The group session on our daily timetable was the best time to tackle our group assignments. It was in the morning, so no one came to the meeting stressed. Logically, we agreed to use that period to tackle the third case.
We had been warned ahead that the case was calculation intensive. This is what I’ve been waiting for – a chance to flex my mental muscles.
I returned from my tea break and went straight to “the board room”, venue for our group meeting room. Some of my colleagues were in already trying to catch up with reading the case. So, I left to pick up my laptop from the lecture hall.
Upon entering the hall, my jaw dropped. A lecturer was waiting to start a session. In confusion, I rushed to check the time table for the day on my laptop. It was not a mistake, we did not have a group session that day. I quickly settled down for class with disappointment.
The Quick and the Unprepared
Just before the class was due to start, I checked if anyone outside my group had attempted the calculations for the third case. Fortunately, someone had worked the calculations so we quickly went over it together. I asked some follow up questions but didn’t get satisfactory answers, so I proceeded to class.
For the first time in a long time, I felt unprepared going into class. I had a general overview of both cases that day but so did everyone. You have to read a case multiple times and analyze it to effectively participate in class. Well today was the day I was not going to participate effectively. Cold calling was normal in the class, so all I could do was sit and hope I was not called.
Fortunately, everything went according to plan. I was not alone on my level of preparation, especially in the quantitative part. Therefore, the class went on without any fanfare.
That night we had to put finishing touches to our group presentation. We scheduled our meeting for 8pm so we could have enough time to finish and submit before midnight.
We argued a lot as usual. Two hours into the meeting, people were still trying to draw us back to argue the objective.
By the third hour, I was convinced that the point I raised earlier about the quantitative analysis was required to complete the presentation. So our finance gurus got on it to try and fix that issue.
Time was almost up so we went ahead to conclude our presentation for submission to beat the deadline. By 12am we submitted our presentation as is, without the needed modifications and without a proper conclusion.
The following day, we got back to work on the presentation. Fortunately our finance gurus cracked the code and gave us a solution to the problem. Our program manager confirmed later that we were the first to submit our presentation. Imagine our disappointment. We eventually put all our thoughts together and modified the slide for presentation.
For the presentation, the facilitator selected our quantitative analyses lead randomly to speak on behalf of the group. He was ready. The presentation went well. The final additions paid off big. Minor modifications were required for our final submittal.