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March 22, 2011

Follow up to P1 War Skills Development Wrokshop

Follow-up to An Introduction to My Skills Development and Warwick Skills Development from Samantha's blog

It has now been around eight weeks since I attended the P1 Warwick Skills Development workshop and want to use a key aspect of the workshop, reflection, to look back over the past term and see how I have put my action plans into use and developed my skills.

My first action point was to develop my assertiveness and communication. My main problem was not being able to communicate effectively in seminar and I wanted to attend the P5 Effective Seminar Participation to gain some advice on how to change this.

Upon completing the workshop, as you will read in my blog post “Effective Seminar Participation (P5)” and “Follow Up For My Effective Seminar Participation (P5) Workshop” I was happy to report that not only had I learnt some valuable tips in confidence building and communication skills with my peers but I have also put these into effect over the past eight weeks to great effect. I can happily say that my skill in voicing my ideas and gaining the confidence and assertion to do this has definitely improved.

My second action point was to improve on my academic writing, to help me not only during university but also when I get a full time job and need to use my writing skills to do reports and assessments. Firstly I think that by completing the Warwick Skills Portfolio and writing blogs such as this one will be helpful in itself, but I did also want to attend the A3 Academic Writing for Arts and Social Science workshop to see what specific tips I could glean for my university essays. This workshop was fantastic and has enabled me to fully understand what it is to write an academic essay. I am now confident in knowing the process to take when approaching a piece of written work and have also seen a rise in my university grades improving by up to ten marks on some essays.

Thirdly I wanted to gain some commercial awareness. This action point is one which I have yet to work on in terms of attending the workshop, as it has not been at a time I can attend yet, but I have been able to take points from the C1 careers planning workshop and do some of my own research into the area I want to work in upon graduation from Warwick. Whilst I have not perhaps gained as much as I hoped I would by this point I am still committed to attending the workshop next term and hope to benefit from the speaker.

Finally I wished to work on my general self-awareness. Through this blog and the Warwick skills portfolio award I have been able to reflect on all the workshops I have attended and to reflect over the skills that I have gained and knowledge that I have taken forward into my academic and personal life. I have met new people and exchanged conversations with students at Warwick who I would otherwise not have met. I have also gained the confidence to attend talks and presentations and learnt to help myself to gain the skills I need for the future and not to merely expect to be ready for a graduate job without any personal effort.

The P1 Warwick skills Development workshop has benefitted me greatly and all I can say is that I wish I had attended it in my first year and begun this journey of skills development sooner. Although luckily I am on a four year degree course and have plenty of time before graduation to develop my skills further and take the opportunities Warwick University has to offer its undergraduate students.


January 20, 2011

An Introduction to My Skills Development and Warwick Skills Development

On attending the “An Introduction to Skills Development and the Warwick Skills Portfolio” workshop I gained an insight into my learning styles and how to use my learning style to aid my skills development. I learnt that through reflection and evaluation you can assess how yourself and others respond to a certain situation in both academic and “real life” circumstances. I also explored what skills I already excel in and which skills I can develop over the following two terms to improve my employability and overall skills portfolio. In review, I found that I have already attain skills in leadership, time-management, planning and prioritising and these complimented my theorist and reflective learning styles. Yet there were four key areas which I have highlighted to work on and develop over the coming weeks.

Below is my action plan for my skills development:

1. My first key skill which I wish to develop is my assertiveness and communication. Currently I find it hard to bring my opinions and viewpoints forward in seminars and have the confidence to voice my research and ideas. To begin my process I will firstly attend the Undergraduates - Effective Seminar Participation (P5). By attending this I hope to gain pointers in how to organise my thoughts and communicate them effectively and confidently to others. To measure my progress I will try and participate more in seminars and put more points forward week after week.

2. Secondly I wish to improve on my academic writing. Primarily to gain good marks in my degree but also to learn how to structure and articulate my research through the media of an academic essay. To do this I will attend the A3 Academic Writing for Arts and Social Science students. I will also go to my tutors to get more specific feedback on my own essays and find ways to improve. I hope to see the advantages of this action plan reflected in my essay marks.

3. For my third action point I want to make it more specific to improving skills that will help me in my future after I graduate from Warwick and begin to look for a job. Therefore I want to work on gaining knowledge about how organisations work and commercial awareness. As I am keen to go into the government, in particular the area of national security, I will focus my research in that area. I will conduct research online as well as find out about work experience or internships that will help me explore the field of the civil service in more detail.

4. Finally, for my final area of skills development I will work on my general self-awareness. In the CORE Skills Portfolio workshop I learnt that to reflect upon my experiences can lead to personal growth and development. I want to take moments through these next two terms to pause and reflect on my experiences. This blog will help me to do this with my skills development but I also want to try and reflect on more “life experiences”. I hope to push the boundaries of my comfort zone and break out of my daily routine to have more spontaneous and exciting experiences. Not only will I approach a positive “yea” attitude to life but I shall try and meet new people and try new things.

Over the next two terms I will work by the idea of Plan, Do, Review and Evaluate.


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  • A very good final reflective account, Samantha, to round off your Warwick Skills Portfolio Award. Yo… by Mary Sage on this entry
  • This is a good concluding blog to follow up the actions you have taken since the workshop. It is und… by Sue Johnstone on this entry
  • A great final entry for P1, Samanatha. it's really good to see how the whole reflection process has … by Mary Sage on this entry
  • Sam – nice concluding summary of A1. It sounds like you've taken a lot away from this workshop, that… by Han-na Cha on this entry
  • Your first blog is comprehensive, although I would be interested to know how the actual content of t… by Sue Johnstone on this entry

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