The Home of Teamwork

MBA students get new spaces to collaborate
Inside a new MBA team room.

One of the hallmarks of the Queen’s full-time MBA is its team-based learning approach. Each year, students are assigned to a team of six to
seven for the core of the program.

To help spur collaboration, each team gets its own office inside Goodes Hall from which to work. Up until recently, however, these rooms were more functional than inspirational. For instance, each student’s desk consisted of an old-fashioned study carrel — the kind usually found in libraries.

But earlier this year the 12 MBA team rooms were completely redesigned. The goal: to make each room more like the boardrooms that are found in highly collaborative workplaces, says Diana Drury, Director of Business Coaching at Smith.

“We know that there is a lot of power in working together and we wanted to ensure the environment the students were in reflected that,” she says.

The biggest change to the rooms is the seating arrangement. The old study carrels were ditched in favour of a big U-shaped table, around which students sit and work together. A video screen at the end allows for easy sharing of PowerPoint and other documents. Other amenities include large whiteboards and a mini-fridge, Keurig coffee machine, and lockers, where students can store their personal belongings. 

“The MBA students spend a lot of time in these rooms. It’s really their home,” Diana says. “So it has to be a place where they can be comfortable while also encouraging collaboration and innovation.”