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The purpose of this report is to analyse my reflection about what I feel and how I feel when putting my dissertation together. The reflective report is the second part of the Applied Management Project that is very compulsory for all students to tackle. Deep down me when I heard about this, I felt so bad as have never done such before and doesn't even know what and what I have to do not until I saw a guide in the hand book given to us.
Boud et al. (1985, p.18) argued that reflection can be defined as a "Forum of response of the learner to experience while Reid (1993, p.305) suggested that "Reflection is a process of reviewing and experience of practice in order to describe, analyse, evaluate and so inform practice"
According to Schon (1983) he suggested that the reason for writing on "reflection" is in two different ways and they are stated as:
"Reflection on Action": in this process it is writing about the past experience. Or
"Reflection in Action" which is writing about the experience gained at present.
Getting different definition from different researcher has made me understand the importance of "REFLECTIVE ANALYSIS" and an advice given by Dr JBK on write is to remember has made me got a notes reflecting my feelings and problems encountered each day I try picking up my dissertation.
RECOLLECTION OF EXPERIENCES
It all started on the Monday 14th of June 2010, when we were told to resume for the AMP week which I thought it won't be necessary for me to attend thinking I ready have an experience about dissertation not knowing that it is going to be of a great benefit to me .
We were all welcomed with smiles by the leader of the module, in the person of Mr Vincent Ong. He shared a lot of information with us about time and cohort each department falls into with all other activities we need to do during the AMP week. Each lecturer was designated to each cohort and time they need to be at lecture room A004. A lot was said to us on how to avoid plagiarism and bad referencing during the Amp week and we are asked to form a group of 6-8 and knowing the importance of having an effective and efficient group, I had no choice than to stick to my normal group mate. This makes a lot of things easier for me because we all understand each other and know each other's strength.
After all the information given, each cohort was given different room where to have their topic but during this time each group was asked to nominate someone as the group leader and come forward to pick a number in which the number chosen is the number of the group topic. However, after the allocation of topics, some lecturers are designated to give an advice on the project topic. Different lecturer saw it from different perspective but my group personally was eager to see guy parrot because he has always been the lecturer we wanted and he was also impressed for a bit reading the group has done before meeting him.
After the discussion with guy parrot, the Liberians came around to show us how to search for journals and other necessary resources that might be needed when writing the project. This was so helpful because I was able to get some journals with what I was told to look out for went tackling my topic. Thou I had a bit of problems after the seminars because I was so lazy to pick up my topic and not until when I made a time table for myself. The experience have got from this project writing is that do the right thing at the right time and never doubt yourself just keep trying for a better outcome.
PERSONAL FEELINGS AND LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCE
Some of the problems I faced when writing my dissertation was inability to manage my time and given all I can to make sure I made a good contribution any time the group comes together when necessary. Sometimes I feel so depressed for not having a supervisor but at the same time I count it to be a challenge for me and should be able to fight it when I found myself in such position at a place of work. A lot of limitations toward the materials needed were also a big problem because the materials were not for free. At some point in time during the write up, I lost all have written due to my negligence which made me stay away from the project for two week and concentrate on my job. It is a very big task working while studying and the reason for these is that after work I feel so tried and don't want to do anything than to go bed. My electronic calendar keeps doing the countdown towards the submission date as its fast moving closer but as I have said earlier on, it is a challenge and I have to face it. This was what led to my time table making and reduction of hours at work.
Waking up every day and thinking about a project of 15,000 words in total is horrible because I lost my laptop and the school library (LRC) was locked for a while. I had a great difficulty in typing my work at this time as the LRC closing hours were conflicting with my working hours at the office. At some point in time I thought maybe I should go for an extension but my group members never encourage me on that because they are always up doing and anytime I open my email, there is always a task for me to carry out and should be presented at the next meeting.
After the meeting which only three of us where available, I had to set a target of at least 500 words for myself each day. It got to a point I felt so bad and I pasted my topic on the social networking website (face book) as my status asking different peoples knowledge about "Measuring Marketing". So many ideas were given which I had to share with my group mate and compare it to the points given by the lecturers. Some of the points got from "Face book" was useful but it end up being a problem towards the progress of my project because I found out that any time I am on the social networking website; I never achieve my daily target. All problems faced when putting the project together has helped me on professional grand's and makes me develop an interest in my topic. Given it out to expertise won't have improve my knowledge about the topic as well as how to deal with people from different nationalities.
All the experience gained from these has boosted my inspiration to attain so many things in life because have discovered myself with so much confidence and this can be back up with self-actualization from Maslow's theory of motivation that says it is a stage where by you develop psychologically and still continue developing in other to achieve whatever goal you set for yourself.
GROUP DYNAMICS AND LEARNING FROM THE EXPERIENCE
Knowing that working as a group is a very important aspect in sharing knowledge about the dissertation. A lot of sacrifice was made in other to work as an effective group and for a better outcome towards the dissertation.
I can declare my group as one of the best group during the AMP period because everyone is always up doing despite the fact that we all are from different background. The very first day we met, four of my group members came with different journals and this journal was e-mailed to everyone to read and discuss what we understand about measuring marketing. Thou a lot of reflections where given to us during the AMP week but my group was so uniform to the extent that we first decide on what the project structure should look like and after that we should choose for the next meeting.
For better explanation on how my group work together and some problems encountered, Tuckman's five main stages of group development will be used for better explanation and they are Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning.
This was when we all came together but not really cleared with what we are going to do. Problems start arising from here because some of the members in the group where new faces and we never had a good trust in one another. We all are wondering how to get closer to each other because no one knows who will be committed to the group and who will not.
In other to get on the next stage, we chose a group leader and she set a mission and shape up how to trust each other. Thou in my mind I was thinking this is a risk but as day's pass by, everyone was showing interest during the AMP week. After the AMP week it was a night mere with the new members because none among the three of them way staying in Luton and they never replied messages sent to them.
The solution to these and what got me going was that. I never stopped contacting and setting target for myself. I was very directive and that really make things easier for me and carry on with members on ground.
At this stage, what got me going at the forming stage which is being directive was not really working for am at this stage. This was because new ideas where coming from different members and one of the new faces was trying to act as the leader which no one shows interest in. We members that have been together right from the beginning of the course are really participating towards a better outcome of the project while the new faces where not showing interest.
The group leader recognizes how important it is to bring everybody together. She created a positive thinking toward supporting each other and this was what led to sharing of journals brains and ideas. Doing all that keep the group going and each member start making a request from one another with an updated feedback.
The Norming stage was when we noticed that, there was progress in every ones project. We contact each other more frequently, set target for our selves, and update each other on every solution to any problem that comes up. At this stage there was so much confidence in very one and the topic now sound more interesting to everybody.
For the group to be able to move forward from this stage, I guess the secret about this was that everyone was ready to listen each other, exchange important information, all plans where agreed and the side talks were brought to the table and well addressed. Knowing how important this stage was, the group members were able to suggest useful ideas and make recommendation when necessary.
At this point of time, the group members were able to see ourselves as one unlike the individuality we are doing before. There was so much trust in each other and very effective. At this point each member comes up with what he or she want to work one and this was because we can only waste little. Thou the group had a lot of clash from the beginning about the topic but at this point we were able to manage ourselves.
Being strong-minded, devoted, dedicated to the development and the achievement of the group was what led to our success. We all felt like being like this right from the start.
This is the last stage in the Tuckman's stages of group development. Adjourning stage was a very funny stage because the group member wishes we can start all over again. We all start making flash back about the past scenes and laugh about it. Really we wish we all can be working together for the same company in future. At this stage, I really miss my entire group members because everything now turn out be fun to me and discovered I could not even figure out what my day looks like without calling each other or inviting each other for a drink. I found it had to go back to my independent life as it looks horrible and not challenging to me. We all plan to make party after the submission of the project.
LESSON FOR FUTURE PROJECTS
Some of the essentails message i got from the brigning to the end of my project is to learn how to tolorate pepople from different back ground and also do the right thing at the right time. Be patient and better understanding about each other in time, would have left the group with a better arrangement and ways to tackle the topic more effectively.
Secondly, the group faces alot of chanllenges during this porcess but all available members during the meetings finished their project successfully. With every task given, it is advisable to draw up a plan and set objectives. Hightlight them one after the other starting from how important they are and seperate thoes that has to come first from ones to come later. I also learnt that, sourcing for materials needed in time could have been an added advantge eventhou i read so many journals, i still believe could have doen better.
I also learnt that challenging one self by setting a traget to be achieved could have even make it more interesting. Such will be helpful at work place because meeting the dealines given at work won't be a problem. Doing this will make you have time for your self and time for your work at a time planned and won't put you under pressure.
Another important thing is to keep regulary records of what you want to do every time as it saw advised by Mr JBK during the AMP week.Coming as a group is another vital factor towards caring out a good master piece of work because so much ideas will be shared and every one will see it from different perceptive. This will give every member the chance to learn from one another and never leave a room for any doubt in each others ability.
Have gained a lot towards my future from the topic given to me because have been exposed to different aspect of how organisation measure their marketing activities including the risk and benefits behind it. This topic has made me understand how marketing works and how organisation should monitor, review and evaluate their marketing acitvities frequently.
Have said to my self that, all have learnt about measuring marketing and my profession as a whole have to be implemented in my palce of work or in my own business. At the same time will always encourage group work any where i found my self in future.
The topic given to me on my Applied Management Project has left me with loads of understanding about how organisations try as much as possible to make sure they achieve their marketing abjectives both for short-term and long-term purposes. Since my undertsanding about Measuring Marketing, Have developed so much interest in any advert that comes up on either television, internet pop-up etc. All i keep asking my self is that, are such organisations making profit on their investment? To an extent i do say YES and at some point in time i do say NO.
My so happy about my topic because this will be very useful for me in future particularly at my place of work.It has really increase my skills on what to do when am to carry out a task with different people from different nationalties.
Eventhough i went through alots of up and downs when putting my project together, I presist to challenge my self towards the goal in want to accomplish. It has not only led to the qualities i discovered in my self but also changed my perception about the way i view my future. This project has made me understand that ,to achieve and found my self any where i want to be in future, all i need to do is encourage team work, show signs of dedications, be well determined and never look down on ur self and any body.
With appreciations to the Business School of University of Bedfordshire, I am using this opportunity to say a give thank you and promise to be a good ambassador of the school on both academics and good behaviour.