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  1. 1. Name Enrolment Number Course Chukwuka Nwachukwu 74100106 Developing The Professional DEVELOPING THE PROFESSIONAL ASSIGNMENT 2 REFLECTIVE ESSAY 1.0 INTRODUCTION From time to time, it is proper for a man to take stock of his actions. Taking stock refers to reviewing past actions, identifying areas of improvement and strengths, opportunities and threats and ensuring they are addressed in the present day which will translate to a bright future for that man. This essay will reflect on the personal and professional life of Cyril Chukwuka Nwachukwu; a MBA student at the University of South Wales, United Kingdom. This essay will also rate Cyril Chukwuka Nwachukwu using variety of dimensions which includes professional dispositions, the five minds of the future and emotional intelligence. 2.0 PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND I am Cyril Chukwuka Nwachukwu, a first born child of seven children by my parents. I am 27 years old and an indigene of Imo state, Nigeria. I am a Catholic-Christian. My upbringing was centered on the teachings of the Catholic Church. Every decision I have taken has been inspired by my catholic background. The Catholic Church is an institution that believes God created man and gave him free will to choose his destiny; to choose between life and death (Holy Bible Genesis Chapter 2). It is an institution that preaches respect of free will of man. Pope Francis’s response to Gay persons in 2014 was “who am I to judge”, the person should not be condemned but the act. I have been fortunate enough to attend good schools. In my final primary school days in 1998, during one of my Social Studies classes, the teacher taught us the Educational System in Nigeria (6-3-3-4). It was after then I realized I need to plan; I had no clear cut ambition. My set ambition was to pass every examination I come across and ensure I finish university education by the age of 20. I graduated at the age of 21. During my college days, my ambition became more specific. My ambition was to be an industrial mathematician. It is worthy to note that I was counseled against that ambition by my father; Mr Luke Nwachukwu. He advised I study a computer related course. I settled to study information technology management at the University. I have no regrets for my decision though my love for mathematics is still very strong. During my University days, my ambition became more defined, though I was not interested in building leadership, interpersonal skills and other social skills. My ambition was to graduate with Second Class Upper honour which I believe will give me opportunities to be tested by reputable organizations after graduation. I graduated with what I hoped for and got an offer to join Skye Bank Plc. I joined Skye Bank in 2011 and set my goals as stated below;
  2. 2. Short Term Goals: To be a specialist in Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT) channels within 5 years of joining the Bank. Long Term Goals: To serve as public servant, this is not limited to rendering global services to people who aspire for a better life etc. Achieving the short term goal is in progress while modalities are being put in place to ensure the long term goals are achieved. In recent times, I have realized that I need to be more social in other to achieve my long term goals. Being social, I am referring to enhancing leadership, interpersonal and communication skills, values and ethics etc. My academic pursuit is still ongoing but the needs to develop and enhance these skills are very important to my long term goals. 3.0 PROFESSIONAL DISPOSITION 3.1 Social Justice and Equity: Nigeria is a complex and peculiar country where ethnicity and religion are treated with utmost respect and emotions. On a scale of 1 -5, I will rate myself 3. There are three major tribes in Nigeria namely; Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, there are two major religions namely; Christianity and Islam. One has to understand these social systems so that one’s actions and decisions will not be seen to be biased. Having an understanding of these systems will help in dealing with the other 300 tribes. For someone to be socially just and equitable, that person needs to be tolerant, knowledgeable, patient, etc. I am yet to get it right though I am seriously working on it. It has become more challenging at this point because I intend to be a global personality. At the level of Nigeria, I am an Igbo man and I understand the culture very well. I was born and grew up in the south west that has helped me with understanding the Yoruba culture. I also speak Yoruba fluently. I don’t understand the Hausa culture, Understanding the culture; I am referring to the psychology and principles guiding it. Unfortunately, I have never travelled to the northern part of the country. What have helped me so far are the books and resources I have read which have helped a lot to be socially just and equitable. When I am in doubt, I don’t act. In my relationship with these persons across cultural background and religion, I simply apply common sense and the basics I have learnt from my college days which cuts across all cultures and religions. I attended Federal Government College, Lagos. It is one of the Unity schools in Nigeria were you have different persons of different cultures and religion in attendance. I don’t have a problem with Islam. I respect that religion a lot. My best friend in college was a Muslim, He taught me a lot with respect to his religion. The reason for the average rating is because of my aim of being a global personality. I need to read and travel wide. I have been to only two countries namely; Republic of Benin and United Arabs Emirates. My understanding of America, United Kingdom, China and India are based on what I have read and seen in the media. This I believe is not enough for me. 3.2 Collaboration/Inclusion: There is an adage that says “If you want something to be done well, do it yourself”; I think this adage doesn’t support teamwork. I used to believe in this adage in my college days and early stages of my university. I used to carry out most of the task myself meant for the team, though they yielded the results we all wanted but it could have gotten better if there were inputs from everybody. I changed after my Father
  3. 3. counseled me that I can’t do everything alone and I won’t be able to grow or expand if I continue in the line of that adage. Two good heads are far better than one he concluded. Since then, I have improved. I have recorded lots of success with respect to the leadership positions I have held and also the projects I have handled at the office. I will rate myself 4 out of 5 but it can always get better. 3.3 Critical Thinking: I will rate myself 4 out of 5. When I am faced with an issue and I need to make a decision, I critically analyse the issue by exploring the use of expert judgment, facts, resources and looking at it from different perspectives. This has helped me a lot to make informed decisions. 3.4 Professional Ethics: I will rate myself 3 out of 5. This is work in progress; it involves lots of training and experience which I am presently working on. Though I have the basics, it has helped me function effectively and efficiently as banker. 3.5 Reflective Practice: This is similar to this reflective essay; I will rate myself 5 out 5. This is something I do very well. I have journals that I use. At a point in my college days, I used a diary were I recorded my daily activities. I don’t just record these activities, I go back to them at the end of the day or week to measure my performances and also identify areas of weaknesses which are areas I needed to improve upon. These has really helped and also earned me lots of respects among my colleagues because they see lots of consistency and improvements at my job. 3.6 Life-long Learning: Learning is a continuous thing, it doesn’t stop. I am always seeking out new ways of doing my job better. I am always on the internet asking questions about a subject etc. Being an MBA student at the University of South Wales is in the direction of life-long learning. I will rate myself 5 out 5. My passion to seek new knowledge can’t be measured, it is beyond comprehension. The other four professional dispositions have pushed me to continue to learn. Learning has also helped me stay current on my profession. 4.0 FIVE MINDS FOR THE FUTURE 4.1 Disciplined Mind: I am still developing a disciplined mind. I am even yet to achieve my goal of being a specialist in Electronic Funds Transfer Channels. I will rate myself 2 out of 5. Developing a disciplined mind entails experience and acquiring knowledge. I only have 4 years’ experience compared to the 10 years’ experience set by Five Minds for the Future Prof. Gardner (2008). I have set out modalities to ensure I develop a disciplined mind. I have identified several professional trainings/certifications I need to undertake. I don’t think a disciplined mind can stand alone; it is needs to be complimented by the other four minds. 4.2 Synthesizing Mind: I could be very inquisitive, my quest to solve problems has made me to ask questions and seek answers through researches etc. My research skills are weak. I will rate myself 2 out of 5. Researching goes beyond asking questions, it involves the use of quantitative and qualitative analysis which will help me make my own informed opinion on a subject. Presently my researches are based on expert judgments. The challenge I have
  4. 4. is I don’t know how to apply the research techniques. I don’t have a problem reading wide and gathering information on a subject, the challenge I have is using the Chi Squares, bringing out thesis etc. I really want to develop my synthesizing mind. In addition of other skills which include analytical and problem solving, I will need to be patient and endure to develop the synthesizing mind. 4.3 Creative Mind: I used to think being creative was just being a good artist, It is way beyond that. Being creative means challenging the status quo for good, changing people’s attitude for good, developing solutions to problems. A creative mind is someone that must understand the business terrain he finds himself, thereby identify the challenges of the terrain in other for him to proffer solutions. Some persons don’t even know problems exist until a solution is proffered. Some people believes, the problem could be managed and don’t bother looking for solutions to address the problem ones and for all. With respect to my job, I will rate myself 4 out of 5. I have not gotten to where I want to be but I am seriously working on developing this mind. Mitchel Elegbe believes a man cannot run out of ideas (Sola Fanawopo, 2012). I believe there is a solution for every problem, the solution might not come now but there must be a solution. The challenges most people have is identifying where the problems lies. This will take a lot of observation and review of your terrain. Another question that bothers me is “does one needs to be discipline minded before he can be creative or proffer solutions?” My answer will be yes and no. Yes in the sense that a consultant is expected to proffer solutions to every challenges encountered in his field, it is easier for a consultant to be creative because he understands the business terrain and the psychology behind it. No, because you might have the ideas and solutions but don’t know how to go about it. At this point you will need to team up with a consultant or persons that understand what your solution entails to actualize your dream. I have so much love for the creative mind. 4.4 Respectful Mind: Respect for nature, cultures and religions cannot be over emphasized. I will rate myself 3 out of 5. According to the wiktionary, Respect is defined as “an attitude of consideration or high regard”. For anybody to succeed in life, that person needs to develop a respectful mind. People’s opinions are formed based on their discipline, cultural and religious background. In most cases, these decisions are influenced by their cultural and religious background. In dealing with people, you need to understand that other religions and cultures exist and hold them with high regard. For me, my decisions are influenced by my upbringing as a Catholic – Christian. Respect for God, Freewill of man etc. one also needs to understand his own culture and religion in other to deal with people. When I talk of Respectful mind, I refer to Pope Francis’s recent visit to America in September 2015. He opened his arms to all Americans irrespective of their religious background and cultural diversity. He talked about the drive for a better climatic condition. That is respect for Mother Nature. He talked about peace and reconciliation, respect and better lives for the immigrants (Pope Visits The America, 2015). They are humans like us. Developing this mind takes a lot of sacrifice; I will also need to be humble to understand my colleagues.
  5. 5. 4.5 Ethical Mind: Respectful mind and Ethical mind can be linked together. Ethics refers to a set of principles and values that guides a profession, society or group. With respect to my profession as a banker, there are codes of ethics i must imbibe. With respect to my person being an Igbo man and a Nigerian, there are values I must imbibe and also with respect to be being a catholic, there are also values I must also imbibe. What I have done is to balance all these values to ensure they don’t conflict with each other. Conflicting values could send a wrong signal to people showing the weaknesses of the groups enumerated. I try as much as possible to be guided by the principles, values guiding my profession, culture and religion and ensure no conflict arises. I am also responsible enough to understand what my responsibilities are in the society without being told what to do. I will rate myself 5 out of 5. 5.0 EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE CONCEPT MAP Emotions is defined by Wiktionary as “A person’s internal state of being and involuntary physiological response to an object or situation, based on or tied to physical state and sensory data”. Emotional intelligence describes how best to approach life, it describes behavioural patterns, the need to perceive, reason, understand and manage our emotions which tells a lot on our behaviours and approach towards life. Lots of people shy away from their emotions and sentiments believing they have no or minimal impact on their life styles, decisions they make etc. Only few persons understand emotions and the need to be intelligent about it. Emotional intelligence for me is very important when it comes to managing a team, building relationships with persons etc. The EI Concept map is examined below; 5.1 Knowing / Managing my Emotions: I have been at several leadership positions. I couldn’t have done well as a leader if I didn’t understand or know my emotions. My dispositions and attitude towards life has helped in knowing my emotions. Life is about “UPs” and “DOWNs”. I also believe, the downfall of a man is not the end of his Life. A positive attitude will help in knowing and managing your emotions properly. It will help you to motivate your team members. I have a good disposition towards life; I have been able to separate my personal life from my work or leadership positions. I was presiding over a meeting last Thursday 24-09-2015 when I got the result of my Project Management Professional Exam, I failed and was strong enough to ensure it doesn’t demoralize me at the meeting. I was also at a meeting last month when I got notification that I have been promoted at the office, I was strong enough to ensure that I don’t get excited to disrupt the meeting. I will only be able to manage other people’s emotions if I am able to manage my own. Managing my own emotions Vis a Vis other people’s emotions have helped me to build strong relationships, inspire and motivate my team members. I am also aware that some of my team members’ look up to me and there is need for me to behave properly in public irrespective of whatever circumstances I find myself. I will rate myself 4 out 5 for the First quadrant which talks about knowing your emotions and Third Quadrant which talks about managing your emotions.
  6. 6. 5.2 “Emoting” in Social Situations: This refers to the second quadrant and talks about empathy for other in social situations like classes, meetings, communities etc. What comes to my mind first is to put myself in other people’s shoes, this gives me an understanding of how they feel and what they are going through. It gives me an understanding of how best I can assist and the proper way to go about it. It gives me reason to respect the state of mind of the affected persons and how best they can be uplifted or motivated. It gives me reason to want to assist in the best way I can, knowing fully well that the circumstances they find themselves could be as a result of their ignorance or deliberate actions. I have a very soft spot for this quadrant probably because of my catholic background but there is a limit to which I can go. I don’t like being over stretched when it comes to understanding people’s needs. I will rate myself 5 out of 5 5.3 Building and Maintaining Social Relationships: These refer to the fourth quadrant of the EI Concept Map. Understanding and managing your emotions, emoting in social situations are sure ways of building and maintaining social relationships. Being tolerant and patient which helped me to listen attentively when dealing with people has helped me in relationships. Every relationship should have a reason to stand; an objective and they should be defined properly. Respecting other people’s opinions and ideologies and balancing them with mine has helped me in building lasting relationships. Respect has been my major rallying point when it comes to relationship. I will rate myself 5 out of 5. CONCLUSION This essay has given me the opportunity to examine myself. I have been able identify the areas I need to improve upon and areas of my life I need to continue. This essay has given me the opportunity to know where I am and how I can achieve my set goals.
  7. 7. APPENDIX Relationship on Variety of Dimensions Used For the Examination of C.C Nwachukwu 1. Professional Disposition Ratings Abbreviations SJ & E – Social Justice & Equity C/I - Collaboration/Inclusion CT – Critical Thinking PE – Professional Ethics RP – Reflective Practice LL – Life-long Learning
  8. 8. 2. Five Minds of the Future Ratings Abbreviations DM – Disciplined Mind SM – Synthesizing Mind CM – Creative Mind RM – Respectful Mind EM – Ethical Mind
  9. 9. 3. Emotional Intelligence Concept Map Ratings Abbreviations KE – Knowing Your Emotions ME – Managing Your Emotions ES – Emoting in Social Situations B & MSR – Building and Maintaining Social Relationships
  10. 10. REFERENCE English Dictionary (no date) (Accessed: 26 September 2015). Fanawopo, S (2012) ‘The Mitchell Elegbe Story –by IFC’, The Mitchell Elegbe Story –by IFC, 15 October. Available at: by-ifc.html#!/2012/10/the-mitchell-elegbe-story-by-ifc.html (Accessed: 26 August 2015). Pope Visits the America (2015) CNN, 25 September. Prof. Gardner, H. (2008) Five Minds for the Future. [Ecolint Meeting 2008, Geneva]. 13 January. Thavis, J (2013) ‘Who am I to judge? marks new tone on homosexuality’, Who am I to judge? marks new tone on homosexuality, 29 July. Available at: homosexuality#.VgeuuqZwbq0 (Accessed: 27 September 2015).