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I have done my Bachelors of Business Administration as my undergraduate degree. I always wanted to do an MBA and this was the reason I did BBA in my undergraduate degree to form a learning basis in the field of business management. Through BBA I have developed the basic skills in all the fields of management and MBA will help me in enhancing those skills at "M" level. I chose to do an MBA in University of Wales Institute, Cardiff because it will give me an international exposure and an international point of view of looking into business and because it's only a one year course. I always felt that the only thing in which I lack behind from others is self confidence. MBA will definitely help me in gaining that confidence and give me an extra edge over others. It will also help me in building up my leadership skills and broaden my horizons and my thinking power in the field of business.
1.2 FUTURE FOCUS
I want to establish a career in the IT world. I want to enter the IT world by gaining the most basic job an MBA graduate gets and then want to grow up gradually and consistently. I want to grow from the most basic level even if I get a better opportunity initially because my ultimate aim is to work and gain a capital and then start up my own business. I want to work at every level and gain experience and knowledge in every field which will help me in applying those skills and knowledge when I start up my own business. By working in different designations I will be able to even understand the relations between higher authorities and employees in a company.
The graph above shows the level of growth which I expect from myself in the five years from the day I enter the corporate world.
2. REFLECTION ON ACTION
2.1 PROBLEMS FACED
Due to the change in the entire educational pattern between my home country and the host country there were lot of problems faced by me initially when I came to study my MBA at University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. The major problem faced by me while doing my first assignment was the usage of Harvard Referencing System and it took me a lot of time to understand the thin line difference between as what can be considered as plagiarism and what cannot be considered as plagiarism. It was little challenging to understand as how to refer and cite different texts taken from various sources. I found it little difficult to understand the difference between two terms paraphrasing and copying. I feel a majority of the students would have faced the same problem as I faced because when I was doing a short assignment on the topic 'plagiarism' itself, I came across a survey which showed that more than 50% of the students have plagiarised their statement of purpose while applying for admissions. Accessing the electronic resources provided by the university was not much of a problem but sometimes it was difficult to access the few databases as it required registration and all. Another major problem faced by me was it was very difficult for me and my group members to understand our finance assignment. Our finance assignment was different from the theory which was being taught in class. We couldn't even go and ask our professor about the assignment often as what degree of guidance we take was a part of the assessing criteria.
2.2 STRATEGIES USED
By getting involved in Wider Reading.
By reading more about the Harvard Referencing System and looking at the examples as how the reference is given if the text is taken from a book, if taken from a journal and so on.
Through communication with other people who already know about plagiarism and through in depth discussions about it with seniors who have already faced the same problem and overcome it.
Going through the past projects and reports available in the library.
Avoiding the usage of google and try and read and collect information from the various sources available in the electronic library.
2.3.1 Kolb's Experiential Learning Theory
Kolb's have developed this theory on the earlier work done by John Dewey and Kurt Levin. According to Kolb Experiential learning theory, learning is a process where knowledge is gained through experience. Kolb's has divided his learning cycle of experiential theory into four zones.
The first zone Concrete experience refers to the stage of doing and experimenting things. The second zone Reflective Observation refers to the process where a person observes the experiment done by him and reflects accordingly. The third zone Abstract Conceptualization refers to the process which runs in the mind of a person where he gets involved in deeper thinking and tries to conceptualize the entire experiment in the most effective way. Last but not the least zone Active Experimentation refers to the process where a person is planning to experiment the concept which has been understood by him for more experiences and learning. In addition to the four zones there are even four different styles of learning which can be utilised to the most when it is used in between the correct zones. Diverger is a style of learning which can be utilised the most when it has enough data and information to observe. An assimilator style is one where enough data is given to make a concept on the basis of information. Converger is a style where the space is given for practicing and testing the concept. Accommodator is a style where a learner is able to accommodate his experiments into more learning and gaining more experience through that learning.
A nature of a student is very similar to the kolb's theory because a student acts as an actor as well as receiver. A student experience lot of things in classrooms by listening to lectures, arguments made by other classmates, examples given by lecturers etc. A student reflect on this experiences by going home and reading more about the topic which was lectured in the classroom, researching on the internet, reading blogs, journals and newspapers and collect as much as information possible. It then builds a broad outline of the topic in his mind and then put that concept in action by making a project on the topic. Such nature of a student is proved by the model formed by Svinciki and Dixon. The data found out by Svinciki and Dixon is attached in the appendix.
(Bergsteiner, Avery and Neuman, 2010)
On a personal note I totally agree with Kolb's Experiential Theory as it is true that past experiences or direct experience really help you with learning. I have personally experienced this learning cycle. During my induction week at University of Wales Institute, Cardiff I heard a word "Plagiarism" from my professor. I didn't know the meaning of the word and so after my class got over I went home and search the internet and found out the meaning of the word and thus learnt a new concept. Through the process of finding the meaning of the word plagiarism I even came across a referencing system known as Harvard referencing system and learnt about the usage of it.
A case study of Ludic learning space provides us with an example where Experiential Learning Theory has put into practice. The case study learning to play, playing to learn is developed on the basis of two perspectives. Firstly the emergence of ludic learning space by multidisciplinary theories uncovering the hidden principles of play. Secondly the formations of the same learning space through a football league case study where players of different age group, gender etc come together under an examination.
As the theory suggests that individuals learn a lot when they are set free, the ludic learning space also gives the players the chance to learn from the experience they gain by playing under no supervisory authority and practice again and again. Through such freedom given to the players they are able to set their own path of learning and thus start the learning cycle. After their play, the players observe their patterns of play and reflect on it by rectifying their mistakes and strengthening their weaker areas and develop themselves more strongly towards the game. They conceptualize their game and then set their own rules and codes of conduct of the game leading to the completion of the Kolb's Experiential Learning Cycle.
(Kolb Y and Kolb A, 2010)
Mayer Cognitive theory of Multimedia Learning
According to this theory, Mayer believes in that a person learn more from photographic images and in text images rather than just from plain words. According to Mayer, this theory believes that there are two sections in human brain. The theory assume few things such as an human brain has two separate sections for recording different type of media such as auditory and visual media. It even assume that every section has a limited capacity of recording and thus believes that learning is a simple process of collecting information, filtering it in your mind and then organising and then presenting one's collected information to others. This can be represented easily in the form of a diagram. (Mayer, 1998)
The working memory filters the information from the sensory memory organs such as ears and eyes and short list down the selected words and images which it wants to store in the working memory. Then the working memory starts its process and converts those sounds and images into verbal and pictorial mode respectively. Thus the integrating process starts from those verbal and pictorial modes and the knowledge gets stored into a long term memory format.
On a personal note I believe in the lesson which the theory suggest as from personal experience I have seen that it is more easy for me to remember things when presented in pictorial form such as diagrams, pictures, graphical representation etc rather than just in words. It has been always easy for me to recollect the information I read from the pictures during my examination.
According to a survey done by the Department of Education of the University of Gent in Belgium it is proved that students spent less time on the instructions when given in a visual mode than the students under audio conditions. Students with video inputs provided proved to outperform their friends and other students with audio inputs. The data proving it has been attached in the appendix section.
(Tabbers, Martens and Merrienboer, 2004)
The reason behind as why I chose the above two theories is that I strongly believe that the learning model suggested by the two theorist is related to the way in which I have started my learning process.
3.1Personal Development Plan as on 1st April 2011
GOALS TO ACHIEVE
STRATEGIES FOR ACHIEVING GOALS
Successfully complete the P&O first assignment.
Successfully complete the first semester of my MBA with good grades.
Complete all the assignments within time.
Get a part - time job.
To develop a better level of communication skills.
To improve the speaking fluency of the English language.
To improve the presentation skills.
Get involved in wider reading and work with full dedication and zeal.
Read more books about the various concepts explained in classroom, complete assignments on time.
Form a time schedule.
Search various internet sites and apply online for jobs available. Talk to senior's and enquires about any vacancy available at the work place them working.
More interaction with other classmates.
Communication more in English even with people of same home country and common language.
By utilising the every opportunity which arises for giving presentations in class and working towards the basic remedies given by professors in order to give a better presentation.
To complete the second semester of my MBA with better Grades than first semester.
To do the best dissertation and thus completing the MBA degree.
Personality development by achieving the 5th and 6th short term goal.
Rectifying the mistakes done in first semester leading not to the best grades and work with more sincerity and enthusiasm.
Choose the best topic which interest me and do a very vast range of research. In fact to start the research process in summer vacations itself.
If failed to achieve the 5th and 6th short term goal as per the plan, striving more hard to finish it within the second deadline and let the building built. Failure is always a step to success.
Finding a suitable job as per my interests and level of qualification.
Application of my skills and theory learnt into practice in my job.
After achievement of 1st long term goal, grow steadily and start the journey towards the ultimate goal and ambition of my life as mentioned in future focus under personal history.
Searching for jobs in newspapers, uploading cv on different jobs websites available. Short listing the priorities and the type of job preferred as per the interest.
Presenting all the qualities of a leader and a manager into the job. Working hard, working in a disciplined manner, behaving well with other colleagues and maintain a good repo with seniors and higher authorities.
As mentioned above working in an orderly manner and avoid any pitfall in the growth chart.
CONCLUSION & DISCUSSION
People and Organisation assignment one has been very helpful in understanding more about oneself. It gave us a chance to sit and think again as what we want from our MBA and how we want to excel in our career lives. It reminded us again about all our goals and strategies, some of which we might have forgotten in the new world of Education. It even helped us in improving our research skills and polishing our different skills such as Presentation Skills, Report Formation, and Microsoft Office Skills etc. It built in us a thorough learning of different styles of learning theories suggested by various authors and helped us in finding and relating our own style of theory which we follow in practice in our own lives with the theoretical part of the Learning Theories. The assignment taught us a deeper understanding in terms of how people differ from one another in terms of behaviour and attitudes. Different people have different and unique pattern of learning and everyone has a learning cycle which they realise one day or the other. After this assignment I realised as when and how my learning cycle started and I strongly agree with the method of Mayer's Learning Theory. It's very easy and convenient for me to grasp more from images and graphs rather than just being words alone. Through this assignment I even gain knowledge about my style as a theorist i.e.: Reflector. In order to conclude, this assignment has already helped me in achieving my short term goals to a little extent, and also broadens my horizons as well as reminded and motivated me towards my goals and ambitions in my life.
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