I basically belong to India from where I received my secondary education, later on I went on pursue my graduation in the commerce field from Cambridge College, Commercial University, Mumbai. I have done my Masters in Marketing Management from the same University. I have had considerable amount of work experience at prominent organizations. I worked as the Sales Advisor for Marks & Spencer's for almost two years and moved on to work at Reebok as the Retail Sales Coordinator for an year. Honestly, I believe, studying abroad for an international MBA degree is a greatly satisfying rewarding as someone interested in business of Sales and Marketing. Choosing Bangor University was a choice made on the basis of lot of information and research. My educational advisors helped me choose Bangor as a truly international destination for study purposes, which provides an atmosphere conducive for studying and remarkable living place.
As a resourceful, creative and solution-oriented individual I found travelling abroad for my MBA will serve my challenge taking nature. I have been working effectively as a team member with well-known companies and have also acted as team leader as and when opportunity arose. I believe my eight long years of experience in the field of Sales and Marketing with a brief exposure to working in US in the Macy's apparel department as the Sales Executive. I have also travelled to Melbourne, Australia to work as a freelancer merchandiser. Coming to UK is not rocket science. After been to US and Australia, UK was an obvious choice to continue with my professional qualification. I strongly believe this venture will be a life-changing experience for I will get to learn the European ways of business and will get an opportunity to interact with local people and people from around the world.
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Motivation to study in UK is also associated with the reputational factors attached with UK's education system. Most of the countries like US and Australia offer mostly two years rigorous MBA curriculum, whereas UK allowed me with the one year MBA, which was obviously a better choice if I consider my professional experience and life. I could not commit to a two-year program, thus a one-year program was an added advantage for me and one of the strongest reasons to choose UK. While researching about the universities in UK, Bangor University was highly advised by my counsellors back home and I was told it to be one the best educational institutes with a rich history in education.
After coming here, I can say they were quite right. With stimulating lectures and vibrant life I can call it a perfect place to live and study. I view the world with a whole new perspective and my thinking about business and culture has been affected profoundly. I am out of my educational comfort zone and am being continuously challenged every day to develop my views and think in new ways. While earlier also I have been in stimulating environments, studying for a postgraduate qualification in UK is an altogether different endeavour. At Bangor University, I will develop my self-reliance and independence and will leverage on my previous professional experience and will mature academically and brighten my career prospects. MBA at Bangor means enrichment on every level. According to a survey by the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES), when asked about personal growth, 98% students agreed that education abroad increased their self-confidence and facilitated maturity and 97% students revealed it had a lifelong impact on their world view (The London School of Economics and Political Science/LSE).
I am here to seek friendship on a greater diversity level. Studying MBA will also enable me to build enduring friendships and developing relationships with people from various countries. I will remain in contact with them even after my education here is completed. Bangor University will provide me with academic benefits through excellent courses and lectures, unavailable at my home country. It will enhance the value of my degree by allowing me to study the subjects with more depth. Studying in UK will make me more aware culturally and I will be able to appreciate the differences in different cultures I have been in. I will be able to understand different people in better ways, thus becoming a part of world that is increasingly becoming more diverse. With this international exposure, I will be able to appraise the different points of view. MBA from Bangor University will definitely be advantageous to my future career as a manager in corporate world. In today's time more and more employers are placing great emphasis on the value of adaptability and flexibility. They also seek people who understand different cultures and can effectively communicate with people. It will prove to be of great help while the employers analyse my compatibility for a job as I will be able to demonstrate such skills to the employers. Interpersonal skills are the single most important attribute that the employers consider and I will gain on this front for having both academic and professional experience abroad.
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Undeniably I sought the international education and experience because they exhibit my own capability and confidence to carry on with it. Bangor University provides very challenging experience; academically, culturally, and socially and is naturally going to provide me an edge over others and help me stand out in the crowd. All the faculty members are internationally oriented and the academic quality is rich. Besides these reasons, the cost of tuition fee and cost of living are also important factors considered for choosing Bangor University. The place is rated extremely safe across the UK. Thus Bangor is my choice for both the teaching reasons and non-teaching reasons, bending towards the quality of faculty and cost of living as the most important reasons.
Studying in an international setting at Bangor University with students from around the world will surely provide me with the opportunity to develop my communication skills with individuals from a variety of social and cultural backgrounds. The companies I have previously worked for are multinational companies with offices in various countries of world. This will prepare me for an international work. Considering my past ventures in US and Australia, I possess the experience of dealing with various cultures and this will only foster my value as an individual and an employee.
Q. 2. What is your approach to learning?
Q.3. What issues do you anticipate in the group work?
In higher education, the inclusion of group work has become increasingly important, prominently due to greater significance assumed by skill development, lifelong learning and potential of students as future employees. Group work has wide reached consequences if not carried out with proper execution. It is a widely argued topic in the realm of higher education research literature by the likes of Webb, 1994 and Boud et al., 1999 (Mellor, A. 2009). There are three types of group works as identified by Davis (1993). They are formal learning groups, informal learning groups and study groups. Formal groups are created for accomplishing a particular task which is to be completed within a given period of time is given to them, such as preparing a report on the organizational behaviour and its elements in an MNC. Informal groups (random groups of individuals) are easily identifiable in a class where students discuss various academic (and non-academic) issues and the study groups are formed to assist the group members during a project's progress. According to Webb, 1994; Gledhill and Smith, 1996, group work is extremely complex and has effects on the student's learning mechanism. Before formation of a group, it is important to consider issues such as the right size of group, diversity in a group, balancing the load on different members of a group, preparing students to effectively participate in group work. Knight (2004) has argued that the students prefer being assessed individually rather than in groups. Group work can become more disliked by students in our groups if it involves peer assessment. As argued by Maguire and Edmonson (2001) it can lead to issues such as lack of rational judgement and prejudices. The most common issues that I can anticipate in the group work are trying to control the group or some members, coercing them to support them in every discussion. Mills (2003) also said that the thing students dislike most are poor group dynamics and personality clashes. There can be an issue of some students who act as obligate parasites by deriving all the advantage without putting any efforts on their own. It discourages other members who actively contribute towards the success of group working. Such students have been called as "passengers" by Bourner et al. (2001) and Parsons (2002). Whereas, Hand (2001) coined the term "freeloader" for such students. An effective solution to this problem can be keeping the group size as minimum possible so that the scope of free riding can be minimized. Davis (1993) advised the perfect group size to be between 3 to 4 and no more than 6 to 7. Glebhill and Smith (1996) have discussed the issue of age, gender and qualification difference as the factors affecting the group dynamics, for example a more mature person will think quite differently than a young individual. There can also be a situation where a particular student is undermined by other members, this can seriously hamper his emotional confidence and this sort of rejection can lead to bigger problems such as group conflict (Chang, 1999). In any group there can be some people who like to be followed and some who just follow without considering the bigger picture. While Thorley and Gregory (1994) believe that groups selected by teachers can be more effective answer to the task or situation, however there is a natural inclination among the students to form self-selected groups on basis such as friendship, ethnic or cultural proximity. This can become problematic in our case, as there are students from around the world. It is not necessary that every individual has made enough friends. Also, if some members are unable to form a group of their choice, they might feel hostile in a group of unknown people. It is not necessary that they will easily adjust in any group. It can not only hamper their participation but can also hurt their emotional well-being (Mellor and Entwistle, 2008).
Q.4. How will you attempt to address these?
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I, as an MBA student am looking forward to a rich academic and cultural exposure at Bangor University classrooms. Learning is certainly going to be an area of focus while also looking into the areas that need improvement. Developing personality to a better level will definitely be on top of the list. I am also looking forward to working in groups composed of diverse students. During the one year I have at Bangor, I will ensure I develop my transferrable skills and enhance my employability through the way of developing my leadership, negotiation abilities, decision making and increasing adaptability by fitting myself in different roles as the course progresses.