While currently working on my bachelor’s degree in Health Care Management at UAB I had the opportunity to work on several team projects for my coursework, things like strategic management in healthcare organization, operation management in health care organization, clinical and administration information system, economics for healthcare managers, and health care policy and reform. One of the team projects in economics that was assigned by our professor was to develop a plan, based on what economic principles to use, to reduce obesity in the state of Alabama. For this project I was teamed up with three other students that were assigned by our professor and I was delegated to be the team leader for this project. I was initially nervous to take the role of a team leader as this project was 30% of the grade and would affect everyone’s grade; however, I was determined to take on this challenge and use this as a learning opportunity. My team was unique and diverse as one of the students on my team was an out-of-state online student, one was local, and the other one was an international student.

We had one month to complete this project and present our findings in class. As a team leader I decided to divide and conquer by delegating each team member with an assignment. Each team member was accountable for the assigned portion of the project and we met every week to get a status update on the progress of our project and plan for the next week. Initially everyone was very proactive and responsive, however within two weeks one of the team members was lagging as he had too many classes to cope with and was unable to make it to most of our meetings. This situation started to drag our project off schedule and we decided the fastest fix to this problem was to divide that individual’s work among ourselves given the time constraints. This situation had put additional burden on three of our team members, however we were determined to work as a team and put together an excellent project report on using economic principles to tackle obesity. At the end, when our project was graded, we were delighted to see our project score the highest grade for this class. One thing I liked about these team projects is that each team member got an opportunity to do a peer review of their team members based on their experience, and this review also went towards the final grade.

Being a team leader on this project gave a rare opportunity for me to put myself in the leadership role. Based on my personal experience I believe team projects are a very good opportunity to collaborate and exchange ideas. As a part of this team project I observed that during this endeavor, working in a team opened doors to new ideas which would have remained locked had I done this project myself. As a team leader it also helped me understand the strengths and weaknesses of each individual and thus made it easier to assign each team member with a task that they were comfortable handling.

Overall, my experience working on team projects has mostly been positive and has helped in developing leadership, planning and execution skills which I would have never developed through an exam. I also think that these team projects prepare you for unknown challenges and lay the foundations for preparing you to work in a real-world environment where you don’t get to choose your team members.