Just when I thought my March Madness was over, I get assigned a group project for work. All the new assistants from all branches of my company went through comprehensive training program. The finale is a complete media plan and presentation. I can't fail or get fired for doing a poor plan, but why would I want to humiliate myself in front of my company's senior vice presidents, who will judge my group's presentation?
I've been through college and have conquered many group projects. For some reason this one seems a little bit tricky. Maybe it's because plans can take several months to complete and I only have three weeks. Maybe it's because I have regular work until 6 or 7 p.m. and then up to four hours of group work every night. Whatever the reason, it will get done eventually. The big group project of putting together a drum corps show seems to go a lot smoother than a regular group project. It's the largest group project I've ever worked on. What made this project turn out better than any small group project? Everyone knew their role in the big picture. If you didn't, someone was sure to let you know exactly what you were supposed to be doing. My training group has six people -- two of which know what needs to be done and how to do it. Everyone else is in the dark. I have confidence that eventually the pieces to our puzzle will come together a make a great plan and presentation. We all had those moments over the summer where we actually questioned what was going on throughout the day. We would start working on random chunks throughout the show and it's not until ensemble and the end of the day that the light bulb flicks on everything finally makes sense. More than anything I think my summer project was successful because I trusted my group members. I gave Ed a swollen lip because I hit his horn during a run through. He never got mad and never changed anything he did. That was the only time I got too close. A flag was tossed over my head while I was spinning and I never questioned if Chris' toss would be too short and mess me up. We all had confidence and knew what we were doing. I'm sure that the staff didn't always agree on what we should master throughout a block of practice but eventually they all got on the same page. If they weren't on the same page, no one brought any anger to practice. We all figured it out together. Developing each moment took time and a lot of planning. I know that my group will get through this project. I'm not sure how right now, it's only day four and we have two weeks to go until it's due. I hope we all begin to gain the same confidence that I had with my summer group project. Becky Novac currently lives in Hoboken, N.J., and works for Universal McCann in New York City as an assistant media planner. She is 22 years old and a recent graduate from Penn State University where she majored in journalism and psychology. Becky marched with the Bluecoats in 2000, 2002 and 2004 as a member of the color guard.