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Management Essay: Self-Reflection on Capstone Subject


Task: The purpose of this management essayis to foster student’s ability to coherently reflect on their undertaking of the Capstone: Strategy subject together with a reflection on their entire MBA.
You are required to look back at their MBA course as a whole and identify the specific skills developed that will assist them in becoming effective practitioners in the workplace.
Learning is a persistent change in performance or potential that results from experience and interaction. Reflective learning is the process of stepping back from the experience and reflecting on how skills, attitudes, mindset and behaviours have evolved.


As stated in the management essay, reflective practice is a part of the continuous learning process. Reflective practice is all about recalling individuals’ own actions and experiences and analysing them from a neutral perspective and learn from them. Reflective practices play crucial roles in ensuring individuals' personal and professional wellbeing and growth (Cirocki, and Farrell, 2017). In this essay, I will be reflecting on my MBA experiences and the knowledge and skills that I have developed so far. I will assess the value of my learning depending on my career goals and future plans. This discussion will take both theoretical and practical aspects associated with leadership and management roles within the business context into consideration.

Value of Reflective Practices for Managers and Leaders
The role of managers and leaders in making an organisation successful cannot be denied. Managers make sure that the administrative part of the organisation is functioning properly, correct decisions are been made and all organisational activities are properly aligned with the business goals. Leaders, on the other hand, guide and inspire others so that they can perform their duties successfully. Reflective practices under such circumstances help leaders and managers to learn continuously and stay relevant in the ever-changing business environment.

According to Lanaj et al., (2018), self-reflection help leaders to maintain their level of motivation. It is important for leaders to stay motivated as whenever other employees experience emotional turmoil, they turn to their leaders for help. According to a Gallup report (2017), only 38% of executives and managers feel properly engaged with their jobs. According to the authors, leaders can feel motivated if reflect upon their positive qualities as leaders on a regular basis. At the same time, the researchers asked leaders to write about activities that are irrelevant to their profession. The researchers concluded that this small intervention leaves positive impacts not only on leaders’ professional lives but also on their personal lives (Lanaj et al., 2018).

According to Mathewet al., (2017), reflection does not refer to looking back on events and actions that taken place in the past; it is also about consciously observing one's emotions, experiences, and responses. By adding this information to the knowledge base, an individual can attain a better state of understanding. As per Beheshti (2018), reflection increases individuals’ level of self-awareness which is essential for making effective decisions. Self-reflection requires an individual to become completely honest with themselves. Honesty helps managers and leaders to make better choices and it improves their communication skill eventually (Beheshti, 2018).

According to Porter (2017), reflection help leaders and managers to become more productive. Through reflective practices, individuals carefully consider their actions as well as their beliefs. It provides the brain with the opportunity to pause for a while, become distant and untangled from the chaos, sorts issues through observation, consider multiple interpretations, find meaning and multiple options to resolve issues. reflection improves individuals' mindset which eventually all of their actions positively (Porter, 2017).

Based on the above discussion it can be said that reflection is extremely important for people associated with leadership and management roles. Reflection enables leaders and managers to stay motivated, enlarge their knowledge-base, become more self-aware, and productive, and make appropriate decisions when needed. Learning from Consultancy Research Process and Capstone Subject The consultancy research process and the capstone subject helped me gain knowledge and learn skills that are extremely relevant to the business world. In order to reflect on my learning in a systematic way, I will be relying on Kolb’s reflective cycle(Yusof et al., 2020).

Concrete Experience
My experience regarding my MBA course is very positive, I come from an engineering background (mechanical engineer) and I did not have a clear idea about how the business world works and how should I implement my skills efficiently to become successful. The capstone strategy course allowed me to learn several practical skills that are extremely important in our everyday life as business professionals(McCubbins et al., 2020).The learning process includes engaging and interactivestrategies such as oral presentations, reflective journaling, group discussions, case studies, inter-disciplinary project works, simulation and so on.

These strategies helped me learn about the real business world which is way more complicated than what we learn through books.Throughout this process, I was heavily engaged with my learning activities and I was learning very fast. The consultancy research process,on the other hand, was all about an in-depth investigation of particular areas of interest. This process helped me learn how to stay focused, how to find relevant and reliable information, how to prioritise issues and tasks, how to conduct research in accordance with appropriate methodologies, how to develop strategic plans and reach a conclusion, and how to work collectively in teams(Ragab, and Arisha, 2018).

Reflective Observation
I enjoyed the practical learning approach of the MBA as well as the Capstone course very much. I feel comfortable learning through experiences. I am a good communicator and strategies such as oral presentations, group discussions, simulations etc. allowed me to utilise my skills properly in real-life situations (public speaking skill) which was satisfying and it also increased my level of confidence. Inter-disciplinary projects allowed me to properly combine my technical knowledge and my business knowledge to resolve actual problems through planning, teamwork and effective goal setting.

However, I found one aspect of the group tasks challenging; which was decision-making. I am a methodological person and not very efficient when it comes to studying and understanding others. I lack empathy and mostly focus on the technical aspects(Drigas, and Papoutsi, 2019). I tend to impose my opinions on others; however, my peers drew my attention to this problem which I was not aware of.

The consultancy research project improved my critical thinking skill and organisation skill. I find it difficult to manage my time properly and also lose my focus easily. However, this course taught me how to utilise research methodologies to create a strict path for research projects.

Abstract Conceptualisation
The entire MBS course, along with the Capstone Subject and the Consultancy Research Project is a good example of experiential learning. Experiential learning can be described as an engaging and active learning process where learners learn by doing and by reflecting on their activities. in the case of experiential learning, the learning experiences are chosen based on the learning potential of the learner; it allows learners to actively engage with the process, investigate, pose questions, solve critical problems, be creative, assumes responsibilities, take initiative and construct meaning. This learner-oriented process promotes communication, teamwork, reflective practices and application of knowledge which is extremely important for people that aspire to enter the field of business in future. Companies like Starbucks heavily depend on experiential and social learning (learning by observing others) processes to train their staffs (Starbucks Coffee Company, 2021).

Even though this learning experience has improved my public speaking skills and critical thinking skills, I believe I could have handled my team projects in a better way; in order to do so, I have to improve my empathy skills. At the same time, studying people is necessary for business networking, leadership and management (Novotna, 2021).

Active Experimentation
Based on the above discussion I can say that currently, I should focus on improving my emotional intelligence. Emotional Intelligence (IQ) can be defined as an individual's ability to comprehend, utilise and manage his/her own emotions in an effective way so that they can relieve stress and emphasise with peers, communicate efficiently, defuse conflicts and overcome challenges (Goleman, and Boyatzis, 2017). In order to become emotionally intelligent, I have to work on my social awareness, self-awareness, self-management and relationship management skills.

Skills Developed over the MBA
As per the learning style framework developed by Kolb, people’s learning styles can be divided into four categories, those are Diverging style (they feel and watch), Assimilating styles (they think and watch), converging style (they think and do), and accommodating style (they feel and do). My learning style is the converging style, I prefer technical tasks, I prefer dealing with practical issues, however, I find it difficult to deal with people (the emotional aspect)(?AHAN et al., 2020). Throughout the MBA course, I developed several employability skills as it allowed me to learn through real-life experiences. Employability skills can be described as transferable skills (useful in different types of fields) that help individuals to become a preferred candidate to employers.The skills that I have developed include Public Speaking Skill: Public speaking is part of the communication skill, I am an extroverted person and I always try to voice my opinion whenever needed. However, I was not very comfortable with speaking publicly. However, during this MBA course, I had the opportunity to carry out public presentation which allowed me to effectively communicate with them with confidence and clarity (Paradewari, 2017). Public speaking is a crucial skill for any individual that aims to assume the role of leadership in future; it helps leaders to establish their credibility and inspire their followers. Through group projects also I learnt how to convey my messages strongly, yet respectfully.

Teamwork Skill and Cultural Awareness: I have mentioned earlier that I was not very good at teamwork as I mostly focus on technical aspects and I lack empathy. However, this MBA project compelled me to step out of my comfort zone and work collectively with others. Even though I was not convinced with the group decisions every time, I learnt important lessons about diversity and cultural differences. I worked with people that come from different cultural backgrounds and their values and approaches towards the tasks were completely different. Most of the large-scale organisations including Apple and Google value cultural diversity as it improve organisational creativity and productivity(Mušura, 2020).Through teamwork, I learnt how to communicate directly (ability to say ‘no’, avoiding ambiguous words etc.), following the exacting (low-context communication) and instrumental (goal-oriented communication) style. However, I still need to work on my empathy skill which is necessary for understanding multiple perspectives within a diverse work environment.

Organisational Skill: organisation skill is extremely important for individuals to establish themselves as credible professionals. I had a tendency of doing multiple tasks at a time and losing focus. However, during this MBA course, we dealt with several time-bound projects which taught me how to develop and follow timetables and schedules, how to manage my time and perform multiple tasks at a time without becoming stressed, how to maintain a proper balance between my personal and professional lives. The Capstone Strategy subject taught me how to prioritise my responsibilities.

Critical Thinking and Decision-making: critical thinking is the process of analysing information in a logical and rational way so that better decisions can be made(Nakatani, and Wynekoop, 2019). As I mentioned before, I lacked knowledge and understanding of the business world before joining the course. I gained in-depth knowledge about various aspects associated with the business field, for example,corporatefinance, corporate social responsibility, relevant legal framework, marketing, business communication, accounting, project management and so on. My enlarged knowledge base now helps me think critically and make informed decisions.

Enterprise and Initiative: enterprise and initiative are two important qualities for individuals associated with the business world. While the initiative is all about addressing and completing unfinished tasks, enterprise skill refers to abilities such as prioritisation, problem-solving, innovativeness etc (Dinning, 2017). Throughout the MBA course, we had to carry out academic activities and projects in a self-directed and self-motivated manner which helped me developed the above-mentioned skills.

Future Career Endeavours
The practical and theoretical lessons that I learned during the MBA course will assist me in my future career endeavours in different ways. I want to join the manufacturing industry in future as a mechanical engineer and a manager. the manufacturing industry is one of the most developed industries and it accounts for 16% of the GDP of the global economy(, 2021).Thereby, the career and learning opportunities will be huge for me. In future, I also want to establish an engineering consultancy firmon my own. In order to attain my career goals, I will require skills such as communication, teamwork, cultural awareness, critical thinking, decision-making, organisation skill and enterprise skill and initiative.

In order to become a project manager or lead I will need strong communication and public speaking skill. Communication skill is crucial for leaders and managers to keep the team morale high, resolve conflicts, manage relationships, manage performance and build teams. As per the visionary theory of leadership a visionary leader knows how to turn a vision into reality by setting clear goals, outlining appropriate strategic plans, and empowering her/his followers(Nwachukwu et al., 2017). In order to set goals, communicate strategies and empower others one needs to know how to communicate with others effectively. The public speaking skill and the confidence that I have gained through the MBA course will help me establish myself as a reliable and effective leader.

Cultural awareness and teamwork are crucial skills for modern business organisations. Diversity, inclusion and equity are the common HRM policies for all reputed business firms. Therefore, it is important for me to develop cultural awareness so that I can communicate with people with different values, preferences, and priorities. As per the servant leadership theory, leaders should focus on helping their followers, and fulfilling their needs and wants. Real-life organisations such as Starbucks and The Container Store have already adopted the servant leadership strategy (Gandolfi, and Stone, 2018). Thereby it is also becoming important for leaders and managers to know and respect their followers (colleagues). Critical thinking and decision-making skills are extremely important for managers and leaders as the business world is extremely volatile and they often face unforeseen troubles and challenges. The contingency strategy of management suggests that there is no such management technique that can single-handedly manage all business issues (Huihui, 2018). Thereby, leaders and managers should have the ability to analyse problems quickly and come up with unique solutions. Organisation skill is another important skill that will help me manage my duties and responsibilities as a manager efficiently and deliver services on time.

Finally, the enterprise skill and the ability to take initiatives will help me become successful as an entrepreneur. I have already mentioned that I want to establish my own consultancy firm and offer my services independently. In order to achieve this goal, I have to take the initiatives,identify my prioritiesand become innovative. Thereby, it can be said that all of the above-mentioned skills will help me in future to achieve my aspirations and career goals.

My experience with the MBA course, Capstone subject and the consultancy research process were extremely positive. I learned both theoretical and practical aspects associated with the business world. It helped me grow both as a business professional and as a person. During this course, I learned several career-specific skills, such as public speaking skills, cultural awareness, teamwork skill, organisational skill, decision making skill, critical thinking skill and so on. All of these skills will play a crucial role in my future career endeavour. I aspire to join the manufacturing industry keeping its size in mind and after that, I wish to establish my own consultancy firm and become an entrepreneur.

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