Study group experience

Red Team

From left to right: Jim Phillips, Harry Morrow, Marie Mihail, David Pellerin, Michael Tyson, and Judson Greif.

Members of the Red Team, class of 2009, share their study group experience

Judson M. Greif
Government Affairs Professional, Healthcare

I cannot overstate the contribution that each of my team members made to my education as well as my personal growth. The team dynamic adds so much more to the program.  I got the perspective from an engineer, a marketing executive, a financial professional, a health-care professional, an entrepreneur, and many others all wrapped into one discussion.

Since you are forced to work as a team, you learn how to manage different dynamics and different expectations.  Often times you don’t get to pick the people you work with; this was true in this program.   I could not have made it through this program without my team

Background: Judson, who has a BA in Politics and Government from the University of Puget Sound, focuses on legislation and policy for the health-care industry .

Harry Morrow
Program Manager/Fluke Corporation

The biggest surprise for me was how much I learned from my study group and classmates.  I have learned as much from them as I have the EMBA instructors.

The program forces you to develop and improve upon your teamwork and communication skills.  It is impossible for one person to complete all of the assignments, so you learn to trust your study group. This resulted in forging lasting relationships. After this experience, I know that I have the capacity to do many things and have a lifetime network of talented friends.

Background: Harry has a BSEE in Engineering from Ohio State. Fluke is the world leader in the manufacture, distribution and service of electronic test tools and software.

Marie Mihail
Sr. Marketing Manager, Microsoft

My study group (my team) was the anchor throughout the ‘gentle storm’ known as the EMBA program. Entering the program I knew a little about the format—classrooms, lectures, homework, tests, learning—but I had no idea about the personal enrichment gained from my classmates and teammates. This structure provides the ‘icing on the cake’ beyond the academic learning. The team environment simply enriches and enhances the program experience.

My team has been not only a learning unit but a support unit. We probably laughed more at our meetings than we studied but we always pulled together and accomplished our goals while having fun. I could not imagine doing this program without having such a strong team support system.

Background:  Marie is involved in developing global marketing campaigns to promote Microsoft Learning training products and services to its worldwide partner organizations. She has  a BA in Economics from the University of Washington and also worked in aerospace business management and computer telephony software marketing.

David Pellerin
CEO, Impulse Accelerated Technologies

The study groups are a great way to practice team-oriented problem solving as well as create long-term friendships. Within the first two days of residence week, we had formed bonds that lasted through every quarter and every class.

I can’t say enough good things about the six members of my study group members. Although we were all very different, we shared a common appreciation for offbeat humor and had similar expectations and goals for the program. We not only learned how to help each other and partition projects but also applied our unique areas of expertise to solving problems.

During the Program, my most challenging times when critical projects at work took priority over the studies. But here is where the study group structure comes into play– we helped each other manage our work and personal lives with school work. Because we all had vested interest in the success of our team as a whole, we always worked with that in mind.

Background: The co-founder and CTO Kirkland-based Impulse Accelerated Technologies, David has published five books on the subject of programmable logic and related technologies. He was also the founder of Accolade Design Automation and worked as a software programmer and manager for 12 years at Data I/O.

Jim Phillips
Senior Project Manager, Berschauer Phillips Construction

The Study Group not only helps distribute an enormous workload, but also provides greater insight to the material because everyone has a different perspective. I was most surprised of the amount of learning that goes on outside of the classroom. The study group discussions gave as much insight as the lectures.

Background: Jim has a BA in Physics from Wheaton College. Berschauer Phillips, with revenues over $100 million per year, is a regional contractor that concentrates on the construction and renovation of industrial, office, institutional and healthcare clients.

Michael Tyson
Vice President of Center Store, Brown & Cole, Bellingham

The synergies from the study group interaction were the most meaningful aspects of the EMBA Program. The hands-on work done with my team is what I took away from the Program and what I have used with associates from my company. It was a learn-by-doing experience that is similar to what we see in the real workplace.

My experience was enhanced by new friendships, great networking opportunities, and an understanding of how different career experiences relate to our studied topics.  The study group experience emphasized the power of a team. For instance, when someone was overwhelmed, the other team members would help with the workload.  Indeed, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Background: Michael has a BS in Business Marketing from City University and 22 years of experience in retail grocery sales. Brown & Cole, Washington’s oldest grocery company is a privately held company with sales of more than $230 million (2006).