Tuesday, May 6, 2014

TI:GER Program wrap up

Well, after two years of preparing for graduation, I was caught by surprise when it actually happened. Now that the festivities have ended (and my family has returned home), I've been able to reflect on my time in the TI:GER program. 

Graduating is bittersweet. These past two years have been a tremendous gift and have allowed me to focus on my personal and professional development in a way that few adults are given the opportunity to do. The saying that youth is wasted on the young might have some truth to it. 

Through the TI:GER program I've had some amazing experiences, networked with some incredible men and women in the Atlanta start-up community, and gained a great group of friends. Additionally, I've learned how to work better in interdisciplinary teams, how to deal with uncertainty, and how to fail fast. This experience has certainly formed the cornerstone of my MBA experience and I can't imagine being as prepared to return to the workforce as I am without it. 

Before I turn the blog back to Margi and next years students, I wanted to leave you all with my two greatest lessons from this semester, and I'll use my recent Ben Franklin readings to frame them. 

1) "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." This semester, more so than my previous three, my team was able to effectively divide work but still form a cohesive report at the end of the project. I attribute this not only to my great teammates (shout out!) but also to our upfront planning. Previously our divide and conqueror approach would come early in the process. We would go out independently, do our research, then bring our big pile together and try to craft a cohesive document from it. This semester we moved the planning and outlining stage to before the research stage. Essentially our team would meet, determine what information (specifically) we needed to proceed, then break and look for it independently. This made the end of the semester paper writing and compiling much smoother and really helped ease the time burden during a stressful finals week. 

2) "Think of three things: Whence you came, Where you are going, And to whom you must account." Forgive me for taking this quote out of context and fitting it into my "consulting is a skill" box but I think it works. This for me is the simplest expression of how to structure projects. Our sponsor was great at giving our team a wide array of projects and let us select which one we thought would be interesting and achievable given our education and work backgrounds. Once we had selected a project, our team would get clear client goals for the project, forming the foundation of our accountability. Lastly, our team would decide what our goal was (presentation, report, etc) and would make sure that all of our work was leading to that final product via the outlining process described above. By understanding our strengths, our goal, and our client, we were able to work quickly and effectively on this project. 

Once again, thanks for reading these posts. It's been a great experience for me and I've gotten a chance to talk with several of my readers via email or in person. I wish you all the best, wherever the road takes you!