Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Freshmen’s Guide to: 5 Types of People You Are Bound to Meet in Projects



Now that the first week of school life is over, welcome to the real world where In-Course Assessments (ICAs) and tests will start to roll in. If your dear lecturers have yet to wake you up with your very first ICA to kick off the new semester, fret not! They will do so soon enough.

Alas, if you think that poly life is already draining the life out of you, wait till you meet the five different types of people you are bound to meet during your group projects for the next three years of your life. This handy guide will help you to identify just who they are, and how to better work with them.

The Gan Cheong Spider
Excuse my use of Cantonese but I cannot stress enough about how there WILL be someone within the group who WILL care more about the project than the rest. The famous Gan Cheong (Cantonese for ‘hurried and anxious’) spider, usually the girls, will end up setting deadlines for every single task. From what I have seen, the Gan Cheong spiders are usually the ones who end up leading the groups too. They take charge of every single detail and ensure everyone abides to the schedule as well as protocol. While most people in the group (maybe even you) will end up secretly disliking the Gan Cheong spider, you should be thankful that you do have one in the group. In the end, it is the Gan Cheong spider that you can rely on to keep the project going.

If you are a Gan Cheong spider, congratulations, as it is better to have at least one Gan Cheong spider than none at all.

The Free-Rider
by Nixter
 Ah, the infamous free-riders! Frankly speaking, because I am such a Gan Cheong spider, I despise free-riders. Bottom line is that I totally do not think that they deserve the grade everyone else (who did contribute) did. C’mon, who hasn’t met one of these? I think we all have and as a fellow senior, here’s a piece of advice: tell your lecturers.

I know that it sounds like a really sneaky move, but believe me, it’s necessary.  Between you and me, you don’t know how many times I’ve rattled on my fellow free-riders and marked them down in my peer appraisals. The good news is, most of them would have woken up by end of Year 1 and genuinely put in effort in their later years.

The Yes-Man

There can be more than one of these within a group. Although they are a charm to have (considering they say yes to almost anything), they suffer too. At the end of every group meeting, they will always go home with a load of tasks to do. Sure, they lighten up everyone else’s plate, but they sometimes take on more than they can handle.  If there are two people you should appreciate in a group, it should always be the Gan Cheong spider and the humble Yes-Man.

The Slacker
By Horia Varlan
Do not confuse the slacker with the free-rider for there is a difference. While the free-rider does not do any work at all, the slacker does, but at a price. The slacker will attempt and complete all pending work sloppily or at the very last minute , which often infuriates the Gan Cheong spider. Submission of report is due the next day at 5pm? The slacker will email them to you at the last minute. Need to rehearse for a presentation which begins at 9am? The slacker will come late with cue cards not done. Worst still, you may find yourself having to go through the slacker’s work because it looks untidy and incoherent.

The Shy Guy

Coming from a course where almost everyone is very loud, you may think there’s no such thing as the Shy Guy. However, putting my course mates aside, I am sure there are a handful of the shy guys or girls all around campus. Just because a person is shy, it does not mean he/she is not able to perform well during group ICAs. On the contrary, most of them are able to produce work of quality that rarely brings the group down... unless there’s a class presentation aspect to the project. In such cases, rehearsals are always a good method of preparation and help to build up the shy person’s confidence. Perhaps that is why my course mates are hardly ever shy anymore because we have had so many class presentations to prepare, and now speaking to big groups come naturally.

See if you can, spot these types of people in your next group project and learn how to deal with them.  Also check which one of these personalities suits you best. The Gan Cheong spider in me advises you to do it fast, so you can be better prepared to face the reality of group projects in many more cycles to come! 

For freshmen, happy working on your first projects!

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Written By  Nur Mirrah Amit, Year 3, Diploma in Mass Media Management


Mirrah is a Year 3 Mass Media Management student who, as her mother had reiterated, “reads all the time!” She consumes as many as three books a day in her spare time, and enjoys classics and romance novels by authors such as Mari Mancusi, CS Lewis, and Sophie Kinsella. She aspires to write for political science magazines like Time and Newsweek in the future, and also has an interest in fashion writing.

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