The aim of this essay is to reflect upon and evaluate my personal, academic and career developments since I have started university. I will be reflecting upon my experience of the work placement and feedback received from my first semester assignments, along with evaluating my career aspirations and creating an action plan on how to get there. Throughout the essay I will be using Gibbs reflective cycle to allow me to effectively evaluate my progress and develop a plan so that I can continue to move towards my career aspirations.
Gibbs, 1988 proposed that reflection can take place after an experience and provided a structure to guide the process of relating. The proposed model has “six stages with each step informing the next. (See Figure 1 of Appendix). ” (Husebo, oregano and Nestle, 2015). Work experience provides us with the ideal opportunity to learn about life in a working environment and can often help to kick start a career.
An article from the Telegraph, 2015 stated, “About 80 per cent of employers think work experience is essential, according to a survey by the City & Guilds vocational training organisation, and two-thirds of employers would be more likely to hire a young person with work experience over someone with none. ” (Pozniak, 2015). For me, the placement was about getting an insight into how events are organised and gaining experience of working with younger children, which I could add to my curriculum vitae.
During my time with Multi Sport Pro, I was able to have thorough conversations with some of the coaches about how the events are run and what it takes to organise them. This provided me with an insight into what MSP do and reiterated the importance of effective planning and time management. My role at the placement was to assist the coaches by helping to set up the games and activities, whilst trying to encourage the children to take part and give them advice on various skills to help them improve their skills set.
Prior to the placement I was nervous as I didn’t know what to expect as I had no experience of working in that field of expertise. After the first hour or so on the first day, I was feeling more comfortable as the coaches had helped me settle in and explained how the day would run. During the first activity, when I was getting to know the coaches better, I was able to have a long discussion with coach Lee about everything that MSP do and how their business works. It was here that I was able to gain some confidence as he assured me that I would be more than capable of carrying out my role.
By the second and third day I knew what to expect, which allowed me to go into the day with more confidence to get involved as much as I could. I believe it was these two days where I was able to take the most from the placement and get a real feel for what they do. Working with the coaches and getting to know them and the children helped me to develop my self confidence and allowed me to establish a positive working relationship with everyone. On the whole, I think that the placement was a positive experience. I feel that the placement was a valuable experience that will boost my CV and help me to stand out to future employers.
It has enabled me to not only grow my self confidence but to meet new people and gain experience that I can take forward into future careers. I am happy with what I was able to take from my time with them and believe that I have developed some of my key work life skills, such as communication and time management. However if I was to do another placement I would like to look more at the business side, rather than helping out and seeing how the events are run, as I now feel that this is the direction that I want to go in.
Through the assignments and feedback in the first semester, individual and groups ones, I have managed to evaluate my academic skills not only as an independent learner, but as part of a group as well. I have been able to develop numerous skills, such as time management, reflective practice and working as part of a team and evaluate my strengths and weaknesses so that I can adjust and achieve the highest grades possible. The feedback from the essay immediately drew my attention to some of my weak points, for example, sourcing, citing and proofreading my work.
Even though time management has proven a strength in each of the group assignments undertaken, | still believe there is room for improvement, in particular when writing my essays. It was evident from my feedback that I had not taken enough time to proofread my work, as there were countless silly errors pointed out that should have been avoided. Referencing is another area where I need to improve, as it is a significant part of all academic writing. I believe once learn the rules and fully understand how to implement them, this will address the issue.
However, I will always need to ensure that I take my time and pay attention to detail when referencing to ensure that it is done correctly. On the other hand, feedback received on group tasks clearly indicated that I work well as part of a team and can effectively apply theory to the question in hand. However, one area that was picked up on was presenting in a professional manner. This is something that I need to practice so that I can get into the top band in my presentations. As a result of my first semester feedback I have been able to devise a plan, based on SMART objectives to help me correct my weaknesses and develop my strengths.
I will create a weekly todo list to help me keep on top of the work that I have to do and prioritise my time effectively. I will re-read Quote Unquote before my next essay to ensure that I understand how and when to reference correctly and stick to key steps involved with essay writing. I will also ensure that I always refer back to the marking criteria to ensure that I am not going off on a tangent and focus on the question in hand. I will ensure that I practice my presenting skills to ensure that my presentations are on point and give the viewers the best impression.
I need to focus on giving eye contact when reading my sections and having professional body language when I’m not speaking. In conclusion, the feedback received has allowed me to identify the strengths and weakness in my academic work and create an action plan for further improvement. On the whole I am satisfied with my accomplishments so far, but am aware that there is room for improvement, especially in relation to my essay writing. After attending the National Sports Roadshow my eyes were opened to the endless opportunities in the sporting industry.
When I went to the Careers zone in the sports hall I was quite shocked at the diversity of the opportunities on offer. The two main areas that interested me were, the Management and Marketing stands. The people at the stands were very friendly and provided me with a clear insight into what these jobs entail. This sparked my interest in the marketing sector and after further research is something I would like to pursue. At the roadshow I went to listen to the two guest speakers they had brought along for sport business & marketing.
The person that | took the most from was Ben Sollosi, I feel that in his talk he was very open about his time at university and something tha really stuck with me is the fact that he said he wishes he worked harder and had more focus. For someone who has set up their own business after graduating to say they wish they’d had more focus really surprised me. However, after he said that I thought to myself if he can do all that and wish he’d focused more than if I focus and put all my effort into getting the best grades possible I wonder where I could end up in 2/3 years after graduating.
Another thing that has stayed with me from Ben’s talk is the fact he said remember it’s about you! Say yes and take your opportunities. Yes luck does come into it, but you have to make your own luck by taking chances and saying yes. From attending the careers day and volunteering with MSP now see my future heading towards the marketing or financial side of the business environment. The main values that I hold when looking for a job are: security, material rewards, expertise and status.
I would like a job that is relatively safe in a stable environment that can provide me with the finance to be able to buy the things I want without having to worry too much about the cost. I also want to gain a high level of accomplishment in a specialised field where my co-workers respect and aspire to be like me. The values along with the results of the personality test (see figure ?? Of appendix), make me aspire to two main job roles: a marketing director or financial director.