Thursday, October 26, 2006



I don't know about you, but I loved working in teams for class projects while at U of M. I highly recommend learning as much as possible out of your teamwork experience because you will confront many team activities and projects in almost any given career path. Ultimately, it is such a relevant and valuable practice that we all encounter in our professional and personal lives. Get comfortable working with your peers now because you will be expected to work in teams often in your future careers and higher academic pursuits. Thinking back, the teamwork that I was involved with in my academic life has made me a better team player in my personal life, and vice versa.

Obviously, some professionals must work cohesively in teams more so than others. For example, marketing professionals are often faced with the task of coming up with campaigns that have mass appeal. Would you be confident in only one person's ideas to figure out how to promote and sell the new Sony PS3? It takes a diversity of ideas from many group members to come up with the best, and sometimes worst, proposals and concepts in the creation of marketing initiatives. In fact, the focus groups and surveys that we often participate in for company evaluations or product feedback are essentially a method of bringing the general public into the realm of a company or product's team. Think about how many teams you already are a part of without actually realizing it! Your Math 116 team and IM broomball team are some notable ones, but are you conscious of the fact that you are also part of a team of roommates, a team of Notre Dame haters, and/or a team of Dance Marathon moralers?

Generally speaking, the entire business world is split into teams that come together to form an overall company of products and services. Those teams can be further subdivided into even smaller team classifications. For example, my company could be viewed as one huge 360,000 member team - Citigroup, Inc. It could also be seen as a group of four major business teams: Global Consumer Group (GCG), Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB), Global Wealth Management (GWM), and Alternative Investments. Then, the CIB can be broken down further into divisional teams such as Investment Banking Division, Global Capital Markets, Finance, GTS, Operations & Technology, etc. And so on, and so on.

In my relatively short three-year work experience, I would have to say that my job is extremely team-based in principle, but not so much in interaction. In other words, I have my individual tasks every day, but as part of a multiple-product trading desk, I need the reports of my co-workers in order to produce the total FX-related P&L for the Emerging Markets Sales and Trading group. Why? Well, think of FX as the team and each FX product as a team member. Thus, in order to report consolidated daily FX P&L, I need the FX Options P&L, FX Swaps P&L, FX Spot & Forward P&L, FX Futures P&L, FX Securities P&L, and FX Interest Rate Options P&L. I am responsible for the FX Spot & Forward P&L, and ultimately the consolidated daily FX P&L. Without the inputs from my team members, I would only have one piece of the puzzle.

Well, that's all for now on the teamwork topic. I have some emails from readers keeping me busy still, so I need to attend to those. Hopefully, I can get some pictures up on here from a successful road trip to Penn State.

M Go Blue. Beat Northwestern

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