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Morals from Group Projects

by Sarah Draper and Our Interns

It's not even Halloween and I’m about to scare you…

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Though we may not have been aware at the time, our professionalism begins to form when we’re students, from the work we submit to the work we put into communicating with assigned –and often unfavorable- groups. In the field of PR, group work is not always an option. In fact, we need to keep in constant contact with our clients and our coworkers, as multiple events and campaigns will run in conjecture. Being bad at communicating is a sure sign that maybe you shouldn’t be in PR. Funny how students in a communications college can be bad at communicating, isn’t it?

This week, we asked our interns to think back on all their college group assignments (especially the ones that went horribly wrong) and pull some great morals out of their pain.

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Wise Words from Amber:

I once worked in a group for an Intro to Cinema class with an extremely smart guy who had an extensive use of vocabulary that he could use at the top of his head. However, this guy was also unaccepting of ideas that were not his and constantly was belittling the rest of the group because no one understood what he meant half the time.

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The next group project came about in that class, and I was sure to work in a different group. We came up with a variety of different ideas and worked well and encouraged one another, and I wounded up getting a better grade. It is important to openly accept differences between group members and learn to work together to help create the most unique and best work you can.

Moral: You should openly embrace ideas that come about because group assignments are your chance to be able to work with a mind that thinks differently than yours and it can open you up to new ways of thinking and handling things in the future.

Wise Words from Gaby:

Team assignments can become a nightmare, especially if you are assigned to random people. Luckily, my experiences with group work hasn’t been that bad (I‘ve heard really intense stories about team projects). I think the biggest problem I’ve had with teams is not communicating. Some people never reply to messages and that could be a little stressful because you aren’t sure if they got the message, or if they will do their respective part.

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During the summer, I had a group project and one day the teacher called my group in for a talk. I was confused because no one knew what was going on. The professor later explained that there was some complaints about people doing less work than others. The meeting with the professor wouldn’t have been needed if the group had communicated the concern. I think group works can become fun and stress-free if everyone communicates, does their part, and have an open mind.

Moral: If there is an issue with someone, I think talking to that person is the best thing to do. If the problem is not solved, then speaking with the professor should be the next thing to do. After all, we all want to get the project done without unnecessary drama.

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Well whadaya know, looks like our interns have the right idea about group assignments and the lessons they teach.