The start of university this September was really strange the transition from sixth form to university was so bizarre, coming from a school based education where I was practically spoon fed and told what to do, to university completely on the other side of the spectrum was daunting to say the least. Moreover, this made me feel extremely nervous and intimidated but I honestly expected nothing less. The very first day I remember walking into the first lecture feeling tremendously vulnerable and unfamiliar. My emotions became seriously apparent every single lecture I walked into as I was hit with assignments left right and centre which left me feeling anxious and stressed out as everything was already intimidating. However, as the weeks commenced I felt I knew the campus in the back of my head it became easier to understand what was expected in the assignments everything just seemed to fall in to place, which resulted to me feeling a lot more comfortable and at ease with my transition into university.
The last few weeks during this module, I have come to terms with many of my strengths and weaknesses. I have been able to come to this conclusion of strengths and weaknesses by conducting a series of questionnaires including learning styles and employability skills which I have analysed accordingly. The self- audit material showed that my main strengths are having good research skills and having excellent time management. On the other hand, my weakness portrayed that I am not the best at team work, presentations and personal self-skills such as self-assurance. Most importantly these weaknesses will hopefully be turned into my strengths alongside my personal development plan to achieve this. I have presented these through a SWOT and then developing my weaknesses through a PDP personal development plan, which I think went onto making smart objective how and what I am going to do to turn my biggest weaknesses into a top strength, in a realistic time frame.
Critically analysing the self-audit material like Belbin’s team roles, jelly baby tree, learning style questionnaire, life style questionnaire, Graduate/employability skills and expectations of university. One of my top strengths is my research skills which I have shown throughout sixth form and university.
My first strength is my research skills which I identified through the employability self-audit material where I ranked enquiry & research skills in my top three skills. From my swot, I analysed my research skills being a top skill of mine coming from sixth form where is studied subjects that were very essay based my research skills developed became a top skill of mine Gregorc mind style theory shows that if you if one of your strengths is research skills in the terms of how the mind works my perceptual quality is concrete sequential (Anthony F. Gregorc, 1984). Research skills a critical and says a lot about your character is shows that you are intellectual. ‘gaining information is a sophisticated skill to have’ (Sheila Cameron 2009). My second strength is my time management always meeting deadlines is a crucial skill to have in university and it is a critical employability skill to have I shown this through my studies BTEC Level three course for health and social care if I missed a deadline I would not get any credit for it which would result in a lower grade overall. Analysing the employability skill self-audit material self-management was in the top three for me. Then assessing the life style audit material as well I scored 50% and resulted as ‘the maintainer’ believes in security for self and family.
My final strength is my writing skills, reflecting on my swot after conducting assessing the writing skills audit material I ticked ‘always’ for every single statement after studying three A levels that were all essay based that helped to develop my writing skills, I gained a high grade in my GCSE English Language exam. Having basic writing skills is essential for a business student as there will be many essays and assignments that will be needed to be completed for successful completion of my degree. Your writing skills will make you a far more successful student (Cameron, Sheila 2016) this quote fully backs up my self-audit material I believe that having the basic writing skills will allow you to progress in your career and academically.
From critically analysing my swot team work is one of my weaknesses shown through Belbin team work audit material, I identified team work being one of my weakness from really young age I have always preferred to work alone as I work best that way. In the self-audit material, I scored 0% for team work which represented team work was not my preference. Team work is essential for success (Cameron, S 2016) After analysing Belbin’s team roles I scored 17% as an implementer ‘disciplined, reliable, conservative, and efficient’ and another 17% as a completer finisher ‘painstaking, conscientious, anxious’ (Belbin, R.M. 1993) My preference is to work independently as I can showcase my work as my own and take the full credit for it, in the past when I have worked in teams people haven’t fully participated and contributed nothing and they get to take credit at the end. Team work is an essential employable skill and will prove to be a threat when It comes to a job employers wanting to employee someone who can both work independently and in a team. Kolbs theory four learning stages
My second weakness is self-assurance through carrying out the jelly baby tree self-audit material, I had to shade how I was feeling about university I shaded the jelly baby hiding behind the tree, because I was not confident in my-self and felt intimidated by the entire experience. Self-doubt is a weakness that I have endeared for a long period of time, however having confidence is a key employability skill employers will be looking for someone who is confident in themselves. One quote that helped me is ‘the key to change is self-acceptance’ (Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D. 2015) if I don’t learn to be more confident in my, I am essentially my own threat, I cannot progress academically and in the work place if I can accept what is holding me back. And lastly my last weakness is that I procrastinate a lot which I learnt through the learning style questionnaire I scored a 15 and resulted as a reflector ‘they tend to prefer to take a back seat in meetings’ (Honey, P. & Mumford, A. 1982)
which defines me. Procrastinating a lot can be threating as time can slip away and if I have a deadline it could potentially result in me missing it. Therefore, I need to find a place where I can isolate myself in my house where I can personalise the area which will result in simulating me to work. (Lee-Davies, L 2015) if I remove my-self from a distracting atmosphere I can work better, but if I do not it will be a threat as I will not be able to concentrate effectively.
How I determined what went in my SWOT and then into my PDP was based on the six pieces of self-audit material. The self-audit material helped me to assess my strengths and weakness and how I could use them to develop even further to turn my weaknesses into strengths for my studies at university. In my SWOT, I had three weaknesses that I wanted to turn into strengths using a PDP, I have already started to work on one of my biggest weaknesses which was that I always self-doubt myself. I have started to read a book by Dale Carnige, Self-assurance had to go into my PDP because it’s a skill that will help me strive in my studies if I have self-confidence I can participate in class discussions and have my say. Improving my self-assurance is a main priority because if I don’t learn how to cope and control it, it could result in to me having panic attacks and triggering my anxiety which could affect my studies and potentially being a barrier of gaining my degree. I have five actions that I have already started to undertake to help me, one of my first action is that I am reading a book on self-confidence which is giving me insight on how I can overcome self-doubt. Another action is accessing free counselling support, I have yet to carry this out, as it is hard to find time trying the find the time to do this working alongside full time education therefore will not be as realistic to go often. However, I have been getting support from friends and family when I am self-doubting myself or having worries about my studies talking to someone will help to get everything of my chest. Not comparing myself to others, if I do not put myself in such as situation It will not lead to self-doubt, however comparing yourself to others can be a tool for managing my personal development. (Mark Tyrrell, No date). After completing Belbin’s team role and scoring a zero in team work, I already knew that team work would be in my SWOT without completing the self-audit material because of past negative experience with team work. Team work shows that you are co-operative, diplomatic and perceptive (Belbin, R.M. 1993) for me team work is a skill that I lack in and want to improve as at university I will be faced and have already been faced with team work, team work should bring out the best of everyone (Daily Telegraph Aug 20, 2007). To improve my team work skills, I said that I would go to a workshop run by the library to understand how team work should effectively run and what is expected from each team member, this realistically would happen when I have team work assignments to complete. Kolbs four stage learning cycle I identified myself as assimilating which backs up my preference not to work in groups and teams. ‘In formal learning situations, people with this style prefer readings, lectures, exploring analytical models, and having time to think things through.'(Kolb 1984) In order for me to stop procrastinating the five keys, actions that I have decided to complete is having a goal my goal is complete all of my assignments effectively so that I can graduate with a degree this is realistic goal because if I don’t live up to I don’t get the one thing that I came to university for. in order for me to gain that goal if I set deadlines for that goal in small chunks I will find it more manageable. If I remove myself from any distraction like social media, phones and friends and family I will find it easier to commit to work, assignments can be challenging. prioritize those commitments that provide the highest return. (ken Sundhiem 2015)
To conclude this semester has been an interesting new experience, I have learnt so much about myself how I surprisingly adapted to university life a lot quicker than expected. University for me is everything what I expected to feel like at the start of the semester, I assessed this through the what are your expectations of university? Self-audit material. One point I strongly agreed with is that I am going to university to develop my skills and how I can use it in my career.