Please explain why you are applying to a team-based MBA, what you expect to bring to this program and what you expect the challenges and rewards of this learning model might be.
WHY A TEAM – BASED MBA
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Working in a connected team galvanizes people in ways nothing else can; establishing robust relationships leads to engagement, which in turn boosts performance and leads to success. Team-based learning is a powerful model in which students spend their classroom time applying course material rather than simply acquiring it. Hence, this model at Queen’s will provide me opportunities to develop and practice important team and leadership skills.
WHAT I EXPECT TO BRING
My experiences as a team member and leader of different teams have taught me that each individual has her own unique speciality. Every member of the team needs to own and be responsible towards the assigned tasks, which can be achieved by empowering them towards making decisions about their work. To foster such an environment I call for frequent discussions where members feel comfortable and part of a cohesive team. This helps everyone learn new and different ideas; the relatively less communicative members also (and gradually) share their ideas and experiences. Beyond the workplace I have organized several excursions to achieve greater interaction and bonding between the team members.
At Queen’s, I know I will be part of a diverse team. My experiences working as a team in ABC has taught me that efficient communication, trust and respect for team members, and active listening are important ingredients for a healthy working relationship. These are some of the skills that I will bring with me to the Program. Moreover, I am sure to learn a lot from the Queen’s diverse community.
CHALLENGES AND REWARDS OF TEAM-BASED MODEL
Team-based learning can have certain challenges. There can be instances where it takes more than required time to build an agreement, and hence it can be a challenge to keep the project moving. There can be members who don’t contribute much at times, and members who work especially well and provide a lot of insight but not get individual recognition and feel de-motivated because recognition for job well done go to the team as a whole. There can be instances where just one or two people become very influential over what the team does and drive decisions, either good or bad. In some cases, interpersonal conflicts can also arise between the team members.
But this form of learning has its own rewards. In team-based programs, teams are formed such that each group contains a variety of students in terms of skills and backgrounds and takes advantage of the special capabilities of each member. There is an increased sense of accountability, preparation and participation. As members of the team, individual students become willing to commit to a very high level of effort in their learning, and teams become capable of solving problems that are beyond the capability of even their most talented members. Because the consequences in this model are shared, teams are likely to take more risks than an individual might, and hence achieve greater results.