Hello there freshman. Firstly, a very warm welcome to Singapore Management University. Located in the heart of the city, the curriculum follows the hustle and bustle of the business district. This is especially so in a vast component of your grading, which determines your future employability – Group Projects. I hope I haven’t scared you yet. In this article, I will be sharing my two cents as a sophomore on how to manage this aspect of your student life a little better as you adjust into the SMU grind. Now I am not promising you that my advice will get you an A, but I’ve done fairly well in that aspect thus far – so I guess it’s fair to say I have a little credibility with my advice here!
The following is a non-exhaustive list of ‘hacks’ to get you started. I am sure there are hundreds of other ways to not just survive, but to slay at group projects. Happy survival folks!
1. Get to Know Your Team Better
If you’ve placed a bid for a module with friends from your camps, then it’s likely this point won’t be relevant to you. For the bulk of us, we find ourselves merging forces with strangers[RJ1] – and getting to know them is important. I cannot stress this enough. Set aside time in your first couple of weeks to really just get to know each other over a coffee or better yet, a cold pint. It really gets things flowing[RJ2] . Conversations and ideas would suddenly become seamless. Intra-team banter is a value added!
2. Beat the Clustered Schedules
In most cases, you and your group members would have different timetables, and coordinating meetings would seem impossible sometimes Use tools such as When2Meet and schedule meeting dates weeks ahead of time. Seems absurd now, but it will pay off. Trust me.
3. Wise Workload Distribution
Professors assess team effort in every report and presentation, so uniformity across these two submissions is an absolute necessity. Its best to have 2 people handling the report, presentation and strategic direction each. Working in pairs makes communication within the group easier, as well as helping each other during your differing hell periods!
4. Leadership is Everything
Pick a leader. Really. Pick one. Otherwise you’re going to feel like lost sheep.
5. Never Read off a Phone or a Paper
Presentations are about articulating your findings in the best way possible for your audience. It’s about getting creative with your voice, your hand motions, and possibly a little humor. Presentations are essentially meant to draw attention, and reading off a phone or a piece of paper hinders it. Not everyone is born a fantastic presenter, but we have to start somewhere. After all, it’s one of the best skills to hone at SMU!
6. Embrace Questions, They Actually Help You Score
The element of class participation in school ensues a mechanism of post-presentation “attack”. A whole variety of questions will come your way, and this is where a lot of groups get defensive. Don’t. Embrace them, because every great answer only shows how thorough your research andunderstanding is. Best to plant a couple of questions with the audience if you’d like to show off a little bit. You did not hear that from me.
[RJ2]Wanna include a sentence as to why its important?