What defines a team? Is it a group of like-thinking people who function in the same manner, or, is it a ray of colorful individuals who speak and think at different levels? I believe a team best fits with the second definition. Now even within a team there are sub-categories where there is a good team and a bad team. I believe that a great team is built upon unique individuals and an organized approach to concepts and ideas. When these qualities are presented the final product is often great.

When I was younger I understood the importance of having uniqueness in a team, but I could never find realistic examples to associate the concept with. While I was in high school I began to grasp the concept, but it wasn’t until I took my first steps at UAB that I really was able to understand why teamwork really mattered. The day was orientation day. That day was oddly cold yet warm for a day in July, and it being cold may be due to the fact that I was wearing a dress. I also remember being late, so when I entered the auditorium every single person turned to look at me. Now please picture a tomato faced Asian girl. The first thing the orientation leaders did was introduce themselves. Some were science majors, some were literacy majors, and some were engineering majors. Now to everyone else that may seem normal to see a group of people from completely different academic backgrounds come together to complete a task, but I came from a STEM magnet school in which activities were divided based on each student’s strand choice: medical, engineering, or computer science. I was amazed by how individuals of different and unrelated majors were unified and organized in giving out the necessary information to us freshmen. As my time at UAB went forward I saw that your academic background is something that makes you different, however, it’s also the aspect which strengthens your team. For example, within the orientation leader’s group a theater major knows how to guide an audience’s attention while a literacy major understands the importance of diction. However, it is an exaggerated statement to say that your major is the overlaying key factor which solely structures your persona, instead it is an underlying aspect which guides your attitude in a team based environment.

Organization plays a major role in determining a team’s success in a product. I first got a taste of this while I was working on a research project with my psychology group. When my group members and I were first assigned to this project the rubric stated so many tasks that needed to be completed and information that had to be presented. The task seemed impossible; however, we had to complete it or else the world would have a new river created by the tears of a very dramatic teenager, aka me. My team and I decided to break the whole project down to pieces and scheduled for each task to be done during a certain week. Research on week one, script writing on week two, creating and editing would be done on week three. By setting subgoals we made a huge task accomplishable. Also, since we made a schedule for when each task would be accomplished we were also able to take into account everyone’s schedules, and thus for the dates that were chosen everyone showed up and we had true participation in the project. Nobody was conflicted or overwhelmed by taking someone else’s part and everyone left with good hearts after completing the task. The system allowed an overall positive output.

So far, I have had a positive treatment on the basis of forming and keeping up with teams. Teamwork is a difficult concept which is over simplified to just be the action of just showing up. It carries both emotional and constructive weight and should be carried in a responsible manner. If only you are tired when the project is finished while the rest of the team isn’t then it is clear that you didn’t consider your group members and their talents, nor did you plan well. I didn’t learn these attributes on my own, but was able to attain insight of it through experiences. UAB offered me the professional environment to learn all of these attributes. I hope that in the future I will eventually form an even more mature understanding on the positive weight of teamwork.