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Advanced Practice Internship Professional Development

Advanced Practice: Internship & Professional Development

Student Reflection on the Internship

3,500 words. Assessment - 50% weighting

Student Reflection on the Internship Student Reflection on the Internship

Personal objectives:

Managing deadlines Self organization Personal reflection Self organization Self organization Self organization Self organization Self organization Self organization

analysis which helps in understanding a competitive market plan (Chen & Miller, 2012 p.392). Competitive analysis aims at providing businesses with a narrow economic advantage and ways of preventing competition in their market. Misalignment of competitor key business initiatives is the main challenge in competitive analysis. In depth understanding of competitor’s business strategy will help to curb the competition but misalignment will impact the opponent organization. In Competitive analysis timing is key in curbing competition therefore, misalignment would lead to poor timing which will cost the company thus proving to be a major challenge in competitive analysis (Harris &Ogbonna, 2006 p.128). As an intern, conducting a practical analysis can be quite easy because of familiarization with similar projects during the course of study. Therefore, one can execute other tasks while conducting a competitive analysis thus going through an unconscious competence stage. I hereby learnt that, analyzing financial statements and budget preparation can be divided into parts and individually worked out. Budget preparation and financial statement analysis demand full concentration and any slight mistake can jeopardize the whole process. Financial statement analysis also involves computation of inputs and outputs to make informed decisions regarding investments. Such compound tasks can easily be managed individually to avoid risks of making mistakes, compared to when handled by a team which could be more prone to mistakes that may cause a business its prosperity. Alternatively, such tasks can also be handled in a group by assigning individuals specific areas to compute then compile the results.

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Feelings

My feelings in regard to the work I was engaged in during my internship at ABC company are those of anxiety and confusion. First and foremost, I was in a new environment and did not know a lot of people. The only person I knew was my supervisor. As a result, I was anxious working with new people and in an entirely new environment. Secondly, some of the tasks I was engaged in during the internship were complex and I did not know how to go about them without asking for help. This made me anxious because even though I was eager to learn new things, I was also worried about how my colleagues would say in regard to my limited experiences in fundamental aspects regarding the work and tasks I was assigned. However, it is important to note that workers at the company treated me with so much respect and love. Even though I encountered various challenges, workers at ABC accountancy limited made me feel confident about myself because guided me whenever I needed assistance.

Evaluation

As depicted earlier, my period at ABC accountancy limited was characterized by a range of both positive and negative experiences. Some of the positive aspects and experiences regarding the work I was involved in is that I was able to develop and manage communication lines and channels for the organization. This was the first task I was assigned during my internship. Even though I had never developed and managed communication lines before, I was successfully able to do so with help from a colleague. Also, through the various tasks and activities that I was assigned to do, I was able to interact with different people from different departments within the organization. Besides, some of the tasks I was involved in such as development of communication channel and recommendation of operational strategies, have been included in the final proposals of their respective projects. The purpose of the results from the mentioned tasks is to provide strategists with broad ideas on the given projects. The main role of outcomes from tasks is to guide planners during the formulation of proposal reports. Adoption of a new communication channel among other operational strategies improved the sustainability performance that leads to success of a business (Kent et al, 2016 p.338). Even though I had challenges in developing operational strategies, including some of the work I was engaged in in the final proposals for upcoming projects at the organization means a lot to me. The major challenge in executing the project is that it is time consuming. As an intern, I was not familiar with designing websites that customized the company requirements. I had to consult and research of which consumed a lot of personal time. Developing and maintaining a communication channel is a more complex task which requires heavy concentration; therefore, one would go through the conscious competence stage to accomplish this task. A negative experience in regard to the work I was involved in at ABC consultancy is that I was not able to undertake some of the tasks alone. Also considering that I was an intern and new to the organization, I had a hard time finding help. For instance, I had a challenge in improving processes and recommending operational changes. Improving processes and recommending operational changes requires one to have a clear understanding of an organization’s business plan and strategic objectives. However, in my case, I was new at the organization and I did not understand the organization’s strategic goals. As per the Tuckman’s model, in the forming stage, the employee feel uncomfortable and it becomes difficult to become friendly and communicate with others with unclear thoughts and understanding at the workplace. I also suffer to interact with others initially, where I fail to discuss the working activities and seek help from the colleagues. At this stage, I highly required guidance and support without which it is impossible for me to clear my doubts and participate actively in the company. What did not go so well during in regard to the work assigned to me is that tasks that involve extensive market analysis were tiresome and time consuming if carried out individually. I prefer to work as a group, so that I can share thoughts and gather vast knowledge from others. This also provides me the scope of learning more and improve own idea to conduct the task and participate in the company. A team work effort is necessary in such tasks not only to save time but to collect a wide range of useful information (Altmäe, Türk and Toomet, 2013). Identifying opportunities for future expansion, recommending operational changes and competitive analysis are some of the tasks that are highly recommendable for team work efforts. Team work efforts in similar tasks builds morale, competency and also facilitates gathering of skillful data that advocates for creativity and innovation. As per the Belbin’s team role, I am coordinator and team worker, where I focus on developing good team work with high communication and cooperation, so that the team members can work as partnership working practice to meet the task objectives. Majority of tasks at ABC accountancy limited are advised to carry out using team work efforts to improve sustainability performance and productivity rate. In contrast to this, I undertook most of these tasks by myself with little help from my colleagues. As per the personality test, I am extrovert and thinker where I try to think the tasks and seek help from others for critical analysis and discussion. I try to share my thoughts and empower others to share their opinion so that creative decision can be made to complete the task innovatively within effective time.

Conclusion

In the course of my internship at ABC accountancy agency, my skills and competency improved significantly. Also, I gained essential skills in conducting researches and practical analysis. Through team work efforts, my creativity and innovative abilities have also improved As per Belbin’s team role, my role is related to team worker and coordinator, where I try to improve internal collaboration and coordinate with others for working as a partnership practice. However, I feel that I could have learnt more if I was familiar with the environment during my internship. In terms of knowledge gained, I have been able to understand how business interrelates with aspects like society and the ethical actions of a business. I have also applied the knowledge learned in school at executing tasks at ABC accountancy company, which attributed to my assignment of more complex tasks. Besides, as depicted earlier, my overall feelings in regard to the work and tasks I was engaged in at ABC accountancy were those of anxiety and confusion. I anxious because I was in a new environment and did not anyone at the organization. I hesitated to ask for help. As per Tuckman’s theory, I was in the forming stage with little confusion and unclear purpose in the team. I fail to discuss the project with collogues and seek further help to take active part in it. I need to resolve the internal conflicts and improve my communication and cooperative skill to interact with others and develop a good team. I find myself in a new working environment in the future, I will be more confident to ask for help whenever I need it. Working with people from diverse backgrounds requires me to develop both my communication and networking skills. To sum up, my work experience at ABC accountancy wonderful. I encountered a range of challenges that enabled me learn. I was able to interact with different people from different backgrounds and expertise that shaped my understanding of theoretical aspects of this course. My internship at ABC consultancy enabled me gain a new sense of professionalism as well as a vivid picture of what it meant to be in the professional world. In this connection, I will recommend to participate in internship programs. Action plan I had challenges in adapting to the new work environment. To work comfortably in a new environment, I need to work on both my networking and communication skills. According to Rajagopal et al (2012 p.89), networking and communication skills are vital in workplaces because they have an ability to establish an individual in the industry thus enabling them to work effectively even unfamiliar environments. I will enroll in short training courses on communication and networking. Kokkonen and Almonkari (2015 p.117), denotes that industries are changing at a relatively high rate to advancement in technology. For that reason, professionals should always seek to develop their communication and networking skills to match the change consumer needs and preferences. Short courses on communication and networking will enable me to work with different people in a more personal level thus enabling me to grow as a professional. Also, I had challenges in preparing budgets and analyzing financial statements. According to Williams and Dobelman (2017 p.237), the main purpose of preparing budget and analyzing financial statements is to plan, organize, track and improve the financial situation in an organization. Since budget keeps the company away from debts, the main role of budget preparation is to highlight the financial implications of the company. A poorly prepared budget or poorly analyzed financial statements may mislead colleagues and may lead to failure of a business.

Self organization

I feel I have developed as a person because I can now argue professionally and support my statements with meaningful ideas. For instance, lately I have been engaging in business forums and contributing to chats, something I could not do earlier before the internship. I have also gained confidence to express my business ideas and perspectives to other people in different platforms both physically and on digital platforms (Boholano, 2017 p.49). I also feel I have developed as a person because my leadership skills have improved a lot through team-work activities I engaged in. Sharing my opinions and actively listening to others express themselves played a crucial role in developing my leadership skills (Meng et al, 2012 p.339). Application of ideas learned in school and making decisions while executing projects at ABC company, gave an opportunity to exercise self-governance ability which really built leadership skills in me. My empathy ability which facilitated my understanding of colleague’s emotions also paved a way for me to develop leadership skills (Krasnoff, 2015 p.219).

Analysis

The internship program provided me with an opportunity to be more productive, creative and innovative. Being assigned tasks and projects with specified deadlines and instructions forced me to effectively organize myself and mange the limited time effectively. Such tasks reflectthe positive attributes of Myers briggs type indicator which suggests enjoying lots of actions and participating in competitions (King & Mason, 2020 p.441). The internship program played a key role in discovering more about myself and my capabilities. At ABC company, being assigned with projects and more complex tasks helped me in discovering new skills, ideas and redefining my goals and objectives. The Myers briggs indicator encourages individuals to walk away from their comfort zones and assess theorize their possibilities. Such information positively impacted my view on Myers briggs attributes because it helped me to achieve my objective (Myers, 2016 p.221). I am extrovert and creative thinker which further influence me to improve internal communication and enhance group discussion for exploring creative decision for completing the organizational task. Understanding the importance of teamworking is another aspect I learned during the internship program. Teamwork activities at ABC company helped me to better my professional skills, public speaking abilities and become more structured and orderly. During team working, every member focus on achieving the same goal and individual roles are constantly monitored and assessed by colleagues thus improving productivity. Belbin and Thomas Kilmann attributes positively impacted my perception of team work and problem-solving capabilities while at ABC accountancy limited (Vorbach, 2017 p.89). In this regard, Tuckman’s team development stages are effective for me to understand the team working activities and it further help me to fulfill my objective of team working skill. I try to follow the stages of forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning. Through continuous collaboration and communication, I try to clear the doubts of the employees, and additionally it is possible to mitigate the internal conflicts and improve understanding. I also try to provide clear roles and responsibilities to the team members with clear visions and purpose so that they can be motivated and getting empowered in the team for discussing their opinion to do the task efficiently. I also try to cooperate with others and work as a partnership working practice to fulfill the objective of ABC consultancy.

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Conclusion

Problems are part of everyday life and everyone faces problems in many contexts. During my internship program at ABC company, I was faced with problems on a regular basis given the fact that it was a new environment for me. While faced with problems I used three of Thomas Kilmann’s models to resolve the problems, firstly I used the competing model to handle problems that rose in personal projects. The fact that I wanted my project to be successful led to adoption of competing model by Thomas Kilmann where I used anything within my powers to get it done. The internship molded me into making good and reasonable decisions. During the internship, tasks assigned to me facilitated the development of my decision-making skills. I had to creatively and critically think before deciding by considering the welfare of others as well. Thomas Kilmann model of conflict resolution helped me in making decisions that satisfied both my personal and company’s needs. My ability to make reasonable decisions projects itself in tasks that I successfully executed according to the company’s guidelines. Secondly, I used Thomas Kilmann accommodating model to address various problems (Riasi & Asadzadeh, 2015 p.223).There were problems which I could not handle by myself because of limited knowledge or experience on the problem (Paul, Thomas, Cadle, 2012 p.56). Such problems made me to use accommodating model where I was forced to be cooperative and accepting. Solving problems at ABC company using the accommodating model also had me follow every bit of orders from assisting colleagues and there was no much room to make personal decisions. Thirdly, the collaborating model by Thomas Kilmann was also significant in my handling of active problems. I was forced to work in areas where I wasn’t interested at so as to find solutions to my problems (Altmäe, Türk, Toomet, 2013 p.78). For instance, I was forced to participate in field works so as to learn how pricing is determined, sometimes my projects required involvement in fieldwork activities to gather information. I also had to conduct as much interviews as researches as possible before finalizing the projects or assigned tasks.

Action plan

Out of the three Thomas Kilmann’s approaches to problem solving that I used, collaborating proved to be the most consistent one in offering solutions (Mesko et al, 2014 p.773). Tasks like developing a communication channel, financial statement analysis and budget preparation are among others which I was forced to seek assistance from colleagues. Competing was also relevant because most of the tasks were of high significance to me thus the need for being more personal in decision making. Accommodating was the last option if by any chance collaborating and competing failed to produce the anticipated outcome. The outbreak of corona virus pandemic caused a challenge by minimizing opportunities for exposure. Coping up with COVID-19 regulations and at the same time getting to learn new aspects and practice mine was a total challenge to me. I did not find everything that I expected to find at internship, so coping up took me a while but at the end I did manage to achieve the set objectives. I need to work on preparing budgets and analyzing financial statements. To achieve this, I will enroll in a training program on preparing budgets and analyzing financial statements. I also need to improve emotional intelligence skill to control own emotion and understand other’s behavior and practice for working as a team. This further helps me to improve understanding and cooperate with other colleagues in the workplace to work in a partnership basis for achieving success. The internship gave me an opportunity to reflect on myself and I have actually discovered that I can be better than what I am right now. Designing projects, giving recommendations and team working revealed to me what I am capable at. I still wish to venture much into discovering my abilities and capabilities through as much exposure as I can get.

Self organization

References

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Altmäe, S., Türk, K. and Toomet, O.S., 2013. Thomas‐Kilmann's Conflict Management Modes and their relationship to Fiedler's Leadership Styles (basing on Estonian organizations). Baltic Journal of Management.

Boholano, H., 2017. Smart social networking: 21st century teaching and learning skills. Research in Pedagogy, 7(1), pp.21-29

Chen, M.J. and Miller, D., 2012. Competitive dynamics: Themes, trends, and a prospective research platform. Academy of management annals, 6(1), pp.135-210.

Drake, P.P. and Fabozzi, F.J., 2012. Analysis of financial statements (Vol. 204). John Wiley & Sons.

Harris, L.C. and Ogbonna, E., 2006. Initiating strategic planning. Journal of Business Research, 59(1), pp.100-111.

Kent, K., Goetzel, R.Z., Roemer, E.C., Prasad, A. and Freundlich, N., 2016. Promoting healthy workplaces by building cultures of health and applying strategic

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King, S.P. and Mason, B.A., 2020. Myers‐Briggs Type Indicator. The Wiley Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences: Measurement and Assessment, pp.315-319.

Kokkonen, L. and Almonkari, M., 2015. Teaching networking: an interpersonal communication competence perspective. Voices of pedagogical development–Expanding, enhancing and exploring higher education language learning, pp.31-56.

Krasnoff, B., 2015. Leadership qualities of effective principals. Education Northwest, pp.1-10.

Meng, J., Berger, B.K., Gower, K.K. and Heyman, W.C., 2012. A test of excellent leadership in public relations: Key qualities, valuable sources, and distinctive leadership perceptions. Journal of Public Relations Research, 24(1), pp.18-36.

Mesko, N., Lang, A., Andrea, C., Szijjarto, L. and Bereczkei, T., 2014. Compete and compromise: Machiavellianism and conflict resolution. EJBO: Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organizational Studies.

Myers, S., 2016. Myers‐Briggs typology and Jungian individuation. Journal of analytical psychology, 61(3), pp.289-308.

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Rajagopal, K., Joosten-ten Brinke, D., Van Bruggen, J. and Sloep, P.B., 2012. Understanding personal learning networks: Their structure, content and the networking skills needed to optimally use them. First Monday

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Vorbach, P., 2017. Leading the corporate turnaround. Australian Restructuring Insolvency & Turnaround Association Journal, 29(4), p.10.

Williams, E.E. and Dobelman, J.A., 2017. Financial statement analysis. World Scientific Book Chapters, pp.109-169.

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