Why SAF Crews are important for intrapersonal and interpersonal growth

Thursday, April 23, 2020
by Nirthika, Claire, Dimple, Jay, Erielle and Edwin, SAF

- Nirthika Balamurali, Claire Du, Dimple Ladha, Jejoe Ragasa, Erielle Ramiro and Edwin Tian
As a prospective School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) student at the University of Waterloo, you may be wondering, what’s up with all these supplementary applications? AIF? Interview? Trait assessment? Well, the answer is that the school wants to gage your engagement level — and most importantly, your teamwork skills.

In our first year, SAF placed us into small groups (four to six students) referred to as Crews which acts as a support system, providing each other with support regarding academics and personal growth. What are the dynamics of our Crew you ask? We have a grammar police, a sleepyhead, a mother hen, an overbearing mother-in-law, a stray friend and a normal person.

All jokes aside, in class, there are projects and assignments in which we have to complete as a team, such as filling out worksheets together or doing group presentations. Being able to work in a team is vital not only to schoolwork, but also the accounting and finance industry where you will have to collaborate with your coworkers to meet project deadlines and meet your client’s expectations.

Outside of class, the Crew engagement activities we have done within the SAF have taught us how working in a team allows us to leverage each other’s strengths. For instance, through the Crew Launch event by Eagles Flight, we worked as a team for the very first time, delegating tasks and working together towards a common goal. Likewise, by participating in facilitated study sessions for our courses (e.g., AFM 102), we were able to learn from each other by sharing our areas of expertise. Finally, by attending CPA Night as a crew, we were able to help each other gain confidence when networking.

These experiences prove that teamwork is essential to both our intrapersonal and interpersonal growth.

Individuals perform better and get more from their experiences when they are supported by a group of their peers. That’s why learning teams are used at Columbia Business School, work teams are used at Google, and training teams are used by Olympians. SAF Crews are groups of 5-6 students that support each other through the first year SAF experience. Crew members build strong working relationships with each other, attend events together and support each other’s professional awareness and academic success.