Reflecting on Skills and Growth Assignment Sample

Comprehensive Guide to Reflecting on Skills and Growth: Assignment Insights and Strategies

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Introduction Of Reflecting on Skills and Growth

This portfolio will include both personal and academic skills acquired during the duration of the course, pursued at the University of Wolverhampton and in what manner these skills could be used in future situations and environments. Moreover, it will also reflect the strengths and weaknesses that are developed by the time the course is completed and the gaps that remain. Furthermore, a plan will be strategized to fill the gaps recognised during reflection and ways to overcome future challenges.

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Discussion

Discussion on necessary Academic, personal, and transferrable skills post-graduation

Personal, academic, and transferable skills are different types of soft and hard skills that are grasped throughout the course module for the development of the student. These skills are extremely important as they are the foundation that helps the student's post-graduation not only in their personal life but also in securing a job or establishing a successful career. Therefore, it is crucial for students to master these skills and utilize them for a better future. Personal skills which are often considered as soft skills are one of the most essential skills required by students, especially during their academic journey (Vasanthakumari, 2019). These skills cannot be transferred or imposed on a student, it is acquired by each student differently which is why it is important for universities to reinforce measures to provide their student with a good environment, resources to avail real-life skills, and opportunities that help them in their personal development There are several personal skills such as time management, money management, stress skills, creativity, communication skills, and networking which can be acquired at a university. These skills will guide students in developing their personalities and in living a much more manageable life in future (Peng and Kievit, 2020).

Academic skills are skills that students gain throughout their academic life. The main objective of students joining a university is to attain these skills. Academic skills can help obtain a job or a career of a student's choice which can secure the professional aspects of their life. These skills also help in the personality development of students by boosting their confidence and improving their knowledge and self-esteem. While academic skills seem to be the most basic skills gained in the university, it is important to ensure that they provide the best resources to their students to achieve them. The various academic skills that can be acquired in universities that can help students in their postgraduates are analytical skills, organization skills, assertive skills, critical thinking skills, self-management skills, problem-solving skills, and independent work skills. The goal of universities should be to assure their students by giving them opportunities to gather these skills and improve them (Zárate, 2020).

Transferable skills just as the name suggests are skills that can be transferred or ported from one place to another. In the case of students' transferable skills can be used for transferring their skills either to their workplace or for their post-graduate studies. These skills are considered both soft and hard because they can be learned either from within or through academics or experience. Transferable skills can be of several types such as writing skills, conveying skills, presentation skills, interpersonal skills, and adaptability skills. Universities have to take special steps and implement resources to assist their students in achieving these skills (Jackson et al. 2019). The University of Wolverhampton besides providing top-notch professional courses also ensure that students enrolled in their university gain all skills relevant to their personal and professional development. This university has employed theories such as transformative theory and connectivism theory in order to modify learning for its students (Lanzolla et al. 2020).

Personal, Academic, and Transferrable Skills

I enrolled in the University of Wolverhampton because of the outstanding professional courses offered by them to their students but what astounded me was the skills that I learned throughout my journey at this university. These skills are exceptionally beneficial for my postgraduate and future career prospects. The personal skills that I acquired at this university have helped me develop a lot both personally and professionally. The personal skills I learned during my journey are firstly time management. Time management is such a crucial and important factor in our lives that we do not realize the importance of it until it is too late. It is also something I struggled with before enrolling in this university which is why it was even more significant for me.

The university helped us improve our time management by constantly putting us on deadlines. Every project and every assignment that has been allotted to us was designated to be completed under a specified time period. In case of not meeting the deadline, we were subjected to suffer the consequences of it which were usually deductions in grades or piled up files (Scott et al. 2019). Maintaining punctuality during our lectures also carried weightage in our overall performance criteria. Communication skills have been another very effective skill that I achieved during my course at the university. The university prepared several critical thinking exercises for the students to observe and communicate verbally and in writing, which helped improve my communication skills effectively. The academic skills that I obtained during this course have been analytical skills and problem-solving skills (Veerasamy et al. 2019).

These skills helped increase my ability to analyse situations and solve problems. Through these skills, I was able to complete my work in a more precise and efficient manner. After I finish my post-graduation, these skills will also help me in my future workplace and achieve the tasks allocated to me. Transferable skills that helped my overall performance were presentation skills and conveying skills. In the university, we were assigned a lot of presentations that helped me keep learning more about the subject and improve myself continuously (Deep et al. 2019).

Reflection on present study skills and abilities

The skills I attained at the university throughout my academic years helped me reflect on my strengths as well as my shortcomings. There were several skills I learned I excelled at and simultaneously skills I need to work on. In this part of the portfolio, I will reflect on my overall experience in the university and the ways it has worked for my advantages and disadvantages.

Strength and Weakness

Strength is basically a term used to describe things one excels or is good at. As mentioned earlier, there were a lot of skills I developed at this university that really helped me stand out and achieve greater heights in the future. The first and foremost strength that I gained at this university that I am always going to be extremely thankful for is time management. Time management is an art that is so basic yet so necessary at every phase of life. Through meeting several deadlines, I have been able to understand the ways I can use time in the most effective way. In order to finish my work on time I started making schedules, and tables to set time and constantly checked my progress (Juwito et al. 2022). My communication skills also improved because of this university. The critical thinking exercises have been arranged to bring the students to communicate more and express their opinions.

Each student present had to participate in these exercises and then further provide feedback on their experience of it. This not only improved communication skills but also ensured ways to keep improving them so as to provide the students with the best experience. Furthermore, a lot of our tasks were group-related, those groups were allotted by the professors of the class and were constantly changing. In order to carry out the project students have to constantly communicate with other students and improve their communication ability. After going through several communication skill exercises it also helped increase my conveying power. At the time when you have mastered the art of communication, everything else becomes easier and more possible to accomplish (Swaidan, 2020).

Through group projects, I also developed skills such as teamwork and cooperation among students. The University of Wolverhampton has established study guides for their students through which I was able to improve my writing skills as well. The university assigned us problem-solving tasks that improved my analytical skills as well as problem-solving skills. Through the different theories employed by the university such as transformative theory which is learning through experience and connectivism theory which means students incorporate their ideas and learning in a manner that is useful for them, I have also been able to strategize my learning skills and understand my subject matter better (Steinherr et al. 2022). Furthermore, through these skills, I have become more confident and have better self-esteem than when I joined the university. Through this university, I have also achieved transferable skills such as writing skills, conveying skills, and presentation skills which will be a lot helpful when I start working (Boyraz and Ocak, 2021).

S- Strengths
  • Time Management
  • Analytical Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Problem-Solving Skills
W- Weaknesses
  • Lack of creativity skills
  • Absence of independent working skills
  • Lack of stress management skills
  • Unavailability of assertive skills
O- Opportunities
  • Better teamwork
  • Higher scope of securing jobs
  • Elevation in self-esteem
T- Threats
  • Poor mental health
  • Inefficiency in individual tasks
  • Limitations in creative jobs

Table 1: SWOT Analysis

There were many skills that helped me improve myself, but there are still areas where I lack and have shown no improvement at all. The skill that I have not been able to attain is stress management skill. The constant deadlines that have been allocated have resulted in poor stress management. This has started to affect me mentally as I have not been able to find a healthier way to cope with this stress and lack of time is affecting it adversely (Bintani, 2020). The university has promoted team building, and teamwork but in the midst of it has failed to teach us independent work skills. I have not had the liberty to work individually before and while joining this university I had hoped to be able to learn these skills here but because of the lack of individual projects, I have utterly failed to do so. Therefore, I might face trouble in the future when I will have to accomplish tasks individually and might not be able to present my work properly.

The unavailability of assertiveness skills which means standing up for yourself or placing your point of view is also a cause of concern for me as this skill is also not a part of the university training. This shortcoming also is the result of a lack of individuality in the tasks. A lack of creative skills has decreased my ability to initiate new ideas. The university has not taken any steps to improve the creativity of its students. Assignments allocated are ones that do not require much creativity and moreover, a time designated to finish the task is way too little to add in creativity. Thus, it has also become a weakness that might affect my future growth in terms of creativity and might result in not finding a career in a creative field.

Personal Development Plan

PDP or Personal Development Plan is a continuous process through which we can improve ourselves through our skills, learning, and experiences to achieve our objectives and goals. During my academic years at the University of Wolverhampton, I noticed myself achieving a lot of skills and having a shortfall when it comes to many other skills. These skills that I have been unable to obtain during my course module might sabotage my future career post-graduate and even take a toll on my personal life. Through SWOT analysis I have discovered that the skills that I lack the most in management, creativity, independent working, and assertiveness. All these skills are crucial for a person's development and might be a cause of concern in my life if not acquired in some time. Stress can affect my mental health if not learn to manage it properly and might result in me not being able to handle my workload or future studies. This is one skill I need to start working on immediately (Abdelaziz et al. 2020). For a short-term improvement strategy, I should start practising meditation, and intake of proper nutrients. In the case of the middle-term strategy, I should start maintaining any form of physical exercise and initiate connecting with more people.

In the long term, I should maintain a healthy relationship with work and my body so as to not get over-stressed due to workloads. The other shortfall which I need to work on is independent working. It can be practised by me taking the initiative to work individually rather than waiting for tasks to be delegated to me. For the short term, I can start taking on smaller tasks at first and then increase them eventually. Assertiveness is another skill that is associated with individuality something that I lack. I should start being clearer about my thoughts, and opinions and start working on my confidence. In the short-term strategy can be started with voicing opinions, and using body language, and further can be improved by putting ideas across other people, and placing individual points of view. Creative skills are a very important skill and I should start working on attaining it (Fahmi and Ali, 2022). It can be started with small-term strategies such as reading, exploring, and drawing and can be improved further by writing, strategizing new ideas, and being more curious about everything. Through these measures, it can help me develop my personality and achieve my goals post-graduation.

Conclusion

Through this portfolio, it can be concluded that professional, academic, and transferrable skills are an important part of a student's life, and universities should ensure to provide them with these skills whether from the existing resources or implementing additional resources for it as it plays a huge role in students' life, especially post-graduate. Students should acquire these skills and utilize them post-graduate either for their future studies, to prepare for jobs, or to enhance their personalities.

References

  • Abdelaziz, E.M., Diab, I.A., Ouda, M.M.A., Elsharkawy, N.B. and Abdelkader, F.A., 2020, July. The effectiveness of assertiveness training program on psychological well-being and work engagement among novice psychiatric nurses. InNursing forum(Vol. 55, No. 3, pp. 309-319).
  • Bintani, K., 2020, August. Personal Development Plan as a Guidance and Counseling Strategy in Higher Education. In2nd International Seminar on Guidance and Counseling 2019 (ISGC 2019)(pp. 18-22). Atlantis Press.
  • Boyraz, S. and Ocak, G., 2021. Connectivism: a literature review for the new pathway of pandemic driven education.International Journal of Innovative Science and Research Technology,6(3), pp.1122-1129.
  • Deep, S., Salleh, B.M. and Othman, H., 2019. Study on problem-based learning towards improving soft skills of students in effective communication class.International Journal of Innovation and Learning,25(1), pp.17-34.
  • Fahmi, I. and Ali, H., 2022. Determination of Career Planning and Decision Making: Analysis of Communication Skills, Motivation and Experience (Literature Review Human Resource Management).Dinasti International Journal of Management Science,3(5), pp.823-835.
  • Jackson, D., Fleming, J. and Rowe, A., 2019. Enabling the transfer of skills and knowledge across classroom and work contexts.Vocations and Learning,12, pp.459-478.
  • Juwito, J., Achmad, Z.A., Kaestiningtyas, I., Dewani, P.K., Wahyuningtyas, D., Kusuma, R.M., Mas'udah, K.W., Sari, T.P. and Febrianita, R., 2022. Public speaking and personal branding skills for student organization managers at Dharma Wanita High School Surabaya.Journal of Community Service and Empowerment,3(1), pp.9-17.
  • Lanzolla, G., Lorenz, A., Miron-Spektor, E., Schilling, M., Solinas, G. and Tucci, C.L., 2020. Digital transformation: What is new if anything? Emerging patterns and management research.Academy of Management Discoveries,6(3), pp.341-350.
  • Peng, P. and Kievit, R.A., 2020. The development of academic achievement and cognitive abilities: A bidirectional perspective.Child Development Perspectives,14(1), pp.15-20.
  • Scott, F.J., Connell, P., Thomson, L.A. and Willison, D., 2019. Empowering students by enhancing their employability skills.Journal of Further and Higher Education,43(5), pp.692-707.
  • Steinherr, V.M. and Vay, C., 2022. Personal Skills in the BISE Curriculum: An Integrative Approach.
  • Swaidan, E.A., 2020. Personal Skills and Academic Performance of The First University Year: A Case Study at Rachaya District.
  • Vasanthakumari, S., 2019. Soft skills and their application in the workplace.World Journal of Advanced Research and Reviews,3(2), pp.066-072.
  • Veerasamy, A.K., D'Souza, D., Lindén, R. and Laakso, M.J., 2019. Relationship between perceived problem?solving skills and academic performance of novice learners in introductory programming courses.Journal of Computer Assisted Learning,35(2), pp.246-255.
  • Zárate, R.A., 2020. Uncovering peer effects in social and academic skills.Available at SSRN 3595812.
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