From the time that I decided to do a Master degree my first thought was that I want a place that I will feel that I belong and my journey will be constructive there. So, because I got my bachelor degree from the University of Wolverhampton, I figured that here is the place where I should carry on my postgraduate studies. Secondly, I had to choose the course that has more opportunities for find job in my country and that will satisfy me. For that reason I decided to apply for Accounting and Finance. Is sure that this master degree is vastly in different field and in different department than my bachelor degree that is on Mathematics, but both involve critical thinking.
Definition of Personal Development Plan
Each person has his own personal agenda where they can use it as they want. It's good idea to have a personal plan. This gives us some kind of structure, with separate "to do" lists for academic, career, work-related and social parts of our life, and to keep revising it as we progress (Harriet Swain, 2008).
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PDP is defined as 'a structured and supported process undertaken by an individual to reflect upon their own learning, performance and/or achievement and to plan for their personal, educational and career development'. (The Higher Education Academy, 2013)
Previous year when I was towards the end of my bachelor degree, I was wondered what was the next step I ought to follow in my life. When I went back to Cyprus I was looking for a job but it was impossible to find something good because of the financial crisis. Then I met a friend of mine that is a bank manager. He had advised me to watch a course that is in Business environment and he suggested me specific the MSc in Accounting and Finance. In this manner, I will have more opportunities to find job, better career prospects, but why not and a job that has the chance to earn a better salary. To be honest, the main reason was that I have never been a business student and that's was good option for my personal strategic. In addition, it's a good way to expand my knowledge.
Skills Audit and Analysis
After I had answered the Skills Audit task (Appendix 1), I investigated what skills I have and what I don't have and that need more develop. My Self-Audit can be revised every day and improvements required alongside. Below I had made a list of my strengths and my weaknesses that I have assessed more from my personal skills audit:
Self-motivation: I always want an organization in my life, so I push myself to get things done and to be sure that everything is under control. I can say that I am a dynamic woman that pursuing her goals, I don't let anything stand in my way. According "Success will be within your reach only when you start reaching out for it."
Numeracy: My bachelor degree is in BSc Mathematics, so I am familiar in all kind of numerical knowledge, from statistic until geometry. I am exceptionally confident in this area so I measured myself 5 out of 5.
Office Skills: I have been learned office skills from the time that I was in school and I have a qualification for all of the Microsoft Office programs. However, I'm good at telephoning, effective interpersonal skills, technology and computers.
Teamwork: Working well with others in order to achieve a common objective. Except I am a good speaker I am also a good listener.
Self-confidence: To be a good person and successful professional, you must believe in yourself and your abilities. I can't say that I'm not sure for myself but neither confident. I must change it because according Norman Vincent Peale: ''People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success.''
Presentation skills: I presenting deficiencies in this field. I don't feel comfortable in front of audience and also I don't have presentation skills. To overcome this weakness I watch the skills that my lecturers use. In addition, I make a good preparation before the presentation at home in front of a mirror or a friend.
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Foreign Languages: This field is one of my main goals, which I want to develop. I have good capabilities in writing and speaking English and Greek. But in my country is necessarily to know more languages to find job because of the foreign investments. However, as much knowledge you have as much better.
After the analysis of my personal Skills Audit I am able to plan for my personal development. It helps me to identify my strengths, my weaknesses and areas for the development of various skills.
SWOT- SKA Analysis
The most of the outcomes that appeared from the Audit were recorded in a SWOT analysis (Appendix 2) which is also contained as part in my personal development plan.
The SWOT Analysis (the initials of the words Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) is one of the most popular operational analysis tools. With SWOT Analysis businesses are "photograph" the current state of the business and the market. However, it's similarly valuable to individuals. After I did this, was helped me to realize my strengths and to rely them. In addition, this helped me to improve my weaknesses realize any new threat and gradually transform them to strengths and opportunities. Bailey (2007 p16) said "When you complete your SWOT, you can feel the evolution and can create a focus and a sense of direction for yourself".
Via the SWOT and the Audit Skills I can detect the skills, the knowledge and the attitude that I have. This strategic concept is named SKA (Appendix 3). The integration of this discussion and monitoring of tasks shows peer explanation opportunities, which provide an effective way for students to develop their understanding of the skills, knowledge and attitudes required. To succeed and achieve my goals, these three factors must be developed.
My purpose this year as all is to graduate and to get the Master degree. So I must follow a program that will help me to realize my goal. Firstly, the daily reading must be above all the other activities. Nevertheless, the audit skills and the SWOT analysis helped me to realize the areas that I need to elaborate and develop. By the end of block 1, and the beginning of the second, I wish I will be more confident for myself; this will help me to be comfortable in front of the audience and to share my questions and my answers. In addition the stress is the biggest enemy of myself because always push me to thinking things through in bad way and this don't help us to determine key issues and solutions, I will be more closed to solve any problem. Last and most important, the goal that I want when I will hopefully get my degree is to find a job that will satisfying me.
Those three months in the University of Wolverhampton, help me to realize a lot of things about me and a lot about different behaviours from different individuals and different cultures. In my country there aren't so many cultures so it piqued my interest. I made so many friends, and this due by the group works that we had. I learnt the way of life, and the problems that each country have. However, I realized the uniqueness of every individual. In addition, group meetings taught us to be on time and ready to face any problems will occurs. Also to be a good speaker but and a good listener. Thus far, I feel that I have been better in some of my skills and I am more self-responsible.
This project was very constructive, taught me how to 'control' myself and also to realize the weaknesses that I have as such and my strengths. Once, I passed through this process of making my personal development plan, I understood that it is a major part for my success. Personal Development Plan allows individuals to explore their minds and learn ways to enhance themselves and their quality of life.