One-Year at Goizueta: Chris Luders – I get by with a little help from my friends

It’s no surprise to me that teamwork is an integral part of the business school experience. After all, half of the questions in my admissions interviews centered around those teaming aspects of my professional experiences – “describe a time when you’ve worked in a team environment”, “tell me about a time when you went against the prevailing opinion on a team”, and so on. Now that I’m at the close of the first block of the summer semester, however, I realize that the teamwork is an essential ingredient of success at Goizueta!

During orientation week, our cohort of 45 students was divided into 9 5-member teams for the core experience during the summer. For all of our classes during both blocks of the summer semester, we will work in these teams to accomplish a variety of tasks. I’ve had the honor and privilege of serving as a member of Team Fish this summer alongside four impressive peers:

Linda, an industrial engineering consultant originally from Michigan

Clair, a healthcare consultant who also graduated from my alma mater, Georgia Tech

Emiliano, a business development manager from the hospitality industry in New York City

Art, a strategy manager from the travel industry in Southeast Asia

Emiliano shares his thoughts during a team meeting:

Over the course of the first block, I’ve spent many, many hours with my teammates – and I’m looking forward to the opportunities we’ll have to continue to work with each other throughout the rest of the summer! Although we’ve always gotten along with one another well, we did go through a bit of an adjustment period earlier in the term as we learned more about each other’s experiences, expertise, and working styles. In all honesty, we had some early stumbles on team-based coursework in the first couple of weeks of the semester – but after we received feedback on those assignments, we sat back down as a team and discussed ways we could work with one another to improve our performance moving forward.

As a team, we’ve been able to share in a lot of great experiences in the short period of time we’ve been together this summer. We’ve tackled complex problems (making strategic recommendations for a manufacturer facing government policy pressures in China, providing guidance on a new office location for an environmental group in the Northeast US) with creativity and rigor. We’ve spent nights and weekends together making sure our class presentations tell a crisp, compelling story. We’ve also been vulnerable with one another – sharing the deep, personal stories that explain the shape and focus of our lives with one another as part of our persuasive communications coursework. From time to time, we’ve even shared a few drinks and few laughs outside of the classroom.

The Goizueta Business Library – home to many tired and slightly delirious teams of Goizueta MBA students:

As we go through the rest of the summer, I know that the demands on our teams will only heighten. The summer activities culminate with our Management Practice experience, where each team will be working with an Atlanta-based client to provide strategic recommendations on a real business problem they’re facing.  I’ve been warned that those last weeks of the semester will be intense as we dive deep into organizational issues. Even so, I have the utmost confidence in my teammates – I know we’ll be able to deliver insightful and impactful recommendations to our client, and I know that we’ll have fun working with each other in the process.

Early in the business school admissions process, I was drawn to Goizueta for the promises of a tight-knit community – now that I’m a student, I’m glad to see those promises delivered through my peers and teammates!