Striving to build a strong team

biancaI think one of the best things about participating in case competitions is getting to experience the benefits of being part of a diverse team. Each of my team members had different strengths and abilities, although we were all in AFM, we were in different years of the program and had different interests and backgrounds. Looking back, the diverse experiences among my teammates helped forge the strengths of our team and offered me a unique opportunity to learn from them.

The STRIVE Conference case competition is set up into two tiers, a junior and senior tier, with the junior tier consisting of first and second year students and the seniors tier consisting of third and fourth years. However, our team was comprised of three second years, one third year and one fourth year, therefore we competed in the senior tier of the competition. What at first seemed like a disadvantage, as we were competing against teams with members who were all in their fourth year of studies, it soon became apparent that it was our group’s biggest asset.

During the four-hour pressure tank, our team was able to look at the problem in different lights and collaborate to find a creative and innovative solution to address the case’s challenge. By capitalizing on each member’s strengths, we were able to learn from each other and come together to pitch a unique idea that the judges were impressed with. Because of our diversity, we ultimately placed second in the senior tier of the competition.

Taking this learning into my future endeavors, I will be sure that I identify and focus on the strengths of my team members and allow all members to shine and contribute in their unique ways. This is a life lesson that can not only be applied during competitions but also at work and in the classroom.

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