Carnegie Mellon University
July 30, 2020

Project Teams Thrive During Pandemic

By Jen Potter

Our students demonstrate ingenuity and flexibility in the face of adversity. When asked about their time in the program, many alumni fondly reflect back on the long arduous hours spent in "the Cave" working with their teammates on the capstone Studio Project. This shared experience provides students with a real-world project, and lasting professional and social networks with their colleagues. 

Starting in March, Pennsylvania and Allegheny County policies prevented meeting on-campus. Thus, studio teams have had to find creative ways to work together. Daniel Biales (MSE '20) shares how his Studio team is adapting to life outside the Cave.

“I think being 100% online has actually been good for my team. At the start of the project we were having trouble finding a time when everybody could be in the cave at the same time. But now that we’re all online, nobody has to be physically anywhere. They can hop on a call wherever they are.

One of the things my team has recently implemented is a virtual office. It’s basically a continual meeting that we can join when we are working on tasks for the project. It's a way to be around if another member of the team has a question. Since we’re not on campus, we don’t have the experience of walking down the hall, running into a team member, and saying, ‘Oh, hey. I was working on this, do you know how that works?’

Being online is working out pretty well for us.”