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At the age of 20, I started to work for different companies through temporary agencies. As I was really not sure in which sector I would begin my career, this was the best alternative to trying out various options for my future. I mainly worked in Bank Sector in Paris and its suburbs. Few years later, I moved to High Wycombe (Buckinghamshire) as worked as a European Sales Support for a company that used to import textiles for quilts and patchwork from the USA and sell them throughout UK and Europe. After one year and a half, I moved back to Germany where I started my studies. As part of this programme, I did a work placement in a private business school in Pamplona (Spain) for 4 months.
2.1.2 Educational background
I have a BTS Assistant Secrétariat Trilingue which is equivalent to a High National Diploma of Business and Technician Education Council in Trilingual Clerical, Secondary school. From 2009 until 2012, I did a 3-year training course as "Europabetriebswirt", equivalent to International Business Management, in Germany which I received a degree in July 2012. I am now pursuing my studies at Cardiff Metropolitan in International Business Administration as a Bachelor (Hons) top up for 12 months.
ii. Identify your academic, professional and personal objectives. You may wish to explore these with reference to a specific timeframe and using SMART criteria.
2.2.1 Academic, professional & personal objectives
220.127.116.11 Academic objectives
My goal is to achieve my Bachelor (Hons) degree in International Business Administration at Cardiff Metropolitan within 12 months in order to start a career in UK. This degree is relevant for my future career as it combines languages, intercultural & interpersonal skills and offers me to study business planning and decision-making whilst developing team-working, goal-setting and project management skills. Moreover, I will be able to build upon knowledge of business and management practice within an international context, to work via case study linking theoretical study to practical application and theory and the real world of business. With a minimum of personal work and regular attending of lectures and seminars together with a good social/life balance, it is achievable to pass the degree as it has been proven by the former students who followed the same programme with success, as well as the possibility to get a lot of help from the university staff (teachers, personal tutors) and international classmates. At last, it is a prerequisite before entering professional life. I know that I will be successful this year as soon as the next assignments and exams will reflect the hard work I have done so far.
18.104.22.168 Professional objectives
After my degree, I wish to work for an international/multinational company in UK that offers me flexibility in my job, constant changes in my tasks, travel opportunities and enables me the use of my languages and interpersonal skills to enhance them professionally in a dynamic and stable workplace, with the best possible way for achieving the company's goals. I will work hard for it as I am motivated to leave Germany and start a new life here. If I get travel opportunities, I could ask my daughter's schoolfriends'parents to look after her during my business trips. I am looking forward to being able to source, to engage and to do business with overseas partners, and in that way, to have a long-term relationship with opportunities for career growth.
22.214.171.124 Personal objectives
My objectives for the long-term are to be a successful single mother with a good balance in the social and professional life, to get acknowledge from my family and friends, to have a financial independence and a material wealth. Moreover, I would like to offer a stable and fixed environment for my daughter, as we have been travelling a lot in the last 3-4 years due to my studies. This is relevant for our psychological well-being.
i. With reference to wider reading examine what is meant by 'professional practice' and critically explore the usefulness of the concept in professional development planning.
The role of a professional must be defined before understanding what a professional practice is meant by.
According to Church (1995), in the pre-industrial revolution, well-established professions like doctors, lawyers and priests contributed to the growth of British society and its work organization. Nowadays, the meaning of the profession is still not simple to define. Although the focus is on developping specific instructions adquired during the studies into practice, Cheetham and Chivers (2005) state that a profession is a paid activity in relationship with the characteristic abilities to be organized, altruistic, client-focused and share the same goals and ethics of the firm. The most important is that the individual has the right know-how to exploit efficiently within a company, which led to the quality of profesionalism. Knowledge and professionalism are undissociable. While Gourlay (2002), Dewey and Bentley (1949), Sternberg and Wagner (1986) point out that "tacit knowledge" is private and can not be easily transferable to another persons, public knowledge is accessible to anyone as it has been gathered during the time of training education (Euraut (2003)).
Hence, the main problem lies in the process of gaining know-how. Mintzberg (2005) criticised that even higher education programmes can not offer sufficient preparation to teach how to perform a professional job. Nonetheless, the Chartered Institute of Personal and Development (CIPD) enables HR apprentices to set up personal management strategies and to portray the commitments of its members without letting them easy access to HR profession (Watson, 1977). That is the reason why these strategies are taught in business schools (except for Medicine and Law where academic theories and practices are fundamental).
ii. Complete the HR Professions Map questionnaire (as examined in the seminar) and include as an appendix.
iii. With reference to your earlier objectives, prepare a personal SWOT analysis and explain the reasoning behind it. You may find it useful to make reference to your HR Professions Map in the discussion.
Since I was a little girl, I always dreamt of travelling around the world in order to meet people and learn about their cultures. That is the reason why my languages skills (French, German, English, Spanish) are my capital for my future job opportunities. I also learned a bit of Japanese years ago and I am now trying with Chinese at Cardiff Metropolitan. Moreover, thanks to my various travel experiences (from my very first travel to UK when I was 14 to my last work placement in Spain, and now my studies in Cardiff), I gained intercultural and interpersonal skills. I love to be surrounded by foreigners because I am curious and always keen to ask question about them and their background. I think the person who helped me to have an open-mind is my mother and it is one of my qualities I really like. Although I feel distressed because of the amount of work I must provide during this year and my responsibilities I must assume, I am an joyful and optimistic person.
Figure 1 - SWOT analysis
Strengths (S) Weaknesses (W)
Language skills distressed
Good intercultural & interpersonal skills not focused on learning
Open minded attentiveness
Opportunities (O) Threats (T)
Job opportunities not suitable home learning environment
Last chance to leave Germany less leisure time
More time with my child sickness
Better financial situation
i. With reference to your objectives and SWOT, prepare a Personal Development Plan over a set timescale, again using the SMART criteria, identifying specific actions and desired outcomes to a set timescale.
How to complete?
Doing my Bachelor studies in IBA at Cardiff Metropolitan
- languages skills
- intercultural & interpersonal skills
- build upon knowledge of business and management practice within an international context
- via case study work linking theoretical study to practical application and theory and the real world of business
- business planning and decision-making; whilst developing team-working, goal-setting and project management skills
In June 2013
- ability to source, engage and do business with overseas partners,
ii Provide conclusions and recommendations that make reference to key learning outcomes and the most important future action for personal consideration.