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During the Pace module we had to organise and participate in activities in order to develop valuable knowledge and skills which would be generated by the reflection upon our personal learning. Activities such as group working aimed to make us realise the importance of cooperation and sharing ideas with other people to achieve common goals. I have to admit that this module was one of the most important during my studies because it provided me with the opportunity to test my abilities in group work such as contribution of ideas, coordinating a group and sharing personal knowledge and beliefs.
Review of Group Functionality
To begin with, all members were active and very cooperative during the group meetings and they attended most of them. An important fact that deserves to be reported is that the group operated as one strong unit which had as an objective to get involved during the meetings as much as he/she could. Each member enjoyed working on the project and tried to propose some ideas, contributing in the decisions of what the next steps for our group should be. Moreover, I noticed that each member of International Stock Brokers (ISB) showed strong will to support each other when a problem occurred and as a result there were limited factors that prevented us from working together as a team or support each other.
To what extend?
There were some objectives which we managed to accomplish thanks to the team spirit that everyone showed within the group. Team work and solidarity were the main characteristics of our team. Everyone showed respect for each other and this fact made everyone comfortable to speak freely and say his/her opinion without any hesitation. However our aims to maximise profit at the end of the game were not accomplished because the investment strategy we chose was partialy wrong.
At the end of the first meeting we assigned the roles which each person was going to have during the project. The six members of International Stock Brokers were Klitos, myself, Danni, Wilson, Supreet and Sunny. Supreet was a chairperson and generally had a critical role in our group. She was the coordinator of the group and was always trying to create a positive atmosphere during the meetings, encouraging all of us when a problem occurred. Klitos and Danni had the role of a secretary and were keeping notes during the meetings, made agendas and uploaded on x-tream after each meeting. The Treasurer of ISB was Wilson who used to record all the transactions about shares and was responsible for the book-keeping of each share while I and Sundeep were researchers of our group. Because of the absence of Sundeep in most of the meetings I had to do more work than I expected. However, the chairperson, Supreet, supported me in some occasions. I did a research on London Stock Exchange market aiming to find shares for future investment.Everyone's contribution was very important in our presentation as everyone put a lot of effort before and during the presentation. In addition, the contribution of Supreet, who did the slides of our presentation on power point, was very big while Wilson helped Supreet with the choise of the animation part included in the power point presentation. Furthermore, all the members of our group generated ideas and contributed in the decision of what should be the final answer of the question in each slide. Before our presentation we organised four meetings so that each member could practise his /her speaking part in the presentation aiming to get good marks after the evaluation.
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In what way the group support each other?
Generally, we supported each other in various ways during our team working and as a result effective communication was the main characteristic of our group. All members of our group knew our general purpose and the time limit for our project deliverable. Last but not least, an important point that i want to report to is the understanding which each member of international stock brokers showed when a particular member couldn't attend a meeting due to a personal reason. This flexibility that everyone showed when we had to organise a meeting made our group stronger and helped in the maintenance of the good climate within the group. A group as our group with our co-ordination and co-operation would actually have more right rather than wrongs. Firstly, most of the members attended the meetings and we always started them on time. Supreet Chairperson kept members focused and encouraged us during the meeting. She also supported and motivated us in difficult times. All members of ISB participated in the discussions concerning investment strategy and aims of our team. We knew our roles and we contributed the best we could to the team. We had accurate records for all share transactions due to the good efforts of our treasurer, Wilson. Me and Sunny the as researchers of ISB kept up to date the other group member's about decrease or increase of share price on which we could either short term or long term invest. Klitos and Danni, as secretaries of ISB arranged the meetings and they also were uploading each time the agendas to x-stream database. One further positive aspect in our project is that we showed enthusiasm and enjoyed working on the project. We worked hard as we arranged meetings systematically and were optimistic that with hard work we would be rewarded with the success. Moreover, the fact that our group started the preparation of our presentation early so aiming to perform better in our final presentation and get good marks in our module.
What we went wrong??
To begin with, during the 3 months working for our project, there were some things which did not work well. There were some problems during our meetings such as times when someone didn't understand very well what another person said because of the other person's accent as there was a variety of nationalities in the group. This communication problem was frequent at the beginning but as the time passed we got used to the different accents that coexisted in the group.
Furthermore, some profit losses in our share transactions could have been avoided if we had more experience in FTSE market and if we ,also, were up to date. For example, Barclay's company was one of our long term investments that we chose, and we were unlucky when we sold this share, as the share's price increased at the time we sold that share. Thus, we lost an important profit coming from this investment. If we remain to our strategy, we would have positive results with an increase of our profit. One other reason for which fails to have more profit is that we missed chances to sell share at the right time during Christmas holidays and exams. Secondly, another negative point about the project was the way on which make decision when we would sell or buy some shares. We were inexperience persons on FTSE market so that we bought or sold without rational thinking but we made decisions seeing graph slope on a past year until this time. Rational thinking helped us to make better and more right decisions. Another one thing which did not work well was the Christmas meetings. During the Christmas few members returned in their countries for Christmas holidays as a result we did not accomplish to do a meeting. So there were discussions for what to become with share which have already invested. We could have better communication, with facebook and e-mail, doing discussions so that we made decisions about shares during the holiday period. Lastly, is that no one of the members of my group did not have frequent contact with financial times so that to be informed for subject which concerned our shares. However, if we, as a group read financial times 3 or 4 times a week during this 3 months, this would have given us more reliable and useful information's In the LSE market. With this way, we acquired more knowledge which would help us to achieve our objectives to maximise profit on the end of the game as a loss was very boring for us.
B. Review on personal learning.
During the 3 months game with shares, I had the role of researcher on ISB. I wanted this role because I like me to research in order to find new details as a result to improve my knowledge. My own role was regulating for the remainder team. I should inform our members for price share and details such as balance sheet, income statement, graphs for which company intent to invest. However, during the three months in the role of researcher I can say that it was a unique experience for someone to have this role. Frequently I watched the share price I did a research in order to find balance sheet and income statement for each company and I had to informed our group so that to decide on which company to invest. It is the first time where I concerned with stock exchange market and actually I found very funny this game so I accomplished with this way to learn more things for the way on which could do a research. I always had on my back brain's that If I did not do a research, our group could not be able to continue our project. My own role helps us to continue our group objectives.
2.I had been punctual with my work and always on time for the meetings which made a great contribution to the overall work of the team.
3. Each student had him/ her own role in our group. Each one of us knew his/ her own role and I believe that altogether we tried to attribute as better as we can. However, there were cases where someone was hard to understand what he/she had to do. Thus, we support each other and help him/her how to do him/her work and what he/she had to do. This was helping each one of us to be our performance and to be more confident. Furthermore we as students could visit some website such as independent learner, and we could read some newspapers to enrich our knowledge as a result our performance could improved and our participation in our group would increase.
4. Each member contributed with him/her own way to our group project. We had our roles which decide from begin of our project and we try to be as better as we can with our roles in order to achieve objectives of us. Attendance of all members of ISB in each meeting they showed the co-operation and co-ordination where that we were a familiar team. We also expressed opinions with freedom and we discussed in order to make suitable responsible and right decisions. All the above comments, we help us to continue to achieve the main task to maximise profit.
I have improved and developed in my character and academic skills in many ways. What I mean by character skills is the ways I behaved and act as a part of a group. There was communication, cooperation and support with each other. Communicative and supportive are the adjectives that best described me. I was opened minded to new ideas and suggestions from the other members and also accepted any criticism both negative and positive towards me and my work. A new thing I have learned from this team working experience was to give my trust to others without any prejudice. My English language and vocabulary has improved due to the team's meeting's discussions. The fact that my role for this group was to be a researcher has give me great knowledge as how proper and organised research is done. Research is a key part to all projects, especially to the accounting course. Without a proper research a project is more likely to fail because critical errors can occur which can break the positive team spirit in the group. Due to the high and positive team spirit we have created, I have developed strong friendships with me colleagues so that in the future this will help me in my career as well as the career of my fellow colleagues I have gained team working skills which are going to be extremely useful and helpful for the continuance of my studies as well as later on, when I am going to begin my career as an accountant. I have learned that a team of people can do a better job towards a project rather than a person alone, two minds is better than one. That is the reason that I am planning to work with others in the same business rather than alone when I graduate. I look forward to my next group work assignment because I am confident enough that whoever my team members are, the group will succeed.
There were two action plans that were given to me, one for semester one and one for the second one, to write about the challenges that I have faced during the semesters. I have written what think I was lacking in my academic skills and got feedback from my tutor which had helped and encouraged me, I would achieve improvements on these areas.
According to the results of the Belbin test I am a team worker which I believe that is quite reflective to me. I tried as hard as I could to help my group through my assigned role as a researcher. I also contributed ideas that could make the project better or even solve critical problems we had faced. One of the main characteristics of this test is to improve communication between members which i had lacked at the beginning because I had a slight language communication problem due to the fact of me having English as my second language but I have overcome it as time passed. Another main characteristic of the team worker role is to be sociable with others witch I am in every aspect of my life, academic and not.
At the end of this group project we have assessed each other in overall four criteria to see how well we have performed individually as team players. I have got an average mark of 7.75 out of ten which I believe is quite fair. This assessment was the outcome of out last meeting and was done by discussing and reflecting the performance, for each criterion, of each team member in all of the group's meetings.
In my opinion every student has to be or at least try to be independent learner in his/ her studies or for later on his/her own life. I believe I have the main characteristics that describe me as an independent learner such as to judge when is best to work collaborative and when to seek advice. A personal example to justify this was the group work's project's outcome which reflects upon everyone in our team that we have done our best in our designated role. What is more I personally have assessed myself for the work I was doing according to my role as a researcher and also the brief's aims and objectives.