Published Jan 15, 2005

Sadly enough, I had to give up my beloved Ocho as the first term ended. Second term brings with it a new team, and I appear to have struck it lucky again. I’m fortunate to be grouped with five smart, hard-working people; and I’m fortunate because I needed to be in a team like that, as we got assigned a case right after getting assigned a team.

We were assigned our team on Monday. On Wednesday, we found out that we had to prepare a case for Operations class, present it on Friday (complete with PowerPoint), and also hand in a 5-page paper (+ exhibits). That’s pretty short notice, and, in fact, we hadn’t even sat down together and said hello before we found out we had a case to present.

I have a fascinating set of people on my team, including two international students, an entrepreneur whose past projects include owning a bar in Chile, an accountant, and a mechanical engineer.

Four of us had class from 8 until 3:30 or 5 on Wednesday, so we met at 2:30 on Thursday. Everybody brought good ideas and critical thought, we stayed on target, and we found out-of-the-box solutions to the problems in the case. We put together great spreadsheets, solid slides, and filled the whiteboard in the study room we occupied with numbers and diagrams and notes that must have confused the hell out of the people who came there next.

The downside was, we didn’t finish until 3:30am, and class was at 8. We couldn’t skip class because

  1. People don’t really skip class that much in b-school, and
  2. We were presenting, dammit

So we dragged ourselves in and presented.

The presentation part was a little scary, I’ll admit, because another team had the same case. This was an all-star team with a lot of smart and capable people, and, worse, an MD/MBA student (our case was on hospital operations). They did good on their presentation but they had not considered a lot of the questions that we had, and only one person really spoke. Everyone on our team — even the international students — spoke (I stunk my “prepared” part up — I chose sleep over practice — but did good on the Q&A), and, in the end, the professor told us that our presentations were exactly what he was looking for.

Is that a good start to a group for the semester? Yeah, I sure think so!