Saturday, February 5, 2011

Lessons from my Kelley Core Team Experience

Team work is an important part of any top ranked MBA program. The Kelley School of Business does a great job of preparing its students for the team environment they will face when they go back into the workforce after completing their two year MBA program. This team environment starts for students the moment they arrive on campus. During Kelley's two year MBA program orientation, students are assigned to a team of 4-5 students with whom they will work with throughout the first semester, known at the Kelley School of Business as "The Core". The Kelley MBA program staff does their best to create diverse teams with individuals with a variety of business and non business backgrounds. Kelley students will face a number of challenges with their core team, from their first case competition in orientaiton, to a number of deliverables for individual core classes, to a final case presentation where they can showcase just how far they have come since starting the MBA program.

I was blessed with an amazing core team, but that doesn't mean we didn't face challenges. One of the biggest learnings I had from my core team experience was the importance of understanding the personality types and temperaments of your team members. At Kelley every student takes the Keirsey Temperment Sorter test. Learning my Keirsey temperment (I am an idealist), as well as the Keirsey temperments of my core team members helped me understand how we all approach problems differently, what is important to everyone, and what frustrates everyone. Understanding this helped me to not take disagreements personally and to learn how to adapt to the team dynamics so that we could work together more effectively. I know this is a lesson I will take with me to future teams during my time in the Kelley MBA program and beyond.

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