A Team on Teams
Last October, when I first joined team CORE, I had joined with the hopes of being able to soon work from the office with the rest of the members. Little did I know that six months in, I would still be trying to lead the team via Microsoft Teams.
We have all heard the complaints about online education and activities on a daily basis and, I do get it, it continues to be a difficult time for many of us. Especially in the setting of trying to be a part of a student team/association. You really need that team bond which is often established through meeting the members and spending some time together, establishing some human contact. That taken away from us, all that we’ve learned about leadership in a conventional setting is tested to the limits.
But here’s the thing, as the months went by, I thought I would be hating having to be a leader online, but I find myself very grateful for the CORE board and members. I’m able to do my job because of the atmosphere we’ve managed to create online and the people we are now able to reach.
Within the realm of student teams/associations, the words ‘online team activity’ have become somewhat of a trigger phrase for students and yet, teams/associations still need to organize those events to survive. Through my own experience with CORE, I’ve learnt that besides doing those ‘set’ activities to ensure the team carries through, it has become more about making things work for members as individuals with their own unique preferences, rather than pushing a standard expectation for them to enjoy the online Scrabble or Discord channels.
My time as Team Captain has definitely been interesting and it has had its fair shares of difficulties, but I noticed that I’ve found myself pushing to make the most of it, even when it seems out of reach sometimes. I’ve found myself being bold with certain companies that I could have normally shied away from or even learning more about the importance of assertiveness for a woman in lead. I’ve met a broader network of student team leads who aren’t afraid of sharing their struggles and are never holding back when it comes to the ways they offer to help you with your own struggles.
And as I look back now to reflect on how things have changed and how far I’ve come in an effort to look at my future with CORE, I am both grateful and amazed by the lessons I've learned and the efforts all of my team mates have put in to make CORE survive this global pause. From redefining my scope of leadership to accommodate a life lived online, learning the small things I can do for the members (be it a birthday message or a quick dog picture at the end of the meetings), or even learning how to have honest and vulnerable feedback sessions online, being with CORE has given me a new path for personal growth. And as the days continue to look and feel the same during this pandemic, I’ve found my fulfilment in putting in this type of effort to develop myself day in and day out, slowly and consistently.
If there is one piece of advice that I would give you, it would be: make sure to join a student team and don't miss out on this whole different perspective it gives you on student life.