- Academic Research and Writing Tips / Tutorial

High Functioning Study Groups Help to Navigate the Academics of the Exclusive Executive MBA Program.

Students are placed in groups of four to six students, each with a diverse mix of professional backgrounds and skill sets.

What role(s) do you see yourself playing within your study group?

Group study is integral to the success of a student as the sharing of ideas, the solving of problems and the reinforcement of lively discussion are essential tools in not just learning the material, but in gaining a true understanding of what is presented and how it applies to real business. In a study group, I see myself as being not only a leader of discussion because of my natural ability to organize and guide a group, but also to facilitate the assistance of the other students. I think that facilitation is the key to a successful group - it involves not only learning what the needs are of the other members, but actively seeking ways in which these needs can be met. This may involve coming to understand the different learning styles of the members of group - whether some are readers, audio learners, kinesthetic, and so on, and deciding on formats in which to manage these needs. Perhaps a kinesthetic learner would profit more from a hands-on model or a visit to a business, while readers may benefit from transcribing notes.

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In addition, I have over twelve years of finance experience to bring to the table and share with my peers, and I am excited at the prospect of being able to share my experiences and prior learnings with my study-mates. With this experience is also an ability to mediate and direct conflict into a positive outcome, which is always useful in a group situation as well.

What is the ONE most unique personal or professional characteristic that you have that will benefit your group?

Although I offer a diverse array of personal and professional experience, a specific and unique personal characteristic that would benefit the group is my charismatic personality. Charisma is a vital pillar of leadership - it is the ability to encourage a group to achieve monumental things using personal energy, positive reinforcement and a vibrant energy as well as understand the needs of the group and the individuals that make up the group. It has been said that great leaders such as Ronald Reagan were able to climb to the peak of success using charisma as their primary strength in communicating with people.

This trait gives me the ability to make a group feel comfortable and at the same time, relaxed and ready to work as a cohesive unit. I have encountered situations in my professional career in which a group of employees were at odds with each other and feeling very negatively about other members of the group. The productivity of the group had come to a halt and a project was at risk because of it. Using my charisma and my ability to understand the needs of the individuals, I was able to turn that situation around into a productive and unified group. They moved on from their differences and were able to overcome the obstacles that had blocked them from moving forward after I was assigned to the group to help them mediate amongst themselves. This is an ability, or a skillset, if you will, that my employer genuinely cherishes, and I believe it will serve me well both in my written case studies, in my relationships with other students and my professional life as it unfolds, as interpersonal skills are highly valuable in any industry.