Joining University of Wolverhampton has been a very rewarding experience for me; I have been blessed with the opportunity to study in an esteemed educational institute such as UoW. I have started my professional education as bachelors of management science. Initial period of my stay and interaction with the university management and students has been very good, University staff has guided and helped me in all the procedural issues while students and teachers have accepted me with all my shortcomings and have been more than supportive.
After completing my first semester i believe that the university experience has me getting improved as a student as well as a human being. In the period of just a few months, I have learned a lot about myself, my aptitude and my aims in addition to understanding how would I be able to fulfil them. In addition to academic improvements that I made, I have gained great confidence as the personal development plans have helped me identify my weaknesses and the ways to improve them.
I joined the institute with the intentions of getting formal education but now that I am here, I have grown up as a person by knowing my strengths and weaknesses, focusing on my strengths to make them workable for me and working on my weaknesses to eradicate them and transforming them into strengths too.
Another strength that I have attained through socializing with the people around me here in university is being familiar to the British culture making it easy for me to get adjusted here and being able to understand the norms of a culture that I was unfamiliar with previously. The institutional culture of University of Wolverhampton has motivated me to work hard for attaining the aims that I have set for myself, by working for extra hours after the lectures and preparing for the lectures in advance. Now I feel quite confident and self-sufficient for achieving any goal that I aim for, and this quality has emerged in me as a result of the institutional culture of my university as well as its teachings.
Personal Development Plans constitute the systematic approach to learning that aligns Planning (formulating objectives for learning), executing plans (converting them into activities to attain objectives), recording (what you achieve and the perception about the experiences faced), and reflection (analysing the results of learning). It helps one identify the objectives and streamlining them in order to chart out the plans for their attainment, in addition to make them available for you for availing the different opportunities. It can even help a student while his studies in personal development through improving educational and professional as well as personal abilities.
During the course study we used a lot of methods and techniques for personality evaluation and developing a Personal development Plan. I would like to highlight methods such as conducting a skill audit was a very comprehensive exercise, this exercise provided me the opportunity to view my inner self as critically as possible. I was able to identify which areas i am good and which areas need improvement, this exercise was sequential in development of individual SWOT analysis (Strengths Weakness Opportunities and Threats). I was able to single out what my strengths are and where i am weak as a person. These exercises also are extremely help when we are to develop future careers and we can compare our individual assessment with the profile of employee for the target candidate to asses our legitimacy for the Job role in organizations.
I also like working on Belbin teams roles and finally developing the PDP.
As a part of Personal Development plan, I performed a SWOT analysis on myself, which helped me find out that I was unable to identify the main weaknesses in me and prioritizing them in the respective order of their importance, the most important one being the lack of self-confidence. The coursework and socialization with the people while working in the group has helped a lot to boost up my self-confidence, as socializing with the group members during team work has helped me analyse their personalities and the ways to deal with them at individual as well as group level, thereby leading to the development of strong working relationships resulting in improved self-confidence.
This lack of confidence has generated a number of other problems for me including feeling of inferiority, low self-esteem, and inability to question and participate effectively in the class. Leading to several unanswered questions. I have always been struggling as a student due to this but I was never able to single out this problem. As a result my studies have been affected as well. Fear of failure has made me less expressive. As my ultimate aim is to stand out in the class as well as outside the work environment, so I have to combat with the difficulty I face at boosting up my self-confidence. The other weaknesses that I found out through SWOT analysis were low introversion and not being able to think out of the box.
In my PDP i have given my self a target of six months to overcome this weakness of mine. I have decided that i will increase my class participation by working in teams and interact more with my fellow students. I will try to go out with them and socialize with them, becomes good friends with so that i am conformable with them in class. The team assignment that we have done oin the class have benefitted my objective where I interacted with my class fellows and we became better friends.
The strengths that I identified in myself through SWOT analysis included being a flexible person, open minded, readiness towards learning and being able to think logically. Moreover, I had an acute sense of self-control that makes me keep my mind functioning at odd or difficult situations. In addition, I was able to identify that I was quite a well-committed and determined person, hardworking and motivated to achieve the targets and deadlines for the work that were assigned to me.
I had the capability of performing more than one tasks at a time while equally concentrating on each of the task and performing them well. Time management is another strength that I found in myself. Moreover, as depicted by Belbin's Team role questionnaire, I acted as a resource-investigator, when working in the team that means I was a communicative person that was able to explore opportunities; but the communicative role was not an evident one when I was acting in the team. This again made me revisit my lack of self confidence approach where my actual personality has been diminished by lack of confidence. I have also found that i am a very flexible and easy going person according to Belbin's questionnaire target role.
My PDP assessment has identified me a potential effective manager. The opportunities identified included becoming hardworking employee who has the ability to respond to the work requirement and work as per the need. I have never been a creative or innovative person, I like going by the books and keeping things simple and this has been reflected in my PDP as well. I have to work on my communication skills as well and especially practice and able to understand English and speak it frequently.
Organization is another activity and delegation are the two other strengths that I found out in myself, making me a good leader, being able to solve-problems using my logical thinking and performing cost-benefit analysis, above average analytical skills; leading to make me have above average decision making skills. I think that in order to be a good employee and effective manager i need to improve my communication and this can be achieve my putting extra effort in learning English. I will do this my reading talking with my colleagues in English and asking them to identify my mistakes and help me improve it. I will also take online practice English courses and speaking sessions and further improve my vocabulary to write more critical essays and reports.
This activity has helped me identify my problem areas and working on them, and the strengths to polish them making them even better for the future. The feeling of fear of participation, anxiety and lack of self-confidence are the main areas that are to be combated for the better performance.
Moreover, I have realized theoretical knowledge is not enough at all when it comes to the management field, a good manager must have practical hands-on skills to perform efficiently. So I need to modify my analytical skills, incorporating practical skills in them and making them more efficient. A good manager has to maintain the focus on consequences before carrying out a task. But these skills' achievement is not an overnight thing to be achieved, it needs practice and time.
This activity made it evident that my motivation to learn was due to my "Phlegmatic personality" as identified by Eysenck's personality evaluation tool. This shows that I had a quiet and relaxed personality that was always ready for learning new things and experiences. Moreover, according to Hannabuss (1989), I am "sanguine" depicting that I had a socializing and helping personality. Moreover, according to the Big Five Personality trait model, I found out that I was having a high level of conscientiousness, predicting that more motivated to learn and striving to achieve m=the goals I strive for, as according the model, conscientious people are highly motivated for achievement and learning, ability to accommodate new knowledge into already existing one, thus helping the person in future (Martins, 2002).
My first goal on priority list is to achieve proficiency and fluency on English language, achieving command over grammatical, written and spoken skills. For that matter I have planned to join English language classes fitting in my academic schedule and mot conflicting with my timetable. Learning mathematical and statistical knowledge and tools is another aim that I strive for presently, for which I will be using internet, books and assistance from the teachers to gain command on.
Moreover, I need to modify my cognitive biasness towards teamwork and modify my weakness in that area, thereby resulting in developing effective communication skills when working in the team. To combat this problem, I will make myself understand deeply the behaviour modification that is suitable for the better team work, by taking the help of internet.
In the coming semesters, I want myself to improve my adaptive skills in addition to mathematical and technology related skills that will help me in successful completion of my PhD in addition to the personal growth that will be advantageous for me in the future.