Counsulation

SECTION 1.

Section 1.
Page of contents. page 1.
Explanation of sections. page 2.

Section 2.
Assignment 1.
Activity 2.1 page 3 – 4.
Assignment 2.
Activity 2.2 & 2.3 page 4 & appendix.
Assignment 3.
Activity 3.1 page 4.
Assignment 4.
Activity 4.1 & 4.2 page 5.
Activity 4.3 page 6.
Activity 5.1 page 7.
Assignment 5.
Activity 6.2 page 9.
Assignment 6.
Activity 7.1 page 10 & appendix.
Activity 7.2 page 10 -11.
Assignment 7.
Activity 8.1 page 11 & appendix.
Assignment 8.
Activity 11.1 & 11.2 page 12.
Activity 11.3 page 13.
Assignment 9.
Activity 12.1 page 14.
Activity 12.2 page 14,15,16 – 17.
Assignment 10.
Activity 13.1 page 17.
Activity 13.2 page 18 – 19.
Assignment 11.
Activity 14.1 page19 – 20.
Activity 14.2 page 20.
Activity 14.3 page 21.
Activity 14.3 page 21 – 22.
Assigment 12.
Activity 9.1 page 22 & appendix.

Section 3.
Assignment 13.
Reflective letter to my tutor. page 22 – 23.

Section 4.
Assignment 14.
Personal development plan. Page 24 – 25.

Section 5.
Appendix page 26 – onwards.
Section 1 ??“ In this section of my portfolio I have created a page of contents. Due to the structure of my portfolio this will enable the reader to efficiently search and find any particular pieces of work if required. This section also provides a detailed introduction to each of the sections. In these introductions I will clearly explain the various tasks that I have carried out and their meaning.

Section 2 ??“ This section of my portfolio contains 12 assignments that I have completed over the past few months. Each assignment contains a various amount of activities that also have been completed over the past few months. Within these activities there are a number of tasks that aim to stimulate the mind, at the same time call upon skills to complete the tasks that employees in the world of work may be required to have. With that in mind these assignments can be seen as preparing us as students, and attempting to tool us with the necessary skills needed in future employment. Skills such as:

* Communication.
* Numeracy.
* IT.
* Presentation
* Time management.
* Group working.
* Learning.
* Research & development.
* Career development.

The 12 assignments contain all of the above and are an attempt to educate and tool us with the skills above.

Section 3 ??“ This whole section is a letter from myself to my tutor with my reflective thoughts on my learning over the course of the module. Within my letter I will consider what I have learnt and how I am going to apply it in future. I will write about my past experiences, knowledge & skills that I have learnt over the last few months, and how I plan to implement them in the future.

Section 4 ??“ In this section I will give a realistic and detailed action plan as to how I plan to continue my development over the course of the next few years during my studies. The action plan will contain 5 main goals/objectives that I have set myself, how I plan to achieve them, what resources or support will I need to achieve them, my success criteria for achieving them and my target date for when I hope to achieve them.

Section 5 ??“ This final section of my portfolio is the appendix. This section contains loose evidence of work that is in relation to my 12 assignments. Although they are loose, they are still in the necessary order of assignments and activities. The evidence of work may be any of the following:

* Questionnaires & results.
* Completed activity sheets.
* Oasis printouts.
* General printouts.
* Presentation slides.

All of the above may be included in the final section of my portfolio as evidence of work.
SECTION 2.

Assignment 1.

Activity 2.1 – Short essay (300 words).

???Discuss the importance of communication in the world of business or your chosen field of study??™.

In the world of business good communication skills are essential. There are various types of communication, all of which play multiple roles in the way we communicate in the business world today. Some forms of communication include:

* Intra-personal
* Interpersonal
* Group
* Mass

Intra-personal skills are extremely important. This is the way we communicate within ourselves (in our head) and can be useful in the world of business if you are required to solve problems in your head. The way we think can affect the way we carry out tasks, so if you have good intra-personal skills then you would be able to carry out tasks more efficiently. This can also apply to my chosen field of study. Having good communication skills in my field of study is just as important as having them in the

both the interviewer and interviewee to both posses these skills. For my chosen field of study this skill can be useful when I am asking questions to a lecturer/tutor. If I posses good interpersonal skills then this will enable me to ask well-structured questions therefore make productive use of the answers I am given.

The use of group communication skills can play a pivotal role in the world of business. This form of communication is within groups of people and is usually used in the business world in the form of quality circles. This form of communicating can be useful to a business it gathers a wide variety of information vast number of individuals within the group. If the individuals have good group communication skills then they would be able to input more ideas into the group, that would therefore make the group more successful. The same factors apply to my chosen field of study. Input from group members would be key to the success of the group.

Mass communication has the same importance as the other forms, especially in the world of business. Large companies, predominantly Plc??™s, use this from of communication to advertise their product(s) to a mass audience. The most common forms of advertising are television, radio, cinemas and newspapers. All of these forms play a fundamental role in advertising businesses products/services, and it is through these forms that businesses make their products/services known to their target audience. Mass communication can be correspondingly used in my chosen field o study. Mass communication could be somebody giving a presentation to a large audience or proving the audience with important information.

In conclusion, it must be said that good communication skills in all forms are vital skills to have in the world of business and in my chosen filed of study.

Assignment 2.

Activity 2.2 – On-line numeracy test.

Appendix.

Activity 2.3 – On-line IT test.

Appendix.

Assignment 3.

Activity 3.1 – Email to tutor.

Dear Sir,

My name is Victor Benson and I have recently enrolled at Middlesex University. I have enrolled to the BA Business Studies course, which is a 4-year sandwich degree. The workshop I am attending is on Wednesday??™s at 2pm.

Yours respectfully,

Victor Benson.

Assignment 4.

Activities 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 & 5.1 – Effective communication activities.

Activity 4.1 – Reflection on findings.

In order for me to complete this activity it was required of me to complete the questionnaires provided in the module handbook. On the completion of all the questionnaires I have come to certain conclusions regarding my interpersonal skills. Judging by my findings from the two questionnaires I feel that I am a very good listener, as the ???inventory listening scale??™ suggests. This is suggested because I scored 20 on the scale of the 1st questionnaire. I scored 5 out of 7 on the scale of the 2nd questionnaire, which also suggests that I am a good listener. Although my test scores were ???high??™ they were not perfect. This means that there is room for improvement. I feel that there are certain weaknesses in my listening ability and I may be lacking in some areas, such as the following:

* ???I sometimes find myself understanding what has been said, but not understanding the meaning??™.

* ???I find it hard to concentrate on what the speaker is saying because of external distractions, such noise??™.

* ???I sometimes find myself preparing my response before the speaker has finished??™.

Despite those weaknesses I also have many strengths. I consider myself to be an ???active listener??™. I think this because I am always prepared to listen, I am motivated to listen and I am non-judgemental of whom I am speaking to. I feel that now I am aware of those weak areas it will allow me improve upon them in the future and hopefully make me a better listener.

Activity 4.2 – Receiving feedback.

The last time I received feedback was on a formal occasion in September ??™04. it was during my appraisal at work with my Assistant Store Manager (ASM) of the store I work in, Next Retail. He made comments referring to my performance in the store and my work effort. He felt that I was working really hard and exceeding the requirements of my job. Although he felt my work effort could even be increased further I was still given a promotion. In response to this I promised to double my efforts in future to show appreciation for my promotion. At the time I continuously thought of ways I could improve and I feel that since then I have made steady progress in improving.

However, I could have made the best of the feedback if I had found other resources, such as my ASM, to help me through my improvements. This experience tells me that receiving feedback or constructive criticism should not be taken negatively, it should be taken positively because it advise that could help to improve and better yourself.

Activity 4.3 – Giving feedback.

The last time I gave feedback to somebody was in October ??™04. It was to a friend of mine studying A.V.C.E. Business Studies who came to me to seek my opinion on his coursework. I said to him that his work was of a good standard and was very promising, but was lacking in a few areas. I advised him to try and add more depth to his work by giving more detail to his explanations in some areas. At first he was upset that I thought his work was lacking, but then he felt better after I gave him encouragement in explaining how he could build on his strengths.

My feedback could have been better and had more of an impact if I had been more descriptive and specific when explaining what aspects of his work was good and promising. If I had done this it may have built up more encouragement and could have resulted in a better outcome. This experience has shown me that giving feedback can be very useful because it outlines to the recipient areas of their work or performance that may need improving, which they may not have realised, and help them to build upon these areas in search for a better result.

Activity 5.1 – Using mind mapping techniques.

Employee??™s bonus pay is less than their basic wage.
Employee??™s bonus pay is less than their basic wage.
HRM lecture notes.
PBR SCHEMES
PBR SCHEMES

Regressive Pay
Regressive Pay

Employee??™s bonus pay is more than their basic wage.
Employee??™s bonus pay is more than their basic wage.

Employee??™s bonus pay is the same as their basic wage.
Employee??™s bonus pay is the same as their basic wage.
Progressive Pay
Progressive Pay

Employees may not wish to be flexible and switch dept. because they may find bonus easier to earn on their dept. due to loose times.
Employees may not wish to be flexible and switch dept. because they may find bonus easier to earn on their dept. due to loose times.
Proportional Pay
Proportional Pay

The time set for the job is accurate and the job should be done on time.
The time set for the job is accurate and the job should be done on time.

Payment By
Results.
Employees may not wish to safety equip. because they may feel they can work faster without it.
Employees may not wish to safety equip. because they may feel they can work faster without it.
The time set for the job is tight (too fast), so the employees do not complete the job on time.
The time set for the job is tight (too fast), so the employees do not complete the job on time.
Tight Time
Tight Time
TIMING OF THE JOB
TIMING OF THE JOB
The time set for the job is slow, so employees can do the job quicker than expected.
The time set for the job is slow, so employees can do the job quicker than expected.
Loose Time
Loose Time
Accurate Time
Accurate Time
PBR IN REALATION TO:
PBR IN REALATION TO:
Health and Safety
Health and Safety
The quality of goods may not be up to standard because employees may rush to finish quicker so they can achieve bonus.
The quality of goods may not be up to standard because employees may rush to finish quicker so they can achieve bonus.
Quality of Production
Quality of Production
Labour Flexibility
Labour Flexibility
(PBR)

For this activity I was asked to put into practice a ???mind mapping??™ technique for my note taking, which I did in my HRM 1500 lecture. I feel that this technique was very helpful because it allowed me to take note of key points and concepts more accurately, also more clearly. The ???branches??™ of the diagram make it easy to distinguish what headings go with each subheading; also the colour co-ordination makes them easier to link together.

However, I feel that the space I have to write in is limited and I may be able to take more notes writing normally. I also don??™t believe that I made full use of the space on the page. If I decide to use this technique again in future I will try to work on the way in which I use the space on the page in order to get the full use of the note taking method.

Assignment 5.

Activity 6.2 – Using numbers confidently.

???Making meaningful conclusions from data presented in a table??™.

I do not think that the company are guilty of sex discrimination. The table shows that there were more successful female applicants than male (100 female, 53 male). Judging by the figures it looks like more female applicants were successful than compared to male, but it is difficult to reach a sensible conclusion only by using the total figures. The number of jobs applied for and the number of male & female applicants for each job, including the amount of males and females that were appointed for each job, all must be taken into consideration in order to reach a conceivable conclusion.

The percentage of successfully appointed male applicants is 10.8, and the percentage of successfully appointed female applicants is 11.8. Judging by the percentage results of the total number of male & female applicants appointed it seems that company are not guilty of sex discrimination. This is because there is a higher percentage of female??™s appointed and these results support the company??™s argument.

The percentage of males & females appointed for each job (job A, B & C) are as follows:

Job Type | Male | Female |
Job A | 20.7 % | 17.9% |
Job B | 10.2% | 8.4% |
Job C | 5.3% | 3.2% |

Judging by percentage results for each job, it seems as if the company are guilty of sex discrimination because the percentage of male??™s appointed for each job is higher than that of the women. These results support the union??™s argument by suggesting that the company are guilty of sex discrimination.

It seems like my answers for paragraph 2 & 3 contradict and disagree with each other. This is to do with the number of applicants for each job. For Job A, although there were a higher percentage of male applicants, there were a higher number of female applicants and females appointed. Due to the large gap between females applied and appointed (458 – 82) this drove their percentage down compared to the males. For Job B there was a higher number of male applicants and appointed than women, and the males managed to keep a higher percentage because the gap between the number of applicants & appointed (187 – 19) was not that much compared to the females in Job A. For Job C there was a higher amount of female applicants than male but less were appointed. This shows that the success rate for Job C is different to that of Job A & B. Since the success rate for Job C was different to that of Job A & B, the union may have an argument for sex discrimination. This is because there were more female applicants but fewer females were appointed to the job.

Due to the fluctuation in the number of males & females applied & appointed, there were arguments for both the union & company over who was right or wrong.

Assignment 6.

Activity 7.1 – Online library test.

Appendix.

Activity 7.2 – Short essay (800 words).

???Discuss whether whistle-blowing has a place in 21st century society??™.

For me to complete this activity I was asked to undertake extensive research into the term known as ???whistle-blowing??™, and then discuss whether it has a place in the 21st century. By the end of my essay I hope to have fully accomplished the following tasks:

* Explained the term ???whistle-blowing??™.
* Discussed various aspects of ???whistle-blowing??™.
* Explained an example of ???whistle-blowing??™.
* Stated the advantages & disadvantages of ???whistle-blowing??™.
* Given my view of ???whistle-blowing??™.
* Listed my sources of information.

???Whistle-blowing is when somebody tells their employer, customers, regulator, police or possibly the media about an illegal or dangerous activity that they may have witnessed, or are aware of at their place of work. ???Whistle-blowing??™ may well inform certain people about various problems that they may need to know about. Problems such as a health & safety risk, environmental problems, fraud, corruption cover-ups and a variety other issues that may need to be brought to the immediate attention of someone. In the aftermath of ???whistle-blowing??™ there may be good or bad outcomes.

In today??™s world there are many circumstance where whistle-blowing??™ goes unreported or unnoticed. There are organisations where individuals can go to for assistance in the process of ???blowing the whistle??™. One of the organisations that individuals can go to if they need to ???blow the whistle??™ is Public Concern at Work (PCaW). This organisation provides individuals with a free help line where they are given advise on how to ???blow the whistle??™. Many individuals before ???blowing the whistle??™ are concerned about their well-being and the risk of losing their job. With the aid of an organisation like PCaW, individuals are given step-by-step guidance of the correct procedure to follow when ???blowing the whistle??™. In many circumstances successful ???whistle-blowing??™, if the correct procedure is followed, goes unreported and unheard of. Today almost all of the workers in the UK have legal protection. They are protected by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA). This act provides workers in the UK with a safe alternative to silence. The PIDA enables individuals to raise concerns about wrongdoing or misconduct that they may be aware of.

There are many examples of ???whistle-blowing??™, where individuals or groups of people have courageously ???blown the whistle??™ publicly. Tony Collins, a Computer Weekly Chief Executive, ???blew the whistle??™ regarding the escalating cost of the new air traffic control system. The system had exceeded its budget by ?80 million, there were still 1200 bugs in its system and the system was already six years late. This is just one example of the type of ???whistle-blowing??™ activities that arise in today??™s world, either publicly or privately.

There may be various advantages or even disadvantages to ???whistle-blowing??™. One of the main advantages could be personal gratification. The individual who ???blew the whistle??™ may have personal gratification due to the simple fact that they have done the ???right thing??™. If the individual who has discovered wrongdoing ???blows the whistle??™ then they may be protecting the interests of innocent individuals (customers), who may be being cheated out of their money for example. So by ???blowing the whistle??™ they could be putting an end to corruption, fraud and any sort of misconduct. Most of the advantages of ???whistle-blowing??™ are mainly either to do with the morals of us as individuals or simply doing the ???right thing??™.

However, doing the ???right thing??™ may not always be as ???rewarding??™ as it seems. In many circumstances individuals who have ???blown the whistle??™ have been bullied out of their jobs as a result. Although employees are protected by the PIDA, some individuals claim that there are too many ???get out??™ clauses for companies who stand accused due to ???whistle-blowing??™. If employees are not bullied out of their job then they may face bullying at work because they are seen as a ???grass??™. Many individual may even receive threats, whether it??™s on a small scale or even on their life. No matter what the disadvantages of ???whistle-blowing??™ are or how serious they may be; the disadvantages are still off putting to individuals who are contemplating ???blowing the whistle??™.

In my opinion I think that ???whistle-blowing??™ does have a place in the 21st century. In the world we live in today there is growing technology available to everyone. This may make it easier to hide corruption, fraud or any other forms of misconduct. Due to this innocent people may be at risk of being exposed to this injustice. People may be at a health & safety risk that could endanger their lives, or at risk financially. It is because of this risk that the corruption, etc must be stopped. ???Whistle-blowing??™ is one of the key ways in which some of this corruption, etc may be brought to an end. Due to the ease that corruption can be hidden, because of technology, if it is witnessed then in my opinion the ???whistle??™ must be ???blown??™ immediately before it is too late. It is my personal view that ???whistle-blowing??™ will always have a place in the 21st century, and for as long as it is needed.

For me to complete this task I had to draw upon various sources of information. Below I have listed all of the sources of information I used to complete my Essay.

www.pcaw.co.uk
www.cfoi.org.uk
www.fsa.gov.uk
www.bullyonline.org
www.freeomtocare.org
www.expolink.co.uk

Assignment 7.

Activity 8.1 – Programme planning.

Appendix.

Assignment 8.

Activities 11.1, 11.2 & 11.3 – Managing your time.

Activity 11.1 – Knowing how to spend your time.

Appendix (timesheet & results).

For the two weeks I was filling in my timesheet I tried to plan my activities as much as I could. This was an attempt to increase my productivity, efficiency, work effort and my organisational skills as a whole. I feel that my planning was quite accurate and well balanced, as I allowed sufficient time for all of my daily activities, especially my studies (library time). Most of my tasks were completed in the time allocated but not all. Some disruptions were often diverting me from my activities and were the core reason I was not able to complete some of my tasks and keep to my planned schedule. Despite some disruptions I was able to complete most of my work mainly during the week, usually between the hours of 12pm – 7pm. Most of my work was completed during the week between these hours because this is the time I am usually at university and have the least distractions, which is why I an accomplish more.

I do not feel that I waste time but I am aware that on occasions I can be distracted by external factors, such as other people??™s influences. In future I need to be more assertive in turning away people who distract me in order for me to complete more tasks on time and reduce the amount of distractions I have, and I believe the timesheet will help me to accomplish this.

Activity 11.2 – Prioritising events and tasks.

Appendix (table 11.1 – events and tasks).

In order for me to determine what tasks had priority over others I had to consider what tasks were urgent, important, the time it was due and how long I had to complete it, and what tasks were neither urgent nor important. After careful consideration of all the above factors I then placed all tasks in order of priority. Each task had certain categories, which were in specific order. The order was as follows:

* Urgent and important.
* Urgent but not important.
* Important but not urgent.
* Neither urgent nor important.

After placing each task in the order of above categories it was easier to distinguish what had priority over what.

This activity was helpful in determining what tasks have main priority and the theory can be applied to my real life tasks and assignments and may be useful/helpful when it comes to me prioritising my own tasks and activities.

Activity 11.3 – Type A & B lifestyle questionnaire.

Appendix (type A & B lifestyle questionnaire and results)

The questionnaire scale has a midpoint of 100. The higher you score the closer you are to a type A person, the lower you score the closer you are to a type B person. According to the questionnaire I am a type A person because I scored 119 points on the scale. When examining the features of a type A & B person I found that even though I was categorised as a type A, I also have many type B features. Also, even though I was in the type A category I was not compatible with all of its features, e.g. – aggressive.

There are many ways in which I could manage stress better. In order for me not to be stressed it would be a good idea for me to set realistic targets for myself that I know I can complete. I need to make sure I organise time for myself to relax, exercise, rat well and get enough sleep. It is important that I have a good balance between my studies and my time to myself so I do not become stressed.

If I do become stressed it is important that I recognise the symptoms early in order for me to tackle the problems. These problems could be:

* Physical
* Behavioural
* Work

The best solution to my stress would be to talk to someone about it and also to break down big problems into smaller pieces that are more manageable and less stressful.

I feel that now I know the main causes and symptoms of stress I will be able to cope with it better in the future and eliminate them quicker and easier.

Assignment 9.

Activities 12.1 & 12.2 – Learning Strategies.

Activity 12.1 – ???Are you predominantly a deep or surface learner??™.

For this activity I was asked to identify which type of learning typified me. After studying the table and distinguishing the features of both a deep and surface learner, I can say that I am a deep learner. I can say this because most, if not all, of the points in the deep learner column (table 12.1) refer to the way I learn.

By looking at the definition of a surface learner it is clear for me to see that it is not the way I learn. It seems that the surface learner tends to go for the lazy approach and likes to copy work word for word without really gaining any real knowledge. Word for word notes may also even be reproduced in exams or essays. This often results in low quality work being produced due to the lack of understanding of the subject. Most of the attributes associated with being a surface learner do not apply to me. Attributes such as ???fears being tested??™.

After studying the meaning of the deep learner I have been compelled to believe that this is the type of learning that typifies me. The deep learner gain knowledge of the topic they study by reading a wide variety of materials. They do this to gain a greater insight of the subject or topic that they study. By doing this they are able to make understandable links between what they study in order to produce a greater outcome. Being the surface learner that I am I do not fear being tested. For e.g. in examinations. I am the opposite because I tend to recollect information fairly easy because of the type of learner I am.

Activity 12.2 – ???Identifying your learning style preferences??™.

Appendix (questionnaire & results)

Activist.

I scored the lowest in the activist field and judging by its attributes it is the learning style that defines me the least. According to its strengths and weaknesses the activist likes taking risks and using gut reactions, also they are unorganised and set no goals. All of those attributes do not apply to me, which is why I scored the least on this particular learning style. Although there were few factors that applied to me, there were at least two that slightly applied to me:

* ???Constantly involved with others??™.
* ???Gets new ideas from others??™.

Reflector. *

This is the learning style I score the highest on and looking at its strengths and weaknesses it is clear to see that it is the learning style that suite me the most. All of its strengths apply to me and the way in which I learn. There are certain strengths I have picked out from table 12.1 that best describe how I learn.

Strengths such as:

* ???Seeking alternatives to create options??™.
* ???Watches to see how others cope??™.

There are certain weaknesses that also apply to me. These weaknesses are:

* ???Waits too long before acting??™.

The learning style accurately describes me as someone who learns best when:

* ???I am allowed to think before acting??™.
* ???Given time to prepare & read in advance??™.

Theorist.

I scored the 2nd least when it came to the theorist learning style. Judging by the features this style does not refer to me, also some of the strengths and a particular weakness apply to me.

The strengths that applies to me are as follows:

* ???Is well organised??™.
* Works well independently??™.

The particular weakness that best describes me is:

* ???Gets too bagged down in theory??™.

Apart from those few features there no others that apply to me.

Pragmatist.

I scored the 2nd highest in the pragmatist style. Most of the features apply to me and few do not.

The features that best define me are:

* ???Evaluates options??™.
* ???Sets goals and acts to meet them??™.
* ???Works well independently??™.

The weaknesses that best describe me are:

* ???Likes to do task independently??™.
* ???Does not use other people affectively??™.

The learning style best describes me as someone who learns best when:

* There is an obvious link between the subject matter and a problem or opportunity??™.

Reflection on my learning style.

I was asked to complete a questionnaire of 80 questions, which was going to help me distinguish which learning style best describes me. On the completion of the questionnaire I was put in the reflector category of learning. Judging by the features of the reflector style it is the one that best suits me. It has many strengths & weaknesses that are similar to my own.

Strengths such as:

* ???Seeks alternatives to create options??™.
* ???Can wait for the best timing??™.

Weaknesses such as:

* ???Has many ideas but no action??™.

Now when I look back at the experience of discovering what sort of learning style applies to me, I think to myself the ease at which I came to my conclusion. It was clear to see just by reading a few lines of the reflectors definition that it was the style that fitted me the most. I prefer to relax and watch other people??™s actions before reaching conclusions of my own, just like the reflector does. Along with that and all the other attributes of the reflector that are applicable to me, it is clear for me to see that the reflector is my correct learning style. As a result of this experience it is almost certain that in future when I am learning I will continuously be drawing comparisons between the reflector style of learning and myself.

Action plan.

Activist

How I am | How I want to be | How I can achieve this |
One of the main reasons I am so dissimilar to an activist is that I do not posses one of the activist??™s key strengths. I am not a ???risk taker??™ and do not make risky decisions as a result. I tend to rely more on facts and less on gut reactions. | I would like to be more like an activist when it comes to taking risks. It may be beneficial on some occasions to not ???play it safe??™, but instead take a chance or use my instincts. This may result in better outcomes for the future. | I can become more of a risk taker by being less conservative in some circumstances. At time I should be less textbook and be more adventurous when it comes to decision-making. If I do this I will be more of a risk taking activist. |

Theorist

How I am | How I want to be | How I can achieve this |
One of the weaknesses I have that stop me from being more of a theorist is the fat that I do not gather all the facts that are necessary in some situations. I react to situations only with the facts that I have instead of gathering more facts that may be useful. | I think I would become more of a theorist if I learned to gather facts more efficiently. I want to have all the possible facts available before I respond or react in any circumstance or situation. | I can achieve this by being more patient when it comes to collecting facts. If I am more patient then I should be able to collect all the necessary facts that I need before applying them to my situation. |

Assignment 10.

Activity 13.1 – Belbin??™s team role questionnaire.

Appendix (questionnaire & results).

In order to complete this activity I needed to fill in all 7 sections of Belbin??™s team role questionnaire. Prior to this I was required to read a variety of team role descriptions, which were the roles that individuals may play when they are members of a group. These roles were as follows:

* Implementer.
* Co-ordinator.
* Shaper.
* Plant.
* Resources Investigator.
* Monitor Evaluator.
* Completer Finisher.
* Specialist.

Each description gave in detail the characteristics that team member??™s posses. I was then asked to predict which two roles I consider myself to play in a group. I predicted myself to be the ???Shaper??™ and the ???Plant??™.

Each section of the questionnaire had 9 questions, and my actual two roles would depend specifically on my answer to each question. I then total up my scores and cross-referenced it with an analysis sheet to find out my actual two roles. My highest two scores were the ???Shaper??™ and the ???Plant??™, so according to the analysis sheet my predictions were correct. I do believe that these are my two roles because they??™re characteristics and my own are one in the same.

In future when I am engaging in-group activity I will constantly be considering my actions and comparing them to the ???Shaper??™ & ???Plant??™ to see if we are truly the same.
Activity 13.2 – ???Two crude measures of how assertive you are??™.

Appendix (questionnaire and results).

For me to carry out this activity I was required to complete two questionnaires. These questionnaires were specifically designed to roughly distinguish how assertive I am.

For the 1st questionnaire I was asked 11 questions. I had the choice to answer either sometimes, yes or never to each question. Depending on how I answered these questions would help to clarify how assertive I am. I answered ???sometimes??™ to 6 of the questions and ???no??™ to 5 of them; I did not answer ???yes??™ to any of the questions. After reading the review of the activity it was said that if I had answered ???yes??™ to 3 or more of the questions then it would seem that I need to be more assertive in my actions. The fact that I didn??™t answer yes to any of the questions should clearly show that I am a fairly assertive person. The review also said that if I answered ???never??™ to the majority of my questions then it would seem that I was an over assertive person. The fact that I have answered more questions as ???sometimes??™ as oppose to ???never??™ should show that I am an assertive person, but not over assertive.

For the 2nd questionnaire I was asked 39 questions. I had the choice to answer either yes or no for each question. Once again depending on how I answered the questions would help clarify how assertive I am. Out of the 39 questions I answered 27 of them ???yes??™ and 12 of them ???no??™. It was only on the last question that I realised the result. The last question stated ???the more questions I answer yes, the more assertive I am??™. Due to the fact that I answered the majority of the questions as ???yes??™ clearly shows me to be an assertive person.

Looking back at completing the questionnaires I can safely say that I had reached my own conclusions of how assertive I am before knowing the results. Before starting the questionnaires I already considered myself to be an assertive person, but on the completion of the questionnaires they only re-enforced what I had already presumed to be true. Some of the questions that were asked in both questionnaires could be linked to my real life experiences. Questions such as:

* ???If someone who has borrowed money from you does not pay you back, would you remind them??™

* If someone kept kicking the back of your seat in the cinema, would you ask them to stop??™

* In a restaurant, if you order a medium steak and it??™s too rare would you sent it back to be re-cooked??™

In future if these particular circumstances arise again, I will automatically think of this activity and instantly reflect on how assertive I am in dealing with the situation.

Action plan.

How assertive I am | How assertive I want to be | How I can achieve this |
Before completing this activity I already considered myself to be relatively assertive. On the completion of the activity, including the questionnaires, I still regard myself to be relatively assertive in most situations. | In future I would like to be slightly more assertive in a few situations, one of which has been mentioned in the 2nd questionnaire. For e.g. ???when a friend has betrayed my confidence, do you tell them how you feel??™, I said ???no??™ but would like to become assertive enough to say ???yes??™ in the future. | I can achieve this by simply being more able to express my feelings freely with slightly less concern of how the recipitant may react. If I am able to do that then I will be on the right path to being slightly more assertive. |

Assignment 11.

Activities 14.1, 14.2, 14.3 & 14.4 – Career development activities.

Activity 14.1 – ???Matching your skills, interests and motivations with graduate careers??™.

Before using Prospects planner I already I already had faint ideas about the types of careers I wanted to be employed in after university. I mainly wanted to have a career in direct relation with the course I am studying at university. I wanted this because then I would be a relatively experienced employee; therefore I would not need much training because I would have been studying the line of work for 3 years prior, also with 1 year work experience.

At this moment in time, I feel mostly interested by the jobs in the marketing, advertising and PR category. Not only were these jobs my best matches, but they are also the type of jobs I planned to be associated with in the future. Under these job categories the following jobs were named as potential matches for me:

* Advertising account executive.
* Advertising account planner.
* Market research executive*.
* Media planner.
* Public affairs consultant (lobbyist).
* Public relations account executive.

The job I have highlighted is the one I feel matched with the most. The market Executive position is a job that I take a lot of interest in and have always thought to be a good and prosperous job.

The most important thing I think I have learned from Prospects Planner is the amount of interest I take in certain skills, and how motivated I am by different factors of work. Also I learned a great deal about the type of link that can be made between certain skills and particular jobs i.e. the sills needed or required to qualify for particular jobs. After venturing on the Prospect Planner I have discovered in more detail the type of career I want to enter after university.

Before logging onto the Prospect Planner I was unaware of the wide range of career opportunities that link to my subject. After visiting Prospect Planner, it has been made clearer to me the vast choices of careers that I may be able to link to my BA Business Studies course.

I found it quite surprising that Prospect Planner was accurate in linking me with one of my favourite business modules (Marketing), but then was so inaccurate by not linking me with one of my other favourite business areas (Human Resources). I found it hard to decipher how I was linked with one but not the other, despite having common interests in both of them.

In the future I may call upon the aid of Prospect Planner when it comes to deciding on my work placement in year 3. I am hopeful that the planner will assist me with my choice and help me to make a well thought out choice that will be beneficial to my chosen career and myself.

Activity 14.2 – ???Career area and degree subjects??™.

To complete this activity I was asked to read a report on the subject Business Studies, and then comment on my conclusions of the report. The report was well structured and was filled with useful information. It could be very helpful in providing assistance to students, in any year of their study, as to what sort of employment they wish to enter when they have finished university.

The report listed a wide variety of skills that are gained on the Business Studies degree, and these are the skills that may be attractive to employees. Because employees could be attracted to these particular skills, this would give the business studies students a distinct advantage when they are attending interviews. Another distinct advantage that the Business Studies students will have is that fact that they may have had 1 year??™s experience of working, which may enable them to demonstrate more skills.

The report then listed a range of jobs where the business degree may be useful. These jobs varied from a Charted Accountant to a Sales Executive. It was very useful of the report to list these job titles because many students still do not know where degree could lead them after they graduate, and the report could be used as a guidance tool.

Key figures and postgraduate information was included in the report. It gave percentage figures of the various types of industries that graduates tend to enter after university. The report was useful in mentioning the main postgraduate course, Masters in Business Administration (MBA), which may lead to a prosperous career development.

Activity 14.3 – ???Graduate career analysis??™.

Job title – Marketing assistant (consumer products).

The Marketing Assistant role seems like a very well established position. It seems to me that graduates entering this position from university will gain great experience due to the fact that they are involved in a wide variety tasks. Judging by tasks being carried out, the assistants will need to be well organised and good at working under pressure. The skills gained from the job are very valuable. Due to the diversity of the work the assistant will be able to build up a ???broad??™ portfolio.

If I were serious about getting into this line of work when I graduate, I would select modules specifically linked with marketing to increase my chances of success. I would select modules such as the following:

* Marketing research.
* International & Global marketing.
* Consumer brand marketing.

By selecting these types of modules I would stand a greater chance of being employed in the position of Marketing assistant when I graduate.

Marketing Assistants are required to be enthusiastic about their job. They may also be required to work long and flexible hours, being geographically flexible if required, and must be prepared to work to tight deadlines. Judging by my personal ability I feel I could handle the pressures of being in this role. I have the necessary skills that are required for the position, skills that can only mature over the next few years. I am a motivated worker who is always eager to impress, and I have the right personality to work among other employees or in a group if necessary. Judging by the information of the position I am optimistic about having a future the position.

Activity 14.4 – ???Identifying your skills.??™

Enquiry and research skills

Sometimes my researching skills can be quite limited to say the least. At times I find it hard to search for sources of information in particular circumstances, I think this has to do with me not capitalising on the amount of resources and research tools that I have around me. To improve this I feel I may have to use a wider variety of resources and research tools when researching information. I should also make full use of these resources by using them to the best of my ability.

Ability to solve problems

May ability to solve problems eludes me at times. Sometimes I become stuck on a problem for far too long, and time may be wasted on that problem when time could have been used elsewhere on another problem. I think my problem-solving situation has to do with a loss of concentration at times, which leads to time wasting. To make full use of my problem solving ability I think I should try and concentrate harder on a problem, and I should aim to increase my concentration span.

Imagination and creativity

When it comes to being imaginative and creative, my skills can be quite restricted. I think this has to do with a mental block I sometimes get when I am asked to be creative about something. To improve this skill I feel that I need to take more chances when it comes to being imaginative or creative. I should worry less about other people??™s opinions, and worry more about the task at hand.

Numeracy

This is the skill I feel I need to improve the least. Although I am relatively good at maths I feel that I am quite rusty when it comes to certain aspects of accounting. To improve this I think I should attempt to spend more time on accounting and enhance my financial skills.

Specialist subject knowledge

At the moment I do not think that I have special knowledge of a certain aspect of Business studies. My insight to Business Studies is rather broad and I have equal knowledge of the different aspects within it. In order for me to specialise in a particular aspect (e.g. Marketing), I would need to read more heavily on this aspect compared to other aspects and this should hopefully increase my perception of the specialised area.

Assignment 12

Activity 9.1 – Group presentation.

Appendix (slides from presentation).

SECTION 3

Assignment 13

Reflective letter to my tutor (700 words).

Dear Yacine Belghitar,

Since starting the MBS 1111 module in September, I have developed a wide variety of knowledge and skills. The skills I have developed are of vital importance to me, as they are the necessary skills that will be required in my future employment. To develop these skills I had to complete all of the assignments in the MBS 1111 handbook over the past few months. Each assignment required different types skills to complete them, and on the completion of each assignment I was able to gain new skills. As I completed the assignments I was able to not only acquire new skills, but also to enhance the skills that I already possessed. I already mentioned all of the skills in section one of my portfolio and noted that they are of the highest importance.

There were two main skills that I was lacking capability in before completing the assignments in my portfolio. Skills such as my learning ability, and my research & development ability. It was assignment 9, which contained activities 12.1 & 12.2 that improved upon my learning skills. This assignment helped me to discover what type of learner I was (deep learner). With this knowledge of what type of learner I was, it helped me to slightly change the way I learn in order to live up to the expectations of a ???deep learner??™. To do this I read more in depth and gave extra thought to the work I was doing. This increased my productivity and general workload as a whole. Soon after completing that assignment it enabled me to increase my efficiency and add more depth to my work, as I was giving it more thought. This can help me in the future because I will always be required to learn new things, whether it is in education or employment. So when I am learning in future, if I continue to implement my new learning technique I hope to be further productive and efficient.

The other skill that needed major improvement was my research & development ability. The assignment that particularly helped me with this was assignment 6, activity 7.2, which was the ???whistle-blowing??™ essay. I was required to call upon a wide variety of sources to inform me about the term ???whistle-blowing??™ and if it has a place in the 21st century. If my essay were going to be successful I would have to go through extensive research to educate me of the term ???whistle-blowing??™. On the completion of my essay my research & development skills seemed to have improved as a result, as I was able to gather a variety of good sources to place in bibliography. In future when I am researching I will be sure to gather as many sources of information as possible to give myself more knowledge. This will help me in future education when I am undertaking coursework or essays. It will also be beneficial to my future employment if I am in a position where extensive research is required.

All of the other skills I posses, have enhanced or have acquired are just as important as each other. The assignment that was most important to me was the career development activities. Before completing these activities I was unsure of the employment I was likely to enter after education, also the type of jobs that were linked to my degree specifically. On the completion of the activities I was enlightened of the employment opportunities that are available to me after education. I now know the type of employment that I want to enter after education (market research). All of the assignment activities were of help to me one way or another, and I am very grateful that I was given the chance to complete them and better myself as a result. I can only hope that I am successful in implementing my enhanced skills in the future, and that they play a major role in my successful educational future and chosen employment.

Yours Respectfully,

Victor U. Benson.

V.U.B.

SECTION 4 Assignment 14 Personal development plan.

WHAT DO I WANT TO ACHIEVE | WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO ACHIEVE THIS | WHAT RESOURCES/SUPPORT WILL I NEED | WHAT ARE MY SUCCESS CRITERIAWHAT IS MY TARGET DATE |
1. Pass my two examinations and one piece of coursework at the end of January (short-term). | * To achieve this goal I must make sure that I give sufficient time to my studies and revision in particularly. My studies will include the completion of my coursework and revision will include a full review of all my lecture notes and activity notes. | I posses most of the necessary resources needed to accomplish my goal. I need only to refer to my, look over activities as revision and apply myself. I may wish to call upon extra support to guide me through my revision. This support will most likely be my fellow students studying the same module as me. | * I have very harsh success criteria. The way I look at it is if I do not pass both of my exams and pass my coursework then I will feel as if I have failed myself. I will feel as if I could have done more to accomplish my goal. My target date is the end of January ???05 when the results are released. |
* 2. Pass all of my examinations and coursework in the summer (medium-term). * * * * | I will need to do almost completely the same thing as before. Keep on studying hard, take efficient lecture notes, research in depth for my coursework, and revise hard & effectively before my exams. | * I am likely to all upon the same resources and support as before. I may wish to use extra support in the form of revision lasses lead by lecturers. This would be because of the extra examinations I will have, so the extra support will be of good use. | * I will once again base my success upon the same criteria. If I do not pass all of my modules then I shall class this failure and will be bitterly disappointed with myself. My target date is the summer ???05 when exam results are released. |
* 3. To be successful in my application of a work placement in year 3 (long-term). * * * * | I can achieve this by researching possible placements at the appropriate time, beginning of year 2, or maybe even prior to that. The more placements I research, the greater my chances of success will be. | One of the resources that I will call upon will be Prospects Planner. I will use this to match myself with employment roles that will link with the subject that I am studying, and also with my skills and motivations. If I am accurate in doing this then I will hopefully be employed in my first choice placement. | * I will base my success the type of employment placement I enter, if the placement was one of my higher ranked choices, and if the pay is of a good standard. My target date is the beginning of September ??™06 when my placement should commence. |
* 4. To be successful in my final year of university and in the study of my master??™s qualification in marketing research (long-term). * * * * | To achieve this I need to be consistent and constant in my studies. Also to produce coursework that is of a high standard also with relatively high exam results, which lead to me receiving a 1st or 2.1 degree. | I will need all the resources that I can call upon to achieve this. If I am to be successful I cannot afford to waste or take any resources in my possession for granted. Resources such as the university library, lecturers, all of my available textbooks. | I will base my success upon the type of degree I get. I will class myself as very successful if I obtain a 1st or 2.1 degree. If I obtain a 2.2 then I will be moderately satisfied. I do not wish to obtain anything less than a 2.2. I will also class myself as highly successful if I pass my masters qualification. I hope to achieve my degree in the summer of ??™08, and I hope to achieve my masters before the summer of ??™09. |
* 5. To be employed by a business in a marketing position, hopefully by my placement company (long-term). * * * * | * To stand an excellent chance of achieving this I will need to secure a good degree, 1st, 2.1 or 2.2, and my master??™s qualification in marketing research. This would be the gateway to a successful employment career. | To enter into employment I may need to call upon resource such as employment agencies. This would be a line of action I would undertake if my placement company do not employ me. | Once again I will base my success upon the type of employment I am in, and if it is my choice of employment as oppose to something I ended up with. My target date to be employed in the position of market researcher no later than September ??™09. |

SECTION 5

Appendix

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