Man, I love my team

Posted By: Suhayb Shah, MBA Class of 2018 on October 19, 2017

The “power of teams” is a common phrase that you will see in Queen’s MBA program brochures and hear alumni reference frequently.  You may have a slight idea of what to expect before starting the program, but the rollercoaster you are about to get on is very difficult to describe; I’ll try my best.

The first few days of orientation week begin with you getting to know everyone in your program. You will no doubt run into your future teammates without even knowing it during this time. After Day 3, the big reveal happens.

Team selection isn’t done randomly, which is one of the best parts of the program. As in the real world, where you can’t choose your co-workers, you are not able to have any input in the formation of your team. Before the program even starts, the team coaching group analyzes various personality tests, your cultural background and work history to guide the creation of your team. A team coach is assigned to each group to offer ongoing support.

After going through the honeymoon phase and really getting to know each other, you begin to understand everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. You realize what makes them tick—the positive and the negative. As weeks pass by, you become much closer, mostly because you spend a lot of time together. You eat together, laugh together, play sports together, present together, study together, the list really goes on. The best part of it all is you will learn so much from each other – things that classwork would never be able to teach you.  

I won’t lie and say that it’s all sunshine and lollipops. You will have differing opinions, you’ll approach tasks and problems from different perspectives, and that’s OK. Understanding how to manage conflicts really helps you grow as an individual and as a leader. No matter how stressed and frustrated I get working with six individuals that are very different from myself, I wouldn’t change them for anyone else. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: “Man, I love my team”.