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A professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When class began, wordlessly he picked up a large empty jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks right to the top; rocks were of about 2" diameter. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them in to the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled down into the voids between the rocks. The students laughed. He asked his students again if the jar was full? They agreed that yes, it was. The professor then picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. "Now," said the professor, "I want you to recognize that this is your life. The rocks are the important things - your family, your partner, your health, and your children -anything that is so important to you that if it were lost, you would be nearly destroyed.
The pebbles are the other things in life that matter, but on a smaller scale. The pebbles represent things like your job, house, or car.
The sand is everything else, the "small stuff."
"If you put the sand or the pebbles into the jar first, there is no room for the rocks.
The same goes for your life. If you spend all your energy and time on the small stuff, material things, you will never have room for the things that are truly most important.
Pay attention to the things that are Important in your life and spend time on the Important. Some more important takings are
- Spend time with your Family.
- Spend time with your People.
- Spend time for your Customers.
- Take your partner out once a while.
- Take time to renew yourself.
- Find time for maintenance.
- Spend time on Preventing than on Solving Problems
----- Take care of the rocks first - the things that really matter.----
Set your priorities, the rest is just pebbles and sand.
Believe in yourself, know what you want, and make it happen (Shabbar Suterwala. 2006). After finishing the school studies (SSC) I choose commerce for my HSC (Higher secondary certificate) because I had a vested interest in commerce and learning about business. While doing my class twelve itself I was thinking about doing MBA and started laying foundation for the same and this is was my first attempt to fill the jar with "rocks". Soon after my higher secondary certificate I took admission for bachelor of commerce because most of the subjects studied in Master of Business Administration are being covered in BCOM. The commerce studies did helped me to give a deep insight of the subject which I always have had opted to specialize later stage of my life. I learnt the subjects like marketing, accountancy, management, economics, business laws etc. I also took up playing chess whilst in my honours. I was elected as an University representative of my college team. I have participated in National Cadet Corps(NCC). In NCC I received basic Indian military training and was also engaged in mentoring the junior cadets of the battalion to help them develop national character, discipline, leadership, spirit or adventure and motivation. Whilst in NCC I appeared the Annual Training Camp (ATC) and National Integration Camp(NIC). Annual Training Camp is of about ten to twelve days wherein I cultured basics of NCC, viz, its aim and the activities that take place. NIC is conducted on all India bases and mainly targets to bridge the cultural gap amongst various states of India.
Chapter 1: My Decision to choose MBA
So what next? Where and when to pursue your MBA? A supposedly good question I then thought to myself. An apparent answer to 'where to pursue MBA', I started doing the research for the business schools in India. I concluded MBA in India is not miscellaneous as compared to the MBA courses in US, UK, Canada because in the today's era working in corporate world cannot be categorised in any specific work culture or panache. Current business world is unity in diversity, in order to exert in this diverse culture I chose overseas education, which does not restrict the students' exposure. Secondly these Universities admit students from all over the world. I could get the global exposure so as to become the leader of the future, opting for foreign Universities was the only option left for me. After graduation I enrolled for the Post Graduate Diploma in Banking Operations(PGDBO) in this course it was dedicated for the overview of the banking industry and the products offered by banking, financial services which leads to understand the concept of money and banking as well as various functions of Reserve Bank of India, impact of globalization on the banking. PGDBO led to development of professional and behavioural skills, Financial accounts and maths, Professional skill-grooming, effective business communication. Regulator environment, customer service skills and retail banking- product and processes were the other subjects covered in this course.
Until date it was decided; I am going to pursue my MBA in overseas University. The biggest obstacle for me to get into any good University was, a minimum three years of work experience required and which I did not possess at that point of time. Consequently after bachelors of commerce and PGDBO, I joined ICICI Bank India Private limited as an officer so as to get practical work experience. I started working in ICICI Bank International Banking Group (IBG), remittances department. ICICI Bank is India's largest private sector bank and second largest bank after State Bank of India. ICICI bank was the place wherein I could learn all about operations and compliances in international banking. In compliances I got the opportunities to learn about (Banking regulations act. Sarbanes and Oxley act, Reporting of Reserve bank of India) whereas in operation I learnt working in teams, coordinating with other teams, giving training to new recruits and guests, keeping track of the work of subordinates, preparing productivity sheets. While continuing with the job gradually my profile started changing from operation to the management of operation that was from doing job to getting things done from others. However when I joined ICICI Bank I was very satisfied with the work which I used to do as well the culture of the company. Progressively when I started thinking about my growth in professional life it seemed limited just because I didn't have any professional degree e.g. MBA, CA, because when it came to promotion and appraisal organisations are looking at the level of education rather that the hard work done by me. To accelerate the growth in professional life, mounting the ladder of MBA was the supreme solution. This was the added reason for doing MBA as well as it was my dream to study a professional degree like MBA.
Finally when I started applying to UK universities I just concentrated on AMBA accredited universities, because these are the Universities where I could get good exposure from faculties as well as from the students who have wide range of experience in different fields. Association of Masters of Business Administration (AMBA) accredited business schools are finest business education available. All the programs which are run into the B schools are assessed and monitored by AMBA(mbaworld, 2012).
Why Kent Business School
After considering the ranking, faculties, accreditation and fees I chose Kent Business school as my destination for my MBA aspiration, also because of the limited and small class size. In KBS, MBA program had consultancy management, Paris and Brussels study visits were also attractive for the application. I also have a passion for travelling and understanding different cultures of the world interests me. All these elements have given me a very broad outlook, with high degree of knowledge in a range of contents of MBA. On the other hand KBS was ranked by The Guardian University Guide as one of the top 30 business schools in the UK(kent.ac.uk, 2012).
Hurdles prior to MBA
While applying for MBA, time management was one of the toughest tasks for me, because I used to work for more than 10 hours on an average in ICICI Bank. I could not find ample time to apply and shortlist the Universities of my choice. Preparing for IELTS (International English Language Testing Services) exam, applying for bank loan and applying for Visa(visa experience boss) was a difficult happenstance. I learnt, my bank loan was not getting sanctioned consequently made my morale fairly low. I was broken at that moment with the feeling of not able to pursue MBA, however with all support of family and friends finally I came to UK to do MBA. Getting admission was also one of the biggest achievements for a middle class student like me. This led to further losses resulting in the delay to join the course and I ended up missing Induction week and corporate environment module.
Chapter 2: The life during MBA:
Finally I accepted the challenge and enrolled got admitted for MBA in Kent Business School, which stands as one of the top ranked University in the UK. The day my flight landed on Heathrow airport, feeling full of thrill and anxiety about what is going to happen in next one year? It was totally new world, new education system as compared to Indian education system which I followed till that time. First time when I came to University of Kent Canterbury it was such a pleasant day and I thought this is the place where I would like to be and explore my MBA days. When I see all the students around then I felt that the students here are from all over the world studying variety of subjects e.g. Engineering, Actuarial science, Arts, management.
The first day when I entered the symposium room I could see an International conference in progress for all the international students. I was sceptical of my late arrival and capability to cope up with the fifteen day 'senior' classmates. Despite the fact I had trust in my interpersonal and communication skills and helping hand from my MBA colleagues aided me blow off the dust of fear. The tender supervision from my professors indeed had been a ray of hope*
2.1 Marketing Analysis and Planning:
The first lecture was about Marketing analysis and planning in which the session was very interesting because of the case studies which were given were live case studies, about the products which we know as well as theory is linked with the practical example and which made the subject understand very easily. I was interested in studying this subject because I had already studied it in my graduation which led foundation for marketing knowledge. After studying this module I was able to understand key concepts and theories in marketing. In Marketing I learnt about the consumer demand, patterns, tastes, preferences and buying behaviour.
2.2 Accounting and Financial Management:
Having studied accounting and finance earlier, I was wondering what am I going to study in MBA? However when the module had started, it was very well paced so as the student who have never studied accounting and finance, could learn and analyse the subject very well. Throughout the course I was introduced to activities to analyse the financial statement of companies, valuation of companies, Ratio analysis, and presentation of the analysis. In accounting and financial management after learning the module I was able to analyse the financial statements. Until the module was taught I was only able to prepare accounting statements however after the module I was able to analyse the financial statements of the company so as to make decision e.g. short term, long term, investment, distribution, cash flow statement, valuation of business etc. Management accounting was the helping me to create the base for corporate finance.
2.3 Managing Process:
In Managing Process I learnt about the customer orientation and operations, understanding the relationship between different processes. Project management was one my favourite topics studied in managing process. Initially I felt it was tough but found it easy after practise. It was the first module where we were supposed to give group presentation instead of course work assignment. It was a very enriching experience to work in group for five days and night preparing for the presentation, coordinating within the group and competing with other groups. This was the foundation for my leadership that started in Kent MBA, we were trying to do our best to get good marks and finally we presented on the inventory management, tool and technique to management inventory at the minimum level of cost and after presentation question answer session was also there.
2.4 Managing People and Organisations:
I had a vague notion about Managing people and Organisation and its activities that it was all about hiring and firing and taking care of salaries of employees. Nevertheless when the lecture of human resource management started it was proved automatically that I was wrong and I discovered Human resource management as really interesting and Human resource management system is beyond hiring and firing, it is all about Strategic human resource management, leadership, learning, career development and enhancement. HRM can contribute to increase organisational capabilities. Human resource management is one the important team to work for the benefit of the human capital. They can create the measure and facilities to the employees so that they will be able to retain the same and boost the organisational growth.
2.5 Corporate environment:
The classes for Corporate Environment were conducted during study holidays for I have had missed the module (as stated earlier). The due date of first assignment of marketing panicked me for I had to attend the classes as well. Although I managed not to miss either of them. In Corporate environment I learnt about the porter five forces, PESTLE analysis, Macro-economic factors affecting industry, micro economic factors affecting the business, networking effects, corporate governance and corporate social responsibilities and economics. The live case studies made it easy and interesting to understand the subject.
2.6 Fundamental of Corporate Finance and Investment:
Fundamental of corporate finance and investment was interesting to learn and pursue as my career aspiration. In this module all the fundamentals of finance were taught, viz, introduction to risk, portfolio theory, capital structure, sources of finance, efficiency market hypothesis and valuation. This module helped to create the foundation for the elective module. However one thing I would like to mention is the pace of the module was very fast and I think module like this should be taken for two weeks same like the module of accounting and financial management because lot of financial theories are involved.
2.7 International Business:
International business was one of the best subjects I have ever learnt thanks to Dr Fragkiskos Filippaios who made the subject so special, simple and interesting. In International business there are concepts which are applied in economics, finance, human resource management which I had learnt in previous modules. After studying this subject I was able to analyse the international business environment, trade theories. For me the biggest challenge was applying the theories in International business to real world cases however the same was solved in the analysis of Cummins Energy solution business which was live case study. It was really good experience for preparing the presentation and providing solutions to Cummins ESB about their future expansion plan. In this module there were some exercises of negotiation skills, in this simulation where we acted as a team of Microsoft and politicians of Germany.
2.8 Strategic Management:
Strategic management was one of the most interesting subjects for me. With the help of strategic management I was able to learn how the company form different strategies to compete with the competitors. As in International business Cummins ESB wanted to expand its business and reach a goal of 500 million dollars by 2015. We were divided into the groups with second year executive students and their valuable inputs helped me to improve my business knowledge and the work culture in UK. While doing the presentation to the Cummins ESB it was very good practical exposure for me to apply theories learnt over the period of time.
2.9 Corporate Finance:
Corporate finance was an elective module and which is the next step for the fundamental of finance and investments. I opted for this module as an elective because of my interest in finance. In this module I have learnt about the capital structure and various concepts like Modigliani and miller approach, traditional theory, pecking order theory, weighted average cost of capital. This module enabled me in experiencing live case studies of SME's which in return enriched my knowledge in finance. At the end of the module we had an multiple choice question test which was very useful as it enabled me to learn the concepts in the same week and I believe it should be implemented in other modules as well.
2.10 A Systems Approach to Managing Complexity:
Managing complexity is one of the unique subjects I ever studied, this subject is best for organisational problems which involve people. Managing complexity considers the relationship and inter connections of the factors that has problematic situation, being totally new to this subject as well as due to imbalanced team I had to face lot of problems in coping up with the presentation of this subject.
As I mentioned earlier due to some unavoidable reason I was not able to join Kent MBA on time and I missed the induction lecture, I was not aware of the plagiarism and I was new to this education system. Due to which I was found guilty in the Managing people and organization in spite of me giving the valid reasons for the same, I have had even contacted the concerned professor about my ignorance of the Harvard style referencing and basic things about the preparing the assignments however there was positive response on email but no action in reality. I sincerely admit that I was at fault. As I came to know that I am going to get zero mark in the assignment I was shocked and didn't even knew what is this and what to do next. I can still remember that while facing to the disciplinary committee, they were looking so harsh on me in spite of me telling them that I was not aware of the UK system e.g. Turn it in and I got affected because of this incident very badly. However after this incident I learnt the things on my own and started doing the assignment. If I would have been aware of things well in advance then, I would have copied the work of others and which resulting into the plagiarism.
2.12 Brussels and Paris Study Visit:
Brussels-Paris study visit was the best experience, studied lot of things like European economics taught by Roger Vickerman in which I was able to understand the environment in Europe, European policies, Brussels being the de facto capital of European Union all the decision regarding the EU are taken in Brussels. David Demetrius's (President of European Management Development Institute) lecture was also very informative. After Brussels we headed to Paris and the first lecture was taken by our own director Rajendra Shirole on the spirituality and how it affects and effect business form. Overall the whole Brussels and Paris study visit lead me to the added knowledge and experience of current world scenario.
2.13 Consultancy Week:
In consultancy week me and my group has consulted three clients. The clients briefed us about their problem and future goal. Later we all group members discussed about their situation and suggested appropriate possible solutions to the clients by applying our knowledge gained in MBA.
William Betham, from St Dunstan's Area Development Association in Canterbury which is an extension for the existing high street, the main purpose of the association is to develop the area so as to make it commercially attractive to the businesses like store of Rebook, Adidas as well as for tourist. The challenge is that small business are not able to spend time and money on the development so as to assist them St Dunstan's has formed the association so as to provide the services which the small businesses cannot concentrate to provide. They want local people to do shopping in Canterbury instead of going to Blue-water Mall. St Dunstan's Association want to develop their own area benchmarking the success of Whitefrairs and Blue-water. The consultancy was provided on Developing the St Dunstans area which is a shopping area. The client was in the need of increasing the number of member and also attract more customers with the limited resources and we have suggested the solution in the form of marketing solutions, strategic solution about the future course of action like advertising on Facebook and other websites.
Yogaworks was the second client a Yoga service provider, in this area Sarah the owner of yogaworks is the self-employed and expert in Yoga, Provides training and healing services to her clients. Her requirement was to generate some new ideas for the business development. We have provided the consultancy on business development e.g. 4p' of marketing, creating the website, membership card, social networking.
The third client, Jonnie Jensen of Live and Social, an entrepreneur in social media provides a web designing service to the companies who want to create their online marketing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and alike social sites. The requirements of the client were; the company need quality contractors with special skills, concentration on planning, promoting and selling, required right tools, efficient selling and delivery. For every above mentioned problem my group has researched and advised the solutions. Overall consultancy week was a wonderful and enriching experience because the subjects which we studied in MBA the same with need to apply in this consultancy week. The clients were also satisfied with the ideas suggested by my group. It was a very helpful because we got the opportunity to study live business and their problems and later we as a group need to think about the solutions. Sometimes we felt that how we are going to give the solutions to these businesses because they all were different from our work experience and which we never had experience however later things very going as per our expectation.
2.14 MBA Internship:
After having completed almost a year's educational experience and finishing the first two semesters it was the time to start internship. It aids to gain the practical experience of the business and Internship is one of the best ways. While doing Kent MBA also I have earned a lot of real world experience via consultancy week. Internship helps to gain the real live experience which is essential to gain a good job in current job market. Internship will help to check whether the field is really suitable for me or not. The experience which we get into the internship we can add the credibility to our resume for better prospects for getting selected in interview. With the help of internship student can get a degree and also get the practical work experience. Internship helps in getting the hands on work experience. Getting introduced to new people and creating contacts in the desired industry can be useful bi-product of internship. Mentoring of the professor can be a good exposure
My internship was with BankMuscat and the topic was International Banking Group's evaluation of remittances, operations and risk management. I started my internship from the June, 17th 2012, I had a meeting with my supervisor who showed me the correct approach for business report. He had guided me with the reading list to have a command over the subject and make a solid foundation to write the essay. This included reading the books, journals, articles and the research papers by renown publishers. Initially I was worried about the dissertation and progressively when started working on the same it became easy. I have had to coordinate with the BankMuscat operations team in Oman for the data required for this research was at times challenging. The team was often busy with their routine operations and they had some issues with data sharing. As rightly said, 'When the going gets tough, the tough get going' Every new day was a new-fangled challenge. I have learnt about the International banking operations and remittances, risk management associated with the operations duration my internship. The modules which were covered in my internship were Corporate finance, International business and Corporate environment.
Section 3. Post MBA-Skills
After spending enormous amount of time, money, energy and pursuing MBA to nourish the professional skills required for the business have made me a improved leader and manager. In order to stand out from the competitive crowd skills ought to be developed and I have succeeded to an anticipated limit.
Leadership is the process of inspiring people to do their best to achieve a desired result(Michael Armstrong, 2009). Leadership is the process of setting a vision or a set of goals and influencing people be an individual, a group, an organization or a community to work towards achieving those visions or set of goals. Leaders have to achieve the task as well maintain relationships between other leaders and individuals. However there are leaders who are very task oriented, who concentrates on the task to be completed and other leaders are more focus on the people oriented tasks which aims to make people happy (Hania Zeidan. 2012). As far as my leadership was concern I used mainly focus on task which were assigned to me. I was bay leader while working into ICICI bank India and sometimes I used to be harsh on people who are not maintaining five S.
3.2 Theories in Leadership
BLAKE MOUTON - GRID BASED THEORY: Blake Mounton- grid identifies the two important and fundamental drivers of leadership/mangers behaviour : the task leadership or people leadership. The theory provides the management behaviour and two variables of the same are concern for production and concern for people, which are plotted on the grid and indicates the degree from 1 to 9 which from low to high. There are five position available on the grid which indicates managerial behaviour at the different situations.
Anonymous. (2012). Leadership Grid. Available: http://www.mbaknol.com/management-concepts/managerial-grid-model/.
Produce or Perish (9,1): Leaders in this category are very strong on the result and they will get the result by making dissatisfy their workers. The leaders who get produce or perish rating are very harsh on workers to get the work done., very particular about the deadlines, employees are given less importance than work. So as to achieve organisations goal produce or perish kind of leader will use all the ways e.g. through creating pressure or punishments. As far as my skills and past experience is concerned I think produce and perish is suitable for my personality. I am strong on result and however sometimes weak on maintaining human relationships.
Country club(1,9): Country club style of leadership is more emphasised on human relationship and weak on performance. The manager is more relationship oriented but low concern about the performance. Country club leaders use reward power of the organisation to maintain the spirit between the employees as well as to encourage the subordinates for performance enhancement.
Impoverished(1,1): Impoverished leaders follow delegate and disappear management style. These leaders are least bothered about the people as well as their results of the team. Impoverished leader tries to avoid all trouble and no willing to be held responsible for any mistakes. Due to these all qualities of impoverished leaders the team they are leading will be disorganized and dissatisfied.
Team Leaders(9,9): Team leaders are very strong on maintaining human relationship as well as strong on performing the task allotted to them. Team leaders always keep encouraging their subordinates so as to get the work done as well as gain the team goals within the target. Team leaders are very hard worker and because of which team leaders form one the most productive team in the organisation.
Middle of the road(5,5): Middle of the road leaders are the one who tries to balance between the human relationship and the organisational goal and while doing so leaders end doing compromise and people as well goals are satisfied properly. Middle of the road managers should lead to become the team leader in future.
Fiedler's Contingency theory: This theory describes the relationship between the leadership style and group performance under various different situations (Anonymous. (2012). Fiedler's Contingency Theory). Every leader has their own style of leading the team which depends on their personal character, skills, education. Fiedler suggest that to measure the above mentioned leadership qualities from the rule of least preferred co-worker. As per the theory every leader has to score on a scale of 1 to 8 with the every person they have worked with. The basis of measurement is Uncooperative, hostile, unfriendly. Higher the leaders personality control score show that the leader is more focused towards human relationship and lower leaders personality control shows that the leader has focus towards the task.
Action Centred Leadership Model: In contrast to the above situation and contingency based model, Adair (1973) came up with action-centred leadership model, represented by three circle figure illustrating three core responsibilities of management.
Diagram showing Adair's management responsibilities
Instead of focusing on the styles, he focussed largely on understanding the needs of the situation in the above three key areas. Completing the challenge or task faced by the team members. Maintaining and creating a sense of group or team unity, a sense of 'we' and 'us', i.e. collective responsibility. Ensuring that every individual in the team is competent to meet his or her own individual needs - psychological, and if appropriate physical too. This model gets right to the heart of the leadership role, which explains very clearly why some of the leaders succeed and others models do not.
3.3 Learning Cycle:
Kolb's Learning Cycle: Kolb and his colleagues identified a four stage learning cycle which been hugely influential in people development in HRM((Iain Henderson, 2008). This learning cycle deal with different individuals different learning styles
Concrete experience- Concrete experience can be planned or unintentional. In this cycle any person can concentrate on the experience
Reflective observation- Reflective observation contains actively thinking about the experience and its implication.
Abstract Conceptualization- This means Simplifying from experience to develop various concepts and ideas which will be applied when similar situations are experienced.
Active experimentation- Testing and checking the concept or ideas in new circumstances. This gives opportunities to a new concrete experience and after its success the cycle begins again (Michael Armstrong, 2009).
Four types of Definition of learning style:
Diverging: Diverging people are very successful in looking things from different viewpoint. Divergent are very sensitive and they most of the time prefer to learn from others experiences, collect information, use their imagination to solve the problems. Divergent are also having the best viewing concrete situations several viewpoints. The diverging learning style people are very keen to learn about different cultures and always keep adding knowledge. Diverging people are very people friendly, emotional, enjoy working in groups and very patient listener as well.
Assimilating: The assimilating style of learning preference is for the logical approach. In this learning style ideas and concepts important than people and for the same clear fundamental knowledge is required. When it comes to understanding any concept assimilating persons can learn faster than others. Assimilating style of learning is depending on the logical end of the theories rather than practical.
Converging: Converging style people are more task oriented rather than giving value to the interpersonal aspects. Converging people can solve the problem, take the decision regarding the problem on their own and create the logical reasoning for the same.
Accommodating: Accommodating people are those who use the analysis done by other and complete the given task. Accommodating are very much relies on others, they are not self-starter. This kind of learning style can become the obstacle for learning new things and become creative and knowledgeable.
3.4 Honey and Mumford Learning Cycle:
On the basis of Kolb's learning cycle, Honey and Mumford designed another Learning Cycle pattern in the year 1989. It states that, there exist four different types of learners based on their preferred style of learning -
Diagram showing learning pattern given by Honey and Mumford
reflector, theorist, activist and pragmatist. These are the approaches to learning most of the individuals naturally choose and they propose that in order to make best use of one's own learning each learner should: understand their own learning style as well as search for opportunities to use that style.
They also suggested that individuals prefer diverse means of learning, depending upon the circumstances as well as their level of experience, they shift among the four learning modes, rather than dominantly locked into one style.
Reflector - wishes to learn from actions that allow them to review watch and think what has happened. They like to make the use of brainstorming sessions. Lectures are constructive if they offer expert analysis and explanations.
Theorist - These people like to think problems through in a step-by-step manner. They also like case studies, lectures, analogies and reading. Communicating with the professionals and scholars is usually not supportive.
Pragmatist - wishes the application of knowledge into practice to check if they work. These people like fieldwork, laboratories, coaching, observations and feedback.
Activist - learns from hands on challenges, role-playing, assimilation and participation with others. They also like small group discussions, problem-solving and anything new.
3.5 Presentation skills:
When it came to presentation the first thing that popped up into my mind was about the preparation for managing process! I was a bit nervous for I doubted if something would go wrong that would affect the marks of my team. To overcome this weakness we had practised a couple of times which made us confident enough to give our best shot. Afore I was not good at presentation due to lack of opportunities, however in MBA there were lot of presentations in Managing process, International business, Managing complexity, Consultancy week. As the days strolled I tried improving my body gestures, voice pitch, outlook and many such factors that contributed to make me a better at presentation.
3.6 Writing skills:
Writing is one most important means of the communication in every organisation. My writing skills have developed because of the course work. Initially when I started writing the assignment it was very tough because of new education system. Frankly speaking it took a lot of time to finish my first assignment, but I got gripped to write the assignment later and that improvised my writing skills.
3.7 Negotiation skills:
Every management student should have negotiation skills, because current business environment is full of challenges as well as opportunities. Anybody with good negotiation skills can excel fast into the organisation. Negotiation workshop conducted by Samuel Passow was very helpful to mature the negotiation skill. The case studies used in negotiation skill workshop were practical oriented and we have applied the same in international business case study.
3.8 Communication skills:
When I joined Kent MBA I felt a bit hard to converse with the native as well as non-native English speaking people, however with all due support of my MBA colleagues I advanced myself to communicate with them properly and later with group work, group presentation my communication skills was got developed. Kent MBA gave me opportunity to communicate with the people from different nationalities which allowed me to know about their culture. In near future if I happen to deal with any of these business bases, I can go through easily with the knowledge gained while doing MBA.
3.9 Team work:
I was lucky enough to be in the MBA that has diverse set of experiences as well as nationalities. As it is AMBA accredited MBA everybody has work experience in different fields of Software, Banking, Finance, Retail, Entrepreneurs etc. Being with such sort of group I have learnt a lot from group activities. Everybody shared their own real world work experience and tried to contribute to the group activities and this was the gist of getting ample of knowledge from the group work. Few people were good at computer, few were good at leadership, others were good at theories. This miscellaneous of knowledge contributed to the strength of the group. I have discovered many negative traits whilst working in the teams. At times people seem uninterested in working with the team and which the loses the flavour of team spirit.
3.10 SWOT Analysis(Strength, weakness, opportunities and threats):
When it comes to SWOT analysis I think my pre MBA SWOT analysis and post MBA SWOT analysis will have a lot of difference for Kent MBA has totally changed my personality and my intellect. Now I analyse things from a very different angle.
Strengths: My strengths include my talent, knowledge, hard work, smartness, time management, focus, maintaining balance between life and work, patience, ability to listen, adaptive, willingness to face challenges, taking my adversity in life as an opportunity, good team player, self-starter.
Weakness: When it comes to weaknesses sometimes my strength becomes my weaknesses. When I exhibited my hard work in work environment I ended up doing the whole work in the team alone. However my weaknesses lack in leadership, at times time in management I not able to express myself. I don't succeed in setting realistic goals. I am impatient.
Opportunities: As a MBA student and having pursued the MBA from University of Kent I think this will make me stand off from the crowd. The knowledge I gained from Kent MBA will make myself create an opportunity in my career. I have developed myself up to an extent that I can get the job where the profile is of Middle level Management, analyst and associate etc.
Threats: Threats can be from the expectations of the employer. Expectations should not be unrealistic which no one can achieve. Growing number of unemployment, economic downturn of the countries can also become threat for my career. With the course of time I have to update my knowledge as well.
3.11 MBTI(Myers-Briggs Type Indicator):
The Myers-Brigs Type Indicates assessment is psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions (Anonymous. (2012). Myers-Briggs Type Indicator). With the help of the MBTI test I can check type of my personality after answering the questionnaire. After the questionnaire my personality type was INTJ which meant introversion, Intuition, thinking, judging. INTJ type of personality have original minds and great drive for implementation of their ideas so as to achieve their goals. When committed for any job they carry it till the accomplishing the activity. The Purpose of MBTI personality test is to check where you stand in respect of your professional as well as personal behaviour and the changes which you should do so as to succeed in the life.
Section 4 Career Plan:
After completing my MBA I wish to continue my career in banking industry at a management position. When I left ICICI Bank, my position was a Senior Officer and now I would like to join any reputed banks as Assistant manager so as to apply the relative skills and experiences gained during my MBA. In the next two to three years I would also like to concentrate on Risk Management in Banking because after recession it is one of the most demanding job and the requirement of the risk manager is more and also I have interest in Risk management. My long term would like to be a successful banker and to be in the top level management of the bank such as AGM or Chief Manager.
Section 5 Conclusion:
The last one year has been marvellous because of the MBA and the experiences of being in the UK. It was the day when I started my MBA program with full excitement, joy and anxieties. Every day was a new learning experience because of the design of the program. Now I feel like I am full with knowledge of modern business world and ready to face and accept any challenges that will come on my way. MBA has let me learn lot of things from time management through the deadlines and work load management through lot of presentations, assignments, exams etc. The modules which were covered gave me an opportunity to become a versatile personality. The lecturers and professors with their world class teaching style was one of the best things I experienced in this MBA. While doing the business report the input and guidance from Dr Mohammad Hasan helped me a lot to prepare for the project.
Finally after being for the year in the University of Kent I am confident enough to be in the business world and start applying the knowledge gained in Kent business school. Now I am confident of doing analysis of the businesses and take the decisions.