Saturday, February 04, 2006

For reasons that are unknown even to me, I am taking six classes this quarter. And as such, there is little time for things like blogging. Last week was particularly hellish, as I had at least one major assignment due everyday last week. And the group work demands were exceptionally high.

I have a group in five out of six of my classes. Group work seems to be a necessary evil at Wharton. Almost every class has some sort of group. And some groups seem more justifiable than others. Some projects are wonderful experiences. For example, last semester in my Consumer Behavior class, we did a project examining serious runners' attitudes towards Nike shoes. What made the project cool was the fact that it was not distilled or sanitized for the classroom. Meaning, there was no right answer. The project was ambiguous, with few guidelines. We were muddling around in marketing research, trying to figure out how to segment the market based on actual data, trying to understand what runners felt about the Nike brand. While the ambiguity frustrated some (MBAs don't like uncertainty), I think the project was more like what we'd encounter in the real world than any other case or project I'd seen during my tenure at Wharton.

Another cool group experience, has been in a class I'm in right now, Entrepreneurship and Societal Wealth Venturing. In this class, the team is working a business plan to create some sort of exchange for nonprofit capital. We're focused on bond financing (and yes, there are nonprofits that take out debt) right now, but we think that, if we can make it work, it has implications for marketization (is that a word?) of equity-like capital for nonprofits. I actually enjoy working on this project and talking through the issues. I'm actually working on it for the idea itself, I don't really care about the grade. It's projects like these two that make sense to be group projects. You gain something working with others - like better idea generation, more brain power, etc.

But some of these group projects are pointless. Some group work is just busy work. Or a way for the professor to grade fewer papers. Or a way to fill up class time with presentations that merely rehash the readings we were all supposed to have read. THIS type of group work is VERY annoying. Group work for group work's sake is a pain in the ass. I wish professors would only use this method if we need a group. Papers do not require a group.

But enough whining... This week should be fun. I'm on the tech crew for Follies, and this week is theatre week. So we'll be getting ready for the shows on Thursday and Friday. Should be fun. I'm on the sound crew, and I don't know what the heck I'm doing. All I DO know is over the next week I'll be in the theatre more than 40 hours. So this time next week I'll be an experienced sound woman. Although my involvement has been limited until now, it has been interesting to see the process of bringing a show together from behind the scenes. I'm very excited to see the show coming together.

And this week brings the first gathering of part of the Class of 2008 as Winter Welcome. To those who are coming up for the event this week, I hope you are able to learn more about the school: our classes, our culture. I'm glad I made the choice to attend Wharton. Hopefully Winter Welcome will help you find out if Wharton is for you.

OK enough lallygagging... back to work!

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