The NTMN Guide

“Accidentally” MBA: How to Successfully Free-ride B-School Group Projects

Free-rider (or Freeloader), as defined on Urban Dictionary: Has an I. T. degree but has never written a line of code in his entire life. He says he wants to learn but in reality is not interested. (…) When trying to explain a concept to him, he stares at you and repeats “exactly… exactly” many times. This is a giveaway meaning he understood nothing.

• Remember, great freeriders are never accused of being freeriders. If somebody starts accusing you of being one, eventually your luck will run out and unfortunately, you would have to start working.
• Whenever you get a chance, accuse others of freeriding. This creates a false impression that you are working hard.
• Freeriders need to have great interpersonal skills and brilliant communication skills. It also completely kills their ego. So don’t be embarrassed: Freeriding helps you improve your personality.
Trust your teammates. This is the most important ingredient in forming any team. Trust them to do good quality work which would ensure good internal marks even for you. Without trust, you will have the unnecessary urge of cross-checking, revising the work which would lead to waste of your valuable energy and resources.

The NTMN Guide: Here are a few titbits on how to successfully freeride an entire term. Make sure you follow these same steps every term, but on different people.

1. Be present on the first day of the class. This is the day the groups are formed. Be at least 5 minutes early to the class.

2. Sit right next to the most studious girl in the class. Yes, a girl and only a girl—because even if she finds out your ulterior motives, she would spare your mother and sisters and also be sensitive enough not to insult you in front of other girls.

3. Indulge in a conversation before the class on the lines of how important the subject is and how much you want to study the subject. This will create an impression that you are really looking forward to study the subject.

4. In the most ideal situation, let the sub-groups be such that you are the only one who is very comfortable talking to all people in the group. This will effectively make you the CEO of the group. And as you know, in a team, the CEO works the least.

5. If you are able to find a group where a geeky guy wants to impress a geeky girl, boss, you just won a lottery! NEVER leave such a group (Should I explain more :-)). Unfortunately, it is easier said than done. This is precisely the reason one should be aware about all the gossip going around in class. Hence, freeriding also improves your general knowledge.

6. Start a chain mail 4–5 days before the final deadline, asking the group to start contributing on the topic. Trust me, nobody is going to reply to the mail for the next 2 days. At the end of the two days, send a mail abusing the entire group of lack of seriousness and free riding.

7. If your image has taken slight hit (because of earlier freeriding), Google the topic and copy-paste the first two links into a mail and send it. Nobody is going to bother to check the source, and would feel you are really doing some work.

8. Ego-massage the hardest working person in the group. Generally, this is the breed of people (commonly known as geeks, but I won’t insult them) who need an outlet to talk. Be that outlet. Tell them how you are the only one working on the project in the other subject’s group. Show concern, tell them how much you want to help them but how helpless you are because of the useless group you have in the other subject.

9. Don’t worry, they don’t really need your help. But please ensure you offer help.

10. Do not be too active on Facebook, Gmail, etc. as the submission deadline looms large. And if you happen to meet a member, continue to bitch about others in the group.

About the author

Mayank Lodha

Hello Everyone
I am Mayank Lodha,currently pursuing a Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) from IIM Lucknow.For me,writing has evolved from being a hobby to a passion over the years,and I enjoy every bit of opportunity that comes my way.My key area of focus when it comes to satire is Bollywood and the student community.Hope you have fun reading my posts.

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