On January 17th, the day had come at last—Team Changeover.
I was sad to leave my original learning team members, with whom I’d been working for the previous five months. But at the same time, I was excited to take on new team assignments with a new team.
There are many big and small assignments to be completed as a team at Fuqua, and I can’t talk about my school without talking about how important teamwork is to its culture. So here are some of the team experiences I’ve been through as part of the MQM program.
Summer Term and Fall Terms 1 and 2
Our program is divided into two different sections depending on which of the four tracks you chose (Finance, Marketing, Forensics, or Strategy). Since I’m in the Marketing track, I was assigned to a team with other Marketing track students. We were people from diverse cultures and backgrounds: Chandrika from India, Maheen from Pakistan, Zefang and Lizzy from China, and myself from Korea. Actually, at first, I was a little concerned because I was more familiar with working on all-male teams from my two years in the Korean Army before coming to Duke (of course, there are many women in the Korean Army, but the majority are men).
However, that worry wasn’t necessary. Everyone in the team was very outgoing and bright, and our positive team dynamic was very helpful when we had to adapt quickly to assignments. Sometimes we struggled due to tons of data-driven team assignments and presentations. But we relied on each other, kept positive vibes, and overcame all the challenges. We learned from one another, often gathering in a team member’s apartment from early in the morning to late at night to finish assignments.
Among many data-driven team projects, the most memorable was the Digital Marketing course final team project. We used marketing metrics and established a system for Fuqua’s marketing team to identify key channels and accurately target prospective students. We had to do many tasks at the same time, and it was very difficult work. However, throughout our time together, the more difficult the tasks the more fun we had. Sometimes we’d submit our work only a few minutes before the deadline, but we enjoyed that pressure-filled moment too. Overall, we worked together for five months, and that time will be an unforgettable memory for all of us.
Spring Terms 1 and 2
After the winter break came the aforementioned Team Changeover, where we were assigned to our second and final team. My new team members, all from the Marketing track, included fellow student bloggers, Bella from Brazil and Qian from China, plus Gloria who’s also from China. It’s been just over three months since we’ve been working together, and I love my team members. We’ve taken courses such as Decision Analytics & Modeling and Customer Relationship Management. Through these classes, we analyzed and managed diverse datasets. Sometimes we divided our work based on our unique abilities and strengths to achieve the best outcomes. We always relied on and helped each other whenever we faced difficulties. I’m so glad that all of my team members are very thoughtful, friendly, and hard working.
We’re in the last term now and working together on the Marketing Capstone Project with a large multinational company as a client. We’re developing a key performance indicator and analyzing the important drivers of sales of video gaming brands by investigating real-world datasets. We’re always working hard as a team, and we believe that we’ll get a positive result on the project before graduation.
Individual Course Teams
Health Care Analytics & Innovation – Spring Term 1
I took this elective course, which combined MQM and Daytime MBA students. Only five MQM students took the class for credit, and we were all on a team: Tuan from Vietnam, Ben from the U.S., Prima and Aki from China, and myself. We were very motivated because we’re all interested in the health care industry and we were representing the inaugural MQM program in a class full of MBAs.
We’d been dealing with real patient data and conducting patient profiling by building predictive models to help health providers and payers identify risks and achieve better health outcomes and lower costs. Even though managing the patient dataset was very tough, we worked hard to be the best team during the final presentations. Ultimately, we got the highest score of any team in the class. We were so proud of ourselves, and it was great to experience that sense of accomplishment.
Business Communication 2 – Spring Term 2
For this course, the teams we had for Business Communication 1 in the fall were re-shuffled. My new team consisted of four members from different backgrounds: Joey from Thailand, Sienna and Iris from China, and myself. The unique feature of this class is that all teams had at least one person from each of the four tracks. That meant all students needed to collaborate and combine knowledge from their own track to do holistic industry and company analysis with actionable recommendations. For the industry analysis team presentation, our team chose hotels. We believe there is a great potential for growth in the hotel industry and decided to further analyze both the global and U.S. sectors. We presented about the current state of the hotel industry, how it’s segmented, key success factors, what competitors are doing, and what the opportunities are to expand the market. All of this work was very dynamic, and it was a great experience to learn from each other through our different knowledge across tracks and approaches.
These are just four of the teams I’ve had experiences with during my 10 months in the MQM program. Overall, I’ve been on teams with more than 14 MQM students from six different countries. I’ve worked with people in my same track, and other tracks. All of these experiences have helped me sharpen my teamwork skills and cultivate a more diverse approach to solving problems. Teamwork is the oil that makes the team work, and the ability to be a dynamic, productive team member is one of the essential factors to succeed in a business setting. In the MQM program, you’ll have opportunities to meet people from diverse cultures and backgrounds and to collaborate with them as a team. I sincerely believe these opportunities and experiences will be one of the most crucial assets to create success in life.