Life-Wide Learning

In my belief, while getting a sound education is of uttermost importance in the life of an individual, complimenting it with other activities outside of the school setting not only increases the value of education but also results in personal development. For this reason, I have tried to ensure that I am involved in off school experiences even as I strive for academic excellence. In particular, I have involved myself in some work experiences which have had a big impact on my life and made me develop greatly as an individual.

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I am currently pursuing my Masters level degree at Surrey University and during the academic year 2009-2010, I had 2 work experiences that were especially inspiring to me. It is my hope that with my description of these work experiences that I have undertaken in addition to my academic programme, you shall find me a worthy candidate for the Life-wide Learning Essay Award.

During the summer of 2010, I worked at a large consulting firm. To me, working for this organization presented a huge opportunity since I had the chance to learn about the intricate workings of the various departments. The department with interested me the most was the Human Resource Department of the company. I was required to write a 20,000-word dissertation analyzing the impact of organizational retrenchment strategies on job satisfaction.

The research work that I engaged in could be used not only in the context off public policy but also by any theorist or business practitioner who wishes to understand the impact that retrenchment may exert on job satisfaction. This research work coupled with my experiences in the HR department was the two factors which sparked my desire to pursue a second Master’s Degree in Human Resource.

In my work experience, I found the “human” side of the business especially appealing and challenging. I also got to appreciate why it is asserted that people are an organization’s most valuable asset. As I worked in the HR department, I was continually convinced of the significance of people in an organization and my experiences indisputably made me realize that human resources are quintessential in the highly competitive business environment. One of the most important lessons that I learnt was that much attention should be paid on the Human Resources of an organization since employee involvement results in higher productivity by the work force.

As I was working as part of the HR staff in the consulting firm, I came to truly appreciate the value that a solid educational background can have in one’s work experience. My academic background in business had a positive impact and played a pivotal role in the successes that I obtained in my tenure with the company. I also observed how adept the HR Manager was in his work and while it was obvious that some of his accomplishments were due to some inherent character traits in him, the major reason for his successes where the sound theory which he applied in his dealings

The second work experience is the one I am engaged in currently; working part-time at Surrey University’s Additional Learning Support (ALS) as an academic support worker. To my amazement, this job has resulted in great personal development for me as I have made many personal discoveries about myself as well as learnt to appreciate other people better. This work experience has resulted in the development of some values which I believe will be of great significance in my life.

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One of the values I have developed as I work with the disabled students is positive attitude. This positive attitude to me means always being optimistic and maintaining the belief that a positive change will occur. This positive attitude has resulted in promoting of the self worthiness in my students therefore increasing their self-belief which makes them strive to achieve goals that would otherwise have seemed impossible to reach.

My patience has also been significantly increased as I work with my students. Patience is the ability to wait steadfastly without losing hope for a particular outcome. As a result of my work experience as an Academic Support Worker, I have come to take my time and not expect everything to work out instantly. I have come to appreciate the fact that at some times, it may take a lot of time for the desirable results to occur and one can only see the favorable results if they take the time to wait for it to happen. Quite unexpectedly, my communication skills have been enhanced as a result of my work experience at Surrey University’s Additional Learning Support.

Part of my responsibility is accompanying students to the classes and taking notes on their behalf. I also have to relay the notes to the students and at times, this involves rewording the notes in a form that my students can better understand and looking for positive response from my students. I have therefore become keener on people’s body language which at times tells more than a person is saying.

Arguably the greatest lesson that I have learnt even as I teach the disabled students is the value of respect. Through my interaction with my students, I have learnt that treating other with dignity at all times is not only the polite thing to do but it results in many positive benefits. I have therefore aspired to be non-discriminating or have a judgmental attitude towards others when dealing with them regardless of their situation. This respect has inevitably resulted in my building of trust with my students and maintaining the same on a mutual basis. It is my believe that in my future career in the business world, this values and experiences that I have gained outside of school will be of immense benefit both to me and to the people I shall work with or for.

Through this essay, I have articulated two work experiences which have had significant bearings in my life. I can truthfully say that I am a more mature and knowledgeable person as a result of these experiences. I believe that my experience represent what is embodied by the Life-wide Learning Essay Award which is acquisition of values, learning experiences and personal development outside of the school setting. It is my hope that for all this, I shall be favorably considered for the Life-Wide Learning Essay Award.

What the Award Means to me

To me, life-wide learning means using experiences outside of the school setting to enhance a individuals net worth and possibly result in personal growth and development. This is based on the understanding that while the education that one achieves in school is of great significance, the experiences that we gain outside of the class setting are pivotal since we this is the setting in which school is molding us to operate in. Life-wide learning appreciates the fact that it there is a lot to be gained from diverse experiences and as such, every student should aim to gain more than just the academic aspect while at school.

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