PERSONAL REFLECTION ASSIGNMENT - DOC
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Personal Reflection & Team Process Paper BA 352—Ryan—Last Updated 27-Feb-06 Overview: This paper is a 2-5 page individual response to what you have learned about management and organizational behavior as it relates to you and your future/career. Grades are based on the depth of self-reflection and internal analysis, as well as a demonstrated grasp of key course concepts. Writing guidelines: Paper is 2-5 pages typed, with standard 1” or 1.25” margins, 1.5 line spacing, either 10-point or 11- point Arial or 12-point Times New Roman font, stapled (not bound), with your Name and Class Day/Time on page 1 (no cover page). Your Personal Reflection should be both of these: personal (i.e., no two papers will be alike) and reflective (a chance to process what you‟ve learned about being a manager, in general, and about yourself and your future). This assignment designed to fulfill two purposes: personal growth and personal application. I believe—based on years of experience working with college students—that the college experience is as much about what happens out of the classroom as about what you learn in class. Thus, your goal is to contemplate yourself and your career, including your own strengths and limitations. That‟s the personal growth element. On the application side, you won‟t remember any of what we‟ve spent this term learning if you don‟t apply it to your own life or work experiences. Personal Insights (15 points) Respond to what you‟ve learned about yourself and mgmt/OB—Potential topics: How do the concepts we‟ve covered in class relate to you (e.g., personality, self-efficacy, diversity/gender, listening style, desire or interest to work internationally, ethics, personal values, Theory X/Y, needs for power/affiliation/achievement, leadership ability… the list is almost endless)? Internalize the 7 Habits and tell me how they apply to your life. Another useful and potentially powerful exercise is creating a personal mission or vision statement . For example, I went to a management conference that did a personal vision exercise when I was in grad school. I wrote that my goal was to teach at a medium- sized university in a college town where teaching is valued and I also have time to do research. Look at me now! Team Activities (15 points) Respond to the activities you completed in your group, such as My Group the Car, Lost at Sea, the Farmer’s Dilemma (who drives a truck?), your International Project, the 7 Habits, etc. Feel free to brainstorm your own thought questions and respond. Here are some potential questions to get you started: What “stage” did your group end up at? Were you a group or a team? Did your group see you as you thought they would? Is there something about yourself that you‟ll change as a result of the feedback your group gave you? How can you help others to maximize their personal contribution? Did you uncover any personal strengths or weaknesses as a result of your team activities? How will you approach teams in the future? Helpful Tips for Writing a Personal Reflection Longer paper ≠ better grade. Some of the best papers ever turned in were only 2 pages long! Start with an outline and use headings to organize your thoughts and orient the reader. Note: This should not be a list of concepts & blurbs about how it relates to you; make sure to work to make the paper flow smoothly. Start with an introduction. End with a conclusion If you talk about course concepts, use the words we used in class for them (for example, if you discovered you‟re really competitive and you like to be in charge of everything, you might make a comment like, “Given my competitive nature, I would not do well in a team-oriented culture where I cannot control my own outcomes. This reflects that I rate highly on both need for power and internal locus of control.”) Maintain a conversational, but professional tone. Avoid excessive slang or jargon. For example, you wouldn‟t want to say, “Yo, Dawg, how ya doin‟ Dawg. I‟m gonna be the next American Idol „cause I‟m workin‟ the room and the crowd‟s all up into me,” if what you meant to say is, “I am a talented performer with a great deal of potential. I work hard to engage the audience, and I get a great deal of energy from their enthusiasm. These strengths will help me succeed.” Try not to be superficial and say things that would be true of anyone. For example, “I am a hard worker and I will succeed at my career if I work hard.” That sentence doesn‟t say much—pretty much everyone will succeed if they work hard! To fix it, provide examples that show how you‟re a good worker and talk about how likely you are to put for the effort needed to succeed or advance in your career. By the way, you‟re not graded on having career aspirations or not, just on how well you articulate the goals & aspirations you do have. The two things that I look for when grading the Personal Reflection are a) a well-written, professional paper, and b) that you have “processed” the material we‟ve covered in class (since I don‟t grade class contributions). Be sure to review the “grading criteria” in the syllabus (A=excellent, B=above average, etc.). This is your time to shine! This paper is much more for you and your career exploration than for me.