Professional Development Reflection and Career Plan

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To enhance my working experience, I created a LinkedIn account and a CV for future job application. The primary objectives for setting up a LinkedIn account and CV were showcasing my area of expertise, listing past working experience, and mentioning the strongest skills professional obtained. Both LinkedIn profile and CV can be practically used for searching and applying for jobs. As a result, I have developed a number of transferrable skills, such as organizing data, demonstrating effective time management, and identifying personal strengths and areas of growth. Through synthesis of ideas, I have been able to coordinate and plan tasks, strictly adhering to the deadlines.

Professional Development Reflection

SSL Academic Skills course

One of the courses that I completed and got certified in as a part of my professional development is SSL Academic Skills. The three main developmental points of the course focused on understanding the assignment briefs, planning and structuring papers, as well as avoiding writing pitfalls, including but not limited to plagiarism. SSL Academic Skills also aimed at enriching the knowledge base of the attendees, providing information about different types of writing, ways to approach the writing process, and improve the written piece. The main transferrable skill addressed was concise and coherent written communication grounded in research or subjective reflection.

SSL Academic Skills covered a number of important topics that helped me grow as a versatile writer. I learnt useful brainstorming techniques, got acquainted with different types of assignments, and discovered ways to plan and organize my ideas. The course also taught me how to structure my essays, covering paragraph and sentence structure for better content delivery. The part dedicated to a range of writing styles was particularly useful for me since I like experimenting with my tone of voice when I work on written assignments.

The knowledge obtained during the course will help me with the academic writing at college, providing practical tips on how to compose the paper from the basic brainstorming till final revision. The content of the course is crucial to my performance at school, as it equipped me with effective writing techniques to produce well-organized paper which meets high academic standards.

Presentation skills

As a part of my professional development, I also attended a workshop on improving presentation skills. The main developmental points of the workshop were dedicated to structuring presentations, thinking about the purpose and audience of the discussion, and practicing some techniques for effective presenting. The training also focused on preparation, problem identification, and speech delivery, guiding the attendees from the basic planning to the final presentation in front of the audience. The main transferrable skills obtained were public speaking and effective verbal communication. Persuasion techniques and methods to engage the audience were also addressed yet with less emphasis given by the speaker.

Attending the workshop on presentation skills, I had a unique opportunity to learn the proper structure of my presentation through the metaphor of a sandwich. Introduction and conclusion are layers of a sandwich, while content is its filling. I also discovered practical ways to determine my audience and set concrete goals for my presentation. Last, I found out what visual aids are acceptable to include on the PowerPoint and how to organize ideas through mind maps. From my perspective, the information learnt during this workshop is highly beneficial not only at school but also at future workplace.

Aiming to hold a managing position in the future, I will use the obtained knowledge to structure my slides and deliver content to my classmates at college and future colleagues. The tips presented during this workshop will guide me through the next PowerPoint I create, giving an opportunity to tailor the speech presented to the specific audience identified.

Time management

Apart from the presentation workshop, I also attended a training on time management to develop my professional expertise. The three main developmental areas were as follows:

  1. identifying time management problems;
  2. learning how to prioritise tasks, using a structured approach;
  3. developing practical strategies to use time more productively.

The workshop also developed some transferrable skills, such as prioritization, space management, and organization of personal schedule.

During the workshop I learnt why time management is such a valuable transferrable skill along with the ways task prioritization impacts one’s life. I also found out the three basic time management principles:

  1. directed appropriate effort;
  2. efficient effort;
  3. reduced time wastage.

It was useful to reflect upon my personal approach toward deadlines. I did not know that such characteristics as “adrenaline-driven” student or perfectionist can influence my time management skills. After attending the workshop, I will use the following techniques to plan my schedule better. First, I will prioritise my tasks according to the “big rocks first” principle and 80:20 rule. Second, I will try to deal with the routine more efficiently and finally stop hitting the “snooze” button on my phone when the alarm rings in the morning. Third, I will organize my week plans in the four quadrants:

  1. necessity;
  2. quality and personal leadership;
  3. deception;
  4. waste.

Finally, I will engage in a longer-term planning and use calendar apps on my phone to keep me on track with the daily routine.

Library Basics & Searching Business Databases

The last workshop that I participated in is entitled “Library Basics & Searching Business Databases.” The main developmental areas were identifying new ways to use search engines for academic research and mastering the citations to prevent plagiarism cases. The central transferrable skills I obtained are analytical and research skills. Learning how to find and synthesize data is significant not only for high academic performance but also for successful work in the business environment. Reflecting upon the developmental areas, I can also tell that knowing how to do proper research can save time and decrease stress associated with lengthy school assignments.

During the workshop I learnt how to find industry trends, overviews, and projections. I discovered where industry reports, ratios, and detailed manufacturing statistics are located in the business databases. It was interesting to study the basics of business research with the speaker explaining the challenges associated with finding reliable and relevant industry information. I also found out new functions of Google Scholar that substantially optimize the research process.

Reflecting upon what I learnt during the training, I will definitely use resources provided to write business research papers and explore current trends in the industry. I will also utilize the newly obtained knowledge on using search engines and databases for a more efficient research. One of the most valuable take-aways from this workshop is guidelines on detecting fake news and faulty statistics. In my future studies, I will certainly turn to the library training for the correct usage of in-text citations and references.

Career Plan

Prior to discussing my career plan, it is essential to underline my three long-term career goals. First, I aim at gaining a business degree qualification stable in local, national, and international markets. Second, I hope to develop the professional and academic skills necessary for a business career. Third, I target at understanding management principles and legal aspects of responsible leadership and business economics. To accomplish the aforementioned goals, I created a professional CV, LinkedIn account, and attended practical educational events, acquiring the most demanded transferrable skills.

After attending a placement event for first year students, I decided to undertake a work placement in my country. This opportunity will enhance my prospects as a successful graduate, providing a much-needed exposure to the financial industry. During the work placement, I expect to gain the following skills: effective interpersonal and intercultural communication, ability to work independently and in a team, as well as capacity to deliver public speech. To prepare for my work placement, I am researching the suitable companies to apply for internships and preparing documents to submit for the employer’s consideration.

For now, I would like to complete my placement in the financial area, training in the bank or financial agency. To find the appropriate work placement, I use a number of methods: researching company websites, attending networking events, and using specific websites for job search. There is no definite strategy that I limit my research to at the moment, taking advantage of all the listed opportunities to locate a perfect fit.

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