Reflective Blog – Week 1 – Identify and discuss why you chose the Four personal targets that you identified in the Diagnosis and Target task.
Looking at the outcome of my reasons to study, my strengths and the areas I want to improve on, I was able to determine four targets to focus on in my first semester of higher educational studies.
As the overall goal for the first semester, I am striving towards an understanding of what it means to be a student at university. This includes the knowledge about expectations, requirements and opportunities of studying at LMU and the familiarization with fundamental academic study skills. This all should be in balance with an appropriate dedication towards my core modules and the process of settling into life in London and establishing a new social network.
The mentioned targets are necessary learning and development goals for me, as I see a clear need to reintegrate into the educational environment, since I have not been attending an educational institute for the past three years. Being part of the working world I have adjusted to different requirements and expectations needed to perform well in my job.
Learning at university is at the same time a new form of learning, which takes time to be implemented during the first year of studies. As I have just recently arrived in England, the process of integration into a new country and different culture is another priority besides my focus on achievement in all my modules.
Having been able to set those targets provides me with an understanding of what I want to get out of my first semester. This is the basis to set priorities and implement a plan how to achieve the set targets.
Reflective Blog – Week 9 – Identify the job role and industry sector you would like to work in. Indicate any skill gaps you consider that you possess in relation to your preferred role. Describe an action plan that will help you overcome these skills gaps. Also Identify the new skills or attributes that you have developed throughout this semester to date that you can add to your CV. Reflect on what the Employability Questionnaire has told you in terms of your employment aspirations.
When looking at a specific job role and industry sector to work in, I personally do not want to restrict myself by only committing to one possible option or path. In today’s ever more globalized world involving fast and unpredictable change, it is necessary to be highly flexible and adaptable. Through my international orientation I am preparing myself to be able to work anywhere in the world. At the same time I am acknowledging the fact that most jobs are not permanent anymore, and throughout a career many changes in positions and possibly industry sectors are to be expected.
Nevertheless I have been able to determine that I feel most comfortable and inspired within the cultural, leisure and tourism industries, primarily in the third sector with the main organisational objectives focused on societal, humanitarian and communal growth rather then financial profits. Within these fields I aspire to fulfil a role in management, marketing or public relations. Having a strong interest in music, performing arts and modern media, I would love to be involved in the behind the scenes work administering, planning, organising, coordination, implementing, leading and controlling the activities required to enable cultural organisations to focus on providing their specific offerings in a creative and inspirational environment.
I have been able to take part in a number of internships and work experience allowing me to explore different opportunities and work environments. My experiences as a promotional assistant for a theatre in Germany, then progressing to work as a program assistant for the student exchange NGO AFS Interculture, and finally exploring the corporate world as an IT consultant employed by IBM, have given me the chance to explore different types of jobs in different sectors.
With ongoing life experience, proceeding learning and reflection, I continuously grow as an individual, learning about my strengths and weaknesses, my wants and needs, as well as what the world has to offer me to find fulfilment in life. I am ultimately seeking a position that suits my personality in balance with my personal goals.
Through my access to higher education I am given the opportunity to acquiring formal qualifications, which consequently open doors to build a successful, prosperous and fulfilling life and future. During the process of university studies I develop a set of skills applicable to a variety of job roles hence providing more flexibility and choice. I see the important need to further indulge in work experience providing learning by doing and networking opportunities related to my field of studies. Throughout my degree I am hoping to secure valuable internships and part-time jobs to add practical experiences besides the development of fundamental theoretical knowledge. This invaluable combination leads to continuous skills development ultimately increasing my employment prospects.
The results of the employability questionnaire outlined that throughout my education and professional learning I have been able to develop strong abilities in working with others in a team, providing leadership, negotiating and persuading. Additionally I have advanced my potential in planning and organising, written communication and developing professionalism. Although still scoring high results, there is space for improvement in spoken communication, investigating, analysing, and numeracy skills. These areas can be improved through ongoing practice in presentations, research projects, data analysis and other viable activities that run during the coming semesters.
Reflective Blog – Week 10 – Consider all of the academic, community and social activities you have undertaken throughout the semester, and identify THREE skills, study skills or attributes that you plan to improve next semester; describe an action plan for delivering improved performance of these skills or attributes.
The first semester is coming to an end – the last weeks require me as learner to establish a strong focus to produce the important final assessments and prepare for the upcoming examinations. Reflecting on the first four months at university, I am astounded by the fact how quickly time has passed from the enrolment and first weeks of classes until now. At the same time the past couple of months have been an intense learning and adjustment process.
Based on the outlined targets for my first semester, I believe I can be satisfied with the efforts I have invested into my studies and the given performance in my modules based on the feedback I have received so far. Through the experience of attending lectures, seminars, workshops and preparing a variety of assessments, I am continuously able to develop a better understanding of the given expectations and requirements to achieve good results.
The university provides numerous opportunities to support my studies and encourages further involvement. I have already been able to benefit from the services of the Learning Development Unit, the Careers Service, the International Office, the Student Union, as well as the academic staff in the business department.
Through the involvement in all module activities I was able to practice my academic study skills. I believe that I was able to keep up and improve my skills in written and verbal communication, working in teams, holding presentations, writing reports, project work based on deadlines, taking exams, independent and self-managed studying and managing my available time.
At the same time I was attending university, I was going through a phase of letting go of my life I left behind in South Africa and beginning a new stage settling into London. As I have already lived in different countries with different cultures, I was aware of what to expect, but ultimately it is impossible to prepare adequately for a culture shock experience. Throughout the semester I had to deal with wavering emotions and a very critical evaluation of seeing myself readjusting to the European lifestyle. At the same time I was aware that I have to adjust to my current surroundings to make the best of my time studying at LMU. Time helps, and I see that I am continuously able to better accept my new home and enjoy the positive sides of life in London, which let me to come here in the first place.
For the summer holiday period I am currently trying to organise an internship in Johannesburg within my study field. I would like to use the period between semesters to enrich my work experience and gain practical insides relevant to my degree. This will aid my understanding of the subject matter and ultimately add to my employment prospects.
For the second semester I have determined a number of tasks I want to keep on working on:
- First of all I noticed that I struggled to consistently keep up my motivation and failed to stick to my defined weekly study schedule. I need to improve my focus by consistently attending all classes and acquiring the relevant learning content throughout the semester.
- I want to continue to improve my study and employment skills by attending the ongoing LDU workshops and career seminars offered at LMU. Additionally I want to start exploring possible industry sectors, companies and job roles to pursue.
- My plan is to enrich my experiences and skills by getting involved in the radio society and possibly joining other media related university projects. Also I am hoping to secure a part-time position to earn some extra income and gain work experience.
- Being generally interested in intercultural exchanges and realising the benefits, my goal is to take part in an ERASMUS semester in my second year of studies. In order to organise this endeavour I am already in the process of preparing my application.
- Another area of interest to me, which I want to further indulge in throughout my time at LMU, is the exploration of possible postgraduate study opportunities and graduate training options. My experience has taught me that early research and in-depth analysis helps to make well-informed decisions and leads to success.
Continuous practice, dedication, the believe in my own potential and a clear direction will lead to future growth and improvement.