P1: An Introduction to Skills Development and the Warwick Skills Portfolio
Summary:My primary reason for attending this core workshop was to better understand what the Warwick Skills Portfolio Award entailed. The workshop highlighted, among other things, the importance of self-awareness and reflection, and it helped me to identify some areas which I can improve upon (see action points). It also made me realise that, whilst the award itself will undoubtedly be a valuable addition to my CV, the broad range of workshops offer opportunities to develop both academic and professional skills, which I had not previously been aware of.
I found that the workshop was sufficiently detailed and provided a thorough introduction. In particular, I enjoyed taking the two questionnaires. The first, on learning styles, showed that I had a strong preference for 'Activist' learning, which has led me to change the way I study. Previously, I would read an article or chapter of a book and then assume that I had learnt it, whereas now I realise that active notemaking alongside reading is far more productive for me personally, even if it feels like I am taking longer. The skills questionnaire also helped me to evaluate my own strengths and weaknesses, and the results of this have helped me to identify my action points and also which other workshops to attend in the near future.
N.B. Apologies for the late first blog- I thought that 6th of November was the date I should submit my first blog, not the deadline!
My Action Plan:
Over the following weeks, I am looking to work on these points:
As a first year, I have found it quite a shock adjusting from the rigidites of school and home life, to university, where I must be completely independent. Initially, I struggled to organise my time, fell behind with work, and missed training sessions (usually due to sleeping in late!). In order to better keep on top of this, I plan to attend the workshop 'P7 Organising Yourself and Your Time'. In the meantime, I have set up an account on 'Google Calendars', and plugged in all my lectures and seminars, as well as time for gym, sports training, library, free time. This application sends me updates straight to my phone, and I have seen a huge improvement in my organisation already. (Bar getting in a muddle about the date to submit this blog...)
- Developing Commercial Awareness
I plan on pursuing a career in the financial sector, specifically M&A in investment banking, yet in order to make this goal a reality I need to drastically improve my commercial awareness of the industry. The first steps I have taken in this regard is to sign up for a subscription to the Financial Times, through the Economics department, which I have taken the time to read most days. I have also been recommended two books by a friend on my course, ''All You Need to Know About the City 2011' and 'All You Need to Know About Commercial Awareness 2011/2012', both by Christopher Stoakes. These should arrive soon, and I will comment upon them in my next post.
Connected to my above career goal, I also believe that I need to work on my computer skills if I am to secure the initial analyst position. One of the key specifications for this type of role is proficiency on Microsoft Excel, so I have signed up to the Microsoft Office Specialist Excel qualification through IT Services. I will update with my progress throughout this award. I plan to take the test in early January.
Thank you for reading my first blog entry,
Marc Newall, First Year PPE-ist, ID: 1101455