Getting a First Class: Responsible Teammates

It’s been some time since I wrote a post about “Getting a First Class” on my blog, but judging from the visitor statistics that WordPress managed to obtain, these type of posts are relatively more popular than my other posts. I guess this shows that there are many students out there looking for tips and tricks to obtain the “Holy Grail” from their stint in university. Today, I would like to write a post on the importance of responsible teammates.

Recently I went back to university to attend a course that my employer sent me for and I had to do some projects with teammates that cannot be classified as responsible. It was a painful affair and serves to reaffirm how responsible teammates help in lifting your grades.

1. Team mates out to S/U

The first thing I would like to talk about are team mates that are out to S/U the module. My recent course was graded on an S/U basis automatically, hence you could see that the mood and attitude of people follows. When I was an undergraduate taking my marketing module (which I took out of interest. Read: Steve Job’s lesson on taking classes that interest you), I had irresponsible team mates. I took the module alone as it was based on self-interest and not common-interest of my clique. When it was time to select team mates, what I did was just to look at the guys sitting to my left and right and ask if they would like to form a group. Bad idea. In the end nobody wanted to work other than me. They were all in the final year and I was in my 3rd year. To them their FYP was more important than an S/U-able module. The 4th team member of my group contributed NOTHING and hence I served a complaint letter to the professor stating how much he contributed. I eventually S/Ued the module myself as the project marks dragged my GPA down significantly. Hence, find team mates that treat your project as something important.

2. Responsible team mates produce quality work and quality work saves time

As far as I am concerned, the recent stint back at the university served to wake me up in two areas: (1) lousy English and (2) copy and paste style plagiarism without citations. I had to spend a lot of time correcting bad grammar (if you noticed my own bad grammar in this blog, its because I let it happen) for the report to make sure the entire report reads smoothly and that the word count is kept. In addition, it never failed to piss me off when people give me an entire page of work and ending off with a single source at the bottom. How am I supposed to know which parts were quoted and which parts were not? I had to go into the source, read it and do the necessary quotations. Huge waste of time considering I had another essay from another module to write. Time could have been spent working on my essay, which was an individual piece as compared to the lousy team work report I was correcting. Time could also have been spent revising for the exam that is to come.

3. Responsible team mates want to score as well

I guess this point doesn’t need much argument. For team mates who are in to boost their GPA, they would definitely do something to make it happen. However if all they want is an easy module to lift their low GPA, then that’s a different story. Generally speaking, usually people try to score as high as possible to boost their GPA.

I cannot emphasize more on how important it is to get responsible teammates to back you up. In periods where time is lacking, a good teammate can cover your faults and step in for your portion. At the same time you do not have to worry about his quality of work. Furthermore, a responsible teammate can be a good role model for yourself as well. Surround yourself with friends who have the same aim and you will find it easier in your quest to snare the honours of your desire.

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