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First Year Perspectives: Value Added – My Learning Team Experience

About Eleanor: Eleanor McGee is from Richmond, Virginia and graduated from UVA. After college, she began a full-time position for National Geographic. Through this job, she worked on everything from analyzing the greenlight workflow to launching the National Geographic Media Scholarship. Eleanor hopes to continue working in the entertainment sector upon graduation.

As all first-year Anderson students know, navigating the highs and lows of the core curriculum can be quite a challenge. Luckily, we have our learning teams to help us through it. When classes start in the summer, first-year students are divided into teams of five-to-six students within their section. Teams are strategically assembled so that they include students from a diverse set of backgrounds, expertise, and perspectives. The unique combination catalyzes a dynamic environment and allows us to learn from our peers as we tackle group assignments throughout our core classes. From my own experience, it has also led to close friendships. My teammates, Tara, Phil, Swarndeep, David, and Koichi, have truly defined my Anderson experience in the best way. They are people I rely on for academic, professional, and personal advice and I very much enjoy spending time with them both inside and outside of the classroom. As we head into our last core class at Anderson, I wanted to take the time to reflect on some of the actions our team has taken to help strengthen our group’s cohesiveness:  

  1. We start every meeting with a mood check. While this began as a recommended icebreaker during our initial meetings, we have continued this tradition throughout the year. It has been a great, yet simple way to check in with each other. Whether it is hearing about an exciting weekend plan, an assignment someone is worried about, or a summer internship update, it is always interesting to hear about what is impacting my teammates. Additionally, it is often a much-needed respite from the hectic pace of the MBA day and week.
  2. We plan events to connect with each other outside of class. Once or twice per quarter, we gather as a group to have dinner or grab a drink. While we spend plenty of time together working on group assignments, we very much value the time that does not center around academics.
  3. We are open about our overall workload. One of the best parts about Anderson is how involved everyone is and how passionate they are about the community. Because all of our clubs and activities are student-led, everyone often has a lot on their plate at any given time. For example, my learning team members are presidents of clubs, completing internships, and applying for and receiving fellowships. Because of this juggling act, communication about your responsibilities is crucial for maintaining trust, accountability, and morale. When planning group meetings and distributing work, each of us is open about what else we have going on at the said time. This helps us have realistic expectations about who can take on which portions of the assignment.

Now that core is wrapping up, our time as a learning team is coming to a close. I am incredibly grateful for the amazing friendships, learnings, and accomplishments that have come from this team. My time at Anderson has been so positively impacted by my learning team. They are one of the reasons that LA now feels like home and why Anderson has proven to be the best choice for me.

Student Blogger: Eleanor McGee ‘24

Undergrad: University of Virginia, ‘19

Pre-MBA: Content Operations & Planning at National Geographic

Leadership@Anderson: VP of Admit Weekends, Admissions Ambassador Corps; VP of Alumni & Corporate Relations, Entertainment Management Association; VP of Orientation, Anderson Onboarding Committee  

Instagram: @eleanormcgee

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