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Skills and Learning Statement

OXFORD
BROOKES
UNIVERSITY
NISHAT MILLS LIMITED (NML)
Presented By:
Registration Number:
Words: 2,000

WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THE MEETINGS WITH YOUR


PROJECT MENTOR, INCLUDING THE PRESENTATION GIVEN?
Effective planning involves the following steps:

Learn to plan efficiently. Simple and powerful techniques to convert


your goals and ideas into an effective action plan
Get organized now
Time management skills and techniques
Time management lessons with an in-depth discussion of the important
time management skills, techniques, and activities
Personal time management and goal setting guide
Practical information and advice on various personal time management
and goal setting topics
(www.time-management-guide.com, 2011)
After my final decision to make a RAP, the next process was to find a mentor
for my project who would possess reliable skill contained in the list of
attributes identified by Oxford Brookes University to guide me in making a
perfect project. I contacted Umair Anwar, one of my teacher in Skans school
of accountancy to assist me for the project and requested him to spare some
of his precious time for the three meeting required for the projects for which
he agreed.
First Meeting (August-11)
Before the meeting I did my homework and made sure that I was well
prepared. I noted down all the necessary questions for the limited time I had.
During the meeting I was able to choose the topic which was of my interest
followed by the sector and the company. Mr Umair Anwar started by giving
me a brief view of overall approach to my project and further gave an insight
of the industry. He also provided me guide lines on how to collect data and
elaborated the sources of information. He further distinguished between the
two sources of information, Primary and Secondary and how to use them
effectively for my project. My aims and objectives were also identified in this
section.
Second Meeting (September-11)
My second meeting with my mentor involved reviewing of my work done till
that date. He suggested me appropriate amendment to ensure a good
project. By this time I had nearly completed the analysis portion of my
analysis. He advised me to be specific, and summarize the work to reduce
the word count. He further told me to focus on business analysis too as my
project was about financial and business analysis both.
Third Meeting (October-11)

The third meeting focused on the presentation I prepared to give to my


mentor.
A good presentation contains at least four elements:

Content
Structure
Packaging
Human element

(www.nwlink.com, 2011)
I had been part of many debating competition during my academic education
but presentation was something I had never tried. When the time came
during the third meeting, nervousness shrouded my mind even though I had
prepared well for my presentation and practiced in front of mirror to gain
confidence. This was mostly because of the peers who were present during
the presentation along with my mentor. The presentation covered the time of
fifteen minutes and I felt that my efforts for preparation didnt went in vein
as I saw appreciation in the eyes of most of the people present during the
meeting even though there were problems I faced. I felt I had stammered a
little during the start of presentation due to nervousness but that was
covered once I had gained my confidence.
As the presentation were new to me, I personally gained and learned a lot
from it including Self-confidence in public, Behavior during presenting
information and the body language needed to persuade someone of your
point. Overall it was a pretty good experience.

HOW WELL DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE ANSWERED YOUR


RESEARCH QUESTION?
The fundamental step in making a project is writing down the research
questions. I had to make sure that the research questions were in sequential
manner so that during the project completion all of them are answered one
by one. A research question is a brief question that helps direct your efforts
to collect, critically read, and evaluate your sources. A research question is a
way for you to approach a particular topic from your own point of view.
(Palmquist n.d)
I identified the research question, along with my aims and objectives. The
next step involved facing the queries and answering the question one by
one, which needed in-depth study and various techniques to make myself
satisfied in understanding and answering my questions.

The initial question started after I chose the topic, Industry and company. I
had to use both primary and secondary method to ensure that I answer my
research question reliably. In gathering Primary data I used considerably well
communication skills for extraction of the relevant knowledge needed from
interviews.
I analyzed the company performance, both financial and business. For that I
had to use a combination of ratio and business tools to gain high level of
satisfaction. At the primary level I used profitability, Liquidity, gearing and
investors analysis to judge financial performance, then I used the Porter`s
Five forces analysis and SWOT analysis tool to analyze the business
performance of the company. There were some limitations to these financial
and business tools but applying these gave me an insight to the Strength,
Weakness, Opportunity and Threats of the company along with the industry
overview and the level of competition within the industry. On the basis of
these tools and techniques I was able to perform the analysis and reached a
conclusion on the business and financial performance of the company.
While working on RAP there was a positive impact was on my communication
skill and my IT skills which gained well due to my meetings and use of
Microsoft word, Excel and PowerPoint.

HOW HAVE YOU DEMONSTRATED YOUR


INTERPERSONAL AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS
DURING THE PROJECT WORK?
While making my RAP a huge impact was on my interpersonal and
communication skills as I had to demonstrate them effectively in the course
of making it. The development of my interpersonal skill started with the
meeting with my mentor which in turn was a valuable experience. I had to
visit the registered office, Interact with the manager, use effective
convincing, and listening skill with efficient expressive skills carefully to
ensure that my entire questions were answered in the defined limited time. I
read several articles on body language for behavior and business language
for communicating before I had to meet the company management as I knew
my personality will be judged by my words and behavior.
While working on RAP I faced several confusions. Initially I had problem
choosing the research question that covered all my queries, then I was
confused about the references that should be quoted. The last involved the
presentation I had to give to my mentor. I had heard that questions were the
key element in communication hence I wrote down each query to ask my
mentor. Attending the first meeting with my mentor proved to be worthwhile
as I asked too many question. In some areas I felt I was being irrelevant but

my mentor helped me professionally and solved my questioned continuously.


By the second meeting I had gained enough skills to distinguish between
relevant and irrelevant questions hence the second meeting was more timely
productive. I asked many effective questions regarding my analysis putting
great stress on Porter`s Five forces. By the end of the meeting I had gained
enough knowledge to continue my project. My main focus was now toward
the upcoming presentation that I had to give in the third meeting. For a
presentation to be effective all combination of factors were needed such as
Listening Skills, Speaking Skill, Body language and efficient time
management to complete it in time. Before the presentation I was quite
nervous but once the presentation started I felt myself gaining confidence. I
was calm and focused and tried to maintain eye contact with my mentor and
his colleagues to show a positive sign. The questioning session was very
good as I answered each and every question confidently. I kept myself calm
and tried to answer the question to the point.
During My RAP I also learned about the importance of listening skills.
Communication begins with good listening skills. Strong listeners are more
empathetic and are better at solving problems. (www.lifehacker.com, 2011).
I had to use my listening skills on each aspect of my project including my
meeting with the mentor and the manager as well. The meetings were calm
and peaceful. I didnt face any problem during the meeting due to language
differences or jargon used. It was mainly due to the similar background and
culture of my mentor and Manager of the company. Before reading the books
on Listening I used to stop people in between the conversation but this flaw
in my communication improved widely as I never stopped my mentor or the
company personnel during the conversation and tried to absorb as much
knowledge I could get during the meetings. I further noted any suggestion
they gave me and used it effectively in my project.
In a nutshell overall I believe my interpersonal skills have improved a lot as I
felt a positive change in my behavior and way of communication during
completing my project.
HOW HAS UNDERTAKING THE RAP HELPED YOU IN YOUR
ACCOUNTANCY STUDIES AND/OR CURRENT EMPLOYMENT
ROLE?
Making the RAP has been an exciting experience for me. During this I`ve
learned a lot and there were many things I learned that I didnt know before.
After completing my RAP I felt there were many skills that had enhanced
during this process. I did realize that there is a complete difference in

studying and applying different business and accounting techniques


practically.
As a student of professional study this was the first time where I had to apply
different techniques practically. I had studied about financial ratios and
business models during my study but I was out of touch with them for a long
period. I had to read different newspapers and articles to analyze the
industry for apply the Porter`s Five forces. It also improved my analytical
abilities. By working on RAP I was able to revive all my concepts and by
further applying them practically I was able to make sure that I wont forget
them in my future as they were important aspect of my study. The main
thing I`ve gained from all this is that I will be able to use my analytical skills
to my workplace and apply Porter Five forces and SWOT to the industry in
which I`ll work.
Then RAP helped me gloom my computer software skills. I had to use
Microsoft excel, Microsoft word and Microsoft PowerPoint for my RAP. I had
never used presentation for my work hence preparing the presentation
proved to be worthwhile as I learned a lot while making the slides and further
communicating my mentor what my RAP was about. I will now be able to
further use the presentation for my office and official meetings in coming
future. I learned applying formulas and how to present graph by using the
data after working in excel. In my IT skills the most I learned was about MS
Word as I had to write all my report on it. It helped me understand how to
present the information in a reportable manner furthermore the excessive
use of internet and extracting the relevant data from it also helped me in
developing research skills. Overall I felt that my IT skills have gloom
efficiently.
To gain practical experience in the field Ive applied for jobs in different firms
as I now want to apply my skills that Ive learned from RAP to a working
environment. Currently I am a full time student of professional study but I
feel that the project have led me to develop communication skill, Reporting
skills, It Skills and Research skills. It had increased my confidence overall as
now I feel I can easily present and prove my point to the listeners which will
definitely create a positive impact to my personality in my office.