Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Team Projects in My "Spanish and Entrepreneurship" Class

by Ann Abbott

Today was dedicated to ensuring that all my Spanish community service learning students (~50) were signed up and set up for their work with a community partner. It's so nice to see that students have taken advantage of many, though not all, of the various organizations available to them. Click here to see the list of community partners. I was especially excited when I heard from a student that he would like to work with the Latino Boy Scouts because I haven't had a student there for quite some time.

Now I have turned my attention to the team projects in my 300-level course--Spanish & Entrepreneurship: Language, Cultures & Communities.

Each project allows students to develop teamwork skills and apply the entrepreneurial concepts we learn during the course. Take a look at all the projects that are available to them.

And here is the email I sent to students:

Dear SPAN 332 students,

Now that everyone has signed up for a community partner, there is something new you must sign up for: your team project.

Then, be thoughtful about which project you sign up for.
·         What skills would you like to develop?  For example, if you would like to work on your public speaking, sign up for Project #4. If you would like to be able to put on your resume that you have experience with grant-writing (that would look great on resumes in certain fields!), sign up for Project #5.
·         What talents/skills do you already possess that you can utilize? If you have done lots of fundraisers for your RSO or sorority/fraternity, put your name under Project #6. If you have taken classes in marketing, join any of the social media marketing projects (#1, #2, #3).
·         What’s your personality? If you’re highly social, choose a project that involves speaking and interacting with others. If you like to research, why not research grant opportunities?
·         What’s your life like? Do you need to get things done early this semester because you know you have tons of projects and exams due in May? Sign up for #4. Do you like to spread out your work at slower, more steady pace? Do the weekly social media marketing.

When we meet for class on Thursday, Cheelan Bolin will give us a class on teams and teamwork. (She gives a longer version of this class to MBA students, so she really knows what she is doing.) She wants everyone to know what team they are working on before the start of class (1:00) on Thursday.

As always, if you have any questions or problems, just ask me. This is the last thing you have to sign up for! Things will be smooth—and fun—the rest the semester.

Ann Abbott, Director of Undergraduate Studies
Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese; University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Office hours for Spring 2015: 2:00 T/R in 4006 FLB 217-333-6714


  1. Hi Ann, I love how you connect to your students "personal objectives" & individual talents when you suggest to them which project to sign up for. They look like very exciting projects. I hope they all enjoy them!

  2. Gracias, Carolina. Today we had a workshop from a guest speaker (Cheelan Bo-Linn) on successful teams. It was great information! Teamwork is a skill they really need to master for the work world.
    I hope all is going well for you!