Whenever I tell friends outside of MLHR that the program has an emphasis on group work, the usual response is something to the effective of, “Ugggg I HATE group work.” or “I don’t know how you handle group work all the time. Isn’t that so hard to find time with your schedules?” Now, I must admit, I came into the program with a similar attitude when they told us we would be working in groups for most of our time here. However, I think I might have come to rather enjoy group work. Here are a few reasons why group work isn’t as bad as people think:
1. It’s a great opportunity to get to know people in the program. Last quarter, was the beginning of a new program with new people. Our group projects facilitated a way for us to get to know each other. As with every group project there are times when we get off topic, and it is really nice to actually have the opportunity to get to know the AMAZINGLY TALENTED people in our program.
2. Divide and conquer. I know sometimes solo projects can move a little quicker because you are not dealing with a group, but you still have to do all that work by yourself. I love being able to divide up the work for the project knowing that each person in our group will do an excellent job.
3. Meeting in different places and getting away from campus. Like many people, being in Fisher at night during the week and on many Sundays is not my idea of a good time after awhile. Don’t get me wrong, Gerlach is a beautiful, dare I say, high-tech building, but it gets old. Especially in the winter when all anyone wants to do is go outside in warm weather. This is why winter has been a great time to get out and meet at other places. Today, my group met at a Panera in Upper Arlington. New scenery and not as crowded as the one by campus. You can explore different parts of Columbus and get work done at the same time. How about that?
4. This may go along with divide and conquer, but less presenting time. It’s great having people stand up there with you when you are presenting your work. Unlike many other programs, you have to do the work by yourself and then stand up and present it on your own. Then, you have to talk for at least 20 minutes. Can you say SCARY? It give me so much more confidence when you have people with you as you present and you don’t have to speak for very long when there are 3-4 members that all need to do some of the talking. Literally, power in numbers.
Of course, there are some downsides to group work. It can be challenging finding time to meet with people, especially as more people get jobs during the school year (myself included), but it’s worth it. Now that many of us know each other’s schedules it is not that bad. One thing to do though, is be up front with your schedule at your first group meeting. This sets the tone if you will, so everyone is on the same page when it comes to meetings.
MLHR has made a believer out of me when it comes to group work. Go Team!