Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Unique Formula for Group Work at Kelley

First-year MBA, Strategic Finance Academy

My Core Team at Bradford Woods During Orientation
A marketing consultant from Mumbai; a success story from Silicon Valley; an experienced life insurance consultant from Seoul; a healthcare consultant from a thriving software company in Madison; an international treasury analyst from San Francisco.  These are the five members that make up my team for the first 16 weeks of my Kelley School of Business, MBA experience.

During the first semester of the Integrated Core, which is a set of eight courses taken concurrently, each first-year student is assigned to a team of three or four other first-year students with different backgrounds.  The teams work very closely throughout the semester on group projects as well as case study competitions.  But the method of how teams are chosen at Kelley is very calculated. 

Before arriving in Bloomington, incoming first year students take a Keirsey Temperament evaluation, which categorizes a student as having one of four different personality types: Guardian, Idealist, Artisan and Rational.  Based on the results, the MBA Program Office selects teams to include all four personality types.  The combination of students makes for a dynamic learning environment where first-year students get comfortable working with different personality types and individuals from around the world.

The part I enjoy most about the team aspect is learning about the unique backgrounds of my teammates and sharing insights about the US culture for students who are in the US for the first time.  For instance, I am planning to have my team over to watch the Big Ten Championship Game in early December.  It’s a chance for two in my group to learn about American Football, but it’s also a time for our whole team to get together outside of the classroom.  Kelley’s collaborative culture does not end when you walk out of the business school; it’s a recurring theme throughout the Kelley MBA experience. 


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