Team Learning

One of the big ideas that is emphasized in b-school is team learning. From the very beginning we are sectioned off into our cohorts of 50-60 people, with whom we will do everything for the next year. Then we are separated into teams of 6-7 people. At some schools teams are selected very carefully (or at least that’s what they tell you). I believe that BU uses a computer program to randomly generate teams, with a certain required male-female ratio, as well as a domestic-international ratio.

This has resulted in a wide variety of team dynamics and working styles, at least from what I can tell thus far. My team appears to be a group of leaders. What this will actually mean for us is yet to be determined, but we have been working very hard on hashing out the details of how we will work together in the coming months. Some teams have taken a more, shall we say, laid-back approach to structuring their teams and team interactions. And then there are the teams that aren’t doing anything at all, but get panicky every time they overhear what other teams are doing, and rush to do the same.

The nice thing about BU is that this is not a competition. Everyone learns in a different fashion, and what might be good in terms of structure for one group of people may not be the best solution for another group of people. It’s up to you as an individual to determine what works for you, and then coordinate how your personal workstyle and skill set will fit in with the other 5 or 6 people in your team.

I came away from my team meeting this afternoon with a real sense of accomplishment. I have not worked in teams that much over the last 5 years, and I am looking forward to stepping out of my comfort zone and expanding my knowledge base. I hope that we can sustain this productive goodwill through the semester ahead of us. We haven’t even started classes yet, and already my free time is practically nil. I can only imagine how crazy and stressful it will be when classes begin, companies start recruiting, networking efforts get into full swing, and clubs and activities get going. There are so many things that I am interested in doing and accomplishing, and only so many hours in the day. After hearing about the Cohort Cup yesterday, a few of us first-years were left wondering when school had turned into Hogwarts (Quidditch, anyone?). Well, as long as we’re in the Harry Potter world, I’d like to find Hermione’s Time Turner and start making good use of it!


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