It was the first time during the orientation that I came across this term ‘ACAD group.’
I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the fact that, unlike my engineering days, these ACAD groups are assigned, and not for us to choose.
The first few interactions with my first term ACAD group were just regular conversations. Things started getting interesting after talking to one of our seniors, who told me that the Term 1 ACAD group is always unique and that I would cherish the memories. I didn’t realize it then.
With one breakout room after the other, we all started to know each other well. Conversations slowly transformed from routine and courtesy exchanges to sharing our secrets. We started meeting beyond the breakout rooms and assignment meets. Late-night gossip calls, birthday celebrations, MBA rants brought us closer, making them an integral part of my MBA life.
No matter how complex the assignment was, we all used to join a single call, divide ourselves into breakout rooms, and work on it together. The result was terrific, as we scored good marks in all the group submissions. I feel the main reason behind these high scores was not just the group work but aiding it was the bond that we shared. There is one incident that really stood out for me. On commencement of the second term, some of our members went on a vacation, and we had back-to-back deadlines. They had completed their assignments before going out, but we later realized it needed a lot of rework. Those of us who were available for work had to complete it in very little time. After hours of brainstorming in a single sitting without any breaks, we finally submitted the assignment with 5 minutes remaining! This was the moment when I realized that I am happy to have this group and would love to work with this group for the rest of the projects. But then, reality struck when I remembered that this wasn’t going to happen, as the next term would mean a brand new ACAD group.
The dreaded thought lingered in mind before the new list was released – What if I get a group that wasn’t as good as this? What if due to some reason we don’t bond?
We all were full of energy and experienced in handling the first phase of the roller coaster MBA ride. A new ACAD group was formed. But this time, I had already worked with some of them before and felt the energy instantly. Again, the conversations started from group activities. I realized the same cycle will be followed.
We were working together and were producing the results. The assignments and submissions felt different as we already went through 1 term of rigour which helped us to think through it and have the ability to plan the activities and execute them.
Since we knew the strengths of each other and knew how a group functions, we divided the assignment among ourselves and completed the work. This was a different experience altogether. It was a ‘happening’ term, one with lots of festivals and with the students being called to campus. In the meetings that followed, as I saw people working together on campus as I sat on a Zoom screen away at my home, the feeling of excitement to meet my ACAD group started to creep in.
After reaching the campus, it was a lively feeling to connect with friends and also meet with the old and new ACAD group members. I got to know them more closely.
Going to the reading room at night, staying back in the class after the classes got over, sitting in the B26 or B29 common area, and going to each other’s rooms for hanging out – this offline experience is what I craved for the most!
The second term taught how good group work can be done even by having a group working in a non-traditional way of sitting together and executing the task. Experiences are important and this term provided a range of versatile experiences throughout. On this happy note, the second term ended.