This post is sort of a continuation of Monday’s post on Group Work.
I’m, personally, a little weary of group work. We’ve all been involved in groups that don’t actually involve “group” work, but one or two individuals completing the whole project. And my grad school experience has been similar.
The main difference I’ve found between undergrad and grad school group projects is that the groups are smaller. Normally this is a good thing, but there usually ends up one person in the group who’s a lot more excited about the project than the others, and therefore takes on more work.
I find that grad students are usually of two types. Type A people are use to doing all of the work in a group project, while type B people don’t like giving up any control of the project. If everyone is of type A, it’s not to bad, as usually it means everyone will pull their own weight. If you have someone (or more) of type B, then often it ends up being a struggle to do any work, as this person tries desperately to keep it all to themselves. That’s not to say that there aren’t any type C people – those who don’t want to do any work but want the credit – in grad school.
However, as much as I find a lot of group work very irritating, it is still important to get involved and have the experience. Everyone needs to know how to deal with people of all types (like A, B and C) – such as finding ways to assert yourself to regain some control from type Bs and motivating type Cs. If everyone is use to doing all the work, then usually the biggest hurdle is making sure you don’t plan too big of a project. Just because everyones going to pitch in, doesn’t mean the project can grow a lot larger and still be feasible.