Personal Experience: Group Projects and Team Work

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The CESIM simulation game provided a forum for both practical and intangible learning. I was a member of the Ubiquitous Mobile team. From the beginning I felt that we had a strong team and a good chance to win the game. Jose and I graduated together in Mechanical Engineering and we knew Chico as a grad student in the Mechanical Engineering department. Chico knew Lucho from a previous class. When you allowed us to pick our own groups, we gravitated right to each other.

Group projects in the MBA program can be miserable. I understand the purpose of working with other disciplines, but working with people that you do not know and have no reference for their level of effort can be frustrating. Unfortunately I have been a part of a few miserable teams. I was on teams that fought and teams that were lazy. Luckily however our team for this project was composed of similarly focused people that shared tasks and supported each other.

We chose to make decisions together rather than have one person in charge or rotating through responsibilities. Each of us may have focused on an area where we were more comfortable, but we discussed every decision and came to a consensus as a group. This was the first lesson that I learned through this game. I usually take more responsibility on directly. Within the first few minutes of the first practice round meeting, I realized that any one of us would be able to lead the group. Groups with many leaders can sometimes trip over each other when people try to have their point win. To prevent this type of counterproductive action, I decided to take more of a worker bee role in the group. When we were making points about direction or decisions I would speak up if I thought we were getting of...

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...alistic experience with manufacturing to which I had not previously been exposed. In other classes we learn about predicting demand and forecasting but there is a correct answer. The game did not have any set values which is more realistic. I think exposure to this type of uncertainty is necessary and helpful in my future career.

Overall I enjoy these types of games more than projects or presentations. I think working together against groups promotes positive competitive behavior. Kevin and I played a similar style, but much less involved, game in a Marketing class. We won that game also. He and I are now joking about who would win between the two of us. I am sure that winning the game helps with my overall attitude towards this game, but I think it is a good way to have people work together and use learned but up to this point theoretical business skills

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