Michelle Elman, GBP Student
GBP is known for its many group projects throughout the year. Nearly all of the assignments we have done this year have involved working in a group and I think that this is my favorite part of GBP.
I signed up for GBP last year primarily for the amount of group work I heard people did in GBP. Being an introvert, as well as shy, I always had trouble working in groups. Sometimes I would be a pushover and do whatever my groupmates told me to do, or I would take over and not let anyone do any work. Overall, I had trouble with group dynamics and appropriately contributing. I believed that by taking GBP, I would be challenging myself, as well as improving my skill in group work.
We started working in groups from the start. I had trouble speaking up in my first major group assignment when I missed some important information. As a result, I was unable to make a significant contribution to the project. During the collaboration conference, I realised that I should have spoken up about this issue, and not rely on my group to tell me what to do. I used this lesson and made sure that I advocated for myself from the next major project and onward. With each project and collaboration project, I picked up more vital skills for collaborating. I learned how to contribute to making decisions. This involved standing up for myself and letting my group mates known when I do not agree with something. I have built up my confidence which has allowed me to do just that. I have also improved my planning skills and I can now make plans that are reasonable and my group agrees with, however I’m still working on following through with those plans more consistently. Finally, I have learned how to communicate with other people in my group to make sure we are all on the same page and that we are working together productively to achieve a common goal.
Something that I like about group work in GBP is how we are assigned groups. I feel that when we are assigned groups and we work with people who we do not know, we end up collaborating better than we would with people we know. This is because everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses when working in a group and when you're constantly with people you know well, you pay more attention to each other than to the task at at hand. Also, I enjoy it because it adds a unique dynamic to each group rather than it being the same. I feel like this is also reflective of real life situations. I know, especially for the career path I am choosing, that I am going to have to work with people, some who I might not get along with well and some who I might not even know. GBP has taught me how in group work, we need to put our personal feelings aside and focus on the common goal.
In conclusion, I feel that GBP this year has really helped me improve my collaboration skills. I am more aware of my place and other’s places in groups and I know how to be a positive group member. I hope that the skills I learned in GBP regarding collaboration will stick with me for the years to come.
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