A Global Project Team

Okay—team project time. After four weeks of online lectures for MGT 581 Analysis of Competition Law and Enforcement Across Countries, it’s now time to put our knowledge to use.

The class is one of two experimental Global Network Courses, in this case connecting Yale faculty with students throughout the Global Network for Advanced Management. I’ve really enjoyed the class so far, but I can’t say that I’m going to miss the 7:00 AM start time for class tomorrow. We start so early to accommodate the five different time zones that my classmates represent. It really has been an asset to the class to have a variety of experiences from top global universities dialing in every Wednesday at 7:00 AM my time.

Take my project team, for example. I was paired up with Liu, Bev, and Devaratth. Liu is an MBA student studying at Fudan University in Shanghai, China. I already feel like I learned a lot about doing business in China from him. Bev is a Silver Scholar in my class, which means that while she will graduate with me, she was away on a full-year internship last year. I don’t know if I would have gotten to meet her without this class. Devaratth is an Oil and Gas Executive in Oman. He has been great to get to know, as I think he shares my competitive spirit. I am really looking forward to working on our project.

I do love how quickly our team came together. I think a critical point was playing the cartel game in class. We had only a few minutes to figure out how to work the virtual breakout room, introduce ourselves, and come up with a strategy. I think the urgency brought out our best and we clicked. In fact, we were able to outsmart all the other teams early on, winning everything in the second round. It was amazing how quickly four MBAs from around the world can come together for some friendly educational competition.

Besides bringing together classmates from all over the world, the technology we’re using for class has some really cool advantages. For example, it has allowed a second level of in-depth discussion in class. Whenever something is covered in lecture that you’d like to follow up on, you just post it in the discussion board. Those “see me after class” questions get answered right away by one of the two professors not lecturing that day. (Did I mention that we have three amazing professors for this class? Ted Snyder, Fiona Scott Morton, and Pierre Cremieux from the economic consulting firm Analysis Group. Amazing perspectives!)

Anyway, I probably need to stop writing this blog and start working on my project. Our team is one of two that will be looking at the Google-Motorola merger. I’m really excited about this because the business case merges the tech sector and intellectual property. I have some background in both, having worked this summer at Amazon and in Boeing’s research and technology before school. I really want our team to do a good job because there will certainly be some comparison with the other Google-Motorola team. Nothing like a little friendly educational competition, right?

About the author

Robert Thompson

MBA, 2014