The first 13 weeks of this program focused on the Australian Workplace Culture. The reading helped me comprehend the complex nature of Australia by researching the underlying concepts of its culture. I learned about Egalitarianism which is a concept that strongly underpins values in the country. I also gained knowledge about openness, individualism, small talk, and government bodies in Australia. Workplace health and safety is also another key topic I came across in the 13 weeks. The state mandates organizations to implement policies and procedures that uphold the two aspects. I learned that managers have the mandate to ensure their teams, staff, and colleagues meet legislative requirements of WHS acts, regulations and code of practice. In week 4, I learned about working in a diversified work environment like that of Australia’s service industry. Diversity is defined by the Student Guide and Workbook as a broader set of qualities that transcend race and gender.
I also learned about the benefits of workplace diversity, a diversity action plan, teamwork, and other essential topics that are vital to maintaining harmony in a work environment. Another crucial lesson from the ECA Professional Year study that caught my attention is preparing a tailored job application. Writing a proper job application is essential for every graduate looking to work in the competitive Australian workplace. The lesson also provides a format of how one can write an eye-catching resume by providing samples and guidelines. I went further and learned about professional performance as a team, communication styles, reflective thinking, and how I can become a reflective thinker. In week 9, I learned about types of innovation, how to develop an innovative team, as well as how to foster change in an organization. Week 10 was about presentation, which the handbook described as a situation where a person communicates a message to others. Week 11 to 13 provided vital lessons on preparing for a job interview. I learned the definition of a job interview, its purpose, preparations, and commonly asked questions in an interview.
The topic I liked the most in week 8 was professional performance teamwork. As a person who has always thrived working alone, I believe the lesson will be life-changing, having altered my view on working in teams. Teamwork is vital in achieving goals. It is also a crucial part of a business since it is always necessary that we work together as colleagues and giving the best in whatever circumstances. I learned that even though I view myself as perfect and that I do not need a team to progress, the lesson taught me that the decisions I make cannot at all times be flawless and that the knowledge I possess is not enough to solve all the problems. I now understand that the skills and expertise of other individuals are vital and can help me reach my overall objectives and that of the team.
Since I want to manage people in the future, I learned vital lessons about stages of team growth, which are, forming, storming, norming, performing, transforming, and ending (“Student Guide and Workbook” 42). I also enjoyed the lesson on preparing my personal qualities master statement; which will help me understand jobs that are suitable for me according to my personality, those that will match my strengths and the ones that will not be affected by my weaknesses. I also found the topic on communication styles using the DiSC Behavior Model (“Student Guide and Workbook” 45). This system is designed to reflect variation and complexity and can, at times, be used to break down personalities into a few crucial types. Lastly, I enjoyed the topic nonreflective thinking, a process of creating and clarifying past and present experiences.
What I liked the least in the 13 weeks was the lesson in week 10 on presentations. I felt that the topic was not necessary at the time. Compared to other lessons like preparing for interviews, writing resumes, and application letters, I believe week 10’s lesson was out of context. Even though I have a dream of managing people in the future, I think the topic was not relevant to an individual just about to plunge into formal employment. Furthermore, I believe my presentation skills are top-notch and I do not need to give such a topic much attention in class. The activity questions asked did not challenge me in any way as compared to other lessons. In my view, an impeccable presenter is born not made. However, I cannot write it off as I believe it was helpful to my course mates.
The ECA could improve the Professional Year Course by stressing the importance of group work. ECA students need to see the need for working as a group rather than individually. Teamwork is critical for students to be functional when they get out to look for work. Furthermore, ECA should enable students to reach across traditional disciplines and explore their relationships. The course should not only focus on Australian culture. Through integrated studies, the course can be understood using many forms of knowledge and expressions since literacy skills are expanded beyond the traditional focus.
“Student Guide and Workbook” (2019). Pp. 1-116
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