Jessica's Blog

My Group Project In Business English

When I joined the Business English class to prepare myself for the business world I did so because I have yet to even have what counts as a real job, as in a job that I’m being paid to do.  So, I thought taking the class would give me the chance to write documents that would prepare me for a world that looms in my very near future.   However, there was a second aspect of the class I hadn’t been counting on that has had an even bigger experience on teaching me about the real world; this experience was a group project that consisted of creating a nonprofit organization from scratch and the members of the group would be the founding members.  This project stands as a landmark due to the fact I have never had a previous experience in college where I was working in a group where all team members would be sharing in the final product and the final grade.  The group project began on the first day of class and lasted for almost twelve weeks of the semester.  During that time I gained a connection in my group members that I have never gained in any other class; this allowed for one of the biggest learning and growing experiences of my college education.

There were three other members in my group:  Ms. Joiner, Mr. Smith, and Mr. Carr.  On the first day, we were given a list of questions and asked to get into groups where we were to introduce ourselves to one another.  These people became the members we would be working with for the rest of the project.  On that day, I introduced myself to Shannon Joiner, Gary Smith, and a girl by the name of Victoria Hill.  I remember that I left the classroom that day feeling envious of the job and business experience the rest of my group members had.  Shannon is a mother returning to get her degree in business.  At the same time, she’s also managing to work as a surgical sales representative!  She has already gone through so much in life and managed to triumph over all of the obstacles that have stood in-between her and her dreams.   Gary is also a returning college student after a hiatus period.  He works for Bush Gardens in the financial sector while also being an Assistant Minister and Youth Leader at his church.  Mrs. Hill was equally as impressive though much closer to me in age.  This quite possibly made her the most intimidating of all just because I was forced to face the little progress I have made at establishing my future career in the whole 22 years of my life! On a more general note, just being exposed to all that these three individuals had already accomplished gave me the urge to do more than just excel in my classes.  I became aware that I needed to do more outside of academics than I am doing at this time.  I saw that I needed to gain more hobbies that would show my character so that prospective employers could see all of my potential assets.

Soon after the formation of the group, Victoria dropped the class, but the same day we gained a new group member, Bobby Carr.  Interestingly enough, Mr. Carr appears to be a totally different animal from my other group members.  He came into class with a very laid back personality and seems to follow a more traditional college-student path than many of the other students in my Professional Writing class.  With him as an addition to our group I immediately knew I would have the opportunity to pull more than my own weight in group project.  When the project started rolling, the first thing we did was give our nonprofit organization its name.  We were assigned the task of becoming a nonprofit health organization. Our group decided to play off of the real nonprofit health organization, the World Health Organization (WHO), and we became the Health Organization of the World (HOW).  After we established this we went into the process of assigning ourselves positions in the group.  Shannon immediately stepped up as leader of the project and her first title being Vice President of Public Relations.  Later the group decided she should be President of Public Relations as we felt this title was more suitable to her position in the group and as a position for the nonprofit organization we were building.   Gary was the real artist of the group as he originally came up with the rough draft of our name and designed the logo and slogan.  His title became President Elect.  I put myself in charge of recording the minutes for the group as I felt this would be a good job for me as I have previously held the position of Secretary at the Brandon sector of Hillsborough Community College.  I was also given the title of Chief Transportation Officer and asked to collect information on transportation as well as write up how transportation would be handled and how items being transported would be handled in our nonprofit organization.  Not much can be said for Bobby; he was given the title of Chief Financial Officer and given the duty of writing up how the finances would be handled.

In retrospect, I feel as though I did my fair share of the work in the group though I know I could have done more.  One of the most challenging aspects of the project was its abstract nature.  I remember spending hours outside of class doing research as I tried to understand how transport worked in a nonprofit organization.  It seemed no matter what search terms I used I couldn’t find a single thing on how this worked!  I ended up getting so extremely frustrated that I asked for my group member’s help.  I even ended up asking the opinions of other classmates to see if they were facing the same problem I was in creating their own nonprofit organization. After all of my worrying, my addition to the project was small, but I feel my overall growth as a member of a group was great.  I feel I grew out of my fear of talking to my classmates for help when I need it.  When working in a group and you are truly struggling it is to your advantage to let the rest of your group know.  I also realized that I am highly capable of having constructive group thought.  I remember pointing out problems several times throughout the project.  I feel my greatest contribution was my writing skills.  I was able to critic my group member’s work effectively and show how well I understand the importance of good writing skills when it comes to making an effective point.  Working in a group for a group grade was a new experience for me and it taught me, more indirectly than directly, the power of group communication and the power of connecting with my peers.  I hope to carry these lessons into future group projects so that the burden of an overwhelming task does not make the project buckle under pressure.


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