Sample Essay

I am seeking admission in the Rutgers Graduate School, and in this regard I am supposed to deliver my personal experience as a member of a team whose project was not completed successfully and what I learned from that failed team project.

The things that I am going to share are based on my personal experience which happened with our team when we were handed over an assignment of collecting donations for a local charitable organization. There were eight people in our team and we were given a targeted amount which we had to collect.

Tasks were divided between the team members and all of the members were assigned with certain responsibilities which they needed to fulfill and report to the team leader.

First and foremost what I learned from my experience was that a project is very likely to fail if the team member does not have a clear job description. Each and every member of the team should be very clear of what their role is in the team, what their responsibilities are and what the team expects from them to do. This was one problem that our team had, the roles were not properly divided and as a result there were more than one member doing similar jobs and the rest doing nothing.

After that I believe that communication between team members is very essential. If the team members have a rift between themselves or there is some sort of grouping inside the team it should be eliminated, because this would hurt the cause of the whole team. In our case communication was there but it was very formal, and for some odd reason the members were reluctant in sharing their ideas with the other team members. Open communication was not encouraged in the team, and team members were feeling hesitant in contributing or sharing any idea that came to their mind. This thing also increased mistrust among the team members which ultimately destroyed the team work.

Then another issue that we faced was of the free riders. We also had a team member who was very little interested in working for the team or contributing towards the team, he just wanted to enjoy the status of a team member without putting much effort. He was only doing this activity because it was the requirement of the program, so we really had to push him all the time to take work out of him. Because of this lack of interest and motivation the team was divided and the overall morale of the team was wounded.

I believe that respect and trust are the very essentials of a team. The true spirit of a team can only be achieved if the team members would have trust in each other’s work. I observed that the lack of acknowledging each other’s work was another factor which directed us towards failure. Because there was lack of communication team members very often celebrated each other’s small wins. Apart from that the feedback portion was also missing, means that proper feedback on the job was not present, and as accountability was lacking the team members became lethargic and relaxed which delayed the process of collection.

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