Coming to Ross, we all carry our baggage of stereotypes and things we think we know. I have to admit that group work was such a thing for me. I like to think I am pretty open-minded and easy to work with, but so far I have always seen group work as mostly a brainstorming exercise with real work being done on your own.
I had to readjust my thinking pretty quickly once I found myself sitting in Ross core classes. Once you realize that most of your grade depends on working with a team, you are not left with much of a choice. I have to admit I had my fair amount of anxiety. But what struck me most from working with all my teams so far is how smart the people here are. There is a treasure of knowledge, experience, and diversity surrounding you here at Ross and it is up to you to make use of it.
It is not always easy to work within a team - for example convincing the engineers in your group that the most straightforward approach for a paper for a class which deals with leadership and interpersonal relations is not the best thing can be a challenging task, but that is also an important lesson about your future career - you can’t always choose who you are going to work with, so you better learn to work with other people.
It is surprising how much learning happens when you work with your peers. When things are not laid down in plain sight for you, and you have to work hard to get to the core of things, you find yourself learning much more. And since everyone on your team is likely to have unique background and therefore unique perspective, you are quite likely to slap yourself on the forehead more than once when “obvious” things are pointed out to you.
Going through the strenuous MBA application process has a big advantage. You are surrounded by people who are not just as smart as you are, but are considerate and open-minded, so that you do not have to worry about people “showing off” or trying to impress their professors.
I have been at Ross for more than 3 months now and any time someone asks me “What’s the best thing about Ross?” only one thing comes to my mind - it's the people. The Ross Smarts.