The Importance of a Supportive Team Environment

Wednesday, July 28, 2021
by Chantel G, Lynn Z, Harry M, and Ryan T, AFM students

How we worked together to place 4th at the SAF Investment Research Challenge!

Photo of Lynn, Chantel, Harry and Ryan

Participating in the 2021 School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) Investment Research Challenge (IRC) was an experience that broadened our business acumen and challenged us to think critically while collaborating under difficult conditions. Our team covered the Canadian Sugar industry, which allowed us to explore a new industry and expanded our understanding of macroeconomic factors and the dynamics that impact different types of businesses.

Through our participation in the SAF IRC, we learned incredibly valuable lessons about creating engaging and supportive team environments. While preparing for the SAF IRC, each of us was taking our regular full-time course loads and comprehensive extra-curricular activities, which made it difficult to actively collaborate often. There were multiple days before the competition where we could not meet but we maintained strong progress on our analysis. The key behind this success was undoubtedly our open communication. At the start of the competition, we had a very candid conversation about our strengths, weaknesses and areas of interest. This conversation helped us to best align each team member with the type of work that would engage them as effectively as possible. We wanted to ensure that we all contributed to the best of our abilities in areas that we found fulfilling and enjoyable.

In addition to understanding each other as a team, we worked hard to create an environment where each of us could openly ask questions and challenge each other. By being direct and honest about our intentions, we were able to quickly understand the root problem of our differences and leverage that understanding to align our ideas and enhance the quality of our work. This was particularly effective as we drew closer to the deadline where any disagreements needed to be resolved quickly.

Overall, our participation in the SAF IRC was highly enjoyable and a valuable learning experience that has taught us the foundational skills of building successful teams. This will be important knowledge to have as we progress in our careers.