All 4 entries tagged P1 Portfolio

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December 16, 2012

Final entry on Getting started on skills development and the Warwick Skills Portfolio

Workshop Tutor: Amanda Randall

Definitely, we never know what life has in store for us…

I find myself writing today with a bright red cast on my leg. After falling during a session of bouldering a week ago, I broke my fibula and had to have my leg immobilized. And just like that, this has proven to be the hardest week since I arrived here in the UK.

On the one hand you have the pain and discomfort that comes with a broken leg, as well as the fact that you have to learn how to do everything differently. An on the other hand you have the emotional challenge it supposes to be alone on the other side of the world and having all of your plans fall apart. I wake up every morning feeling strangely like the prisoner in cartoons who has this enormous metal ball chained to his leg to prevent him from going anywhere.

As a result of this situation a lot of my plans and careful organization fell apart: for instance I will not be able to travel for the holidays with my friends and I had to ask for an extension for my assignments. However looking back at it I can say I feel proud of myself by the way I managed it. As I am writing this reflection now I can see that even though we cannot control everything that happens in our lives, we can definitely control the way we face it and what we decide to do with whatever life throws at us. And yet again I found myself in a perfect situation for self-reflection and learning.

Out of this situation I learned the importance of prioritizing and analyzing in a calm way stressful situations so you can make good decisions. In this case, the most important thing was my health and even though I was inclined to stress about deadlines and work, I knew I had to take this time to relax to be able to cope with the pain and discomforts in the best way possible. I was also glad to see that the time invested on building a good network of friends here in Coventry was of great importance in a moment like this one. You definitely need a support group and people around you to help you cope. But also this made me work really hard on my ability to delegate and ask for help, which is not my strong suite.

However the most important lesson in this process is about strength and drive. I know myself and I know in situations like this one I tend to get overwhelmed and give up. None of this happened this time, and I think it has a lot to do with the fact that the self reflection process has made me more aware of my personality, and has given me the tools I needed to see things in a more rational way. Plus I can see very clearly the goals I have ahead of me and that I want to achieve as well as the plan to get there; which means, even though there will certainly be obstacles in the way, I can tackle them and continue on my path to get to where I want to be.

So I take this specific experience to highlight the way this workshop has changed my approach to life. My action points are not specified through the description, but they are in the underline structure of this reflection. For instance I would not have been able to cope with this situation with out applying what I had learned about time management and prioritizing in the P7 workshop. The reflective writing process helped me in facing the situation and my way to handle it in a calmed relaxed way. And finally, all in all it would be harder to get along with if I did not have clear set goals for my career plan, as I know no matter how hard the process is, I have something to look forward and that motivates me to keep going forward.

I cannot wait for what the next workshops will teach me and how they will help me grow and become a better person. I look forward to continuing with the Warwick Skills Portfolio Award during the next term, as I have seen the advantages it can bring for personal and professional growth.


Follow–up on Getting started on skills development and the Warwick Skills Portfolio

Workshop Tutor: Amanda Randall

Heres a summary of how I've been getting on with my action points

Given some unexpected circumstances I ended up writing both my third and final entries at the same time; because of an unfortunate accident (which you will find all about on my final entry) I was unable to complete the blogging process in an organized way. But no matter this inconvenience I wanted to give a clear account of what had happened regarding every one of my action points before ending this process.

First we have my completion of the workshop: Organizing yourself and your time. Applying the techniques that I learned on this workshop has helped me to start working on one of my biggest weaknesses. I have always had a problem with time management and as a result with following through and finishing things in an organized way. With a macro-plan as a way to visualize how to get to your clear goals, life takes a new dimension: it seems achievable.

Regarding the reflective writing I am happy to see I have a notepad with around 20 pages of reflections in different subjects. I am no longer afraid to write what I am thinking, on the contrary I use it as a way to organize my ideas, This is a mayor skill I have acquired after this first workshop, because I have seen the advantages it brings and the results it offers. I am now using it not only for my personal development but also for my assignments and I am sure I will continue using through out my professional development as well.

And finally for my career, this workshop has helped me organize myself around what is most important for me at the moment. I have now been to several meetings with a careers and skills advisor and I have now my CV revised and ready to be sent out. This is a big advantage, as it will help me take the next step in applying for jobs once the New Year arrives.


November 23, 2012

Follow–up on Getting started on skills development and the Warwick Skills Portfolio

Workshop Tutor: Amanda Randall

Heres a summary of how I've been getting on with my action points

So I am happy to say that today I can write this follow up with a smile on my face, which was definitely not the case for my last one. It is amazing to see how the simplest change in your attitude can make you feel and be that much more in control of your life and things that happen around you. Indeed when I took the first step towards getting things done instead of just whining about them, everything started falling into place and life seemed somehow more manageable…

For me it has been all about organizing myself, knowing what has to be done (but in a SMART way), and then just sticking to the plan: et voila! Things are getting done! In the one hand I attended to the P.7 Workshop, Organizing yourself and your time, and it has been of great help. I have been applying what I learned in the workshop to my actual time management: I started by making a planner and completing it until the end of the year. In this planner I have put all my deadlines and started developing plans in the previous weeks of concise goals in order to achieve the final goal. This has proved incredibly useful, as it has turned the enormous assignments, which I was unable to tackle, into manageable tasks.

Regarding the reflective writing, and even though I did buy a pad exclusively for this last weekend, I haven’t been able to start writing on it. This is something I need to keep working on, even more so as the due dates for my assignments are getting closer, because I wish to take advantage of the reflective writing process to get my ideas clear and structure a better speech. So as I can see now that the reason I didn’t follow up with this task is the fact that I didn’t make it SMART, I am going to commit myself that by the end of this week I need to have started my diary.

And finally for my third action regarding my career, I am pleased to see that I took a step forward by attending a meeting with a career’s and skills adviser to discuss my future. After this meeting I had a clear structured plan with actions I needed to complete for achieving my goals, all of which are marked in the planner I mentioned before.

Overall I feel confident that I am moving forward and that I now have my eyes open during this process. I t changes everything to feel that I am in control and that my life is again in my hands. It is all about thinking, reflecting, concretizing and finally doing.


November 13, 2012

First entry on Getting started on skills development and the Warwick Skills Portfolio

Workshop Tutor: Amanda Randall

Introduction

I attended the P1 workshop on the 10th of October, that is 4 weeks ago. This means I should be on the final stage of my reflective blogging, but I am ashamed to say that I am only just starting. I took this workshop on my second week at Warwick, with high hopes of taking advantage of every opportunity the University of Warwick had to offer, but ended up falling flat on my face with the realization that once again I had let myself get overwhelmed by the situation and failed to comply with my obligations.

The process of settling in was not easy, and I felt that time was passing by faster than I could keep up. I let myself get dragged along and did not stop to think what was it I was doing by leaving everything for “later”. I lost sight of the whole picture, and forgot my final goal, but I am writing this reflection to get back in track. I believe that the Warwick Skills Portfolio Award will help me enormously in my personal and professional development and I am willing to work hard to achieve it. I know now it is going to be harder than I expected but I am willing to go the extra mile.

The P1 workshop got me thinking about REFLECTION, what it is, how to do it, and the benefits it delivers. I had never been more convinced about this fact than on this exact moment. Self-awareness and analysis is the only way we have to learn, change and improve both in our academic/professional and personal lives. We cannot expect to be perfect but what makes us better is to be able to face our mistakes and try to learn from them as to not repeat them in the future. For instance, through this exercise of reflective writing I have forced myself to break a pattern of not doing things just because it was too late. I am not sure if this will be accepted for the WSPA; giving that it is way past my deadline, but my motivation behind it is to stop procrastinating and start progressing.

Actions

  1. So to stop being that much of a theorist and reflector (which I am) and start being more of an activist and pragmatist (which I am not that much), I will set myself the action points I need to follow from now on. Subsequent to my admitted weakness, my first action is going to be attending the P7 workshop on Organizing Yourself and Your Time. I have now booked a place for tomorrow’s session. However the real challenge is not going to be attending the workshop but following through with the reflective writing as well as applying what I learn to my actual time management. But whatever the difficulty of the task I feel truly motivated to do this and see the advantages it can offer to me.

  2. My second action will be to take more advantage of the reflective writing process. I am astonished to see the difference it can make to just think and reflect about ones mistakes from actually writing it down and concretizing the issue. This is why I will start carrying a diary with my reflections about both professional and academic issues. I will write down my thoughts and force myself to analyze them more thoroughly in this way.

  3. And my third action will be regarding the ‘whole picture” I was talking about before. I need to get more active with my career planning, as there is no more time to loose. I have already attended some of the seminars from the Careers and Skills Centre about writing a CV, but now I need to attend the personal interviews to get it revised. My goal is that by the end of this month I have completed my applications for graduate schemes as well as internships

  4. Finally I would like to use tis space to apologize for the late entry, and ask you for the opportunity to continue in the process to achieve the WSPA. I would appreciate if you could guide me in this process and enlighten me on what is the next step in order to do this.

To write a follow up, go to http://go.warwick.ac.uk/skills//blog


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  • Thank you for this first blog entry. It sounds as if things have been very difficult but that you ar… by on this entry
  • Hi Maria Thank you for your final blog. I am sure when you came to the workshop and submitted your f… by Beverley Maynard on this entry
  • Hi Maria You seem to have maintained the focus of macro–planning, prioritising and delegating. I am … by Beverley Maynard on this entry
  • Hi Marie Please accept my apologies for the non–response to your blogs – I have had a few problems w… by Beverley Maynard on this entry
  • Hi Maria, Gosh, I am very sorry to read about your accident. What a difficult time you have had rece… by Amanda Randall on this entry

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