August 16, 2007

Toughness

We received our final Learning Team (or CAN group) assignments last August 14 and the team composition is not very different from the team I was part of during our Team Building Activity the previous week. With the new additions, I personally feel that the new group, while more diverse, requires a lot of toughness on my part. Why? In my opinion, our CAN group has some of the most vocal and argumentative students therefore a great deal of fortitude is needed.

We have learning a lot on teams from our Human Behavior and Organization class with Prof. Jun Borromeo, but really dealing with high-performance groups in real life is the best teacher. The oft-quoted stages of team development (Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning & Transforming) do happen and I feel we are no exception. The group has eight members, four Filipinos and four Indians. We have five with Engineering/IT backgrounds and three business and finance backgrounds. A pretty solid group if you ask me. (Although having an accountant wouldn't hurt).

As soon as we got our groupings, our team had its task cut out: analyze the Economics case in the Philippine Informal Sector and prepare a 3-slide presentation on our problem statement, courses of action and our final recommendation. I admire how our group was very focused and had little difficulty sharing ideas. My only comment is we do expound a lot and often get too aggressive in sharing insights (I'm guilty of this).

We had the fortune of presenting on our Economics class and it went very well. Prof. Macaranas had good feedback that easily outweighed the negative ones. We had a group lunch afterward to celebrate our small victory. While there's never a perfect CAN group, I'm sure the long and winding road to our MBA will be paved by the CAN group struggles and victories.

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I learned that my one of my room mates has deferred in taking the MBA program. While I do not know his exact reasons, I would believe he had gone with his priorities outside of finishing his MBA. But I also would opine that he was not able to achieve a the mental and emotional toughness needed to cope with the stress brought about by the MBA program.

Make no mistake, though-- He is very intelligent and learned. I guess having a good support group and CAN group to help deal with the rigors of the MBA do really make a huge difference.

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