Teamwork is an integral part of any Simon MS or MBA program. It is expected you will work in teams in all or most of your courses. Cohorts are based on your degree program. Each cohort complete core classes together.
Assigned Teams, Charters, Counseling
Each cohort is divided into student teams. Normally assigned in groupings of five members, these teams are formulated intentionally to include varied skill sets and experiences. It is common for a team to include students with diverse professional experience varying in functional area and industry experience as well as varied academic training and cultural experiences. The fundamental challenge of the team is to build on these experiences and skills and harness the talents of each member of the team. Assigned teams may be reconfigured each quarter. This process allows students the opportunity to have a wider variety of team experiences and teaches more about team process. Operating in a team requires classmates from diverse professional, cultural and national backgrounds to function together as a unit. This provides a unique opportunity to share experiences, proficiencies and perspectives. Teams provide the framework to hone management skills and to encourage responsibility among team members while building interpersonal and team skills. The School provides significant support to teams. During Orientation, students are introduced to strategies for working in groups in sessions on teamwork and communication. Teams create a charter that all team members agree to. These charters are designed too operationalize how your team will work together, communicate, meet, and submit assignments. A team check-in will be conducted with your coach and/or advisor. As a matter of policy, it is only in the most unusual of circumstances that assigned teams are reconfigured. If team problems develop, the following steps are recommended:
-Talk about the problem within the team
-Use teamwork tools provided during Orientation
-Consult with the team’s coach (for first year full-time MBA students)
-Give the coach an opportunity to brainstorm with coach leaders;
-Discuss the matter with your academic advisor in the Office of Student Engagement;
-After exhausting earlier steps, solicit counsel from the Assistant Dean of Students and the Sr. Associate Dean of Faculty and Research.
Team Projects and Peer Review
In core courses, students’ grades are determined by a combination of individual performance on exams and sometimes homework, joint work with teammates on homework and/or projects and class participation. Individual faculty determines the weighting of these different factors in grades. In many of the core courses, faculty design projects for students to complete as teams. One objective of team projects is to provide substantive assignments that allow for learning about the subject area and learning about the process of collaborative professional teamwork. In order to provide incentives for the entire team to participate and become knowledgeable about the project, project-related questions are often placed on examinations. Team projects/homework should be completed within your assigned team. Collaboration with members of other teams is not allowed unless approved by the professor. Unauthorized collaboration with other students would constitute a breach of Simon Business School Code of Academic Integrity. To provide additional incentives for all team members to participate fully in team assignments, some faculty use peer evaluations as a factor in determining students’ grades.
The Simon Coach Program, established in 1996, is one of the first applied leadership programs among nationally ranked business schools. It pairs first-year teams formed at the beginning of the MBA Core program with a second-year student who serves as a mentor and coach. Simon’s MBA coaches are nominated by peers and selected by Simon faculty. They are consistently among the top 25% of students in their class. Coaches collaborate to re-write their charter and refine the coach program at the beginning of each academic year, and receive extensive training in leadership through a 2-quarter course provided tuition-free by the Simon School. The coaches’ primary roles are twofold. They serve as peer mentors in the job search process, sharing the lessons of their own internship experience, facilitating application of the search strategies provided by Simon’s CMC professionals, and lending individual support to 1st-years navigating the process. They are also Simon’s key source of feedback and advice on teamwork skills, facilitating the development of each 1st-year’s self-awareness as a team member, and helping him or her tackle the challenges of collaboration. Coaches attend one 1st-year team meeting each week of fall and winter quarters, designating some part of the meeting to student issues ranging from job search strategy to course selection. They also observe team dynamics in each meeting, and twice per quarter lead a peer-based assessment process, in which 1st years evaluate their own and other team members’ contributions to the group effort. Coaches compile the results and provide individual feedback on strengths and areas for improvement, aimed at building each team member’s collaborative skill. The heart of the program lies in the engagement and interaction of the coach with their 1st year team. Coaches build a relationship with their team as a knowledgeable peer and supportive colleague. They become trusted members of their team’s professional network and a meaningful part of their career development. The experience provides Coaches with leadership insights and skills that will serve them over the life of their own careers.