than just me. Everyone in my group is sacrificing something in order to complete our project; time that can be spent elsewhere (with family, friends, doing homework, etc.) or energy that can also be spent doing something else. At the end of the day, each student knows we are all in these projects together and sacrificing something in order to meet. This aspect makes group work much easier and much more enjoyable.

    By: Roger Pierce, Bridge MBA candidate 2014