*The SCI Team is somewhat well-known on campus, and I am humbled and honored to be a member of it. If I sound in any way arrogant or self-gratifying in any of my reflective posts, it is definitely not my intention. The purpose of these posts on SCI Team is to archive the valuable lessons I learned from this experience, and to share my ideas with those who are interested.
Several students in Engineering heard about the SCI Team, through our cross-faculty events, word of mouth, or science converts to engineering (:P), and they are eager to start an analog in Engineering called the E Team.
And I am honored to be asked the following questions, and although I’m not in an authoritative position to answer them, as there are many much more experienced and articulate SCI Team members than I am, since I’m asked (and fast answers demanded :P), here are my 2 cents.
- If you had the chance to start SCI-Team from the ground up, what sort of structure would you give it?
I don’t think I will change the committee structure. The SCI Team is composed of roughly half returning members and half new members, who have diverse interests and unique styles of leadership. Creating a fixed hierarchical structure of executives will not only limit the number of events and projects that we can organize, it would also discourage the active, self-driven participation that is abundant in committees.
I don’t think I will attempt to remove the umbrella of Dean of Science’s Office that encompasses the SCI Team. An appropriate amount of involvement of the administration adds to the credibility and professionalism of the SCI Team while allowing full self-determination of the team members. It’s more like: the Dean of Science’s Office backs the projects that we come up with and got approval for.
Of course, an effective, professional student group is entirely possible without such faculty supervision. I’ve written a few key things that are characteristic of a professional group here.
- What are some negative aspects of SCI-Team?
For those who have difficulties managing time effectively, SCI Team may be too much of a commitment. And the danger lies in the supportive, exciting atmosphere of the team, which drives you to spend hours and hours on the projects. Time management is a key skill that is sought after in SCI Team interviews.
- What challenges have you overcome within SCI-Team?
As a new member on the team, I was quite intimidated at first. The team building activities and introduction were helpful, but it wasn’t until I helped out in the first event and saw the team functioning together that I fully embraced the team. (I wouldn’t be surprised if the co-chairs of that event, both my good friends and returning SCI Team members, had “let’s show them how we work” in mind :P)
I’ve heard stories from previous years about conflicts and ineffectiveness in the team, but I’m lucky to say that the team worked like a dream this year.
- How would you improve SCI-Team & SUS relations?
There is no hard feelings between the SCI Team and SUS that I saw explicitly. We are two distinct groups both in terms of structure and mission, and I think we should be synergistic and not competitive. For example, SCI Team and SUS cooperate over peer academic coaching sessions, which was a great success.
One way to strengthen the relationship though, is that we could organize an ice-breaker for the SCI Team to meet with the SUS executives, so that we know who each other are, and potentially generate links for future collaboration.
- What general advise do you have for this dude who wants to start up E-Team?
Engage the SCI Team members who served their full 2 years and are now retiring! They are eager to continue contributing to UBC, and imagine all that time and energy that they would find to spend outside SCI Team!
Also, we’d love to keep in touch with you. Like we said to Erin (the Engineering Student Development Officer), the SCI Team is looking forward to seeing the E Team grow and mature as fast as possible, so that we can have some fun with inter-faculty collaboration!
Further reading: SCI Team organizational structure.