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Courses that imply simulations are extremely beneficial for identifying individual strengths and weaknesses, as well as developing ways for enhancing personal and professional growth, especially when there is an opportunity to compare and contrast obtained theoretical knowledge with practice due to being occupied in an industry closely connected with the considered simulation (Salas, Wildman, & Piccolo, 2009). Still, to obtain a better apprehension of the advantages and disadvantages of the course and simulations, it is of significant importance to speculate on outcomes and ways the course changed an individual.
For this reason, the paper at hand is a reflection of the immersion course. Its main objective is to speculate on the experience gained during the network course, determine primary strengths and weaknesses that were noted during the course and are associated with working in a particular industry, and pay special attention to demonstrating self-awareness and understanding of the ways to apply what has been learned and experienced in the real-life – working for the company and improving the overall personal performance by constant personal development and growth.
Lessons learned during the simulation
As the initial aim of the self-awareness and reflection paper is to assess personal strengths and weaknesses, it is critical to realize what was learned during the course because it is inseparable from reaching this goal. To begin with, the main lesson is that all actions and choices are directly related to the further operation of a company regardless of the position occupied within it or working experience. It can be easily explained by the fact that each person is responsible for coping with a particular job duty so that individual performance is what contributes to the overall economic and business outcomes of an organization or company.
In this case, it is imperative to point to the fact that individual activities go beyond carrying out job duties, as they involve the effectiveness of decision-making process and communication, managing workloads, and selecting appropriate strategies aimed at coping with work-related stress and personal issues if they affect work outcomes. Another lesson learned during this course is that teamwork is not less important than individual work (Parker, 2015). It is true not only for large but also for small companies because only collective effort can help achieve a general strategic objective of the enterprise. The criticality of teamwork is associated with the subconscious need for socialization and the belief that working in a team is less stressful and more efficient compared to individual work (Protzman et al., 2016).
Determining personal strengths and weakness
Based on the lessons learned during the immersion, it is possible to locate personal strengths and weaknesses that may be of both advantages and disadvantages not only to the current position but also the future professional development and building career. One of the main strengths identified during the course is the ability to compare and contrast theoretical material from real-world practice due to working in the industry. This strength is connected to the opportunity for obtaining a better understanding of the proposed knowledge because of being aware of the networks of the real company and the way they operate in practice.
Also, due to having working experience, it was easier to see ways of applying theoretical knowledge to practice that made educational outcomes higher and made a significant contribution to the overall improvement of educational performance. Finally, for the same reason, I could help my classmates in understanding some complicated practical concepts that helped to improve my image and enhanced personal communication. This strength is connected not only to the working experience but also the noted ability to perceive new knowledge easily and is eager to become more theoretically and professionally proficient.
Comparing current work and immersion
However, regardless of the identified strengths, it is imperative to acknowledge that some critical weaknesses identified during the simulation that should be properly addressed to not only foster personal growth but also contribute to effective and successful career development. First of all, even though there is an impressive experience of being occupied in industry, some issues in communication were revealed. The major one is the poor ability to deploy multicultural communication techniques and avoid undesirable bias when communicating with the representatives of different ethnic groups.
Because the team of the current occupation is homogenous, it was ineffective to deploy currently used approaches to communication to working with a culturally and ethnically heterogeneous group of people. Another significant weakness is the initial excessive self-confidence that affected educational performance. This drawback is related to the inability to realize that constant work on understanding learning materials, not working experience, is the foundation of successful completion of the course.
Still, the realization of this weakness came during the course, so it was possible to overcome this challenge. Finally, both communication patterns and excessive self-confidence initially affected the ability to become an efficient team member. Even though behavioral issues connected to academic performance were easily addressed, the simulation was valuable for understanding that it is extremely important to work on improving team skills.
Identifying intentions based on immersion results
The lessons learned during the immersion, as well as the identified personal and professional strengths and weaknesses, may be valuable for making a positive contribution to the company’s financial outcomes since it is based on the performance of both individuals and teams and interactions between everyone involved in the working process. The most influential thing that may be essential for creating more effective financial results is the realization of the necessity to pay special attention to education.
It means that it is critical to focus on obtaining new knowledge and developing new skills in case of identifying gaps that affect the company’s financial results. One of the ways to enhance personal modification is to seek the assistance of those who are more professional and have more knowledge. In the case of developing adequate communication skills, along with the ability to easily and effectively perceive new materials, it will be beneficial for addressing knowledge gaps, this benefitting the company and improving its financial outcomes.
Besides, the recognition of the criticality of effective communication and enhanced teamwork may help manage team members, even if it is not necessary according to job duties. This need is associated with the necessity to guarantee that all the information required for coping with personal job duties is provided in time, so there are no delays in coping with the tasks common for a particular occupation within a company. Also, the newly obtained knowledge may help enhance group-making – the condition when everyone is interested in collective work improving performance through effective communication and constructed relations (Bakewell, Engbersen, Fonseca, & Horst, 2016).
Except for knowing how the networks operate, one of the main lessons learned during the course is obtaining a better understanding of how the market works that may be beneficial for improving company’s financial results due to finding ways to decrease costs but, at the same time, increase income, such as the economies of scales, deploying competitive advantages, and creating new business opportunities (Rosenthal, 2013). This one is essential for understanding the concept of value as well as distributing it relevantly so that financial benefits are maximized (Beynon-Davis, 2013).
Still, regardless of the significance of the lessons learned during the immersion, it would have been impossible to learn them, as well as identify major strengths and weaknesses without having the experience of working in the industry. To begin with, it is essential to mention that the current position is connected to data analysis in one of the cooperating companies. Therefore, due to the connection to business and economic environment, this working experience helped me understand theoretical materials. Here, it is as well essential to point to the fact that there were both similarities and differences between the current position and industry experience.
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For instance, in the company of the current occupation, teamwork is generally praised and valued. Still, some occupations are considered to be individual, just like that occupied by me – data analyst. The same was pointed to in the simulation, so it is the main similar aspect between the two. However, estimating the obtained experience, I can easily and with confidence say that when working in the company, it is impossible to draw the line between individual work and teamwork. It is especially true in case of analyzing data obtained from other team members or departments. It means that it is impossible to complete a particular individual task without cooperating with other members of the team. In the case of data analysis, what is perceived is the appropriate format of data and its accurateness that affects the speed of data analysis and its quality. This specificity is the main difference between the simulation and the working practice.
Summing up, this simulation was beneficial for improving self-awareness because it helped to become aware of the main personal and professional strengths and critical weaknesses that should be addressed. Therefore, special attention should be paid to eliminating weaknesses. One of the main issues to focus on is the challenge of multicultural communication and working in culturally and ethnically diversified environments. Developing effective communication skills and enhancing communication patterns is the intention I am committed to implementing.
The need for this improvement is motivated by its potentially valuable contribution to improving professional cooperation with ethnically and culturally diverse team members and enhancing personal communication with them. This intention corresponds with the lessons learned and working experience because it was revealed during the simulation. To achieve the goal mentioned above, it is critical to lay stress on the literature on multicultural communication. To be specific, the goal is to search for the most detailed and comprehensive book on interpersonal communication and go through multicultural practices, so in a month – by August 2017 – I become more skilled in communication. All on all, regardless of several challenges faced during this simulation, I find the experience positive and valuable because it helped reveal the gaps to deal with and outline areas for future personal and professional growth that might be useful not only for me but also for my company.
Bakewell, O., Engbersen, G., Fonseca, M. L., & Horst, C. (Eds.). (2016). Beyond networks: Feedback in international migration. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Beynon-Davis, P. (2013). Business information systems (2nd ed.).
Parker, F. (2015). Strategy + teamwork = great products: Management techniques for manufacturing companies. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Protzman, C., Whiton, F., Kerpchar, J., Lewandowski, C. R., Stenberg, S., & Grounds, P. (2016). The lean practitioner’s field handbook: Proven, practical, profitable, and powerful techniques for making lean really work. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Rosenthal, E. (2013, June 1). The $2.7 trillion bill: Colonoscopies explain why U.S. leads the world in health expenditures. New York Times.
Salas, E., Wildman, J. L., & Piccolo, R. F. (2009). Using simulation-based training to enhance management education. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 8(4), 559-573.