Tag Archives: Group Projects

Breaking the Cultural Divide

Last week was a crazy one.  I had 2 group projects due and each one had a presentation to go with it.   I’m proud to say both groups pulled off our presentations and we ended up with A’s.  Whew!

Group projects are challenging on so many levels; organizing everyone’s schedules so you can meet to work on the project, getting everyone on the same page so you work on your project in the same voice to make consistent points and then everyone completing their part to bring the final product together.

But there is another side to group projects that I find very rewarding.    UTD is a very multi-cultural school.   I have worked with people I would have never gotten to know had it not been for group projects.  In one of my groups this semester there are 5 of us.  In one of our first meetings we started working and I stopped and asked where everyone was from.  Zimbabwe, China, China, China and Texas – I am the only native US citizen in our group.  I find it very interesting to learn about the different cultures and to hear what has brought everyone to the US and to UTD.   One of my favorite stories is about a friend’s arranged marriage and how she moved to the US from India.  We have found we have many similarities and we grew up literally half way around the world from each other.

CulturesI find it amazing how so many international students are able to do so well in an English speaking class and give a presentation in a language other than their native one.  I’ve learned to cherish their stories, their differences and their cultures.  In our group meetings we come together as one and no one cares about politics and how our political leaders act towards each other.   What a great lesson…and it wasn’t even on my degree plan.

-B

Adjusting

I had my first group project meeting today.   It was for my Marketing Management class.  The group consists of those of us that were sitting around each other the first day.  None of us knew each other before and we are all very different.  It was very interesting how the dynamics of the different study techniques, ways of thinking and communicating brought our concept ideas together for our first group paper.  During our meeting I couldn’t help but think Corporate America has prepared me for this.  I thought we attended school in preparation for the work force but I’m beginning to think otherwise.

Not sure if I’m worthy of my virtual high five yet but I’m getting close.  Tomorrow will be the start of the 5th week of classes.  I think it’s safe to say I’ve almost adjusted.  Learning to study again from a text book vs a meeting held in the office has definitely  been a challenge.  I’m working hard to manage my calendar and “social” time to allow for studying…if only just showing up to class was enough.  I have to say my friends and family have been very supportive.  As part of my “adjustment period” the last few weeks, I have noticed a change in my way of thinking and how I pick up on different words now in conversations with friends, the news or in magazines and think how they relate to Marketing or Statistics.   Speaking of Statistics I’m happy to say I’m still getting it.  Tonight I spent most of the evening kind of listening to the Grammy’s and reading about probabilities.  Sadly I had to find out from Facebook it is snowing outside.

Even though this experience has been been a hard adjustment, so far I’m still enjoying it and feel even stronger that I made the right decision.   Hopefully after mid-terms I’ll feel the same way. 🙂