I’m studying marketing and one key difference between this concentration and the others (i.e. accounting, finance, etc.) is that it involves a lot of group projects.
When someone brings up group work, there will always be a silent groan that sweeps across the room. This is because we’ve all been in one of those bad groups where we ended up doing all the work.
When I die I want my group members to lower me into my grave so they can let me down one last time.
However! I have been very lucky to be a part of many great groups so far in my university career. And as I entered upper division courses (where people actually care about what we’re learning), group projects became increasingly more fun and worthwhile.
BUS 360: Business Writing
This was one of the most difficult courses in my business program, but also one of the most valuable ones. Our professor requested us to write up a student profile at the beginning of the year, along with what we wanted from our group members. I remember writing down location as a high importance because in the past, I’ve had many groups with members scattered in Vancouver, making in-person meet-ups complicated.
I was in a group of three with Michael and Sunny and we all lived relatively close to each other. Our meet-ups were fun, convenient, and made a difficult course much more manageable.
BUS 381: Introduction to HR
My group consisted of Nick and Helen, who were both my friends prior to taking this course. Consequently, the group dynamic was fun and comfortable. Helen also designed the most beautiful slideshow I’ve ever seen in my life, forcing me to realize the power of design on something as simple as a classroom presentation. Now I create all my presentations on InDesign and it makes such a huge difference.
BUS 347: Consumer Behaviour
I did not know anyone in my group until this class: Kimika, Veronica, Michelle, and Christiana. By the end of the course, we became good friends. While I was on co-op for a year, many of them have actually graduated with marketing degrees. In fact, I will be meeting up with them for a reunion dinner later this month.
BUS 447: International Marketing
My group was assembled half-randomly: Byron, Janelle, Ryan, and Anna-Sophia (exchange student from Germany!). One great thing about this specific group is that we all offer something another person may lack. We have one person who is awesome at researching, one person great at presenting, one great at managing time and assigning tasks, one confident in writing, one knowledgeable about design, etc.
BUS 450: Social Media
Again, my group was created randomly: Sarah, Afreen, Maibrit and Anne (exchange students from Denmark!). Since social media is still a relatively new academic sphere, a lot of our projects are hands-on with very few guidelines. We had to find our own client/business to work with, create a social media audit on our own, and construct strategy plans and reports, relying on each other.
I used to like individual assignments because I could do well on my own, but after being a part of some efficient and fun groups, I realize just how much bigger my world can expand. I’ve learned a lot from my projects, but it is the people I work with that have taught me the most.