Thursday, 7 May 2009

Reflective Essay I had to write for my course

Just handed in some piece of coursework into the Project Room.
On my way home now, but thought I'd share this reflective essay I've had to write.

p.s. looking forward to a nice weekend. Hopefully I can get lots of revision for my first exam in.

Reflect on prospects for employability:
This year I have tried to find a placement but I have not had much luck. In the meantime I have tried to further my interests in my field by joining English Heritage and the National Trust, since I find history and preservation interesting. I have also applied to join (perhaps a little bit late) the RTPI, so await a reply from them. Until a few months ago, I was still not certain which path I wanted to go down – the RICS or the RTPI.

Achieving effective learning:
This academic year, I have studied in a library a lot more (especially so during Easter). I found it the best place to go with a friend or two for some quiet study. It’s just amazing how a quiet bedroom and a quiet library compare – I think the fact everyone else is working is the motivation. That, and the fact I have a bed right next to my desk.

Coping with assessment:
I think I have tried to be better with my time management. A lot better. Occasionally, I still find that I’ve still got something to cover or mention in an assignment at the last minute, but it’s not as much, I prepared for it a lot more. It’s not ideal, but I generally started reading around the topics a lot, lot earlier this time. I still find my work tough, and I think it’s partially because I narrowly passed some of my modules last year, so lack the foundation here and there. That’s alright though – I have been sorting that out this year.

Benefits of working with others:
I’ve got my moments where I am really focused into my work (and also moments where I’m quite the opposite) – and I think I know when I can’t say I enjoyed my groupwork this year. At all. I found that I was more or less chairing and leading the group towards the marks in Inter-professional. Eventually I found I had to write a literature review, and having never written one before and getting it wrong twice, it meant that I just did not have time to focus my efforts on the group (I put some proper effort into the project for my own marks, as selfish as it may seem, I really can’t say I care about people who don’t put any effort in at all) or had any time to work on the project. It doesn’t bother me though – in the process, I taught myself (with my sister’s help) how to use InDesign publishing software and Photoshop and did a lot of that project in it. I thought my posters looked pretty good.

On the other hand, I quite enjoyed the groupwork earlier in the year in City and Regional Plan Making, where I worked with someone who really put in the effort to head the group. I was there to support him whenever he needed it. I felt it really worked, since he was willing to listen (shame that wasn’t the case in Inter-professional… at all.), he used your ideas, gave people a chance to talk, I genuinely enjoyed working with that him.

What are you going to do differently next year:
Next year, I am going to look at the way I approach assignments, especially the big ones. Because, quite simply, reading around the topic and then going back to the brief and then reading some more doesn’t seem to be working for me. I always seem to find I’ve missed out something and it’s all improperly bound together in the project room shortly before it’s due in. I think I lack some serious study skills, to name a few: skimming articles, how to write a report (I’ve done 2 now, and they’re both a bit sketchy) and most importantly: something that I always seem incompetent at – reading the question…!

1 comment:

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