I’ve always thought of myself as a team player- I get along with most people, but am not afraid to speak my mind. But two weeks ago I embarked on a team challenge like none I had ever been through before: The 2011 Kogod Case Competition. For those of you who might be new to the world of business and are thinking “what the heck is a case competition!?”, don’t worry, up until my first day of MBA orientation, I was right there with you! A case competition is an intense, normally three day, analysis of a business case, basically a business situation or problem that you’re tasked to solved. You and your group of 4 to 5 people act as a consulting group trying to help the business the case focuses on- this year, we focused on The Economist. And while a case competition comes with many perks (great networking, good learning experiences, free food…) it can also be some of the most trying days you’ll experience during your time at Kogod.
Now before my teammates, Andrew, Kevin and Rick read this post and think I’m griping about them, please let the record show that I thought they were one of the best teams I have ever worked with. And it was through my experience as their teammate that I learned more about myself as a group member than ever before. There was a moment, about an hour before our initial presentation,that the boys and I were practicing in a break out room and I immediately felt transported back to my undergraduate days as a music major. My team was more than a team, we were an ensemble. Over three days of spending hours upon hours together we had learned to work as a single unit. We breathed together, we fed off of each other’s energy, and most importantly we learned to rely on one another.Of course there were times when we fought and the boys learned first hand that I’m not such a nice girl after my 11pm bedtime, but all in all, this case competition for me was hands down one of the best Kogod experiences that I have ever had.
Teamwork is a big part of life at Kogod and in the real world, and while sometimes teams can provide more frustration than fun, I hope everyone can experience a true ensemble experience as I did two weeks ago. In the end, my team, Team M.A.R.K., took first place in the graduate division! And I’m so proud and happy to say that in that final round my team didn’t just include Kevin, Andrew and Rick, but also all of my amazing first year MBA colleagues in the audience cheering us along. If that’s not teamwork, I don’t know what is.
P.S. If you’d like more information on the Annual Kogod Case competition please visit: http://www.american.edu/kogod/news/20110214_ksb_case_competition.cfm. Look out for a video on the page too-Team M.A.R.K. was filmed during case competition process!