This post is a part of the Student Perspectives series – each post is written by a current UCLA Anderson student, and provides first-hand perspectives and experiences about being an MBA student at UCLA Anderson.
They say two heads are better than one, but when it comes to learning teams, five heads are even better!
During the first day of summer quarter we received an e-mail with the names of four to five other students that would comprise our learning teams for the next three quarters. UCLA Anderson does a great job of ensuring that each team is as diverse as possible. Mine consists of someone who worked on the trading floor, a software engineer, a consultant, someone who worked in investment management, and me (the operations analyst). Not only are our pre-business school careers very different from one another, but we are all also looking to pursue different paths after we graduate, from HR to tech to entertainment.
Up until business school, my opinion of group projects had been generally negative. Inevitably one person does more work than the others while everyone gets the same grade. That’s still the case, but because we work together over the course of the year, each team member has the opportunity to demonstrate his or her strengths at some point.
Accounting was a difficult subject for me, and my teammates supported and encouraged me throughout the course, giving up their free time to help me study. Because writing is more of my strength, when it came time to collaborate on a group paper for our Organizational Behavior class I knew I would be able to add value. When recruiting gets busy for one team member, the rest happily pick up the slack knowing that the favor will be returned. Anderson’s value of "Sharing Success" is clearly evident in the learning team culture.
Anderson also does a great job of helping you build a strong bond with your team from the get-go. We participated in a number of team-building exercises during orientation week, including drafting a team contract, building a Lego man, and determining which items are most necessary during a survival simulation. That strong foundation has helped our team work better together, especially during the more difficult or stressful assignments. Many learning teams also plan fun activities outside of school like group dinners, karaoke, and even Escape Rooms. I dread the day when I no longer get to work with my team, but I know they will be some of my closest friends for the next two years and beyond!
– Shelby DeGroot '19