Stage one: Description of the event – I am reflecting on my skills I have developed in my second year of studying Foundation degree Business Management at Wakefield College. Before joining this course I was working part time as a claims handler at Minster Law. I am enjoying my studies and have almost completed my second year. I have attended two business conferences this year. I have worked on my own business plan, taken an exam in Financial Accounting. I have worked on a real work based project for the marketing department of Wakefield College. I have taken part in interviews and interviewed other candidates from our class. I have taken part in debates and group tasks. I have worked on group presentations with other members from the class.
Stage two: Feelings – I was looking forward to my second year as I thoroughly enjoyed my studies in the 1st year. This year I wanted to develop my skills on different modules and wanted to improve on my skills I have learnt to become more effective. I have kept myself motivated as I have aimed for a distinction on my modules.
I was happy working with different people from the group this year which gave me an opportunity to adapt to their learning styles and get to see their ideas and I got the chance to develop on all tasks and improvise on my team working skills. For example I got the opportunity to work with Nick, Liam and Awais on presentations. I got the opportunity to work in a group with a panel of strong students to interview other candidates. I have enjoyed each task.
I get along with everyone in my group and have been able to work with stronger students who have done very well and they have encouraged me motivated me and have appreciated and liked my work. I have developed my creativity skills by sharing my ideas.
I felt nervous when I got my work placement as I have never done any work for a marketing team before. I was excited at the same time but with time I became confident and felt comfortable working on my placement. This was a challenging project as I had to interview students and had to build on my research skills. I was more worried if I would be able to get the results I needed but I felt the project came at ease once I got right into my project. This project was a great experience where I could build on my marketing skills and I loved working on it.
I have been very excited and keen to work on my human resources module. I was looking forward to doing the interviews and it was a different feeling, something I have never done before. It was a fun experience and I believe I learnt a lot about how the interview process works.
Attending the conferences was a new experience which helped engage with different people. This was a challenging task engaging with different people from different organisations. I was nervous on how I would manage this task but after having the icebreaker I was confident on speaking to the next person and it is something that I enjoyed. Some students felt that it was a waste of time attending these conferences but I guess it’s how you look at it and what you want to pick up from it as everyone have a different understanding.
Stage three: Evaluation –
The good experience has been getting to go to the two business conferences, and working in groups it gave us the opportunity to interview different employers and exhibitors as a team. I learnt the importance of networking and building links. I met some entrepreneurs who shared the same interest of setting up their business and this is something I am interested in doing as I want to set up a business in the future. I got to talk to employers about their interests, how they built their career from university, things they look out for, and what development opportunities they provide
I developed my skills on working in different groups and presentations and have become more efficient this year. I am more confident in presenting in front of other members now.
I have communicated with different people from different organisations. For my business plan I communicated with members of staff from my workplace, college and Wakefield council to get my primary research. This year I have met more people from different organisations whether we had speakers come in for our Business Plan module or whether we met and spoke to people at the conferences. I believe you learn a lot from others and by seeing things from others perspective on how they work and have worked on their organisations has been a great experience and I have understood how different organisations work.
For my work placement I interviewed 40 students from Barnsley understanding their perceptions of coming to study at Wakefield College. This helped me develop my confidence and communication skills.
In both my business plan and work placement I faced challenges and I was able to solve the problems and find solutions, for example as I was a student a lot of times I did not get the information I need as people did not take me seriously.
I got the opportunity to work with Stuart and Amir from the marketing department at Wakefield College, which has boosted my confidence and motivated me as I was aiming to get a good reference from them as this will look good on my cv. I also wanted to develop my learning and understanding of marketing.
I feel I am proving on my own skills and qualities. I have enjoyed working on all assignments.
Most of the assignments for this year have been working on your own initiative and I have adapted to every different learning style and improvised my learning from last year. The bad experience has been when certain group members have not attended the lectures, which has caused a delay in getting tasks done. However this gave the opportunity to step in and I have completed the tasks. I have helped other students on any tasks they have had problems understanding and offered support and motivated them to get their assignments completed.
Stage four: Analysis –
I loved the business planning module. For my business plan I worked on a business idea that I want to start up myself in the future. It was a great opportunity to get feedback and learn about different organisations from different speakers we had. I got a distinction on this assignment. My pitch for my business plan was more effective from my pitch to last year for my marketing module. I used my learning from my previous modules that helped me get a distinction on this assignment. I believe marketing is my strength and enjoy marketing.
All my learning from previous modules has helped me become more efficient on all modules this year as I knew what I had to, which resources I need to do and how to manage my tasks.
I did a presentation with Nick for the first time for Work in Context. This was a great opportunity to work with Nick as we shared our ideas and approaches on the presentation and we gave each other recommendations for our work placements
I have really enjoyed conducting the interviews which was a first time experience. This was a fun experience and I was able to observe the candidates behaviour and understood the recruitment and interview process.
I have learnt how to do Gant charts in my project management module, which is an easier way to boil down all the tasks onto one document. This can help me manage my tasks in future, as I have learnt a new way to organise my work.
I have given recommendations to other group members in their business plans for example I gave Misbah the idea of doing pizza on the go subway style for her business plan. I gave sham the business idea of printing canvasses or text on t shirts and other items. I have given recommendations to Nick for his Work in Context project.
The challenges I have faced has been when you are doing your research and want people to take you seriously and give you information you need but they don’t provide you with the information as they take you as a student so this can sometimes be a barrier on getting the results we need.
In year 1 I faced that students were not completing their group tasks. I encountered same problem this year. I discussed my concerns with my tutor, but as last year I just completed the work that needed to be done, as I don’t want this to affect my grade. I want to do well.
Stage five: Conclusion –
In total there are 4 assignments left and I have already completed 2. Now I can focus on the remaining 2 assignments. I want to give and do my best and get feedback.
As I have completed my two assignments, two months before deadline. I have encouraged and motivated other group members to work on their assignments. I have been having weekly review meetings with Amir and Stuart. I have been showing my work to my tutor and asking for feedbacks
This year I believe the level has increased in doing research, I have used different methods, and spoken to different people from different organisations. I have got questionnaires filled out from all kinds of ages from students to elderly people. I have found good sources myself. For example I found a good source that provided a good quote for transport facility for Wakefield College. I was looking for a reliable good company and I found out that this same organisation also provided transport to Barnsley College who are competitors for Wakefield College.
For my work placement, I would have loved to get focus groups set up with schools so I could interact more with the students. I would have made some videos and taken pictures of students participation which I could not do as I did not get response back from the schools. I believe this is something I could have done differently.
For my business plan, I wanted to work on event management too as I had two ideas to work on. It would have been interesting to see how I would develop my business plan on this idea. This is something I could have done differently. Both the cake business and event management is something I want to set up in the future.
I would like to develop my research skills as I believe there is always scope to learn more. I would like to know what other ways or means there are to get the information you need.
Stage six: Action plan
I have been to Open Days to decide which university I will be going to, to complete my third year. I have asked different universities about their course structure for the final year. I have got information on how each module would be assessed. Throughout first and second year at Wakefield College, I have worked on presentations, group tasks, debates, assignments and have taken one exam. I have found out for the final year there is more essay writing and possibility of more exams. As I don’t have much experience in this I want to improve and develop my skills on how to do exams and on essay writing. I want to improve my academic writing and referencing skills.
I have enjoyed my project management module and would like to develop my learning on this module, and how to adapt to theories and models for this module.