I have gain a lot of valuable experience by participating in this Oxford Brookes University Bsc Degree Research and Analysis Project (RAP). The experience is gained during my research process and present my finding in the report. I have able to enrich myself through obtaining new knowledge and skills and enhancing the existing one at the same times which the meetings and interaction with my mentor is the means of achieving this.
Skills and Learning statement give me the chance to communicate the skill and experiences I gained during the OBU RAP project.
This is communicated in way through answering four question such as lessons I learnt from the meetings with mentor, extent on meeting the objective that I set at the earlier stage, how RAP give me an advantage in my study and how I will demonstrate my communication and interpersonal skill.
1. What did I learnt from the meetings with my project mentor including the presentation I gave to my mentor?
Before the first meeting, I have chosen a mentor and the topic that wish to do.
Before go for the meeting, my mentor has asked me to read through the information pack in order to familiarise with the project in order to have some ideas about the OBU RAP to ensure that the meeting will be smoothly conducted.
During the first meeting, I have shared my project title and has enquired my mentor about some queries about the topic I have chosen when planning the outline of my project.
I also showed him the research question to ensure my questions is structured in an effective and efficient manner in completing my project.
Besides that, we also discussed about the word limit for the project. Initially, I have quite a lot of research question, where my mentor had help me to filter out the unnecessary question to avoid obscure information being present in my findings which will undermine understandability and avoid being exceeds word limit.
My mentor has advised on the style to present my report in a more passive manner to ensure it is in a formal format. He also reminds me the word style and the size required to use in preparing the report.
I have told my mentor the company I have chosen and another company as a comparator but he told me that as the comparator size is significant smaller than the main company in term of market capitalisation and this will have some issue during the comparison.
My mentor has advised on me to start the skill and learning statement after this meeting by jotting down the point we have discussed during the meeting to ensure that this is not miss out afterward.
A draft timetable the remaining meetings and the deadline to submit the RAP to ensure I am in line with the timeline.
Due to my laziness, the second meeting has been deferred after one week from the original planned times. I have realise that my reactive style is the main factor to cause the delayed. I should overcome this issue by having a more proactive style to raise doubt to my mentor in order to ensure my report is consistent with my timetable.
Before the second meeting, I have emailed my mentor the draft report in order to review and comment on it.
We talk about time management during the meeting as I have delayed the meeting. My mentor has advised me to focus on the interpretation of the ratio analysis rather than discussing about the movement as this can be observe from the graphs or charts itself.
I have learnt time management from this RAP as I am taking ACCA while I am doing this research project. Sometimes, I will feel like I am chasing the time as I need to ensure that I met the deadline and passed the ACCA exam at the sametime. Nevertheless, I have overcome this problem as I have acquired the skill at the earlier stage of the project.
After amending the report to finalise the report, we have conducted the last meeting. The third meeting give me a chance to present my findings to my mentor. Before the meeting, my mentor has briefed us the presentation skill and remind us to use the correct tone to present.
After the presentation, my mentor has concluded that my presentation is in line with the findings. My mentor has given me some advices about the report which is will increase the probability to pass my project.
From the meeting, I have learnt the presentation which is the most valuable skill I acquired as I am an introvert person which I will be anxious when having a presentation. However, I have gained a lot of confidence after this presentation which will significantly improve my presentation in the future.
There are a lot of learning outcome after having some meetings with my project mentor. Most of this knowledge and skill is more toward the project itself but the most valuable one is that I have improvement on my living skill.
2. To what extent that I think I have achieved the RAP research objective that I set?
I have defined my aims and objective prior to I start my RAP. This is to ensure that I am on the track to prevent I am presenting something which is out of the scope. I have able to gather some relevant information to achieve the planned aims and objectives.
I believed that I have well achieved the second and third objective which is mainly about the financial performance of IHH and KPJ. To evaluate the financial performance of IHH and KPJ I have used ratio analysis in term of profitability, liquidity, gearing and investment return ratio.
This is well answered as the required information is easily obtain from the internet (secondary information) as IHH and KPJ is a listed company which abundant information which is accessible through the company itself website. The analysis can be carried out through evaluating the chairman statement and CEOs message to shareholder and also the financial statements. However, I am facing some dilemma when I am choosing the comparator, KPJ, as its size is not as big as IHH in term of market capitalization.
For the first aim as stated in the section 1.5 of the report, which is the evaluation of business performance of IHH. In achieving this aim I have used PETEL and SWOT analysis to assess the business performance of IHH. PESEL model is used to assess the macro-economy which can be used for the SWOT analysis. However, I think this aimed is not fully achieved as only secondary information are available to me. For SWOT analysis, for example, weakness need primary information as usually weakness will not available to public to prevent this being competitor to capitalize it.
While for the last question, I think I am not answered it well as the strategy of IHH and KPJ is only stated in the annual report as further information is not available for public and the way to obtain is through the interview with the CEO of IHH and KPJ as if this strategy is known to public, it may lose the competitive advantage which it used to generate revenue.
In a nutshell, I admit that my findings and the interpretation may not be as good as and as depth as those report prepared by those professional such as the analyst, but all of these findings represent my hard works. I believed most of the objective is reasonably achieved after taking into account cost and time constraint.
3. How have I demonstrated my interpersonal and communication skills during the project?
Interpersonal and communication skills are crucial not only in our daily life but also during the entire processing in preparing the report as well as during the presentation. By having a good interpersonal and communication skill, I will be able to build a good relationship with my project mentor which will benefit me as the mentor is the key to provide sound advice and guidance for my RAP. When communicating with my mentor, we normally start our conversation by discussing any football news as both of us are having interest toward football.
To make my report is in a more understandable style, I have present all the information in a clear a concise style which will enhance the efficiency and the effectiveness of communication to the users. In order to credit the hard work of the original author, my report has used citation whenever it is appropriate.
Besides that, to make my report more easily to understand I format my finding into graph or chart which will make my report more interesting without compromising formal.
Most of these two skills are being demonstrated during the presentation of my finding to my mentor and my fellow by having a few slides which contain my key findings. I need to ensure my slides does not obscure with too many information which could lead to audience being reading rather than listening. The tones, voice and body language is the main factor to attract the attention of the audience. I need to ensure that my voice is loud and clear to ensure all are understood my presentation. I need to avoid any body language which could distract the audiences attention.
4. How this RAP has assists me in my study of ACCA and working in the future?
By joining this RAP, I will able to exposed myself to wider range of unique experience which is not able to gain in the classroom which will be an advantage in y working life in the future.
As currently I am an ACCA student which is focus on examination based which caused me to have lesser opportunity to learn beyond the paper. By doing OBU RAP, I will have the chance to deal with real case scenario which is an essential skill for me to pass my Strategic Business Leadership (SBL) and Reporting (SBR) paper which required the candidate to consider beyond the standard which is much more practical. As nowadays most the question is allocated with professional marks specially in SBL which required practical consideration to grab the marks.
During the RAP, I will have the chance to use ratio analysis and PESTEL and SWOT analysis to real case scenario which will enhance my skills in investment related work in the future as I am interested in investment.
RAP also has improved my Information and Communication Technology skills which is lack of emphasis in ACCA. To complete my RAP, I need to enhance my skill in using spreadsheet to present my work which is the important software in accountancy field. Besides that, for presentation purpose, I used Power Point to prepare my slide which not only enhance my presentation skill but also the skill to present my slide in a clear manner which will be a crucial skill in the future as presentation is the greatest chance to grab the attention from top management.
Last but not least, I have improved my interpersonal and communication skill by having several meetings with my mentor. This is an important skill no matter for now or in the future as currently during my study life I will need to build a good relationship with my fellow in order to have a better study environment and mood. While for future, I will need build a rapport with my colleagues and also the top management to have a conducive working environment and having a better chance for promotion.