4 min read
APU campus is surely a unique doorway to the world with students and faculty coming from all over the globe. To further maximize APU’s international environment, many courses include group projects, in which talented individuals have a chance to collaborate, as a part of their grading criteria. As much as we acknowledge groupwork is important, we understand that introverts may feel like they are getting lost in the hustle. SPA is here to bring you some tips to ease stress, minimize conflict, and at the same time, optimize the introvert’s hidden strength.
Mental preparation: this is a great opportunity to practice real-world situations
Let’s be real. Working alone is what we may feel we’re the best at, yet working in groups can be greatly beneficial, especially in projects that require insights from a variety of backgrounds. In real working situations, you’re going to share and pitch your ideas in meetings if you want to make a good impression. Furthermore, this can be a great chance to learn from others for your own self-development, both professionally and personally. You never know. You may find yourself in an awesome group that your changes your whole perspective! Therefore, let’s use this time as practice for future collaborations with co-workers!
Groupwork can be a great chance to learn from others for self-development!
Decide on how your group wants to communicate
LINE, Facebook, Messenger, Outlook, Miro – you name it. Compared with face-to-face communication, which may give our introvert buddies anxiety expressing opinions in front of unfamiliar people, online platforms may be a great alternative to discuss and collaborate freely. Whatever methods you want to utilize, make sure to decide quickly so everyone is on the same page.
Be prepared in advance
Introverts often prefer to spend time thinking through before talking, so being prepared in advance will definitely help you feel more confident contributing to group projects. We suggest prior to class or the group meeting, do your research on the assigned topic, note down some ideas, and choose points to share. Then, you will gradually feel less stressful about the idea of speaking out your mind. Introverts are often not the loudest voice in the room, and it’s easy to feel defeated by the more outgoing personalities in the group. But remember each member brings different values to the table, and you do have amazing things to share!
Integrate individual tasks into the group project
To avoid confusion over responsibilities, after input and discussion, it’s a good idea to assign tasks to each member. You may even consider a group deadline for each task since sometimes one needs to be done before the others start. With this, everyone, especially the introverts, will feel comfortable having a key section where they each can work independently and have full control over creative flow, while collaborating in a project. We recommend having checkup meetings every now and then to maintain clear communication, ensure everything is going according to plan, and even to share ideas one thinks may benefit other parts.
With task division, everyone, especially the introverts, will feel totally comfortable having a key section in which they each can work independently
Maybe it has something to do with not being able to pick your mates. Or maybe it’s the stress when it comes to working under deadlines. But like it or not, group projects are where we integrate more practices that we will need for future daily work. APU courses, with a wide variety of group projects making appearances on syllabi, are preparing us for this reality. Seize the chance and go beyond! We hope this article sparks some ideas on how to make the process as painless as possible.
You can do this!
Ha Phan Ngoc DOAN
Hi! I’m Ha, class of 2021FA, majoring in IRPS (International Relations and Peace Studies). On campus, I was a Resident Assistant, Teaching Assistant, APU Student Ambassador and Student Staff at APU Library. I can’t wait to share with you all my experience as a SPA member!