This is a scheme I made, which represents my experience in the team with the Gibbs Reflective Cycle model. In the beginning, when the girls told me about their idea with the Henna Stall, I was very pessimistic and I couldn’t see how I can be part of that. I felt unsure if this is a good idea or not, if this will help us to raise enough money and if the people will actually be interested in what we’re doing, but I decided to give them a chance to try it and at the end it was a big success and we raised a considerable amount of money, which helped us to be on 5th place, which I perceive as a big success. Although I didn’t participated as much as I wanted to in the Henna Stall, I learned a lot of things and communicated with a lot of people, which I believe would not have happened if there wasn’t this challenge. Being in a team is all about compromise and consideration of the others’ opinion. You can’t be egoistic or selfish, while working with others and while others depend on you and you can’t be always the leading figure, because you can’t develop if you’re only talking, but not listening. Overall, I’m glad with my role in our team, but maybe I should have been more active with giving and realizing ideas. For the next time, if I was to do this again, I would try to be more engaged and I would try to do more things, which will be in favor for the team.
“Finally here’s a nice way to end: the ‘circle of appreciation’… go round the circle with each team member in turn telling each of the others one or two things that he or she has appreciated about the contribution he or she has made to the work of the team. This is a moment of positives: it would be extraordinary if you were unable to find at least one positive thing to say about everyone” (Levin, P., 2004) And this is a thing we actually did and I believe that it is very important to tell the people in your team that you are grateful for working with them, because everybody loves to feel appreciated and it’s much more likely to do a good job, when you are supporting each other, the way it was in our team. I think that the most important thing for me was to be in a good relationship with the people from my team after the challenge and I achieved it and I choose to keep only the positive moments and feelings from the whole process.
1.0 PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANNING
“Skills development is the process of (1) identifying your skill gaps, and (2) developing and honing these skills. It is important because your skills determine your ability to execute your plans with success.” (personalexellence) Without planning your personal development you won’t be able to follow your improvement and you won’t be able to tell the difference from now and for example a year ago. Every person, who wants to develop himself should plan his personal development, because one year is not long time, but it’s not short either and to keep track of your progress will guide you through your personal improvement, which I believe is the key to success.
1.1 OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN AND DEVELOP WHILST AT UNI
Whilst at University you can seize some great opportunities, which you can’t find nowhere else. To begin with the support, provided by our module leaders and tutors is something huge to appreciate, because they are always at disposal and are ready to assist or help. Excluding them, there are also a lot of others opportunities, which every student can engage with in order to improve his skills and develop his knowledge.
One of the things that I’m definitely putting my mind to is the placement year, which I can take whilst studying at my university. I think that would be a great chance for me to decide what the best work field for me is and what I’m most passionate about. For example if I take a placement as a Business Development Manager for a year – that’s enough time to make sure if this is working for me or it isn’t and if it is – that’s great, I can focus on the subjects linked with that profession, I even can have a secure work place if they like me, if it isn’t – also great, because in that way getting back to university I will have much more clear goals and ideas how would I want to build my career and what exactly would it be. That’s a lifetime chance, which nobody should miss, because you cannot repeat this year of experiencing and learning so many stuff and at the same time it’s a year full of life changing decisions.
1.2.2 LANGUAGE BARRIER
As much as these skills I discussed in Part A are important and vital for my academic study and further development, there are many more, on which I have to work, in order to be a good student and valuable employee. One of the things I should work on is definitely the language, because I see that it’s stopping me from being fully engaged and dedicated to the university. I can say that my level of understanding is pretty good, but when I should speak you can spot clearly the language barrier. Because English is not my first language I should work twice as hard as the native students and that is not bothering me, but I should put way more effort in order to not fall behind with the material, which is linked with the time-management. If I don’t manage my time properly and if I don’t make time for improving my language skills, I will stay on the same level and this would not help me if I want to develop – not only in the university, but also in my future work environment. “Entry into a good organisation requires excellent communication skills. The primary element in the skills of management is competence in communication. It is the tool with which we exercise influence on others, bring about changes in the attitudes and views of our associates, motivate them and establish and maintain relations with them.” (Rai, Urmila, 2009) What I’m doing right now in order to improve my communication skills is reading my favorite books in English and talking with natives as much as I can and I consider that as an opportunity that my university provides, because there are always people from the staff, which are at our disposal and ready to interact with us. I started working part-time and I’m constantly talking on the phone with my managers, which has a big impact on my skills development so far. In the beginning I was really afraid to talk on the phone, because in person when I forget curtain word I can use gestures or I can show what I mean, but on the phone I can use only my knowledge to paraphrase the sentences, which makes it much more harder. The first two or three times are the most tense, but after that it’s getting easier and easier. Now I can speak almost fluent, but I still have so much to work on and engaging with the opportunities, which my university provides, will be only in my favor.
The main conclusion of my report that can be drawn is that it is extremely important to engage with as much as possible opportunities during your academic years and to keep track of your skills development, in order to be aware of your improvement and the lack you need to fill in.