As the market becomes more competitive, employees are required to be better equipped with up-to-date knowledge, skills and abilities. Employers seek candidates who possess diversified skills and generic capabilities. In this reflective journal, I have 'reflected' on how VU capabilities are being used and developed in my role as a marketing executive; occupational health and safely in my organization and its impact on my role; and the impact of university studies on my role. I conclude that basic skills have been taught in the university courses; however, they are being polished at my workplace where exposure and experience is more.
Today's market scenarios are very dynamic and demanding. It calls for diversified, yet up-do-date knowledge and skills imbedded into employees' attitudes and outlook towards work. Normally, employers strive to employ people who possess at least the generic skills which are expected to be developed by university graduates through their coursework and related tasks. Universally sought qualities and attributes of graduates incorporate good communication, teamwork and problem-solving skills, instead of subject specialism, and employers are ready to be adaptable to the disciplines studied by prospective recruits, attaching value to higher education due to its screening role in discovering potential employees who have achieved academic success, posses required ability and own enhanced personal qualities (Hassall, 2005).
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To match the requirements, universities now strive to develop the generic capabilities in their students to enable them to better cope with their professional requirements (Victoria University, 2008).
As part of this reflective journal, I will strive to 'reflect' on my capabilities that have been developed at my workplace, the impact my university studies has made on my role in my workplace, and the Occupational Health and Safety at my workplace and its impact on my role.
Along with my Bachelor of Marketing from Victoria University, Australia, I am currently volunteering at Migrant HUB Inc. as a Marketing Executive. It is established through research that work-based placement learning can contribute to the development of a student's reflective capacity (Lucas, 2007); for me, working alongside studies has enhanced my insight into the major capabilities required to work as a marketing man and the ways to develop the same.
I work at Migrant HUB Inc.; which strives to encourage and support migrants to assimilate better into Australian society and become more vigorous citizens of their local community. As an endeavor to make our residents more active within the local community, we have initiated several programs aimed at building social interaction among the people; improving the employability skills of the people; supporting migrants to establish their own business enterprises and join various clubs under the flagship of Migrant HUB Inc. to enhance their English, self confidence, public speaking and leadership abilities (Migrant HUB Inc., 2012).
My role at Migrant HUB Inc. as the Marketing Executive calls for my ability to listen, work in a group, interpret financial information, think creatively, cope with stress, meet deadlines, manage time and generate practical ideas.
As I work in a community that comprises of residents from diverse backgrounds, including people from refugee and humanitarian backgrounds, I have developed an aptitude to work in an environmentally, socially and culturally responsible manner. Different courses which I undertook in university had created awareness in me regarding different social and environmental issues. This helped me to be sensitive to different concern of the people - something which assisted me to make my space and excel as a marketing executive; for the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility can never be undermined in Marketing (Ferrell, 2004). We make sure that we maintain the workplace in a safe condition (by ensuring that fire exits are not blocked, the worksite is usually tidy, and emergency equipment is serviceable) and provide workers and volunteers with sufficient facilities (such as clean toilets, hygienic eating areas, and cool and clean drinking water). As the marketing executive, I keep an eye open for compliance with Health and Safety at our organization; any non-compliance issue would seriously damage our reputation.
This also means that I am required to interact with a multitude of people who possess different attitudes and mind-sets. In such a situation, I have developed a tendency to communicate in a variety of contexts and modes. This is an ability which was inculcated in me during my education; presenting assignments and projects for a variety of audiences, working on differentiated tasks, and preparing presentations for different situations and courses. Moreover, when new residents or volunteers enter our community, I have the additional responsibility to provide the workers with information in the appropriate languages about workplace health and safety arrangements, including the names of those to whom the workers can make an inquiry or complaint (Work Safe Victoria, 2006).
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Additionally, development of communication skills in university aids in maintaining public relationship (John A. Ledingham, 2001); which is an essential component of successful marketing.
At Migrant HUB Inc., there are numerous activities all going on at once and a huge number of people are involved at each and every stage. In such a situation, problems keep on surfacing every now and then. I have thus developed the ability to solve problems in a range of settings; for the problems are not bound to any one subsidiary of Migrant HUB Inc. I had been prepared for such situations through the medium of case studies; being presented by real-life situation and asked to evaluate and suggest suggestions for the given scenario. This also enabled me to examine, execute, and modify existing procedures in any given organization. The same training and skills are being applied in real-life at Migrant HUB Inc.
Moreover, this also led me to generate ideas and propose innovative solutions. Hence, assistance from my university studies laid the grounds for further polishing of skills.
During the course of our study, we were required to make such assignments which called for collection of relevant data, its processing and ultimate use to enhance knowledge about a particular topic or field. As part of my job at Migrant HUB Inc., I constantly come across situations where I have to locate, critically evaluate, manage and use written, numerical and electronic information. This capability was instilled in me during university studies, but is being used and further developed through my role at my workplace.
As part of my team at Migrant HUB Inc., I am required to work both autonomously and collaboratively, depending on the nature of tasks. These are some specific tasks which have to be carried out by me, in my capacity as the marketing executive. However, there are also instances where I work as part of a team, without any discrimination. These are the times when we organize fairs and special events. Though the practical scenarios are somewhat different from the classroom environment, I had undergone the experience in my university where I was required to work on individual assignments, as well as group projects.
However, in practice, while I work in collaboration with other employees and volunteers, I am required to make sure that making sure that workers have ample information, coaching, training and supervision to work in a safe and healthy manner. This is the way of Migrant HUB Inc. to adhere to the requirements of OHS.
Perhaps one of the best impacts that university had on my role as a marketing executive was the ability of information literacy, often associated with technology. Integrating technology with marketing initiatives is the need of the time (Shugan, 2004). I have been able to meet deadlines and show differential abilities through the technology integration.
Moreover, university studies taught me market planning; besides the ability to come up with creative and innovative marketing ideas. This is all that a marketing executive needs, though the skills are polished with time and experience.
In addition, meetings the deadlines for projects and assignments and preparation for formal examination taught the management of time to meet deadline as well as recognized objectives, and quality performance standards. It also made me proficient in locating useful priorities to accomplish instant and long-term goals and accumulate operational time limit. Furthermore, working on given situations and topics made me capable of critical and analytical (and sometimes creative and reflective) thinking.
Though compliance with the OHS regulations is the responsibility of the Human Resource Department, my role as a marketing executive calls for me to keep abreast with the regulations and company policy regarding the same.
From the marketing perspective, Migrant HUB Inc. has employed people with the necessary qualifications or expertise to advise us on health and safety issues affecting not only our workers, but also our local residents who are a part of Migrant HUB Inc. in one way or another. In such instances, I have the duty to overlook the procedures and policies that are being devised and carried out within the organization.