Work Experience Assignment
Work Experience Assignment important aspect of an individual career. Individual gets to know the work culture at a firm for the first time and it is a great learning experience for him. Unit 17 Work Experience Assignment are having many aspects of the work experience even prior to starting it which are discussed in below sections. During the work experience activity individual can enhance his learning by keeping certain things in mind. The whole experience of this activity has been discussed in the below sections starting from deciding that to which area should an individual focus to the firms one should apply, how should one behave at the workplace and what can be expected at the workplace, learnings at the workplace and lastly the assessment of the individual which can help him move forward.
Thus these many aspects of the work experience are covered in the below sections. An individual can learn from these experience sand then try to improvise.
Task 1 – LO1: The objective of this task is to negotiate with your supervisor towards work experience by reflecting it on to the ILWP and address the Learning outcomes as specified.
This task is completed using my experience as a network engineer in the firm Siemens. This division is responsible for maintaining the telecom towers of the firm. My interest was always in the telecom industry and this firm provided me the required industry experience.
P1.1 Research and evaluate suitable organizations that could provide industry experience
The main job of the network engineer to ensure that the towers falling in the area allocated to him are working fine and in case of any issue he needs to fix the error as soon as possible. This job requires travelling as the employee needs to visit the site where the tower are located. The towers are spread out across the region and hence the employee has to go the towers where there are some issues.
One of the main thing required for the job is to have the basic technical knowledge on how the communication is executed by the firm and the technology behind it. This helps in identifying the issue better.
There are mainly two teams working in this division.
- IT team – This team sits in the office and identifies the error and takes care of the technology part
- Field team – This team travels to the towers and tries to fix the error by coordinating with the IT team
My interest was in the field team and hence I worked in the field team. There are different individuals working in the field team
- Supervisor – He is given a large area to maintain. He has a team of engineers working under him. In case of any escalation due to issues not being resolved in the time allocated by the standards.?Senior engineer –He works under supervisor and is given an area under the supervisor. He has a small team of junior engineers working under him.
- Junior engineer – He works under the senior engineer and they handle all the issues as a team.
My job was to work with the junior engineer and understand how issues can be resolved.
I got the job by applying online through the job search websites.
P1.2 Negotiates with work and academic supervisors a proposal for the work experience
This experience helped me enhanced by technical Information and Knowledge as well as people skills. The most important aspect of the work is the team effort. There are two aspects in which team effort is required. The first is to coordinate within the team and allocate the work in an efficient manner. Second is to coordinate with the IT team to resolve the error.
Supervisor allocated me to a senior engineer team and I had to work with the junior engineers and understand how they resolve the errors. So initially I had to travel with junior engineers when they visit the tower and then learn all the technicalities of the functioning of the tower so that I can learn to resolve the error on my own (Dragoni, Oh, Vankatwyk & Tesluk, 2011
As I started to learn and understood most of the technicalities I was given the responsibility to visit the tower alone and handle the issues. Following were the main responsibilities:
- Coordinate with the team to allocate the work
- First understand the issue before visiting the site so that one is well prepared while visiting the site
- Visit the tower sites which are facing issues and resolve the issue
- Coordinate with IT team to check whether the issue has been resolved
- Give a report to the senior engineer on the issues faced and resolved and the time taken to resolve the issue.
- Always be prepared to travel and visit the site
P 1.3 Recognize the business constraints on the work experience.
There are various issues and constraints on the work experience. First of all there is no documentation on the training procedures. All the work experience and knowledge is acquired while doing the job. There is no standard training which the engineer is expected to go through. One needs to learn from the peers and acquire the knowledge. This can be an issue if the peer is lacking knowledge. Supervisor expects you to coordinate with the team. The second constraint is travelling. Some of the towers can be far away and it requires a considerable travelling to the site. Also the weather conditions can sometimes be deterrent in resolving the issue.
The other constraint which was faced by the engineers is the lack of sufficient cars for travelling to the car. Each senior engineer team was given two cabs for their work. In the event of more than two towers creating issues the issues would have be resolved on a priority basis. Also there were incidents when the car broke down and there were no cabs available to reach the tower and thus the engineers had to hire their own and travel.
Lastly the main constraint is that the issue can arise at any time of the day and hence if the issue arises late in the night then the engineer has to visit the place in the night which can be strenuous.
Task 2 – LO2. Understand the specific requirements of the placement.
As mentioned above the department has two divisions, one is the IT team which does not require travelling at odd hours and the other is field team which visits the towers in case of any issues.
P2.1- Agree and prioritize the tasks and responsibilities involved in the work experience
Before deciding on the team the supervisor address the new joiners and gives a detailed description of the job. He wants young and ambitious people to join the team so that they can learn fast and be a useful resource to the firm. There are many issues in the current processes and the firm needs to fresh minds to suggest improvements. However these suggestion can only come from people who have worked and can understand the issues being faced by the firm and the employees. Following were the tasks which were agreed on post deciding the team of the employee:
- Gain the complete knowledge on the different divisions of the firm and work they perform for the firm
- After the allocation of the team get to know your team mates as the one needs to work closely with them
- Work with the engineers in the team so and try to get as much knowledge so that one can independently
- Try to resolve the issues independently
- Carry out the daily activities of the engineers if an engineer on the team in on leave
- Understand about the IT aspects
- Under the constraints and drawbacks
- Make a presentation to the management on how things can be improved
P2.2- Produce a plan for the work experience
Work experience is critical in gaining knowledge and improving the future prospects. Firms value skill as well as degree and thus the individuals need to balance between the two. Only theoretical knowledge is not enough to survive and hence the individual needs to carefully decide on the work experience. Following are the steps required to properly plan work experience:
- Analyse the strength and weakness:Individual should analyse his or her weakness and strength and decide on the type of job required. Individual should decide whether he wants to do a desk job or wants to prefer a job which involves dealing with public. This is an important thing which individual needs to decide. Some individuals are not meant to do the desk job while other are meant to desk jobs and hence the individual needs to decide on his inclination and decide on the type of job one wants to pursue.
- Form a CV:After deciding on the type of the job individual needs to form a CV which highlight the strengths of the individual. CV is an important document which the employer will look at the while choosing the candidate. Having a good will ensure that the employers takes your interview and the individual clears the screening process. Post the selection the employer can take the interview. Some firms may select only the basis of the CV.
Thus preparing the CV is an important aspect of the gaining the work experience. Individual should try to gain such work experience with enhances his CV and thus helps to grow in his career.
- Search for relevant jobs:Individual needs to search for job after preparing his CV. With the widespread use of the internet individuals can easily search for jobs. There are many placement firms which help the individual in getting their jobs. Individuals can also contact such firms. Else the individual needs to contact the firm directly by first making the list of eligible firm in which one can apply and then try to contact the firms directly.
Individual can also find a contact in the firm or the industry which can help him find the job relatively easily.
Individuals can contact their seniors in their college to find jobs. Seniors of the college form an effective way to find jobs and in most of the cases people help their juniors.
- Preparation for the interview:Candidate must prepare for the interview. This forms an important part for getting selected in the firm. Individual needs to prepare for the interview according to the CV formed and needs to showcase the knowledge. Interview will help the individual get the job for the work experience.
- Selecting the team:Once the individual gets selected most of them are given the option to select the team in which they want to enter. Individuals need to get as much information as they can from the supervisors about the roles in team and depending upon their interests.
- Meet the team:This can be a good idea if the individual can meet and get to know more about the work. Individuals cannot work alone and they need to work in the team and hence they need to gel with the team. Thus getting to know the team can be added advantage to the individual if he wants to enter the firm.
- Make Notes:Post entering into the firm and joining the team individual should initially make notes about the learnings. In an industry nobody has time to explain the things twice and hence the individual shouldnotes about the learnings. This can always help in future, however this will also be useful for the individual in the short as one can learn things easily and make use of the experience in an efficient manner.
- Improvise the CV and knowledge:Gaining experience should reflect on the individual personality and his way of doing things. Individual should understand how things work in a firm and should follow the best practices.
Individual should become more punctual, stick to deadline and other always present their work in a more comprehensible manner. Also gaining work experience helps individuals make their CV better and they also gain knowledge to back their CV.
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P2.3 – Analyse the benefits of the proposed activities to the business and the learner
In the activity proposed both the business owner and the individuals are going to benefit from it. Firms are always looking for good candidates who work hard and remain loyal to the firm. This activity provides a good opportunity for the firm to select the candidates. Firm can closely watch the individuals and analyse whether the individual will be a good fit for the firm or not. Firm cannot judge all the things about the candidate through interview. However the brief stint with the firm can help it analyse all the aspects of candidate and thus can easily decision makingabout the candidate.
For the individual it is an opportunity to learn new things. Individual can analyse whether he wants to work in the same field or not. If he likes the work then he can try that firm hire him permanently. Else he is always benefitting by gaining experience. There are many skills mainly the soft skills that the individual can learn by working in a firm and this can help him boost his confidence immensely.
Thus both the candidates and the firm benefits from this activity. Also if the candidate is hones in approach and works with integrity then it adds to the advantage of the candidate and the firm.
Task 3 – LO3. Be able to undertake work experience as identified
P3.1- Fulfil specified requirements of placement conforming to all related codes of practice
If the individual joins the firm then in the first day at least firm should ensure that the individual meet with all teams related to operations, legal compliance, and IT compliances. Individual should be aware of the dos and the don’ts’s of the work.
After the individual has got the information about all the compliance issues then the individual should meet the supervisor who will introduce the individual to the team. Individual should also get an idea from the supervisor about the expectations from him.
If the individual knows the supervisor expectation then he can plan accordingly. Post that the individual should meet with the team and get to know the work better. He should fully understand the responsibilities that he needs to carry out as a part of his job.
The main thing is that the individual should not be overexcited about job and should carry out the work properly. It is always expected of the individual to perform better than what is expected and take up more responsibilities. However it is advisable the individual learns things, carry them out in a proper manner. Thus the individual needs to carry out the activities without errors and then move on to the other tasks. He should try to learn as much as possible and after sometime should be able to work independently so that the firm can rely on the individual to carry out the tasks. Individuals should understand the responsibilities given to him should be priority and then move on to other things (McDonald, 2011).
Many of the jobs require specific skills. Individuals need to learn those skills and be confident about them before joining the job. If the candidate is not prepared in that then it can take time to catch up with other guys. Thus the individuals should always work on the skills sets required for the job. Most of the firms do not expect individual to master each skill set at the start however the individual should start working on them.
P3.2- produces systematic records of challenges work experience undertaken
Working in any firm is not easy if the firm is big and expects you to perform. There are many challenges which the individual learns during the work experience. Following are some of the challenges being faced by the individuals:
- No coordination among the team-This is a common challenge for individuals working in a team. There needs to a proper coordination in the team to carry out the tasks. If any individual is creating issues and if it’s a small team then the team can suffer and it will affect the work of other team mates. Thus coordination is important.
- Communication issues –communication is also another challenges. Individuals need to communicate properly with the people so that intended message is given out. Many times it has been observed that even though people have been working together for a considerable time they don’t have proper communication between them.
- Resource issues – Many times firm has to face lack of resources issue and they may not have control over it. It is the employees who need to understand and make the best of the resources available.
Individual should maintain the notes highlighting issues he faces and the learnings he gained by overcoming those challenges. He can also suggest improvements which can help the firm
P3.3- – Revise the initial plan if required
- For a firm things may not go as required and as a result the individual targets may also get changed. Also as the individuals learns more about the firm and job he can suggest to revise the plan to his superiors to make it more feasible.
Also sometimes the individual may not be able to performance according to the expectations of the firm and may be slow in picking up things and thus in this scenario the firm may need to revise the initial plan of the individual (McDonald, 2011).
- The reverse is also true. The individual may be performing better than the expectations and so the firm can revise the initial and cover more areas for the individual.
Thus the revision of the initial plan depends on the scenarios and the performance of the individual.
P3.4 make suggestions for improvement and review these with the supervisor
There is a huge scope of improvement at the firm and new measures can be implemented by the firm to increase the efficiency. Following are some of suggestions to improve the working of the firm:
- Less interaction among members of other teams- Due to hectic work pressure and travelling aspect of the job there is less interaction. This leads to less knowledge sharing among the employees. If the employees interact more then there can better knowledge sharing and it can lead to better efficiency.
- Lack of communication skill sets – There is a lot of focus on technical aspects however the soft skills are not given that much importance. As a result the employees do not communicate sometimes and this leads to different issues. Sometimes the problem is not communicated properly, sometimes an employee is not able to understand what other people are trying to communicate, sometimes solutions to the issues is not communicate properly. Thus the firm needs to work to improve the communication skills of the individuals. This can greatly enhance the efficiency of the individual.
- Deadline – It has been observed that the deadlines are not properly followed and people tend to ignore the deadline given to them. Firm should ensure the employees follow the deadline (McDonald, 2011).
- Documentation – Firm does not keep a documentation of the issues which can arise and the solutions to the issues. There are many issues which occur frequently and are bound to occur, however there is no documentation and if certain people are on leave then it becomes difficult to resolve the issues. Thus the firm needs to maintain document about the process and the issues. This can help the firm resolve many issues faster. Thus the firm needs to work on the documentation of the issues.
Above are some of the main changes which the firm needs to take care to improve the efficiency of the firm.
Task 4 – LO4. Be able to monitor and evaluate own performance and learning
The main aspect of the work experience is to evaluate the performance and then improvise on the work done. Individuals should know the flaws in his performance and should try to improve him. No employee is perfect at the start and hence needs to get feedback to improve his performance.
Employees need to understand the mistakes they made during their work tenure and needs to incorporate the methods which can improve his efficiency.
P4.1 Monitor progress against original proposal
Individual before the start of his work experience decides on the tasks to be performed. There should also be measures which can be used by the individual to check whether he is performing to the expectation and carrying out the duties as expected by the employer.
There should be measures which can be quantified by the firm so that the individual performance can be analysed. There are some factors which are qualitative in nature. For e.g. the way employee dresses or interacts with the team. This also needs to be improved if the employee is lacking in such skills.
Individual should also have deadlines for targets to be achieved so that he can monitor the progress of the individual (Nguyen, Mujtaba, & Ruijs, 2014).
There certain methods to judge the progress. This should be done regularly like a biweekly meeting with the supervisor to give him an idea about the progress and the targets achieved. Supervisor can then guide if the progress is satisfactory or if something else is also needed. Individual can also share concerns with him or the issues which are out of control of the individual and it needs to be taken care of by the supervisor (Nilsson, Andersson, & Ejlertsson, 2013.
P4.2 Evaluate the quality of own performance
Once the individuals knows the targets and the measures to evaluate them the individual. First way to see if the individual is able to achieve the required targets in the given stipulated timeline. This is very important. Individual should always try to stick to the deadline.
Individual should take feedback from the peers and the supervisors. Experienced people are the best people which can provide feedback and analyse the performance. Thus judging the quality of the performance can be done by analysing the feedback. If it is positive then it can be expected that the individual is performing well else the he needs to improvise.
While taking the feedback the individual should take into different aspects including both soft skills as well as technical. The feedback should not be biased towards only one aspect of the work. It should cover all the aspects of the job.
There should be proper feedback form which covers many questions about different aspects of the job (Coulombe, Grenier & Nadeau, 2014).
Individual can judge his performance by seeing the decision of the firm to hire him permanently or not. If the individual is given a final offer then the firm is satisfied with his performance.
P4.3Anlayze the learning which has taken place during the work experience using suitable reflections
The learning during work experience has been impressive as many things which I saw were for the first time. I gained knowledge both on the technical level and the soft skills level. The most important aspect is the working on the practical aspect of the knowledge. There is a difference between theoretical knowledge and the practical aspect of the knowledge. Thus the individual needs to understand that how the knowledge is applied on the ground level.
Other good learning has been on the soft skill. Individual need to have soft skills to learn from others and get the things done and this also has been a good learning.
P4.4 Make recommendations on how the experience could have been enhanced
My experience with the firm has been good and I had learned a lot on during the work experience. However the firm could improve its processes. Firm should be more organized and have standard procedures for such work experience activities. There was less coordination between the human resource team and the firm’s functional team. Firm can also have a document which enlists all the steps and guidelines for the individuals. Individuals should be informed beforehand on the additional skill sets required for the work.
Individual can make their learning fast if they come prepared with the additional skill sets as mentioned by the firm.
The above are the main points which can help to enhance the work experience.
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Work experience with the firm has been a great opportunity to learn and make contacts in the industry. There is a great difference between the things work in college and way things work in a firm. Individuals need to be more mature and more responsible. If an individual doesn’t know something then one needs to study or ask someone without hesitation and get it done. Work needs to get done and no excuses are entertained. Individual also needs to conduct himself in appropriate manner and needs to focus on soft skills. There are many aspects which can only be learned at the work place like importance of team coordination and communication.
Overall experience starting from applying for the work experience to getting the feedback has been great and it has helped to boost my confidence and also move forward in my career.
Dragon, L., Oh, I. S., Vandyke, P., & TESL, P. E., 2011. Developing executive leaders: The relative contribution of cognitive ability, personality, and the accumulation of work experience in predicting strategic thinking competency. Personnel Psychology, 64(4), 829-864.
McDonald, S., 2011. What You Know or Who You Know? Occupation-specific work experience and job matching through social networks. Social Science Research, 40(6), 1664-1675.
Wilson, P., Anderson, H. I., & Culbertson, G., 2013. The Work Experience Measurement Scale (MEWS): A useful tool in workplace health promotion. Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation, 45(3), 379-387.