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International- MBA program--with reference to learning process and the learning process’ reflections

Introduction

This section of the report deals with the analysis of the learning process and the learning process’ reflection on different skills, developed by the researcher while studying an international MBA program. There are two parts in this section, the 1st part deals with the researcher’s background & the adopted learning style. The part of this section also deals with its reflection on the personality and the overall learning of the researcher from this research study. The 2nd part of this section details about the ways & means of value addition to the researcher’s skills and the ways of developing these skills by the researcher.

Marilyn Ferguson (2008) informs that learning skills (by birth) remain implanted in the brain, so does not require the individual’s conscious efforts for its calculations.  With a view to grasping the information, openness & attention are required. As we learn many things, we observe only a few so we admit into our consciousness, even though the fact is we can observe the information’s infinite size.

The Learning Style:-

Learning means, a process through which we know, understand and concentrate for not only learning but also retaining the learnt information. As every individual is different so is the different in their style of leaning, which are: their way of observation and their way of working upon it. Individuals use different learning styles, as per their situations.

Kolb (1984) informs that learning cycle has 4 stages. It starts from process concentration and retention of learned information. Kolb has penned down his experience and his reflection that followed his observation before proposing his abstract concept & its generalizations (Honey and Munford 1986) that finally ended in its active experimentation. A learner follows the process of understanding, experiencing and acting on the experiences of learning that could allow a change in the behavior of an individual. The learning cycle encompasses all the above mentioned phases. Kolb furthers to say that a meaningful & actual learning takes place only after the learner passes through all these above phases, as has been drawn (here below) through a clockwise learning cycle flow presentation.

Honey and Munford’s (1986) and Kolb’s learning cycle have been based on by the researcher for placing himself as a theorist and to transit himself from an assimilator learner style to the style of a converser.

The strength of a converser, as have been suggested by Kolb (1984) and McCarthy (1987), lies in that approach which is practical and get applicable to those ideas that are learnt. Especially in a research process, the converser passes through a style of learning by adopting conceptual and analytical approach to that research that is in hand. This research process mostly bases on logical thinking and rational evaluation. The researcher, who follows the learner style of a converser, would learn in the course of his research how to systemize the analysis while also emphasizing on the theory to the best possible way.

All the said phases along with the reflective observation, concrete experience, active experimentation and abstract conceptualization, have been passed through by the researcher. These entire matches with the context of Kolb’s learning cycle model. Before undertaking his research study, the researcher has acquired both the professional and academic knowledge that reflects through his concrete experience.

With his M.Sc. (Electronics) Degree from India’s Jodhpur University, in the year 2003 and a B.Ed. Degree in the year 2005, from Rohtak University, the researcher possesses both the degrees.

The researcher had his MBA degree in 2007, when in April, 2007 he had his pre-master’s induction, in which he had 3 main subjects: integrated marketing communications, International management and research methods. His 2nd semester started in the month of September 2007. Te subject areas in that semester were International Business and Trade, IBT strategic management, marketing and research methods. Among the 3 co-topics in the IBT module for the researcher were: marketing, operations management, accounting & finance. Both the semesters were successfully completed in February in the year 2008.  This was after his completion of his 1st semester that covered research question, reflective observation and identification of research problem etc. in the 1st semester.

Due to certain personal issues, the researcher had to postpone his dissertation which he had restarted in 2009 for completing his MBA program.

With a view to abstractly conceptualizing the next phase you are to review the secondary literature and the research hypothesis. The final phase is about experimentation with the research question and the context that relates to discussing, arguing and proving or even at times (if needed) disapproving the research hypothesis. These phases were found by the researcher as the very dynamic learning process, while revising the dissertation for number of times.

The Research Capabilities & Analytical Skills:-

It was found by the researcher that there is a difference between the Anglo-Saxon education system and Indian education system. The ways of supporting researcher’s opinion with that of the academic authors have also been learnt by the researcher. He has also learnt about the means of data gathering during the writing of different assignments and the literature review. The targeted data sources of the researcher were the academic articles through which he has gained the acumen of abstracting the information needed.  And by learning about the drawing of comparative line from among the different opinions of academics, pertaining to the same topic, he could adopt a critical point of view & its related ways. Besides this, he could also learn about the management of the acquired data by pursuing different data from the books and academic writings. The researcher’s skills of capability and skills of analysis have been developed through this dissertation.

Team Working Skills:-

The researcher actually developed his working spirit by his participation in the groups, in his MBA program’s assignments when his study was in group based manner, his previous learning days were not in group. The researcher has come to know that increasing expression skills are possible through group work. According to the realization of the researcher that by participating in different discussions, even though brain storming, where some reasonable questions surfaced up, but unreasonable ideas were detected by the researcher. The group discussion is thus fact finding and creative too as the researcher could pinned the unreasonable ideas. This group discussion has helped the researcher to develop his participative attitude, as he could share his ideas and could rightly comprehend the importance of sharing & helping, while being in a group. It is well accepted that one must be not only patient but also maintain balance when he/she is participating in a group and participating in a discussion. It is also realized by the researcher that understanding & convincing the point of views of others is very much necessary for coming to conclusion. With his high grade in the first semester, the researcher has also obtained high mark in his master degree.

As has been revealed earlier, the researcher had the team-work experience during his research work. It was learnt by the researcher how to contribute to the team’s performance, so that quality results can be achieved. The researcher has learnt about negotiating with others who are in his team and in addition to this, he has also learnt about collaborating with others while in a group and yet achieving required results. The adaptation of cross functional team work style is also found to be the researcher’s other characteristics.

Besides this, he has also learnt about the motivating techniques which will be of immense use for his future projects.

Personal Management Skill:-

It has also learnt by the researcher, while he was balancing his academic, professional, personal work life that managing time is very credible for a person’s success in different aspects of his/her life. While going through his dissertation, time management matrix has also been adopted by the researcher. This is in line with the discussion of Covey (2004).

 

Urgent

Not-Urgent

Important

Deadline-driven projects, Crisis, Pressing problems.

Planning, True recreation, Preparation, Relationship building, Clarification, Values, Crisis prevention.

Not - Important

Some meetings, pressing matters, Interruptions, Some reports, Calls, Many proximate, Mails, Many popular activities, Some meetings.

Time wasters, Many Pleasant activities, Trivia, Busy work, Some phone calls, Some mail.

Time management matrix, Source: Michael Reams and Gabriel Kemeny (2010); Covey, (2004);

Prioritizing the task is also important, to advance as the affective time management’s first step. It is observed that the researcher has changed his habit of time management to a great extent.  The tough or heavy task has been prioritized by the researcher in his priority list, which was not done by him in his earlier times. His way of working is ‘easy going’, caring least for the importance of time management. He used to manage his work life methods and personal life, only when he was under last moments’ pressures that brought down his grade to yellow.

After he could learn about the time management’s importance, he has initiated scheduling his priority & time properly. The way of utilizing the available time and also the improving upon the time, so that it can be finished ahead of time, has also been learnt by the researcher. This brought him laurels by positioning him top in the semester result.

The Stress Management & its skills:-

This is found to be one of the key skills, which has been learnt by the researcher while carrying on with his dissertation. As already cited earlier, because of different personal issues, regular meeting the supervisor was not possible for the researcher. The lapse of time was the main reason the researcher could not properly step with the time. At the time of report-finalization, the researcher came to know that the topic’s result, which was being worked out is a known fact to all most all. By keeping the same topic, the researcher had no other way but to modify the research. Both the touché and Deloitte’s HR Manager had come up for modifying the topic. Subsequently he could get on with the research and finally completed it with success.

Conclusion:-

The international MBA program had helped the researcher to extensible develop his key skills. Various types of challenges and opportunities were provided to the researcher by this international MBA program. This is in addition to the researcher’s development of personality both individually & academically. Both the analytical skills and research capabilities of the researcher were developed to a great extent through this international MBA program. The researcher worked with a team and also individually. This international MBA program has unfolded many opportunities to the researcher for drawing lectures’ and co-researcher’s different perspectives.

Enjoying with the sagacity of accomplishments is the rarest of the moments so it is a great opportunity for learning and enjoying. The researcher also learnt about working with the deadlines while he was developing his analytical skills. The cooperative & collaboration skills of the researcher were also developed. He could also synchronize the solutions and considered peers’, lecturers’ and co-researcher’s all perspectives. A good opportunity was also availed by the researcher when he went on having through personal analysis in regards to SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) in person. The researcher’s SWOT analysis is enumerated here below.

Researcher’s SWOT Analysis:-

Strengths:-

  1. The researcher’s positive attitudes are helpful in finding solutions and alternatives.
  2. Team work with positive spirit is his other strength
  3. Trusting & believing on personal benefits
  4. Completing the task and working to the perfection within the time frame, is the other strength.

Weaknesses:-

  1. Unable to initiate any dialogue with the stranger
  2. Feeling uncomfortable within the group, before presenting any report
  3. Encountering pressure seemed to be difficult, and hence he found it rather tougher to work under pressure.
  4. He abhor being criticized

Opportunities:-

Heading towards research

  1. In his post MBA program, he is availing opportunities for occupying respectable position in the renowned companies
  2. There are opportunities to either take up management consultancy or join as a lecturer.

Threats:-

a)       Constantly under pressure for performing exclusively at the higher level

b)       Some of the family issues

c)       Peer pressures

Conclusively, it is observed that several skills have been developed by the researcher while passing through his 4 of his learning phases, which were devised by Kolb & Honey & Munford. The researcher’s successful completion of research work has improved his time, stress as well personal management skills.  In addition to these he has also learnt to be within a team by drawing a common perception, so that he could achieve the unprecedented goal.

 

 

 

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