Development

Assignment Progressing Professional Development

Portfolio Reflection

This reflective report presents my personal and professional development including key learning’s, experience of success and failures in accomplishing my plan during the academic course 2017-18 in International Finance and Economics which is a prime learning phase in my education journey to fulfil my career ambition. It is based on developmental experience in terms of challenges and opportunity (Zubizarreta, 2009), and changes done to undertake my developmental plan to fulfil my career ambition in future years. The purpose of this portfolio is to demonstrate my value to prospective employers by learning to discover and utilise opportunities provided to me in Bloomberg and Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) and develop my skills desired by future employers which is employability skills.

I have a strong ambition to work with a reputed financial organisation and to become a successful finance professional. To fulfil this ambition, I chose to study International Finance and Economics to understand the business foundation, investment practices and develop key employability skills to help me fulfil to dream job.  According to my skill audit, I found that I needs improvement in analytical skills, decision making skills, computer skills, leadership skills and communication skills. I have focused on improving these skills through my development plan was able to work on skills improvement by increase level of interaction with people, participation in presentation, discussion and undertaking certification course to enhance knowledge related to financial markets and develop computer skills.

Opportunities : The key opportunity provided to me in Bloomberg was to take part and attend presentation as well as participate in discussions related to my finance subject in areas such as investment practices to get real world insight on investment practices being followed up by business and professionals. This has focused on my interpersonal skills and communication skills both oral and written to help me gain an edge over these employability skills. To complete this certification successfully was in my developmental plan to seek my career ambition in field of finance and develop employability skills for financial analyst and for other multiple jobs options such as investment banker, treasury manager, fund manager, trader, and auditor to increase my future job opportunity. This has led me to recognise the value of interaction with other for better knowledge sharing. According to Peticca-Harris and McKenna (2013), interaction among individuals is one of the characteristics that influences professional development as it creates a positive learning environment. Considering the employability skills for personal management, with this opportunity I am able to develop my career plan as financial analysts, gain awareness of strength and knowledge gaps, work independently on presentations, pay attention to important details and develop new skills such as analytical skills. This has also developed my team skills by demonstrating my active participation in group presentations, group assessments, listening to other presenters, expressing ideas, to be sensitive to other views and opinions and work with individual for different backgrounds. These team skills also fall under employability skills desired by employers (Wickramasinghe and Perera, 2010).

The MOS expert in Excel has also given me an opportunity to strengthen my resume by successfully completing my (MOS) certifications in Excel also mentioned in my development plan. This has helped in sharpening my analytical skills to a greater extent and chance to improve my computer skills for preparation and analysis of financial reports and use of Gmatrix application for self assessment. This has given me good grip on my academic skills to understand basic maths functions used in Excel, understanding and interpretation of graphs, tables and charts, use spreadsheet tools and functions, use excel to solve financial problems. These opportunities provide an ongoing learning prospect for professional development.

In undertaking my development plan, I became more self-aware of my strengths and areas of weakness as the initial step in my personal development.  Personal development focuses on activities that engage an individual to develop self awareness, knowledge and identify. I have also gained exposure on planning of problems, interpretation and critical thinking to create alternative solution and take effective decisions for instance, at city pizza I made decision related to price change which proved to be effectual in gaining sales from both new and repeat customers. I realise that I have a good self-confidence in expressing view and ideas. I have realised that I work well in as a member of the team during assessments and able to lead a team due to experience in handling college football team, and workplace groups. I also become self aware of my poor communicating skills using English, poor management of time and low fitness.

My knowledge and skill development for professional journey has taken route by reading finance related professional journals, research articles, case studies, giving presentations and discussion of financial markets, certification courses to get professionally trained and academic study during my academic year to make me competent to apply for internships and scholarship to pursue my studies further.  In my view, my development plan provided me a better understanding to undertake my learning and skill improvement activities as required by employers and the extent to which learning activities can lead to my improved performance for my development as a professional.

Success in achieving my development plan:

I have been quiet successful in achieving my personal and professional development plan as I have developed good analytical thinking which is result of preparing different analytical report and working on project within my workplace. I have improved my computer skills especially use of excel spreadsheet software. I have been able to create efficient plans for my tasks and developed ability to gather, compare, analyse and evaluate information by considering different parameters such as market value, demand, supply, prices, etc. In achieving my developmental plan, I succeeded to accomplish my MOS expert certification in Excel to gain competitive edge over other individuals and accomplish Bloomberg to a great extent. I got success to improve my analytical skills, communication skills and decision making skills. Apart from this, I am able to focus on my physical fitness by walking and exercise to keep me healthy and maintain my mental health.

Failure in achieving my developmental plan:

Apart from the numerous gains from the development plan, I experienced a few setbacks in undertaking the individual plan. The major failure was time management. I faced difficulty in accomplishing the set goals due to my poor time managing skills. Due to time management issue I was not able to keep up with the plan as per set timeframe which led to poor follow up of few goals to be achieved under the plan such as to widen my understanding of leadership and plan for CISI Certificate. Leadership is an important ability that employer seek in potential employee. I have realised that leadership as an individual capability helps other to motivate or influence other persons to accomplishment of collective goals. However, I was unable to understand the role of leader and their demands with high performance workforce in the financial business markets. This can be due to loosely and openly laid objectives around these unaccomplished goals which gave me poor planning to work on these developmental goals from professional perspectives. I have yet to learn to set priorities in work, need to learn to set more realistic and attainable goals and develop time management skills. I have faced difficulty in completely engaging me in this development plan which possibly is the reason that led to emphasise of few goals as compared to all goals (McGarr and Moody, 2010). This also indicate that accomplishment of personal management skills didn’t go as per plan which include attending daily work on time, meeting deadlines, demonstrate ability to self-control and follow written instructions. These are essential employability skills which I need to acquire in my coming years.

Learning from this experience:

The reflective practice on my development plan has helped me in learning, examining and identifying the growth and development of my knowledge, skill and finance related competencies. This is a self-learning and self-awareness experience in relation to identification of managerial skills (Ghaye, 2010), my strengths and to work on my weaknesses.  During this development plan, I have leant to communicate and deal with different individuals from different backgrounds and learnt the importance of multi-tasking under pressure situations. I have learnt to analyse problem, case studies, financial data and its proper organisation to reach efficient solution and identify relevant information from a give data set. My analytical skills developed in performing these exercises which was well have recognised by colleagues and tutors. I have learned and experienced that varying degrees of employability skills are required in finance field which I need to keep updated in my professional life. My improvements through development plan have motivated to further revise and continue my plan to accomplish the leadership and successfully achieve CIRI certification goals.

The reflection report has stated my individual reflection on my development plan for my personal and professional life and highlighted key learning, success and failures in achieving my individual development plan to fulfil my career ambition in finance field and fulfil my personal and career goals.

 References

Ghaye, T. (2010) Teaching and learning through reflective practice: A practical guide for positive action. UK: Routledge.

McGarr, O. and Moody, J. (2010) Scaffolding or stifling? The influence of journal requirements on students’ engagement in reflective practice. Reflective practice, 11(5), pp.579-591.

Peticca-Harris, A. and McKenna, S. (2013) Identity struggle, professional development and career: A career/life history of a human resource management professional. Journal of Management Development, 32(8), pp. 823-835.

Wickramasinghe, V. and Perera, L. (2010) Graduates’, university lecturers’ and employers’ perceptions towards employability skills. Education+ Training, 52(3), pp. 226-244.

Zubizarreta, J. (2009) The learning portfolio: Reflective practice for improving student learning. US: John Wiley & Sons.

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