P1: An Introduction to Skills Development and the Warwick Skills Portfolio
Name of Tutor: Samena Rashid
Date of Workshop: Saturday, 15 October 2011
Summary: I attended this core workshop ('P1: An Introduction to Skills Development and the Warwick Skills Portfolio') with a view to gaining an insight into what was required to obtain the Skills Portfolio Award. I feel that attending the required 6 workshops will be of immense benefit and value in my situation. I am a final-year student, studying a course which does not lead directly to employment, so being able to further understand and refine my transferable skills is of great importance at this crucial time.
I found the workshop itself provided a thorough introduction, and any questions I had beforehand were answered during the session. We were given suitable opportunities both for group work and personal reflection, within which different tasks and questionnaires enabled us to think about where our strengths and weaknesses lie.
The 'Learning Styles Questionnaire' revealed my scores to be relatively consistent in all fields, without an exceptional strength or weakness in any one. I scored: Activist: 6 (Moderate Preference); Reflector: 5 (Low Preference); Theorist: 5 (Low Preference); Pragmatist: 7 (Low Preference). However, in answering the questions, I realised that it was not as simple as providing a 'tick' or a 'cross' next to each answer. My responses would have been different depending on varying circumstances, situations, company, and even on my mood while taking the test itself. Nonetheless, I was able to identify select points from across the different lists to work upon, which should help me strengthen my skills in that style.
Through the help of these questions and the 'Skills Questionnaire', I have also developed a clearer idea of which further workshops it would serve me best to attend.
My Action Plan:
Over the following weeks, I am looking to actively work on these points, until I can ideally put a tick next to the following statements:
- "I actively look for new things to do" (Activist)
Particularly from my second year onwards, I have had a tendency not to seek out new situations, and to stick with my own friendship group. In this respect, I can easily tick the 'Life and soul of the party' box when in the company of friends, but am often far more hesitant among those I don't know. I believe the best way to go about this is to jump in at the deep end and seek out new and different social situations, and there is no better time than now, at the start of an academic year, to find such situations. In fact, following the workshop, I have already taken action on this point, about which I look forward to updating you.
- "I am quite keen on sticking to fixed routines, following procedures and keeping to timetables" (Theorist)
I am looking to improve on this aspect particularly with respect to my working life. I have often found it difficult to motivate myself without the pressure of looming deadlines. This approach seems not to have greatly affected my academic performance, but it does bring about more stress than would otherwise be necessary. In the hopes of changing this, I plan to make clearer schedules for my independent study and stick to them, particularly in relation to my dissertation work.
- "I believe that careful, logical thinking is the key to success" (Theorist)
The suggestion beneath this point is to set 15-20 minutes a day aside for "thinking time". I believe this will not only help me to reflect on how my development is progressing as regards my other two points, but also other aspects of my life - particularly academic - and if not, how to take action to improve them. I think in the past I have dealt with situations as they come up, perhaps without taking this time out to consider how everything fits together in the long-term.
Thank you for reading my first blog entry, I hope to be able to update you with my first set of positive developments in due course!