Group Projects – Is It Worth It?

November 14, 2014 (original post here)

The one thing about being a business major is that I’m starting to dislike is the fact that a lot of the classes are focusing on group projects and working in teams. However, it’s becoming more and more difficult for us to produce quality work when there is so little time to meet up.

Working in groups is nothing new to most of us and I wasn’t expecting to have to deal with a lot of group projects during my last couple of years in college. When I was in high school is was easy to work in groups because we all had the time. Very few of us worked and we focused a lot more on our extra curricular activities and building up our college resume. Back then we had the time to dedicate to our projects and we honestly weren’t ask to do much.

With a lot of my college classes now, they’re integrating more group projects because when we transition into the “real world,” we’ll need to know how to function within a team/group. My main gripe with this transition is the fact that it’s so difficult for us to find the time to sit down as a group and actually work as a group to figure out how we want the project to be completed. With everyone working either full time or part time jobs/internships, we’re spreading ourselves pretty thin. On top of that if we’re taking multiple classes within the same subject area, for example MGT 331 and MGT 320, then there’s a chance we’ll also have to work in another group project.

Unfortunately this last group project has been a bit difficult for me and my fellow group mates. We just haven’t had the time to meet up and really work on the project with everyone there, and this project is a huge portion of our grades. We tried to do as much things as possible through Google Docs, Prezi, text messaging, and email. However it just isn’t the same as meeting in person and working together. We’ve tried multiple times to coordinate with each other, but we haven’t been able to meet up as a group. I’ve honestly haven’t dealt with a group where everyone was being pulled in 100 different directions and our schedule never matched up.

How do professors expect us to produce quality work and be able to build these relationships with our group members if we don’t have the time for it. It was unfortunate that the only time we could meet was during our scheduled class hour. Some may say that that’s part of working in a group project; that it’s all about working through adversity and learning how to work with each other, and blah blah blah. Yes, it may be all about those things, but what I’m looking for is a quality and worthwhile experience. When I’m not able to build a connection/relationship with my other group members, then there really isn’t a point. I’ve been in groups where my group members became my actual friends and we kept in contact with each other. I’ve had groups where we just completed the project and never spoke to each other again. I’ve had a good mixture and I honestly wish that these group projects were focused during our early years in college.

Here’s my reasoning behind it. During the first couple of years in college, there’s a good mixture of students. Some may be from out of state, some may be from in-state, some may be seniors, some may be freshman, you just never really know. By putting these individuals into groups and having them work on multiple group projects you provide them the opportunity to open up and be more receptive to meeting new people. This, in turn, will hopefully build friendships and relationships between these individuals. It’s also a prime time to give out group projects because individuals aren’t too invested into work/internships and they’re not too busy going to full-time jobs.

There are benefits to working in groups and I have seen the benefits. However, working in groups becomes more and more difficult the further into college we get. I’m curious, in your industry/company, how often do you work in groups? How do they relate to group projects that you may have done in college?

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