Two students (who also happen to be my friends) and I were assigned a fairly difficult (I spent over 40 hours on it) group project. It felt like they didn't care about the project, and if you looked at our group chat, it is basically me listing out a bunch of tasks required, asking them if they can do some of it, them saying something like "ok i'll look into it," and then never replying for days. Eventually, I will come back with screenshots of some of the tasks I have completed by myself and them replying with "wow nice job." This goes on for 10 weeks. I have learned my lesson now because in retrospect, I really should have told my professor about this way earlier because by the end of it, I realized they never bothered to even look at the project. The due date for the project has already passed but the final product was obviously mediocre.

The professor in charge of the project has expressed his interest in hiring 1 or 2 of us to continue to work on it, and now they're both suddenly interested in the project. They will be contacting him shortly about the opportunity (it's a paid position at the university).

I wasn't really too bothered about them getting the same mark as me despite making next to zero effort in the project, but the fact that they want to now take a job that they don't really deserve grinds my gears.

How do I tell this professor that I was the one who did all the work without coming off as tacky and desperate (I have evidence from chat logs, and our document history)? I know I'm also at fault here for not expressing my frustrations earlier, which is why I am so hesitant, but I believe this is becoming really unfair. I am also hesitant on ratting them out because I have known these people for quite a while and I consider them my friends.

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    I seem to have read a very similar story before.... However, here is but one result found on here among many relevant : academia.stackexchange.com/q/91526/72855
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 27, 2018 at 6:59
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    From my experience, honesty is your best choice. It can come of as tacky anddesperate, but most professors are human beings too and might have experienced a similar situation. Oct 27, 2018 at 7:49
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    Are you interested in the job?
    – Dawn
    Oct 27, 2018 at 13:49
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    I think you should consider telling the professor exactly what you've told us here. As you've already acknowledged, it would have been better to tell the professor about the problem as soon as it became apparent, but even now it would be good for him to know --- both in connection with the current hiring situation and in connection with his future classes. Oct 27, 2018 at 21:26

1 Answer 1


If you aren't interested in the job being offered, I'd just let this go. As far as the course project/grade is concerned, that issue is past. The project was a group project and was submitted as such. I assume the professor allowed you to organize the group as you saw fit, which resulted in your doing all of the work. I think that is poor practice for the professor. But the ship has sailed. You also had other options at the time for project organization or complaint that you didn't use. Yes, I see that you recognize that.

But if you don't want/need the job you have little to gain by keeping your "friends" from taking it.

If you do want it, however, you should visit the prof during office hours (no email for this sort of thing) and explain that the work was yours. He/she can probably verify this easily by asking you a few questions about it without the need for screen shots etc. I doubt that you would suffer by sticking to the truth, though your friends may resent it and you will need to explain why you treated it as a personal project rather than a group project. Yes, I understand the drivers that cause that, of course, which is why I don't care for the professor's willingness to let it happen.

But also consider the fact that if he hires you and one of your friends you will be back in the same situation again, working with an unproductive partner. That might not be a good outcome for you in any case.

Note: If a professor wants a "group" to create something he/she needs to also teach how to go about that. Letting inexperienced groups self-organize seldom results in a good outcome.

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