This work experience report is based on a football program in which our group was supposed to attend a Manchester United F.C game. The program was meant to improve our work place organization skills. It involved performance of different tasks which were delegated to all the members of the group. It was meant to equip us with skills that are useful in the proper co-ordination of the workplace activities. It is necessary to work with set objectives so as not to lose track of the role of the assignment. Methodology is also another important factor. The methods used to achieve your aims should be efficient if good results are to be obtained. After carrying out the assignment, there should be a critical analysis to evaluate the outcomes. Here, one assesses weather they have attained their original goals and the extent of their success. What follows is identifying how the outcome could be improved. Here, one evaluates the things that they did not do well enough to give good results. This piece of work focuses on the experience of my group's assignment to Old Trafford where we evaluate the work and professional development techniques displayed.
MY WORK CONTEXT
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I was supposed to evaluate the organizational skills involved in emergency services. I was supposed to do this by examining the work of the emergency team of the stadium. The tasks included managing the crowd in case it turned rowdy; offering first aid to injured fans, managing disputes between fans, seeking lost kids, and other emergency situations. The personnel included in this were from a wide cross-section of professions such as ambulance services, the fire department, health workers and the police. The fact that people from such different backgrounds had been pooled together shows how important good organizational skills are, if an emergency situation such as a stampede at the gates or war between the fans is to be effectively managed (Goddard & Melville, 2007). To do this I was supposed to participate in any part of the sections mentioned. The stadium management agreed to let me work as one of the coordinators between the different sections involved in emergency services. As such, I would be in a good position to interact with people performing different tasks hence I would be able to see the overall picture from a work organizational perspective.
ROLE PLAYED IN THE PROJECT
As a coordinator between different sections, I was supposed to keep in touch with personnel from all the sections. My role was to get information from one section of persons involved, asses it and decide accordingly, what needs to be done to address it. What follows this is informing the decision to other personnel while advising them on what needs to be done. In a particular case where one fan was severely injured by another, the fist aid team found that he had been stabbed with a knife. It was my duty to inform the police of these while trying to give enough information that would lead to the arrest of the offending fan. The first aid team focused on saving the victim's life and hence the importance of a coordinator. The police on the other hand could not manage to follow on all the first aid cases since they were so many and not all of them were criminal in nature. My job could therefore be described as that of facilitating efficient working between different persons involved. In such a case I would also be expected to advice the security workers in the gate to be more careful not to allow weapons into the stadium. This illustrates on the need to have a coordinated system of working in order to improve efficiency in the work place. Coordination is a role that requires good judgment on what issues to pass along to other people (Roodhouse, 2010). It also needs a lot of alertness and good interpersonal abilities so that no incidence passes you unaware.
MY AIMS IN THE PROJECT
Here I will deal with two types of aims. I will begin by discussing my aims as a coordinator and then I will look into the aims that are directly related to my academic research project and analyze how they are important in developing my work and professional skills.
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As a coordinator, my major aim was to make sure that there was proper communication between different personnel working in emergency services in the stadium. To achieve this end, I had other smaller aims that would help me hit my overall target. This included getting to know the people heading different sections such as the first aid group, security personnel and fire services. Then I would try to familiarize myself with the available channels of communication or try to make others as the key to my job lay in effective communication.
In the context of the academic research project, the aim was to evaluate the methodology used in formulating the working procedures in the stadium and consider how they conform to established concepts and theories on workplace organization. To understand these procedures, it was imperative for me to be a participant in their formulation. This explains why I had to take up an active role in the activities.
Since the general aim of the project was research-like in nature, I had to find ways to present my findings. This was a hard task since I had to it while at the same time taking up a work role coordinating efforts for the different teams.
HOW THESE AIMS WERE ACHIEVED
To effectively work as a coordinator, I had to be in touch with the heads of different groups. I therefore had to personally get to know them by introducing myself and letting them know what my job was i.e. they would consult us if they wanted to get to in touch with other personnel (Weinert, Baukens & Bollerot, 2001). This was the first and very important task that I had to undertake. Then I had to establish the means by which the communication would effectively take place. The stadium management provided my group with telephone lines that we could use from an office and the necessary contacts.
For the academic purposes, the main way in which I got to achieve my goals was through observation. I observed how the different systems were run in the workplace environment, which in this case was the stadium. These observations were systemic in that they were guided by pre-developed questions such as; how does the authority and power structure help in workplace coordination? The observation was meant to pick elements that were important in proper management of work. These are the elements that would be regarded as instillers of professionalism (Roodhouse, 2010).
OUTCOMES OF PARTICIPATION
From a group point of view, participation in the project enabled us to obtain a bank of information that we would use to analyze work management and come up with a report. Participation also helped each of us to develop our research skills as the assignment is research based. It was a chance to get to do what one likes and hence advance one's area of interest. Participation also helped in self-assessment in different areas such as; ability to work in a team, independent thinking, time management, organization skills, etc (Weinert, Baukens & Bollerot, 2001).
Participation in the project enabled individuals to learn of different types of problems that might occur in the workplace and how each member of a team is supposed to take part in solving the problems encountered (Roodhouse, 2010).
After carrying out the project, there was group analysis where each member presented their findings and observations. These formed the basis of a discussion that was meant to bring out how the ways in which individuals can better their productivity in the workplace. These findings will be discussed in this report in the part dealing will skills gained and employability.
Although the project was helpful to all the participants, some things could be changed or added to make it even more successful. Firstly, it could help instill more professionalism to the participants if it was done in a manner more work based in nature than like an assignment. This would create the impression that it is real job outside the learning environment and hence make the participants motivated to do it in a professional manner. Research has shown that the major reason why knowledge learnt in class is not transmitted to the workplace is due to the lack of enough work-based learning. In this case, the project would be more effective if it was done in sort of like an attachment manner where the learner is given a full job description and let to do go along with it (Goddard & Melville, 2007). This is more enriching in terms of instilling professionalism as opposed to a situation where one is given assignment in a one-day event.
REFLECTING ON SKILLS GAINED
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Ability to work in a team: the effectiveness of the whole project directly depended on how the individual members would cope in the groups where they were placed (Zepeda, 2008). Therefore, participation in the group work helps the members to sharpen their team working skills. In my case, I had to display such abilities to be able to help in coordination efforts. This would involve getting to know everyone involved and their specific tasks to ensure there is no confusion. Such abilities are very important not only in enhancing proper coordination in any workplace setting but also in ensuring that there is sharing of knowledge. An individual's special expertise in a field would be useless if is not shared for the benefit of the whole team.
Analytical/research skills: this is the ability to assess a situation, seek other people's perspectives, investigate further, and identify key issues that need to be addressed (Zepeda, 2008). On getting any information from different persons, I had to analyze it and decide on who I had to pass it to and accordingly advice on the course of actions that they would take. It would be important to do so in order to make sure that no one was burdened by unnecessary information that was unhelpful.
Problem-Solving/Reasoning/Creativity: Â demands the ability to find solutions to problems that may arise in the course of work using your creativity, reasoning, and past experiences (Zepeda, 2008). It involves using available resources and information.
Planning/Organization skills:Â the assignment involved designing, planning, organizing, and implementing projects and tasks within an allotted timeframe. This was especially hard to achieve considering that one was required to perform a task as if they are at work and later use the same experience as a research tool (Weinert, Baukens & Bollerot, 2001). This would require a high level of organization to make sure that one did not lose either aspect of their tasks.
Communications Skills: These include, listening, verbal and written communication skills. Listening and speaking communication skills would be important in the actual ground activities. Writing comes in while documenting the project details. To effectively cope in the coordination work, I had to be a keen listener and a god speaker to ensure that there is good communication between the different parties involved. It can therefore be seen that the assignment covered the most crucial aspects of communication effectively enough (Weinert, Baukens & Bollerot, 2001).
Adaptability/Flexibility:Â The project involved activities that one might not have undertaken before in their life. The fact that one managed to do it shows how it helped one cope with openness to new ideas and concepts, to working independently or as part of a team, and to carrying out multiple tasks or projects. This is important in helping one cope with emerging work place demands such as advanced technology, change in working technique etc (Weinert, Baukens & Bollerot, 2001).
Although the above skills may have been covered in class in the course of the curriculum, the ability to display them in the work environment is the most important aspect as opposed to just studying them in class.
REFLECTING ON ACADEMIC SKILLS AND EMPLOYABILITY
What are academic skills and how do they enhance an individual's employability? To give a simple definition, I would describe academics skills as the cornerstone of a complete education. These are the skills that one requires to advance and get through school (Shapiro, 2002). In the foundational stage, they may include learning how to write, read and do math. In university education, they remain as the basis on which all other learning is pegged. However, they are expanded to give an all-inclusive outfit which will help the graduate suitable for the employment they intend to take up. Of course, these skills are not just acquired to help one get through school but to help the individual keep up with demands that are presented in the work situation (Zepeda, 2008).
Being an independent learner:
Throughout university life, it is emphasized that one needs to take initiative and learn things by themselves. This is an academic skill that is very important in the workplace where one is not under constant supervision of lecturers. If one is to continue learning after employment, it has to be from self-initiatives and tutoring (Weinert, Baukens & Bollerot, 2001).
Time management and organization
This is another important skill required to help in academic success. Employment seeks the same is efficiency in working will heavily depend on an individual's time management and organization skills (Weinert, Baukens & Bollerot, 2001).
Research abilities and technical writing
Throughout the course of employment, one will be expected to participate in activities that would require display of these skills. Their usefulness therefore does not end with the attainment of academic papers. This brings into play the importance of having good research abilities (Shapiro, 2002). Research work might be involved in one's employment and presentation of this work is expected to be done in a proper manner.
Academic work is focused on solving many types of problems that are hypothesized and put in books. Employers will require potential employees to display ability to use the problem solving skills learnt in class in real life situation. This will often require much ingenuity than in the class situation since there are no ready-made formulae to guide one through these situations. Math problems also feature a great deal in all types of employment (Shapiro, 2002). This is reason why many courses have module programs that incorporate math problems relevant to the course. Making sure that one can solve the math problems relevant to their area of study greatly enhances employability (Weinert, Baukens & Bollerot, 2001).
Other skills that I may be required to further in order to enhance my employability are the social skills. This results from the fact that workplace social relations are not the same as those in learning environment. This is the reason why most new employees find it hard to adapt to the working environment. They often find themselves in a clumsy position trying to adjust to the change. If this adaptation is not done in good time, it may affect my productivity at work. This may be achieved through more work-based learning.