Teams are central to a Yale SOM education. From the first days they arrive on campus, full-time MBA students are placed in learning teams, groups of eight or nine individuals who will be their study partners, career coaches, and friends. The teams are intentionally diverse, providing new students with the opportunity to learn how to work with people from different sectors, industries, and nationalities right from the beginning. The idea is to prepare MBAs for the way organizations work today.
We’re following teams through the entire first year—tracking their evolution, how they work, and how they’re able to tackle the most complex problems the MBA curriculum can throw at them. The first video in the series focused on the first days of a new learning team, as eight students are thrown into a series of exercises and simulations aimed at prompting them to create workable team dynamics and prepare for the coming year.
We returned to check in with the team with the school year well under way and the challenge ramped up, as students face schedules packed with class projects, internship recruitment, and extracurricular activities. Team members rely on one another to keep up with the increased demands and to tackle assignments that require creative thinking in ambiguous situations. “We start out and it’s very structured,” said John Turner ’20. “We’re doing a lot more cases in Fall 2 compared to Fall 1, where it was more from the book, problems sets, where there are correct answers. Well now, there aren’t really any correct answers in what we’re doing.”