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- Resubmission Statement
Experience is a great teacher, the Skill and Learning Statement provided me a chance to elucidate the experiences that I gained during the research work.
1. Reflect on what you have learnt from the meetings with your project mentor, including the presentation that you have to your project mentor?
The first meeting enabled me to choose the relevant topic, company, objectives and research questions, though I read the OBU info-Pack and did preliminary work still I was confused between topic 1, 8 and 15, by discussing these with my mentor I realised my strengths and weaknesses relating to the topic selection and got clear understating about my project title and company.
As I was going to start my research report for the first time, hence having no expertise in procedure of relevant data gathering and how to avoid plagiarism, techniques to analyse the data and not knowing helpful resources, my mentor discussed these things with me, hence my way of thinking totally changed after this meeting and was able to reflect these in my research report in right direction.
Later on, my mentor concluded by giving me some objectives and I discovered that my objectives were too many and learnt that it should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Reliable and Timely). After this I was evidently clear in my mind as to what I needed to do and what my motive was behind conducting such analysis.
As a whole, I learned how to collect data and I have understood the overall approach, structure and sufficient resources/techniques to undertake research work properly and in the right direction. I also learned to take short notes otherwise there may be some things which may be missed.
I shared my research report with my mentor, firstly he appraised my hard work on spreadsheets and research report which gave me confidence but there were still many things required to be learnt i.e. reducing some extra explanations of ratios in order to save words for remaining part. Secondly, my report has tables but there were no graphs and I learnt that necessary information can be seen at a glance through graphs, and analysis become more understandable by using graphs. Further, it helped me make competitor analysis easy and also aided in word count limitation.
In my research report, there were some areas lacking references i.e. GP ratio, SWOT analysis, he asked me to provide references and told me that the crux of analysis is justification, not just commentary and to select reliable resources only for information gathering. From this, I understood the real meaning of analysis and evaluation.
My pace towards completion of the project was too slow. Bringing it under discussion with my mentor enabled me to get away from the deterrents i.e. unauthentic resources should not be studied etc.
In this meeting, I learnt advanced knowledge and became familiar with those weaknesses which I had not recognised before and also was able to overcome to quite an extent about how to conclude things in a better way and how to make them more understandable.
Mentor meeting third
This meeting was an opportunity for me to show my key findings and quality of research report in the form of presentation which resulted in a significant development of my interpersonal and communication skills. I was told that I should keep eye contact and a well-adjusted body language during my presentation. I shared my drafts with my mentor which I made on Power point.
In the beginning of presentation, I was a bit uneasy but as I progressed, I was able to get rid of hesitation. In the end, I felt that audience were getting less attentive. To boost their interest, I made variation in my tone and changed body language which brought fruitful result i.e. applauding after presentation gave me a new spark of confidence. From this, I learnt that without these interpersonal and communication skills, it is impossible to get the attention of the audience and to communicate effectively even though we have a plenty of knowledge. This presentation also enabled me to identify the weaknesses on my own and if I have a chance to give presentation again it would be more creative and productive.
In query session, though I answered well of unexpected questions because of extensive research on sector and company but still I learnt that proper listening is crucial to answer properly and to satisfy the audience.
Finally, my mentor reviewed the research report and expressed his satisfaction and suggested some improvements that I later made in my project.
Though this analysis is, to hold candle to the sun considering the Size of the Pakistan State Oil limited as I have applied small number of techniques but as concern for my objectives, I am confident about the tremendous achievement of my project objectives, irrespective of word limitation of the project and my first experience of such kind.
Appraisal of company’s financial and Business performance required me to apply all techniques learnt during my studies and Internship, which enabled me to feel confident about my ability to apply knowledge in a practical way. The study of Annual reports give me the better understanding of the companies and comprehensive study of market data enabled me to do detailed analysis and evaluation of financial performance of the companies over the three year period. For this I used ratio analysis techniques and with the help of spreadsheets I was able to do horizontal analysis and ratio analysis which marks fruitful result in determining the major fluctuations. I used those famous ratios which every researcher must incorporates as part of their analysis as without these specific ratios financial analysis has no meaning and for business analysis there were many models i.e. BCG, ANSOF, PESTEL, SWOT, Porter Five Forces but I used those models specific to my Topic and Objectives. SWOT analysis and Porter Five Forces analysis model were performed comprehensively and completely. These Techniques gave me plenty of facts about PSO’s business and financial performance that gave me best answers of my all research questions which I have set in the beginning.
Moreover, my objective relevant to Ameliorate IT, communication and interpersonal skills was also achieved more than expected as I used for the first time on line research, Harvard Referencing Style, Microsoft Power point and giving presentation helped in achieving the objectives and also resulted in substantial improvement in my IT, Communication and interpersonal skills.
Despite the fact of my satisfaction with the achievement of project objectives, still I contemplate that analysis and evaluation could be exceptional as I could use more ratios and comparator companies if there was no word limit and I have access to primary sources with sufficient time availability. Still I am fully confident that I have attained the objectives of my research work.
I think I have successfully responded all the relevant questions that might be asked of me after completion of this RAP. I got this feeling because of my mentor and other panel members as well.
Knowing the importance of Interpersonal and communication skills I tried my best to present these skills during the whole project.
Before the meetings, I wrote relevant questions on my personal diary so that no important question should be missed and get rid of irrelevant questions and to save time. If I cloud not get the desired understanding then I repeat the question and didn’t hesitate and pay attention to his verbal and non-verbal communication as good listening leads to better understanding. I wrote my Research Report in simple words, avoided the use of jargons and provided headings and sub headings, so that non- professional persons can also be able to understand easily. I used different coloured tables and charts to make information further clear and understandable and interesting. I provided references in the research report in ordered to acknowledge the work of others, show my interpretations skills and avoid plagiarism. To make my report error free I reviewed many times in order to get no chances of error.
The meetings with my mentor aided me a lot in demonstration of skills, before meetings I consider his schedule of work then I text him so that it shouldn’t be inconvenience for both of us and kept positive attitude throughout the project work.
During the project work IT skills are also used as I used conditional formatting in spreadsheets and use of short keys which saved my time and also improved my efficiency. In the preparation of slides I used Microsoft Power Point keeping in mind that the required information in slides should not be extreme so that audience can retain key findings.
Although I hesitated in the start of presentation but also demonstrated my interpersonal and communication skills by keeping the pace of presentation to an acceptable level, taking pauses where I feel necessary and completed my presentation in fifteen minutes.
Identifying my shortcomings and learnt from my presentation experience I am confident that I am able to learn new things in a practical manner and if I have a chance to give presentation again it would be more resourceful and productive.
To sum up I leave no stone unturned in demonstration of interpersonal and communication skills as mentioned above and learnt many things regarding interpersonal and communication skills but still I feel that it is ongoing process and should keep continuous professional development.
4. Reflect on how undertaking the RAP helped you in your accountancy Studies and/or current employment role?
First of all, apart from the SWOT analysis of the company, this Research and Analysis Project also helped me to determine my own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats which I didn’t consider before the project. I determined many weakness in myself besides having good qualification and this project enabled me to overcome on those weaknesses. Which will be certainly pay off in current employment role and further studies.
Interpersonal and Communication Skills
Undertaking the RAP, helped me how to set agendas, arrange formal meetings and I got a good exposure of how to give presentation in an effective way. Furthermore, learnt to conclude things categorically.
I am audit trainee in a chartered accountant firm and analysing the data has invigorated my ability to think in diversity and enabled me how to verify variations in ratios from secondary sources rather than considering the reasons given by the client during the annual audit work. This will help me in my analytical skills and also improves my competency and due care regarding the audit work.
The word limitation in the Research report, helped me to write precisely, relevant and improved my report writing skills this will aid me in future when it comes to condensing data and selecting pieces relevant to my work. Further this project brought notable change in my learning style, as my internet surfing skills enhanced, this would help me to a very great degree in my future accountancy studies and professional career.
Nowadays, IT are vital for professional accountants. This project provided me an opportunity to enhance and develop these skills which are help full in my current employment role and future studies and brought the importance of Continues Professional Development which is vital to move successfully in the professional career.
Planning, decision making & Time management:
In addition to all the foregoing, my planning, decision making and time management skills refined by undertaking this project. This project educated me how to remain on track within the time constraints.
To conclude, this project brought a significant enhancement in my thinking, writing, evaluating, IT and interpersonal and communications skills which marks improvement in every aspect of my life.