Learning from the meetings:
For the preparation of research and analysis project I was required to hold three meeting sessions with my mentor. For the preparation of this project I had to manage my time effectively. The two major components of time management are practice and purpose. The practice component refers to what you do with the minutes of your day. The purpose component refers to finding and knowing your purpose in life. When you manage your time, the minutes of your life, and it falls in alignment with your purpose of your life, you have a fantastic chain reaction. The best way to accomplish a major goal is to break it down into smaller pieces. The old saying, "How do you eat an elephant? . . . One bite at a time." The same is true with major goals. (Gregory P. Smith)
Before the start of first meeting with my mentor I planned the agenda of first meeting for effective utilization of time and with the help of this approach I gained maximum benefit from the meeting. My mentor told me the overall approach for performing the research and analysis. I was able to decide the topic, sector and company on which I will prepare the project with the help of my mentor. In this meeting he also told me the importance of information gathering and research questions. I also worked out the aims and objectives of my research and analysis.
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I was required to make a draft report of my research and analysis by the time of my second meeting with my mentor. By the time of my second meeting with my mentor I had finished the research and analysis work in time. On the day of my second meeting with my mentor I presented the draft report of my project to my mentor. My mentor checked the draft report. He was satisfied with my overall approach for research and analysis. There were some issues relating to the word count and formatting of the report. With the help of my mentor I was successfully able to resolve these issues.
My third meeting with my mentor was a presentation session. In this meeting session I delivered a 15 minutes presentation on the research and analysis and my understanding on the business and financial performance of the company over the period of time. My mentor was satisfied with my understanding of the business and financial analysis of the company in this session. He was also satisfied with my presentation skills in this session. Before the presentation I was quite nervous, but my prior planning and practice gave me the confidence that I needed. When the presentation process was at its middle stage I was distracted from my path when my mentor asked a question about the basis of model application that I used in my project. I became a little nervous at that time but after a moment I replied with the best of my knowledge. The positive factors about my presentation were that I arranged the things in chronological order which helped the audience to understand what I was saying; the graphical techniques helped me to keep the flow and interest of my audience. My mentor seemed to be satisfied with my performance in this session. During this session I was able to successfully answer the questions I was asked broadly. I also gained a lot of confidence because of this session.
HOW WELL I ANSWERED MY RESEARCH QUESTIONS:
Once you've chosen a dissertation topic, you are ready to move on the second step-developing a dissertation research question. The development of your dissertation question is important, as it will have a direct impact on other areas and phases of your dissertation. Your dissertation research question will help you decide what theoretical framework to rely on in your dissertation. (Trinity Western University)
After the framing of research questions I started my research and analysis for answering the identified questions. During this process I learnt to manage my time as I had to manage my time for completing the project. During this process there was also an improvement in my communication and interpersonal skills as I interacted the executive management of the company and other persons during the interview sessions. While working on this project I also learnt the importance of primary and secondary sources of information. During this process I ensured the relevance and reliability of the information.
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For the research, I used methods like interviews with couple of key personnel of FCCL, using internet for different articles, discussion with mentor, reading newspaper and books for relevant stuff; so I was able to get an idea of all aspects of topic. I got relevant, reliable and useful information which was crucial for answering the research questions.
I performed the business and financial analysis of the company with the help of different accounting and business techniques. I will perform the financial analysis of the company with the help of financial ratios as ratio analysis is one of the most important tool for this purpose. I analyzed the trend of the profitability, liquidity and solvency of the company over the period of time and the factors which had an impact on the profitability, liquidity and solvency of the company.
I analyzed the business performance of the company with the help of SWOT analysis. I identified the internal strengths and weaknesses of the company. I also identified the external opportunities and threats of the company in current situation. I identified that with the help of its strengths company can grasp the opportunities present in the external environment of the company. I also identified the impact of the internal weaknesses and threats on the business performance.
I also analyzed the impact of political, economic, social and technological factors on the business performance of the company. I identified the impact of present political situation on the performance of the company. I also analyzed that the impact of tight monetary policy on the finance costs of the company. I also identified the impact of increase in the gross domestic on the sales of the company. I also identified the impact of technological changes on the performance of the company.
I did communication with different people for data collection, which included both verbal and non-verbal aspects. I used MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint for my research and analysis project.
DEMONSTRATION OF INTERPERSONAL AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS:
While working on this project there was gradual improvement in my communication and interpersonal skills. Three types of skills are important for a communication process to be successful and help in improvement of interpersonal skills:
Assertion skills enable you to maintain respect, satisfy your needs, and defend your rights without dominating, manipulating, abusing, or controlling others. Listening skills enable you to understand what another person is saying. They include new ways of responding so that the other person feels his problems and feelings have been understood. Conflict-resolution skills enable you to resolve or manage conflicts effectively and are explained in more detail in the supplementary notes. (Prentice Hall)
While gathering the information for performing the business and financial analysis of the company I had interview sessions with different persons. I also had meetings with my mentor during this process. As I interacted with different persons I learnt to communicate with these persons. I had meeting session with the executive management of the company in which I learnt to communicate with the executive management. My mentor also told me the techniques and ways to improve my communication and interpersonal skills.
While gathering the information I also noticed the importance of asking effective and objective questions for a communication process to be successful. “An interesting thing I learned was to ask open-ended questions, rather than a ‘yes' or ‘no' (closed-ended) questions because you don't really learn that much if you ask yes or no questions... if you say “Does that make you feel bad?” you'll get “yes”, but if you ask “How does that make you feel when your family has that attitude?.” It opens up the dialogue. I thought that was very important.” (Carol Garcia) With help of asking open ended questions I was able to gain allot of benefit from my interview sessions.
I also noticed the importance of effective listening in a communication process. During my meeting and interview session I gave my attention to listening. I attentively listened to the person in front of me while he/she was speaking. I never interrupted my mentor or the interviewee while he was speaking. If I had any question in my mind while the person in front of me was speaking I was used to note this question and ask it once the person had finished. With the help of effective listening I was able to gain the maximum benefit from my interview sessions and meetings with my mentor.
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Furthermore, in the end of my all three meetings my mentor gave me a feedback about the meeting. I always noted the areas where I needed to improve.
I took a good care of my voice tone and speech pace while communicating with him. During the physical meeting I always tried to maintain a reasonable and good eye contact since making eye contact is important for building rapport.
There was also an improvement in my communication and interpersonal skill during the third meeting session with my mentor. During this session I delivered a presentation with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint. In this session I confidently answered the question I was asked about the business and financial performance of the company. My mentor also told me some points to improve my presentations skills in this session.
HOW HAS UNDERTAKING THE PROJECT HELPED MY ACCOUNTANCY STUDIES OR CURRENT EMPLOYMENT ROLE?
As I worked on this project there was an improvement in my communication and interpersonal skills. There was also an improvement in my analytical, interactive and information skills. In my opinion these skills will be very helpful in my academic and professional life and will help me to make progress.
My research skills improved during information-gathering phase and I learnt how to collect useful relevant and reliable data. As I gathered information while preparing the project I interacted with different persons. I also had interview and meeting sessions with different persons in this process. Because of these interviews, meetings and interactions there was an improvement in my communication and interpersonal skills. There was also an improvement in my presentation skill because of third meeting with my mentor. During this process my mentor played a vital role in the improvement of my communication and interpersonal skills.
While working on this project there was an improvement in my information technology skills and during this project my information technology know how increased. While working on this project there was an improvement in skill of using Microsoft-Office. I learnt how to prepare a report in Microsoft-Word, how to use formulae in Microsoft-Excel and preparation of charts and graphs. I also learnt to prepare and deliver presentation with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint during this process.
Preparation of research and analysis project for obtaining BSc Honors degree provided me an opportunity to work on the audited financial statements of the company. As a result of working on the financial statements of the company I became aware of the importance of the financial statements in performing the financial analysis of the company. While working on this project I also learnt the practical implementation of financial ratios for performing the financial analysis of a company. While working on this project I also learnt the practical implementation of SWOT and PEST analysis for analyzing the business performance of the company over the period of time. I also learnt the practical limitations of these tools and techniques for performing the business and financial analysis of the company.