Group Project- Survival of the Patient

I’m in the business school.
Do you know what that means?  Besides learning super interesting (and oh so useful) excel shortcuts and preparing for twenty page cases each week, it means that I get to be a part of FIVE groups!!!
And the BEST part?  The projects aren’t a “one and done” deal.  We have assignments due every week and different cases, simulations, papers, etc.
Here’s how to survive a group project:

1) If you get to choose your group, pick diverse people that you know and trust.  Your group will come up with better ideas, and your project will turn out great.  A little head butting is good– it gets things done and works out ideas.

2) If you don’t get to choose your group, brace yourself for the worst, expect an okay group, and pray for a good one.
3) The minute you know who your group is, collect email address and exchange cell phone numbers.  Also, friend them on Facebook.  You’d be surprised how some people respond to messages rather than emails.
4) Set the tone EARLY.  Some groups are more laid-back, while others are strictly business.  There really isn’t a “correct” group culture, but find one that fits the personality of the group.
5) Be the first person to send out an email and write down every available time you can meet.  Other members will add their available times and eventually you’ll get down to a two hour period that works.
6) Reach out to the professor…. only in emergencies.  He doesn’t want to babysit the group, but there are certain times when it’s appropriate (e.g. a member is just MIA…. which is currently an issue in one of my groups)
7) Talk things out.  It might seem like a time-saver to start typing the case/paper up right away, but you might miss key points (or the entire idea in general).  Spend a little time going through each section of the rubric and each question and just talk it out as a group.  THEN, go and type up bullet points.  From there, delegate.  Especially if the paper is long, there really is no choice but to divide the work up.
8)  For presentations, if someone is shy, give them a small part.  Honestly, when it comes to speaking in front of the class, don’t worry about each member “pulling her weight.”  It seriously might be a huge deal for someone to just introduce the group and name of the project.
8 1/2)  Make sure your Facebook pictures are set to private.  Haha.. just kidding about this one, but seriously.  I had major issues with two friends who decided to spend some time going through old pictures during a meeting.
9) GOOGLE.  Not the search engine (that will just create major problems!!!).  Google Docs = Group Lifesaver.
10) When in doubt, Keep Calm and Carry On….. or these (haha):
 These, absolutely hilarious, posters can be purchased from Sad Little Crowns.
Good luck!!!

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haha those posters are great! I'm presenting a lesson tomorrow in my science class with my group and I'm extremely nervous. I hate having to trust that my group members will all do their parts appropriately.


Ugh, I'm an English major who decided to take a few business classes my final year, and the group projects kill me! I spent three years holed up in the library by myself reading books and writing papers and it left me terribly ill-equipped for group work.


haha thank you for #8 – I AM the shy one. And yes, I would totally have to do positive affirmations in the mirror just to introduce a group lol

Melissa Cahoon

Girl you have been doing some serious work this week (from following you on Twitter) – so diligent! I'm thanking my lucky stars that our School of Journalism isn't big on group projects!

Southern Charm

I love this!! The posters inspired me to do a search on Keep Calm prints for my roomies, and I for next year. We are all now getting personalized prints for our rooms. Love love love.


carly i'm a freshman in the msb and just had a bad experience with an accounting group project…this helped a lot!