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Portfolio Final NGM DCU MECB 2012


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James Dellnger Portfolio final NGM DCU MECB 2012 The sample portfolio you will read uses the Gibbs Reflective Cycle to express learning. It requires one to develop and refine personal development plan as was done as part of our NGM course work. That in turn guided choice of reflections to develop various personal competencies required for modern career success in accordance with individual needs.

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Portfolio Final NGM DCU MECB 2012

  1. 1. Forward I Go! Next Generation Management: 2011/2012 James Dellinger Personal Opportunties for Development PortfolioDCU BUSINESS SCHOOL ASSIGNMENT SUBMISSION Student Name(s): James Dellinger Student Number(s): 11210889 Programme: MECB1 - MSc in Electronic Commerce (Business) Project Title: NGM Portfolio Module code: MT5113 Lecturer: Des McLaughlin Project Due Date: 25-JUN-2012 11210889
  2. 2. DCU BUSINESS SCHOOL ASSIGNMENT SUBMISSIONStudent Name(s): James DellingerStudent Number(s): 11210889Programme: MECB1 - MSc in Electronic Commerce (Business)Project Title: NGM PortfolioModule code: MT5113Lecturer: Des McLaughlinProject Due Date: 25-JUN-2012 Declaration I the undersigned declare that the project material, which I now submit, is my own work. Any assistance received by way of borrowing from the work of others has been cited and acknowledged within the work. I make this declaration in the knowledge that a breach of the rules pertaining to project submission may carry serious consequences. I am aware that the project will not be accepted unless this form has been handed in along with the project. Signed:___________________________________
  3. 3. CONTENTSDCU Business School Assignment Submission..................................................................0DCU Business School Assignment Submission..................................................................1Introduction.............................................................................................................................4Who is James Dellinger?.......................................................................................................6M. Sc. Electronic Commerce (Business)...........................................................................11Next Generation Management ..........................................................................................14Personal Development Plan...............................................................................................22Personal and Career Development ...................................................................................25Business and Society ...........................................................................................................80Research ...............................................................................................................................118Digital Skills, Media and Communications .................................................................154Prince2 Online Completion ............................................................................................186DICE: Project Manager’s Report Group 1A ..................................................................187Appendix A .........................................................................................................................221Appendix B..........................................................................................................................226Appendix C..........................................................................................................................228DICE: Interaction Excerpted Diary Appendix..............................................................267
  4. 4. AcknowledgmentsI would like to thank my incredibly patient wife, Kathleen Dellinger, and my supportivefamily and friends on the other side of the Atlantic, in Washington, Georgia and theMidwest. Without your financial support, generosity, and kind words this journey would nothave been possible.I would like to thank every member of the Next Generation Management (NGM) Staff:lecturer Mr Des McLaughlin; Dr John Connolly; Mr Gerry Conyngham; Dr Claire Gubbins,and Dr Theo Lynn, Teaching Assistants: Mr Terry O’Brien; Ms Bettina Wűrdinger; MsCiara Elston and the Dublin City University Business School (DCUBS) for their hard workin making our learning experience and outcomes as rewarding as they are. I want to thank allDCUBS and Dublin City University Computer Applications School (DCUCAS) staff, andespecially M. Sc. Electronic Commerce (Business) (MECB) program chair Regina Conolly,for their collective efforts to improve our learning environment and the value of the degreeprograms we are enrolled in. I would also liketo thank the staff of the DCU LINK ResearchCentre for all their efforts in makng Techspectations such a great part of our NGMexperience and to Laura Farrell as our client Digital Marketing Report client. To all of myfellow Next Generation Management classmates, I have learned to appreciate your incredibleambition. To my various NGM and MECB project working groups, thank you for your hardwork all year. I would like to thank my employer, Matthew Sheffield, President of DialogNew Media, and my mentor, Bob Benz, President of Content at Hanley Wood, forunderstand and supporting my journey to Dublin and throughout the Next GenerationManagement experience. FORWARD I GO!I am dedicating this hard work to my grandfather, Samuel Douglas Guy, who passed away inMarch 2012. His life, memory, and work ethic will serve as an inspiration to me always.-James Dellinger
  5. 5. INTRODUCTIONThe document you are reading is the culmination of two semesters of work fromSeptember 2011 to June 2012. As a requirement of the M. Sc. Electronic Commerce(Business) (MECB) degree at the Dublin City University, I was required to take atwo-semester twenty-credit module known as Next Generation Management(NGM). As part of the course curriculum, I needed to carry out forty out-of-classroom learning activities which would develop my skills and futuremanagement potential in different ways. I actually did many more but the ones youwill hear about made the cut because they fit my Personal Development Plan goalsfor the near term and future. These activities were known as personal opportunitiesfor development, referred to as PODs. The forty activities were split into fourdifferent themes according to the learning outcome underpinning NGM; theyconsisted of: Personal Career and Development Business and Society Research Digital Skills, Media and CommunicationI carried out these PODs during the nine-plus-months I was in the program, and feelI had a good spread of learning experiences in all four themes. No one event orexperience carried out was the same. Each held a unique learning benefit for me inregards to my future goals moving forward into a career in sales and marketing. Forsome it can be tough to understand why the four themes are grouped together butnot for me. The main aim of carrying out the forty outside activities was to giveNGM students a deeper understanding of the four themes and to force individualself-motivation. It allowed us to find things we wanted to learn more about anddevelop lifelong learner skill sets.It is fair to argue that I likely would not have attended some of these activities hadthe Next Generation Management (MECB) module not made it mandatory to findthese unique experiences. However, I would not replace the experiences and timewith any others. Historically my formal education has been done in a classroom or inan office project management environment, something quite different from the firsthandknowledge gained from the NGM POD experience. This cannot beunderestimated. Despite being a mature student, I am quite grateful for the
  6. 6. opportunity as this module has taught me how to peruse lifelong learning in newways.The volume of team driven assignments and activities incorporated into the NGMlearning theme has taught us positive team work skills like facilitatation. As such,the completion this portfolio was a real challenge. It’s not that I cannot completework on my own; it is that I have come to feed off the team driven energy. It drivesmy own work product beyond where it would be in, no longer in a sequesteredbubble. This may not be the case for everyone in our class, but it has been especiallytrue for me.This document is really much more than a reflection of the forty plus learningactivities, which I have undertaken for the NGM portfolio, but a reflection of amature students memories and learning in a strange new land, Dublin, Ireland. Hewas trying to figure out where he belonged, both there and in the world at large. Thewonderfully experimental nature of NGM and the individualistic nature of the PODexperiences have helped immensely in fulfilling those Personal Development Goalsthat I set out in the first weeks of NGM. Thank you for reading.Best,James Dellinger
  7. 7. WHO IS JAMES DELLINGER?Sometimes in order to find a home in this world, you must embrace a bit of restlessness andhave an adventure.This is exactly what I did, or shall I say we had to do. I am a mature student, and am marriedto my wonderful wife, Kathleen Dellinger, a graduate student at Trinity College Dublinworking toward a M. Sc. Neuroscience. I have been pursuing my postgraduate education atDublin City University. We made the choice to pursue graduate education together as afamily. Washington, DC is a great city but after ten years there we were ready for a changeand to accelerate our career prospects.The below email was sent via the PAC application system on 4/19/2011 in an attempt tohelp earn my acceptance to Dublin City University’s (DCU) MECB program as I had beenout of school and had neither a formal business or technology background. I am not sure ifanyone read it or not, but it is a great starting point in my Next Generation Managementportfolio, showing where I was coming from. I want you to know that coming to DCU inDublin, Ireland was the smartest move I could have made. Note that some of the links nolonger work. I hope you, a future employer reading this, understand that I felt includingthis was important. I had just been accepted into a different program, at a differentUniversity, but wanted to attend DCU.- James DellingerDear Sir or Madam,I thought this brief work portfolio below may be helpful in deciding my acceptance toDC506 or DC821. Honestly, I would be very excited to join either program in the fall. I wasrecently accepted to an Interactive Digital Media (M.Sc.) at school in a different city. I wouldrather attend a more commercially focused program in Dublin like your M.Sc. in ElectronicCommerce (Business), but now I need to let them know if I am going to accept attendance inthe next few weeks.Best,James DellingerAssistant Managing Editor, WebWashington ExaminerOffice: (202) 459-4973
  8. 8. Mobile: (770) 403-5978jdellinger@washingtonexaminer.comMy background is as a practitioner of digital media and as a light-to-mid-leveldesigner-developer from an online publishing perspective. For the last two and ahalf years I have done this at a newspaper group in digital transition. Before that Ispent 3 and half years a small NGO that was experiencing dramatic changes due totheir new web needs and demands from donors. Before that I spent about two yearson a start up technology NGO bring computers and skills classes to a select numberof senior centers and coached rowing at American University in Washington, DC.Most recently I worked in small interlocking teams on different projects, dependingon what work was needed by my employer, the Examiner Newspaper Group.Arguably, my creativity has been well filtered through the will it bring trafficmeme, driving up our revenue or influence on the web in political discourse. Thishas kept me paid and most of my work has involved efforts big and small towardthis one goal. Part editor, part web producer, part site admin, and part developer, Ihave learned many skills on the fly out of occupational need. Now, I am interested inrefining many of those skills and learning new ones regarding the operations ofonline commerce infrastructure.Here are some examples of what I have been working on:Below are the two blogs I manage after recruiting 80+ contributors: produce roughly 180 content items a month, some multimedia enriched, that Iedit and publish.I manage the web desk from 11am-8pm Monday through Friday and manyweekends troubleshooting content, communicating with our 50k-100k a day onlineaudience, and as an admin for the sites, tweak features I am responsible for.Below is a beginner search engine optimization and social media power pointpresentation entitled, Content Marketing For Activism: "RSS, Social Media, and Search
  9. 9. Engine Optimization." I teach younger American political activists at a programoutside Washington DC. I handle all our systems for title, meta, and description tagsfor our papers. a year ago I implemented Disqus as a third party comment feature on oursites. I still manage and admin its numerous semi-automated moderation features.http://disqus.comManagement of our technorati account. are some specialty pages I have built for the papers. (I hand-built andimplemented these pages.) recent marketing campaign page I built for us. did not build or implement the below app, but have a hand in managing the feedsthat keep it fresh) also manage our email system and have been deeply involvedin our future move to a more up-market Datatran Stormpost automated emailsystem. We have just begun to implement this.
  10. 10. I manage our Associated Press automated web feeds infrastructure, one that keepsour site fresh with AP news.Below is a map project we did last during the stimulus debate in Washington circa2009. a Healthcare debate map have also touched most page elements on every template of viewable content onboth sites in some respects. I have implemented many third party multimediaapplications in our various Clickability, Wordpress, and Drupal 7 systems we used.http://washingtonexaminer.com our old site learned and hand coded in Velocity, a dead Apache language, to built RSS feedsand Search and Google News sitemaps. I also built our entire automated and handcurated Twitter and Facebook offsite infrastructure.Two examples: manage our Google Analytics account and produce weekly reports about traffictrends. I advise and implement SEO strategy and have had the opportunity to runSEM campaigns for us. I also manage all our Webmaster tools accounts, Google
  11. 11. Yahoo and Bing. I manage a few relations with some of our third party vendors likeUnited Kingdon based sports web video vendor Perform.Previously I was at the Capital Research Center as an editor and programs manager.I also was our site admin and managed all the development work (again I was anonsite very light-developer at that stage) on the site; this included 3 developmentrounds of site upgrades and a Wordpress powered blog upgrade. I developed andmanaged our podcasting programs and the web infrastructure to distribute it. you care to chat with my current boss, the head of our digital department, pleasedo. He is aware of my decision to go back to graduate school and is very supportive.His contact info is below.Bob Benz, chief digital officerClarity Media Groupbbenz@claritymg.com202.459.4904 (office)202.604.6161 (cell)My goal has been to be able to leverage my experiences in online publishing andshift my career focus sales and marketing with an emphasis on technology. I thoughtI was coming to Dublin City University wanting to learn a few specific things, butfound I learned so much more than that, and even more about myself.
  12. 12. M. SC. ELECTRONIC COMMERCE (BUSINESS)What was it exactly I was trying to leave and why did I want to come all the way toDublin to study at Dublin City University Business School?In my previous work roles I experienced, used, and evangelized many digitalmarketing tools. However, many of this was more in a superficial role than I wouldlike to admit. I was utilized as more of an onsite tech support admin, somethingother what they told I was hired to do. However, I did get to witness the quiet wrathof our CEO against his Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Technology Officer onmore than one occasion. They were both fired for failing to move at the sufficientdigital marketing speeds in aiding our organizations transition.Let me give one anecdote from this time period. Our iPhone app was launchedwhen I was away on holiday, with a nice article in print and small marketing blitz.One problem - there was no link or direct way to get to it from our actual websiteand zero efforts were made in social media to promote it. The daytime operationsgroup, my team, did not even know it was in development. Needless to say I had toplay clean up when I returned.This was symptomatic of our corporate problems and culture with respect tocoherent digital marketing, and more specifically digital strategy. These were notgenerally one-off failures, but a consistent number of failures despite stated shifts incorporate policy expectations of digital media and digital publishing operations inour enterprise. It showed me that success, even in the C Suite offices, now demandsan in depth knowledge of digital strategy from end to end. The transition to digitalhas been tough across the whole subscription model publishing industry (O’ReillyRadar 2011). The news business is not really alone in this struggle. Many largeorganizations are dealing with the dilemmas of this profound change (Court,Elzinga, Mulder, & Vetvik 2009).The business and technology ends of the company were always at each other’sthroats with blame and recriminations. I wanted out of publishing. I wanted to bethe change. This led to my eventual frustrations and desires to do somethingdifferent. Then I found it, the M. Sc. in Electronic Commerce (Business) at DublinCity University. I also wanted a new career in sales and marketing, preferably with atechnology company. This was the place to start.
  13. 13. The MSc in Electronic Commerce (Business) is part of DCU Business Schools NextGeneration Management initiative. Starting with a weeklong immersion course, thisinitiative provides students with a unique and flexible learning opportunity to develop thecompetencies required for successful management careers and to contribute to businesssuccess. Particular emphasis is placed on reflective and critical thinking, collaborating withpeople, creating and sharing knowledge and dealing with complexity.The module is structured around the major personal, organisational and contextualchallenges in modern management and focuses on four key themes: personal and careerdevelopment; leadership, teamwork and corporate accountability; global and societalawareness; and research, media and communication. (Dublin City University, 2012)When I read the above for the first time, I wanted to be among those whoendeavoured through this program. I wanted to exorcise my professional demonsand be a part of the global vanguard helping business and engineering expertschange the world.Of our required coursework has each given me at least one take home lesson fromthe year:Web Design & Implementation • CSS styling sheets are not as scary as I thought they were.OO Programming (Java) • Java is hard but a very important development language to know.Organisation & management in the Networked Era • Information technology has transformed how management operatesBusiness Modelling & Process Innovation • Continuous improvement initiatives are difficult to maintain but required in modern enterprise.Digital Business • Strong business models are required for enterprise success.Innovation & High-Tech Entrepreneurship • Product and business commercialization is a long and winding road.Networks & Internet • Internet network security is in a constant change.Risk, Regulation, & Ethics in eCommerce • Risks to an enterprise come in many shapes and sizes.eCommerce Infrastructure • Middleware is the glue of the modern internet and every e-commerce enterprise.
  14. 14. Information Access • Information management and retrieval is important in every enterprise not just GoogleThen there is Next Generation Management, the glue of the entire MECB programand my business management training experiences at Dublin City University. It is soimportant it has own entire section for you to comprehend how crucial its role is inthe overall masters degree program, and to me personally. It has taught me manylessons; this document is a testament to that fact.
  15. 15. NEXT GENERATION MANAGEMENTThis portfolio gives readers a detailed look into of my personal career interests andconsiderations for development, through the NGM Personal Opportunities forDevelopment learning structure. It describes the steps I have taken over the past twosemesters to improve many aspects of my professional skills, and the positive impacton my life. Personal skills development and career development work hand inhand. Education can only take you so far. Life experience and work experiencesenable a person to develop further and change further.I found this to be the case as my work life and school life interacted this year. As an“implementer” as described by Belkin, and an action learner as described byMarquardt in his 2004 book, “Optimizing the Power of Action Learning: SolvingProblems and Building Leaders in Real Time” and followed up with his work in 2009.There are only so many things I can learn from within a classroom. The way I havefound of implementing this information and knowledge is by applying it in the realbusiness world. NGM has allowed me to do this with my personal opportunities fordevelopment (PDP) ( Marquardt, 2009).In accordance with NGM learning outcomes and indicative content: to developinterpersonal skills; networking; skill development; leadership, and in alignmentwith my personal development plan competencies to understand the big picture,networking, and develop my leadership tone, I chose my PODs carefully. It was myway to prepare myself for a future career in sales and marketing. Developingpersonal skills and inner capacities is not just crucial for your career, it can help yousurvive the challenging world and possible daily grind of corporate life. I have livedthis. But the important and great relationships you make can survive even the mosthostile work environments if you know how. They help us bring out those innerresources that enable students to flourish in a career path, not merely a job.Next Generation Management (NGM) is the master master’s module. I have spentthe most hours on its work in the pursuit of completing my overall MECBcoursework than any other. NGM is a twenty-credit module beast, meaning theweight it carries is four times greater than that of a standard module. It equates toroughly two regular class modules each semester.I came into NGM without the benefits of any proper business education in mybackground. Because of experiences and activities incorporated into the NGM
  16. 16. module I can confidently say, I do now. As a mature student with six years ofpublishing industry experience, I would argue that sometimes the work load can bemuch tougher than some day to day industry work I have personally experienced.However, this is all a part of its plan to make graduates battle hardened, ready andmore prepared for the job hunt and professional work culture, as Dr. Lynn explainedto us in that in that September’s introduction to Next Generation and its uniquenessto DCUBS. It has been incredibly useful experience when former student seekemployment to explain their work ethic and intellectual maturity. Why else decide tocomplete a Masters degree, if not to improve employability and paid market value inyour chosen professional field?In the beginning, back in early September 2011 during our “Intensive Marketing,”Orientation Week, we were introduced to the course module, our fellow students,and the recent graduates of the 2011 NGM class. They expressed to us that NextGeneration Management would take over everything we did during certain parts ofthe year. Yes, they were right, I only now fully understand what they had meant incompiling and editing the document you now read. Then again, Next GenerationManagement truly is class like no other I have experienced. Let me tell you a bitabout it and how it is so related to this portfolio.The modules learning outcomes have been designed to improve us in many differentskill areas, but particularly to give us an understanding of the time and teamworkconstraints involved in a real days work.Let me share them with you so you can understand the document you are readingand some of the concepts:1. Assess a range of personal management competencies to identify strengths and opportunities for development and develop a personal development plan (PDP) and career plan.2. Engage in and reflect on a range of competence development activities.3. Evaluate and manage creative processes including forming routine and non- routine solutions.4. Demonstrate mastery of effective communication including the selection and use of media for specialist and non-specialist audiences.5. Critically assess and apply a range of research methods.6. Evaluate the arguments for business ethics, corporate social responsibility and sustainable development.
  17. 17. The last element of Next Generation Management module is the document you arereading. This is worth forty percent of the Next Generation Management module’sgrade. The work that has been required in production of this portfolio has beenintense.This portfolio is divided up into four key themes. Each of them is designed tobroaden our general knowledge and skill sets toward accomplishing the learningoutcomes.The four key themes are the following and include their own indicative content areasof learning:Management and Personal Development • Self-management • CV Preparation • Interview Skills • Personal Development Planning • Career development • Interpersonal skills • Learning Competence • Managing Others • Relationship Building • Leadership • Conflict Management • Motivation • Teamworking • Negotiation • Managing Business & Strategy • Management • Planning • Organizing • Decision Making • Creative Thinking • Analysis • Strategic Thinking • Problem Solving • Business Acumen • Customer Management and FocusDigital Skills, Media and Communication • Digital marketing and e-commerce • Mobile marketing and m-commerce • Report writing • Communication skills • Presentation skillsBusiness & Society • Global economics • Business in Society • Business Ethics
  18. 18. • Cultural Awareness • Global Thinking • Social Entrepreneurship • Corporate social responsibility • Regional business system workshops • Corporate accountabilityResearch • Library & information management • Research ethics • Research planning • Research proposals • Literature Review • Qualitative Research Methods • Quantitative Research Methods • Presenting research • Case preparation and analysisThe indicative learning content was not meant by the creators to only be covered inthis portfolio, but as part of the entire module; however, they have helped focus thepersonal opportunities for development (POD) choices I made. You will see themincorporated as you read the documents in the theme areas.Next Generation Management required a lot of work. The main requirements weretrying to both our intellect and mental toughness. Class was held two or three timesa week. Each class was completely different than the one before and it was governedby our lecturers, Mr. Des McLaughlin, Dr John Connolly, Mr. Gerry Conyngham, Dr.Claire Gubbins, Dr. Theo Lynn who covered the four different themes. Differentlecturers have managed each of the NGM themes with specific expertise in one ofthese areas. We also had a number of excellent outside speakers like professorsGeraldine Lavin, Brian Levy, and Simone De Colle. We also had a number of mini-conferences throughout the year in part of our Dice project management work inNGM.11 October (2-6, The Helix) – DICE Briefing Session25 October (2-6, The Helix) – Get Mobile18 November (2 – 6, The Helix) – Get Social14 February (2 – 6, The Helix) – Get Creative20 March (2 – 6, The Helix) – Get Started17 April (2 – 6, The Helix) – Poster and Presentation DayThese included some of the most up to date industry players in the fields ofmarketing, mobile, and computing. You will read more details about Dice toward
  19. 19. the end of the portfolio, in the Dice documentation section and its companionInteraction and Facilitation Appendix. Dice was new this year and had a few bugs tobe worked out. However it was a fine concept and module component to get firstyear students to function at tertiary level thinking quickly. It gave NGM graduatestudents the experience in managing and facilitating the completion of work projectswe could not do ourselves. Dice student teams came from many different Universityprogram coursework paths. This is actually also how our NGM team groups weredevised, with marketing, business, and e-commerce students represented on eachteam.Dice related work and activities weighed on our workload heaviest in the first sixweeks of semester in our efforts to get four or five first years to turn up andconstructively interact with each other.This part was tough and required many emails, Facebook messages and textmessages. My excerpted interaction log with my Dice team can be found in theAppendix. This load Dice took on project managers gradually improved to the pointwhere toward the end of second semester the groups (and mine specifically) wereable to be fairly self-organizing. Project Managers were relegated to running downinformation about their course to ensure they did not have things slip through thecracks. My group got to the second round in the presentations of their WindowsPhone app. I was very proud of all of them that day. As part of the Dice project thestudents had to sit for the PRINCE2 project management exam. In order to helpthem with the system and to manage our groups NGM students were expected topass the online PRINCE2 prerequisite exam. The image of my online passing ofPRINCE2 is also available towards the end of the portfolio after the Digital Skills,Media and Communication section.The volume of team driven assignments and activities incorporated into NGM teamgroup learning and has taught me positive teamwork and facilitation skills.I can still complete work on my own, of course, but I have come to feed off the teamenergy. It seems to drive my own work product beyond where it would be otherwisedue to pride and competition. This may not be the case for everyone in our class, butit has been especially true for me. As a former team athlete who rowed competitivelyfor nearly a decade it was my favourite element of NGM’s teaching style. The teamworking assignments were definitely my favourite.
  20. 20. Early on Dr. Gubbins lectured us about competences and we were givenassignments to find out more about our strengths and weaknesses when it came tothem. Most elements of this portfolio were an attempt to understand and improvethem. There is no doubt, that the competency assignments have shed new light onthe person I actually am, and now I can be less focused on how I or others perceivemyself to be.Through NGM I have had to become a well-rounded individual in some specificareas and more learned and specialized in others. The competency assignments werecompleted mostly in late semester one and early semester two. You can find threeand an updated resume included in the Personal and Career Development Sectionsof this portfolio. These were also often the classes where we learned early on aboutthe process of learning and how our reflections would take shape in this document.Our use of the Gibbs Model and its reflective cycle has been helpful in learning newinsights and in thinking harder about what I was learning while participating in orwitnessing events (Gibbs, 1988).
  21. 21. The reflections you will read use this Gibbs Reflective Cycle to express my learning.We were also required to develop and refine personal development plan as part ofour NGM course work, to guide our POD choices and develop various personalcompetencies required for modern career success in accordance with our individualneeds. You will find it in the next part of this portfolio.With the work of our Persona and Career development theme, I have even come tofind an academic framework that explains how I learn best, through action-orientated activities (Marquardt et. al, 2009). During the year we learned a lot aboutthe different competencies that separate leaders from managers (Tubbs, 2006). Wealso learned a lot about the competencies needed to become a competent manager(Whetten, et al. 2007). We were instructed frequently and forcefully about the valueof being the master of our own career destiny in the modern global marketplace(Beeson, 2009). We also learned about the importance of networking in making the“luck” that is professional success.Then there was the research theme, which was the first significant set of focusgroups research and intensive need to learn how to be comfortable with using thePASW statistics software package to manipulate data. Dr John Connolly and Mr.Gerry Conyngham worked hard at explaining to us and walking us through somedifficult and thought provoking areas of research methods. I learned the most abouthow to think about research and design in these classes.As part of the research theme we were also required to carry out two separateprojects. One was a qualitative focus group and the other was testing our PASWdata manipulation skills under the gun of a clock. I had a hard time with some of theparameters of the qualitative research project, but learned a lot from my mistakes. Ialso enjoyed leading the focus group process and would not have a problem beinginvolved in managing one in a future role. We were given training classes andworkshops, by Mr. Gerry Conyngham, on how to use PASW; you will findreflections in the research theme about them. I enjoyed gaining the skills andconfidence to manipulate data by learning SPSS in NGM.We also had two marketing projects this year. One was participating in the GoogleOnline Marketing Challenge and creation of a digital marketing report for anassigned client. This project was part of our Digital Skills, Media andCommunication theme of Next Generation. The other was a market entry report for
  22. 22. a specific emerging market that the team was unfamiliar with. This project was partof our Business and Society them of NGM. Our’s was the region of Southern India.These took a huge amount of time and effort. What made the Digital Marketing oneso important to me was the fact of having client was relying on us. I enjoyed theGOMCHA project the most, as I got to mastermind our Google AdWords strategyfor my team. The two reports took many hours to complete. I hope that theGOMCHA and digital reports helped our client realize the importantrole a comprehensive digital strategy can play towards their business growth andcustomer engagement as well as the value proposition Google AdWords providesSMEs like them. I sure learned these facts from these efforts.The market entry project taught me the real difficulties that enterprises face andabout the energy required to expand outside of home markets. In our business andsociety theme, heavy efforts were made at expanding our understanding of themodern world of enterprise and of some of new unique challenges presented tothem today like: cultural awareness, ethics, corporate social responsibility, andgovernance and accountability. The outside lectures we had for this theme were alsotop notch.As for the documents in this portfolio, I was required to attend events or partake inactivities in accordance with the four themes and then reflect, via the Gibbs Model,upon each. These activities were known as personal opportunities for development.Colloquially we just call them PODs. I attempted to carry out a diversity of PODs.They carried a weight of one, two, or three “POD credits”. We needed to get to fortyPOD credits for this portfolio to be complete. As you read you’ll see the PODdiversity is evident throughout this portfolio. The Next Generation Managementmodule and PODs have provided me with an invaluable set of new experiences togo back into the professional work world.I have learned insights into myself, new skills, and built a strong network ofprofessional and personal contacts. I am extremely proud to have completed NGMand theportfolio you are reading. I will include experiences and tales from NGM injob interviews from here on. It has been an extremely meaningful part of mypersonal and professional growth. I am confident they will help me in landing thesales and marketing career I seek.
  23. 23. PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANMy end goal is to possess the skill sets defined in the link below up to 70%proficiency. More skill areas would be great in both depth and width and will behelpful in a sales and marketing career. Understanding the Big Picture is veryimportant to me especially since I did not previously have a background thatincluded business education. Redeveloping my public leadership voice after 6 yearsof it being fairly quiet is important to me. Improving the depth and an abilities tonetwork and understand Statistical Research tools are also important. Networkingand becoming more empathic toward others is also important to me.SHORT TERM GOALSCompetency to Rationale Development Time Evidence ofDevelop Action scale CompletionUnderstanding Seek out skills, Undertake challenging One Year PODsof the Big develop skills-based learning NGMPicture opportunities, tasks to learn much and put them into more about subjects I MECB real world context currently possess and and frameworks a superficial for use. knowledge of those I do not.Networking Seize Attend widely held Unlimited PODs opportunities for events with current NGM networking and future leaders that growth with both make use of or DICE individuals who support people and are technical or products I need to business savvy. know to help DC meet Dublin and vice versa.Communication. Learn to find my Reflect, blog, tweet, Unlimited PODsDevelopment of unique voice and update, post, use NGMa Leadership use it on a wide dormant posting
  24. 24. Voice and Tone range of topics rights to speak out on DICE after having it things I am MECB hidden behind knowledgeable about organizations for in society and the 6 years. world at large. Don’t fear the sound.Research Tools Managing Key Don’t fear the data. One Year PODsand Analytical Performance Participate, aid, and NGMSkills Indicators learn skill sets that requires data will aid my present manipulation and ability to interpret understanding of context from data. data context.LONGTERM GOALSLeadership Development of Help, advise, and learn Unlimited Undeterminedand Change conflict from others mistakesManagement management skills regarding the during both management issues segmented change surrounding change. and slow Attend events and meet continuous inspiring leaders. changesAttitudes and Improve self- Develop deeper Unlimited UndeterminedEmpathy awareness of emotional intelligences in the shortEfficacy attitudes and via engaging in group term empathy within driven pod projects. myself, those I Help others as well as work with, and myself. Generally those that I through instruction. manage or have managed in the
  25. 25. pastCareer Learn tools and Create a new resume One Year PODsManagement procedures that tailored to different job for short Networking can aid in markets. Participate and term and and Solid developing good seek out people and kaizan- Work History career habits. workshops with staff like long and mature career term focused skills developments and focused projects.
  26. 26. PERSONAL AND CAREER DEVELOPMENTThis portfolio section theme gives readers a detailed look into of my personal careerinterests and considerations for personal skills growth and development. It describesthe steps I have taken over the past two semesters, to improve many aspects of mylife, which had a positive impact on my life. Personal skills development and careerdevelopment work hand in hand. Education can only take you so far. Life experienceand work experiences enable a person to develop further and change. I found this tobe the case as my work life and school life interacted this year, both as animplementer, as described by Belkin, and an action learner, as described byMarquardt in his 2004 book “Optimizing the Power of Action Learning: Solving Problemsand Building Leaders in Real Time.” There are only so many things I can learn fromwithin a classroom. The way I have found of implementing this information andknowledge is by applying it in the real business world. NGM has allowed me to dothis with my personal opportunities for development (PDP).‘Developing management skills is not intended just for individuals who plan to entermanagerial positions or who currently manage organizations. It is meant to help you bettermanage many aspects of your life and relationships…’ (Whetton & Cameron, 2011).In accordance with NGM learning outcomes and indicative content my goals were todevelop interpersonal skills, networking, skill development, leadership and alignthem with my personal development plan competencies. This would help me tounderstand the big picture and networking, and to develop my leadership tone. Ichose my PODs as a way of preparing myself for a future career in sales andmarketing. Developing personal skills and inner capacities is not just crucial for yourpersonal career goals, but can help you survive the challenging world in general andthe possible daily grind of corporate life in a occupation you do not have controlover (Beeson, 2009). I have lived this, but the important and great relationships youmake can survive even the most hostile work environments, if you know how. Theyhelp us bring out those inner resources that will enable oneself to flourish in a careerpath, not merely a job (Drucker, 1999).Personal skills growth and development has never been more important due to thecompetitive nature of our globalized economy. The demand for job slots amongexiting students (and actively seeking professionals too) in 2012 is particular toughas employers can demand much more than rote academic knowledge, given the
  27. 27. economic volatility and competitive labour marketplace. Applicants who have akeen knowledge, in other aspects of life and a bit of applied knowledge and interestin life-long learning have a distinct edge (Drucker, 1999).We live in a business culture that is dynamic and changing quickly and the ability toknow ones strengths, weaknesses, and desired areas of improvement will rise overother candidates. I learned this from attending and participating in the many PODsand lectures over the last two semesters. Self-awareness of our strong and weakcompetencies is arguably the most important aspect of career development I havelearned in Next Generation Management. This module has allowed me to experiencemuch more than I ever could have imagined last summer before I arrived. I got todevelop interpersonal skills by working in groups and networking. I had to seriouslythink about the future of my career development and create an action plan to directmy future. I experienced strong help in resume preparation and a world of self-realization about my leadership style and learning competences.The personal and career development aspect of the NGM portfolio has given me theopportunity to carry out activities which have developed me in both the activistlearning of skills and personality self-realizations. I hope to continue the progressionafter I matriculate in the fall. I think the PODs that I have carried out are broadindicator that I am not unwilling to challenge my weakness and make my strengthsstronger. They enabled me to gain actionable experiences and competencydevelopment.These have been beneficial to me, each one of them unique. The following are the tenPODss you will read about for NGM’s personal and career development theme. Ihave also included an assessment of my personal competencies before the PODs andan analysis of my social networks afterwards. These were specific personal andcareer development assignments during the year for inclusion as well as my futurebiography and current resume, which you will find after: • PERSONAL COMPETENCES ASSESSMENTS • CODE ACADEMY • SCIENCE HACK WEEKEND • EPAS PRESENTATION • MENTORS AND MENTEES • UNILEVER SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGE
  28. 28. • SELLING IN AMERICA • ENGAGED ACTION NETWORKING • ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL NETWORK • FUTURE BIOGRAPHY OF SELF • CURRENT RESUMEThis NGM theme section has been beneficial to me. There is no doubt thenetworking and career management and competency awareness skills helpindividuals prosper professionally. I am by no means a expert at the described PODentitled subject matters, but this pod has given a great foundation skills andunderstanding to build upon in accordance with my personal development plancompetencies like networking, developing leadership tone, and career management.The POD experiences I have chosen will open future doors. I have a substantiallystronger understanding of what networking and inter-personal skills are requiredfor sales and marketing jobs. Thanks to NGM’s personal and careers developmenttheme, I will have much greater confidence in my ability to operate in themarketplace as a professional in sales and marketing. This section has beenespecially helpful for any mature student attempting a career change or upskillingafter a number of years in the workforce.
  29. 29. PERSONAL COMPETENCIES ASSESSMENTS“Know thyself.”Famous dead Greeks long ago were not wrong. Knowing yourself is one of the mostimportant paths toward true self-improvement no matter the rationale, be theywork, family, or peer-social. The classics were not wrong, however, the tools to getone to an improved point have changed. There are many ways to get there fromhere. This is the point and purpose of doing personality, leadership, and learningstyle exercises and tests. I am imaginative cynical idealist. This bled through most ofthe tests we took.Why do them? Because we divide ourselves’ early on in the real work world intothose who continuously learn and those who do not. But for many the destination isalso important. Where are you going? It is hard to know where you are going andwhy you are going there if you don’t know what your strengths and weakness are,One has to know what’s within oneself to manage develop or overcome.I think doing these exercises are useful in the attempt to develop a career path butalso to reengage those who are mid-career, perhaps trying to redesign the ‘next stepin the path.’Learning styles or knowledge acquisition has been big since the 1980s; I aware of thisbecause I have had the concept beaten in to me since the first grade.How do you best learn? On the Honey and Mumford Learning Styles test I scoredstrongest with 18 for Activist; 16 for Pragmatist; 12 for Reflector; and 10 for Theorist.This is not a big surprise for me because I have always learned best by doing andhave always required a ‘why’ question or 12 regarding whatever subject matter I amnot particularly interested.This to me is the most important part of the assessments I did. It confirmed some ofwhat I already learned about myself and the ways in which I learn best.However, I enjoyed Jung’s Personality Assessment and ended up scoring the belowENFP.“ENFP Warmly enthusiastic, high spirited, ingenious and imaginative. Able to do almostanything that interests them. Quick for a solution for any difficulty and ready to help anyone
  30. 30. with a problem. Often, rely on their ability to improvise instead of preparing in advance. Canusually find a compelling reasons for whatever they want.”This description is of my personality is correct. That said I am not high energy. Infact I am so not high energy that when I was about seven years old my mother tookme to the doctor because I was not high energy like her. I do think this personalityassessment it is a double edged sword for me in that the quick creative solution isnot always the best or ideal long term, but in a fast paced daily changing workenvironment it is very much desired and is appreciated as the solutions allow othersto get back their day to complete work. This was a typical problem set for me on atleast a once a week basis in my last two jobs.This dynamic basically describes my former day-to-day work interactions to thedoted I’s and crossed T’s in my last job as an Assistant Managing Editor, Web for anews website in Washington, DC. The one weakness I see in it is my strength torationalize just about anything. This can be a huge problem if you are not aware, asthis also means a person may fool himself by rationalizing the wrong conclusionfrom a situation and live in an alternate reality from those working around him if thecreativity goes to one’s head. I generally try not to believe my own spin, unless Ireally do and I am a proactive evangelist for it.I don’t know if this is an optimal way to function in professional life, but balancingunrelenting idealism and cynicism is generally what I am known for. Then again, Ihave always functioned this way, at least as long as I could remember, but havenever seen it described so eloquently as in the Jung’s personality test conclusions.The Managerial Grid and Leadership questionnaire was fairly interesting and usefulto me as well. I fell into the team leader quadrant 8.4 on the “people” axis and 7.6 onthe “task” aspect.I am not surprised, I have been functioning in adhoc daily teams of eight or fourcompetitive team members since first year of secondary school, when I startedrowing. When I left rowing, my exit was slow, as it is for many who get involved inthe sport. and I coached for two years. In this role, I learned about managingpersonalities toward joint goals. Not just as it related to my boats, but also my othercoaching staff’s boats too. Idealist cynicism is ideal for coaching rowing because theyare the laziest hard working athletes around.
  31. 31. Is it useful to take a test and have knowledge about what you already believed aboutyourself confirmed? Maybe. I would argue it is possible to play to the test andpersonally, I would rather be judged on my team leader qualities, by how I performwithin group work tasks and on how the group performs. I would still argue that thepeople axis is generally more important to me personally, as most project failures Ihave been involved with have failed due to poor relations among the team members.Luckily these situations have been rare but useful learning experiences.On the Whetton and Cameron “Locus of Control Scale,” I scored 7 where corporatebusiness executives average 8.29 with a standard deviation of 3.57. This evaluationwas somewhat useful to me. Learning and or being able to control yourself andthings around you to best you can but not getting too stuck on you if it somehowdoes fail or you dont really want to own it in the first place us helpful. I try not to betoo extreme in this one, because on the one hand you must look inside first ifsomething goes wrong (Drucker, 1999). The other side of this is understanding thatin some circumstances no matter what you do something will go wrong. Sometimesthings are just entirely out of your control. Complaining can be legitimate, but Iprefer it be a cathartic team building exercise, if at all, otherwise you just sound likea whiner. I do have a hard time with whiny people. American’s are fairly bigcomplainers and whiners about everything. Two semesters in an Irish Universityproved that to me.My Whetton and Cameron “PAMS” test score was 402 against the maximumpossible (462) where a score or 304 or above put an individual into the top quartile.This was the test I disliked the most. I feel my scoring is not right. I do feel that way,but am not entirely sure if observed by a third party they would agree. This test, Ithink, is easier to over rate oneself while not trying to do so on purpose. I did not getmuch value from the PAMS test.I feel like I knew myself pretty well before doing these various evaluations,primarily through trial and error in different job roles and projects over the last fewyears. Doing them has allowed me to think back on situations where the variousaspects and competencies would have come into play in both the work sphere andpersonal sphere.I learned the most from the learning styles assessment and the personality test. Theyconfirmed things that make me more comfortable with describing myself.
  32. 32. However the cynical idealism I arrived here in Dublin with is perfect for any townspeople that thrive on politics and debate of big ideas like those that happen inWashington, D.C., where folks do it for a living. But it can at times come off as crassand rude or off putting, in other cities (Atlanta or Dublin) where being able to arguethree different sides of an issue well, and not really believing any of them too deeplyis not the norm. Moving to Dublin has helped me move away from some of this ashave exercises forcing me to think deeply about how my personality and variouslife experiences impact my social and professional communications and the image ofme that is being projected. This project has helped me know myself and mycompetencies strengths and weaknesses much better.
  33. 33. Personal and Career Development PODSCODE ACADEMYEvent: Online JavaScript Tutorial and Learning CoursePresenter: Codeacademy.comDate: 12/01/2011 – 30/04/2012Venue: Home ComputerWeight: 1As a Belbin described implementer and action learner, I learn by doing. I believe Ineed to continue seeking out opportunities that will allow me to witness andparticipate in situations that will enhance my understanding of digital languagesand communication tools. This is in accordance with Next Generation Managementslearning outcomes of assessing my personal competencies improving my use ofdigital communication tools. It also is consistent my personal development plan toimprove the use digital communication tools. Languages are used to communicate,even computer coding ones. It is also a job skills development that gives meempathy with software engineers and developers.JavaScript is the most important front side language to understand after html andCSS. I had previously done a little bit of JavaScript coding in my previous job asAssistant Managing Editor, Web at the Washington Examiner, to create dynamicallylinked content boxes for special projects. Web scripting languages are importantbecause they can save website developers and admins time in automating fairlyroutine features that would require many hours to insert by hand, on thousands orhundreds of thousands of web pages. However, I was not very confident in theseskills in my old job.The POD I accomplished was the JavaScript basics code to learnonline coding lessons. This was to remedy this lack of confidence and it wasinteresting to me. I had wanted to expand my hard skills in my year in the DublinCity University E-Commerce program (MECB) and the Next GenerationManagement Pod structure allowed me to do that with this specific pod activity.
  34. 34. Observe below my completion of, “An Introduction to JavaScript a beginner-friendlyprogramming language.”(My JavaScript Basics Pass Mark in CodeAcademy, 2012)I began working on this Pod in late December, over the Holiday break when this wasthe only course work offered by the website. At first it was easy due to what Iremembered vaguely from implementing some code for others at my old job. Then itgot harder and I found myself looking up help both on their site and others tocomplete the various tasks. After a while it got a bit easier as I noticed the logic wasgetting more similar to Java, which many MECB students were required to takeduring our fall semester. I got most of the way through all the exercises, but thenexams crept up and I had to put it down for a while.However, as of April when I finished the few I had not completed before the firstsemester exams, many new additional courses are now available to expand skill setsin JavaScript and other languages much further. This was fantastic news to me as Ienjoy the way they teach coding. I plan to continue with the lessons over thesummer and into the future. I actually have begun the Code Academy HTMLFundamentals Course as well as their CSS course to challenge me further than whatwe learned in Web Design the first semester of our MECB module course work.However, again my efforts were cut short as second semester exams, Practicummeetings and portfolio writing crept into my daily routines.
  35. 35. (My profile accomplishment badges in codeacademy coding courses)I have also begun subscribing to many different podcasts and lectures via iTunesthat teach JavaScript. I do this to learn more and to fill in holes in my knowledge setswhen I get stuck. This tends to happen when I am tinkering and learning codingskills.(JavaScript iTunesU lectures)I hope to continue my computer languages learning and iTunesU are not alone in my growing self-education tool kit (Dellinger,2011). I have joined which is a much more professionalized andpaid computer development and programming skills course online, by “Bucky,” which is great, free, and got many MECB studentsJava in semester one of 2011. The class of 2011 actually told us about Bucky during
  36. 36. the Orientation Week for NGM. I can’t wait to tell next year’s class about him eitherand tell them about the other tools me and my fellow NGM students acquiring Podsrelated to coding skills do next year. I actually create a blog post to allow thisinformation to condense a bit onto one page my blog I began writing.(Team Treehouse instruction interface)I am by no means a professional or “JavaScript Ninja” in front side development, butthis pod has given a great foundation to build deeper skills and understanding uponin the future. Accomplishing this pod was about more than learning basic JavaScript.This to me is a life skill. I now also feel much more confident in my use of JavaScriptand my ability to learn the harder elements of it and maybe even try to tackle harderand newer languages with the help of the many aids and online tutorials found overthe year in NGM and MECB.However, this pod like many of my others this year were about building theconfidence in being able to discover places online to learn new and changing skillsets and be a more adaptable and marketable worker despite the changes andevolutions occuring in web technologies in the next few years (Drucker, 1999).
  37. 37. SCIENCE HACK WEEKENDEvent: Dublin ScienceHackWeekendPresenter: TOG and DCU and Redbrick and ETCDate: 3/3/2012 and 4/3/2012Venue: DCU The HubWeight: 2In accordance with my personal development plan (PDP) actions to, “Attend widelyheld events with current and future leaders that make use or support people andproducts to help DC meet Dublin and vice-versa,” and in order to develop mynetworking competencies I attended the first ever Dublin Science Hack Weekend. Ihave made a concerted effort to get out of my comfort zone, grow my weak ties andstrengthen my strong ties in my professional network. My PDP also “Undertakeschallenging skills based learning tasks to learn much more about subjects I currentlypossess superficial knowledge about,” in order to develop my Understanding theBig Picture Competencies, Networking, and Leadership Voice.In accordance with NGM learning outcomes engaginging in competencydevelopments, I decided to attend the first annual DublinScienceHack to meetpeople, let my creativity run wild, and develop my leadership voice. We will reflectupon these activities using the Gibbs Model of reflection, I will explain this PODsimportance to my year. I am a team oriented leader and action learner as describedby Michael J. Marquardt in, “Optimizing the Power of Action Learning: Solving Problemsand Building Leaders in Real Time.” The DublinScienceHack let me challenge thesecompetencies and grow them.The weekend of March 3 and 4th of 2012 the first Science Hack Weekend was held onDublin City University’s (DCU) campus in the Hub. This was a 36 hour attempt tobring science and technologists together to come up with creative solutions and usetechnology and science in a creative fashion, where a person perhaps centers less onoutcomes, that are related to new companies being formed and just create. I mentionthis because the same weekend of the Science Hack, a Startup Bootcamp took placethat many of my fellow DCU E-Commerce students attended. Generally speaking,the Bootcamp weekend might normally be more of “my thing” as I like to focus on
  38. 38. the commercial viability of ideas more than just watching where they lead. I amactually a very creative person and have preferred science and history as myfavourite subjects and topics from a young age. This is particularly why I wasinterested in this pod. Where would I fit in with my skill sets? I had no clue. Would Ibe more useful, more than just another set of hands? Take a look at some of thepeople working.(People working at Dublin Science Hack Weekend)This was to be s 36 hour lock-in style event. I did not stay for the entire 36 hours, butI did stay for about 15 hrs the first day and about 5 hrs the second day of the event. Iwanted my bed. I was not alone in venturing into this motley crowd that was verydifferent from either the DCU School of Computing or Dublin City UniversityBusiness School. A good number of my fellow E-Commerce students were with usfor the first day, for about 8 hrs, and Patrick Greene stayed as late as I did and cameback early on the second day, which was Sunday.The creative juices were flying and flowing and many attendees came prepared withinteresting ideas. My background is in content, the promotions of ideas embedded inthem and in promoting them to an online audience. My skills were not in creating avisual display of the aura borealis, software to hear the sounds of the stock marketduring trading, the real iToliet (which was a joke in early NGM lectures thanks toCraig Martin) to put QR codes on every public toilet in Dublin, in or building some
  39. 39. robot out of tearing down 4 or five different kids toys. There was many more ideas,some big some small, some teams were big some were a team of one. One morescience orientated attendee crocheted various cells involved in the circulatorysystem. Even though attendees were friendly our E-Commerce related skill sets werenot the most useful here to the event theme.(Team NGM working hard: Niall Shanahan, Michael Porter, Niall Hanlon, and PatrickGreen at the DublinScienceHack )However, only one person was handling promotions for the event, Ellen Byrne, whoI was glad I got to meet and help out. She was a former DCU M. Sc.Communications student who is Head of Digital Strategy & Events - ESOF 2012 /Dublin City of Science at Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser and the Co-Organiserat Science Hack Day Dublin. Meeting her and helping her promote the event alonemade the Dublin Science Hack Weekend worth my effort of attendance. I helped her,as I built out a foursquare location, tweeted, and posted Facebook updates and
  40. 40. photos from the event in real time. I provided live news coverage. Now, that I can dowell.I aggressively tweeted and promoted the event and the project on the second dayduring the awards. Patrick and I promised her we would promote the event withcontent and created a blog post about our experiences and the people we met.Patrick Greene and I used our media savvy and created a blog post about the event.He wrote it and I edited it (Greene and Dellinger, 2012).I also met other a new friends. I met software developer and NUI Maynooth PhDcandidate Ricky Jacobs. Ricky used to work for Google in Hyderabad, but came toIreland for his PhD. He needed help in testing his project, “GeoWand” app, whichadded some interesting near-field communications (NFC) related activities to moretradition mobile mapping apps and “check ins” like foursquare.I am by no means technical enough, nor creative enough to be a legit “sciencehacker,” but this POD gave me a great opportunity to meet other technologyindustry contacts that are not affiliated with Dublin City University. It felt like a“lock-in” one might do when you were thirteen, except with more pizza and morecomputers. I enjoyed the freedom of the event, to spend a night not thinking aboutpractical things like business plans financing. I also learned that is the technologyenvironment I function in better, product commercialization, not blue oceanideation. Due to participating in this event, I would no longer feel unwelcome oruncomfortable attending an event like the ScienceHackWeekend, even if I ended uphelping with public relations or product testing.
  41. 41. EPAS PRESENTATIONEvent: Participating in MECB EPAS Certification ProcessPresenter: EPAS Certification and MECB StudentsDate: 21/02/2012Venue: Dublin City University Executive Business CenterWeight: 1On February 21, 2012 I was among the small invited group by course Chair Dr.Regina Connolly to help make the student case for the Dublin City University’sMasters in E-Commerce programs (MECB) continued certification by the EuropeanFoundation for Management Development (EFMD) board as one of the topmanagement programs in Europe. As a fee paying mature foreign student fromAmerica, my opinion or insight would be helpful. As an action based learner, Ikearn best by doing, and need to seek out opportunities that will allow me toparticipate in situations that develop my competencies in accordance with mypersonal development in leadership and change management.Why in fact did I choose to come so far from home for my graduate education? Thiswould be a key question for me to answer and support my MECB program.But what exactly is the EFMD? And EPAS? EFMD is an international, not-for-profit, membership organisation, based in Brussels, Belgium.EFMD provides a unique forum for information, research, networking and debate on innovation and best practice in management development.EFMD – the European Foundation for Management Development – is an international membershiporganisation, based in Brussels, Belgium. With more than 750 members from academia, business and public sector organisations across 80 countries, EFMD provides a unique forum for information- sharing, research, networking and debate on innovation and best practice in management development.(EFMD, 2012)What exactly is EPAS certification? The EFMD Programme Accreditation System (EPAS) was introduced in 2005 to complement ourother accreditation services. EPAS is a service for EFMD members seeking recognition for excellence and successful internationalization of academic programmes. EPAS is based on the same process as EQUIS and covers the full range of academic programmes from the Bachelor to the doctoral level. EFMD members may apply for stand-alone programmes, programme suites or joint programmes.
  42. 42. The EPAS Standards and Criteria cover all facets of programme provision: (1) the institutional, national and international environment, (2) programme design, (3) programme delivery, (4) programme outcomes, and (5) quality assurance. (EFMD, 2012) They particularly emphasize achievements in the area of academic rigour, practical relevance and internationalization. “The EPAS procedures are designed in such a way as to provide for further development of the whole school, not only of the programme under accreditation. It will make theprogrammes more attractive for national and international students, lecturers and researchers, as well as future employers of the graduates.” Elena Zoubkova, Vice-Rector, Moscow Business School MIRBIS, Russia. (EFMD, 2012)We made our way up to the third-floor of the Business School EPAS and waited forfirst of the other EPAS student meeting to finish. As we entered we were split intotwo groups and taken to conference rooms. We were talking with a Swedishprofessor, who was fairly tough on my comments, and a French professor, who wasin charge of the business school in London. The latter was very friendly and askedgood questions. I generally have a big mouth and like to talk, but the Swedishprofessor made this hard. I had two main points that I wanted to make, as theyharped specifically on the intense student workload of Next GenerationManagement and PODs specifically. The MECB program deserved the EPAS creditfor not being conventional when it comes to a graduate level educational experience.Why? The experimentation and re-invention of course material year over year offersa unique and practical education that prepares students for the real work world. Ithink my point was taken, but then again, I did come all the way here from thepractical practitioners point of view. with skills upgrades and top notchmanagement education on my agenda.EPAS aims to evaluate the quality of business and management programmes that have aninternational perspective and, where of an appropriately high quality, to accredit them. Theaccreditation seeks to make the global market for degree programmes more transparent for employersand students alike. (DCU MECB landing page, 2012)I learned quite a bit about myself from this experience in that I love to express myselfbut can have a hard time when I do not feel much feedback from the individual I amhaving the conversation with (in this case, the Swedish professor.) I liked that I wasselected to provide input though and felt like I got my points across despite hisscowls.I have never had a problem expressing my opinion, but this POD has made memore confident in putting myself forward in other leadership positions in the future.Putting ones name forward or accepting when asked is 80% of the battle. In modernmanagement, the Steve-Jobs-like leader is rare. Management authority may come
  43. 43. down from on high, but true leadership respect must be earned bottom up. This isprobably why my MECB classmates voted me, “most likely to be a politician.”In the future, I plan to continue to put myself forward and volunteer to take the leadon work and projects I feel comfortable with, and even those where I may not feelcompletely comfortable with. If I am interested in the work or subject matter at handto be accomplished, I will throw my name in. It is important to support yourUniversity and be a team player, especially when its goal is to make the universityprogram you attend more prominent and attract even better students; it is in yourself-interest to help raise the perceived value of your degree (Veloutsou, 2004). I amby no means a professional or expert in leadership, but this pod has given a greatfoundation to build my leadership competencies.
  44. 44. MENTORS AND MENTEESEvent: Career’s MentoringPresenter: Bob Benz and Francesca ChambersDate: 09/01/2012 – 05/15/2012Venue: Email, Twitter Direct Message, VOIP Phone, and Google ChatWeight: 2“Content is King.” Sumner Redstone –Viacom ChairmanWorking with the content industry was my career path before I came to at DublinCity University (DCU). I am still unsure if this has entirely changed given that evenformally mechanical Search Engine Marketing (SEO) are getting more like contentmarketing after the Panda updates to the Google search algorithm.Networking is an integral part of career development; however, there is also deeperrelationship that is also needed: mentoring of people at different career stages (Chao,1997). As an action based learner I need to continue seeking out opportunities thatwill allow me to participate in activities that will enhance my understanding of howacademic theory can be put into practice. Mentoring is not an exception. The fourmentoring phases are Initiation, Cultivation, Separation, and Redefinition (Kram,1985). I have experienced all of them in this POD.In accordance with my personal development plan competency needs inNetworking and Leadership I created this experience for myself. Doing so seemed tobe consistent with the Next Generation learning outcomes to engage in activities thatdevelop my competencies and develop solutions for others working in digital mediawith a specialist audience.This was a career development project I wanted to create during my year at DublinCity University and it was formalized in September, once I arrived into the yearlongMasters in Electronic Commerce program. Formalizing a mentor/menteerelationship with someone in a chosen industry is not always easy. In coming acrossthe pond I was worried I would lose touch with many of my old networks. This hasnot been the case, but the fears allowed me to formalize mentoring relationships andfor this I have DCU to thank (Higgins And Kram, 2001).
  45. 45. My mentor is Bob Benz, who we will learn more about shortly. I went one stepfurther in finding a younger professional to mentor. This happened by a happyaccident. She not officially working for my previous employer as young editor yet,but asked for advice through other friends and former work colleagues. Her name isFrancesca Chambers. She now runs a website called RedAlert Politics, which isowned and managed by the same people I use to work for at Clarity Media (whoown the Washington Examiner). So who are these people and how do they impact meand vice-versa career wise?Francesca is the Editor of Red Alert Politics - an online publication written by and for youngconservatives. Red Alert Politics is a product of Clarity Media Group, the parent company of TheWashington Examiner and The Weekly Standard. She is also a contributor to The ExaminersCampaign 2012 coverage and its Beltway Confidential Blog.Francesca is a veteran of several political campaigns -- most recently served as campaign manager fora state senate race in Northern Virginia. She has also worked in new media at The LeadershipInstitute (where she continues to serve as a new media trainer), at the Republican NationalCommittee, and on Capitol Hill.Francesca graduated from the University of Kansas with BAs in Political Science and Journalism. AtKU she was an editor of the University Daily Kansan and an active member of Student Senate.Francesca needed advice and counsel in regards to dealing with the internal politicsin my previous employer. This began in email, but evolved into a long-term ongoing
  46. 46. Twitter direct message (DM) conversation that has lasted from her projects officiallaunch until today. What the primary issue? Going digital. Working for and with amanagement infrastructure that has been groomed and thought of nothing, but printfor a generation of work experience is really tough for younger Net Generationemployees. How could a career in print possibly prepare a manager to run webbased enterprises and content websites? This is a question being asked throughoutthe publishing world today as digital revenues are not making up for losses in theadvertising spending that previously came from the print versions of their products.However, this POD is about mentorship and I provided counsel and advice indealing with key leadership personnel, things I developed during my nearly threeyears of having many of the same email fights and philosophical and territorialdisputes that can occur in the content centric industries. Why me? In my former roleI was forced to interface with every operation and department in the companyexcept the print and physical distribution of our print operations.I managed key aspects of online content distribution as Assistant Managing Editor,Web and attempted to break many organizational logjams as our mandate from ourcorporate leaders was, “web first,” web-centric. Conflicts, between the IT andEditorial departments; or between IT and Advertising; or between our corporateparent’s management team were commonplace. Every one of these departments, Ifailed to explain also claimed to know exactly what was best for the web departmentto be focusing on as well. It was just a real mess. There was a lack of leadership fromday one. This led to my embracing the MECB program in order to help organisationsovercome this problem in the future be they in publish or other adapting in thedigital transition.However, my institutional influence and gravitas was never strong enough toimpose my will so I was merely a facilitator of change for most of my time there.This created a level of frustration, as I was way over my head. I reached a breakingpoint in the fall of 2010 as I witnessed outright lies from our corporate parentsmanagement team to my face. Then I encountered a physical altercation with a directmanager over an email, that was sent to him. It actually turned out I never wrote theemail in question, I am not that stupid. It was the work of our Liverpudlian ITdirector. This was why I chose to pursue a graduate education at Dublin CityUniversity and leave Washington, DC.
  47. 47. I had met Francesca a few times in Washington but we were hardly friends. Whenshe joined up with Clarity Media she was given a huge opportunity at twenty-fourto be the editor of a youth orientated political website and manage many freelancersand contributors. This was something I had some experience with when Iidealistically joined the newspaper division of Clarity Media in 2008 after thePresidential elections at the ripe age of twenty-seven.Francesca and my mentorship is at the early phase of the mentoring relationship asdescribed by (Kram in 1985). Now Francesca and I still have conversations in regardsto managing and promoting work in digital media. I also helped her deal with somevery rough patches and brutal burnout in the first months of her websites launch inFebruary of 2012 that almost led her to quit her job.(Digital media executive - Hanley Wood - Washington, D.C. - Bob Benz, 49, is media executive withexperience in newspapers, television and interactive.)Bob Benz was on the other hand was my former boss at Clarity Media, as the ChiefDigital Officer for our newspaper and all other of Clarity Media’s other onlineproducts and projects. I worked under him for less than seven months, but ourpersonalities clicked very quickly for the creation of quality work product and
  48. 48. desired institutional change. Benz was hired to perform an audit of Clarity Mediaprint properties digital assets. He however was not hired as a employee untilJanuary of 2011, by which time I had already decided to move my career in a paththat lead to Dublin City University and away from the running the paper’s website.In those short months I was one of Bob’s most loyal lieutenants, as he was the firstperson in management to be empowered to make cultural changes in the way thenewspapers operated. Bob had a number of years in many different roles, butcrossed the fence to digital media so early he is now a “web person.”However, there was a bit of a catch as, he physically was not able to carry many ofthese tasks out. As my former boss and friend who was the Managing Editor of thewebsite departed in that same January 2011 I was in an unusual position. It was myjob to be the enforcer and implementer of his policy changes and directives. Sincecoming to DCU, I have discovering implementation is among my strongestleadership style thanks to Belbin.I was finally getting listened to and getting new resources allocated in a rational waythat promoted our online products. My “hedgehoging,” as he called it, through thedarker days lifted. Those last 5 months working for Bob were the best ones I had innearly three years, as a level of web professionalism was allowed to prosper that hadpreviously been squashed by reactionary anti-web elements in our mid-uppermanagement, that always had promoted backsliding on all of corporatemanagements web-centric projects. Bob ended this within weeks with a very loudand boisterous chat with our papers Editor and Managing Editor. It worked. I wasallowed to help tailor strategic Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaigns, as wellas help critique and improve our brand and strategic SEM spend.Why do I bring this up? The hardest day for me came in March of 2011, when I hadto tell Bob I would be departing at the end of May and headed to Ireland forgraduate school once my application via PAC were finalized. Instead of beingangered or upset, he just told me, “That’s great, go get a grad degree and get somemanagement chops. The work will come to you. I am sad to have you go.”After experiencing weak or incompetent management for year, I had a greatmanager who I actually trusted and trusted me. Who would not ask that person tobe your mentor? Especially knowing of an impending life change quickly around thecorner.
  49. 49. Bob and I still chat, deeply about once a month and share links and advise, nowabout staying in Ireland or coming back to America and which career direction tochose in sales and marketing. Bob also had hired Francesca and he appreciated myaiding and mentoring her, in dealing with her supervisors and managers, as he wasworking on an exit strategy for himself, which led he to becoming President ofHanley Wood one of the largest trade magazine and website publishers in America.I am by no means the best mentor or mentee, but this pod has given a greatfoundation to build deeper these kind of relationships that make for deeper strongnetwork ties and aid my career development I think I have learned a great dealabout why these relationships are important in our expanding careers, especially formature students (Higgins And Kram, 2001). I have experienced all four mentoringphases described by (Kram, 1985) in this POD. I learned a good bit about the theoriesthat underline why exactly mentorship is good for career progression. Theconfidence he has in me and the confidence earned in mentoring Francesca has leadme to apply to a management training program, at the Irish Times in June 2012 whilewriting my NGM portfolio. I will likely apply to more sales and marketing in thefuture. NGM provided me the opportunity to take an informal professionalrelationships and make them a proper Mentorship program. It is important to be onboth sides of these relationships.
  50. 50. UNILEVER SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGEEvent: Unilever Sustainability ChallengePresenter: Unilever with John F. Kennedy and Nial HanlonDate: 08/03/2012Venue: DCU Postgraduate Computer Lab in Computer Applications buildingWeight: 1As an action based learner, I learn by doing, and must seek out opportunities thatwill allow me to and participate in situations that will enhance my learning.Consistent with Next Generation Management learning outcomes to developcompetencies found in my personal development plan (PDP) and understand thearguments for business ethics and sustainable development I joined a team to enterthe Unilever Sustainability Challenge. This was consistent with my PDP and mygoals to understand the big picture and develop my leadership voice, understandcorporate social responsibility (CSR) and how small our world really is (Friedman,2007).This pod was an attempt to get graduate students brainstorming on making businessmore “sustainable” both environmentally and socially. The goal was the write up a250 word concept to make Unilever operations more sustainable to help thecompany reduce waste and negative externalities related to the products they sell.Our concept was “healthier is wealthier.” The idea being to start with the companiesdeep supply chain of farmers and workers that are already connected to Unileverworldwide and help bring up some of their standards of living via clean water andimproved hygiene. The results would create a more productive and healthyworkforce that in turn would be in a better position both health and economically topurchase Unilever goods. Here is what we came up with in 250 words:Healthier is wealthier and vice versa, it is also more environmentally sustainable. How do weimprove the lives of millions of subsistence farmers and workers and make them new consumers ofUnilever products?The first stage of the process would include implementing sources of clean water and improved accessto basic hygiene and health care. This would improve productivity for these workers more productive
  51. 51. workers means growing of more sustainable crops, which could be sold to Unilever and other on themarket.This would mean extra income, which can be in turned used for new basic Unilever consumerproducts and education access for their children.As communities get wealthier and healthier they can be more proactive in improving localenvironmental conditions.As the living conditions improve for them and future generations are better educated they willcontinue to move up the Unilever product consumption chain as their tastes and wealth evolves andgrows.Driving productivity improvements via basic public health and hygiene is more than a challenge it’s anecessity. We can help make the difference and provide this hand up. (Sustainablity Challenge Entry)Now that I look back on it, the concept was a touch naive. Conceptually the ideaworked well in our heads. Since I come from Washington, D.C., I generally think likea wonk and was attempting to create the most cost effective outcome on dollar andnot a concept that would make Unilever more money(marketingweek, 2011). Myteam liked this idea. It seemed very people centric. I was wrong and my team waswrong.As the teams were drawn for the final presentation, we were not selected. Noworries, we were glad to see that, NGM was well represented by Aoife Dempseyand Kate Desantis. They had a good idea; as well it was a bit more practical thanours to boot. They noticed a strong priority shift once they talked in person to peopleassociated with Unilevers contest versus their dealings with them in email. Theproduct concept that won had to do with labelling and use of containers in thedeveloping world, as packaging matters much less and less can be priced in for thepackaging than it can be in the industrialized world given the earning differential.Now sure, I am more use to American corporate citizen, Greenwashing andSustainability initiatives, which only differ slightly than the European versions. Theyare arguably, more people centric and less product centric in my opinion. Realpeople and their stories make for better public relations materials.My example would be first, Ronald McDonald House and the affiliated charities thathelp families dealing with longer and more complex childhood diseases and thecomfort they offer. This would be against all of what some environmentalists would
  52. 52. argue is that, their “pro-meat,” “pro-beef” organization represents, given tollincreased beef consumptions puts on the worlds arable lands an water resources.The second would be the greening and charity of Walmart/Asda. They are seekingways to cut costs always and everywhere, it is their business model. One has been inregards to redesigning stores to use substantially less electricity since, it is afluctuating cost of doing business. The other has been their effort to green theirdelivery and supply chain via less use of fuel or use of cheaper and less pollutingfuels. These efforts are occurring arguably, because it has been harder to wring theprice cutting out of suppliers than it was of the previous 30 years, as production ofmany of the items and products have moved to lower cost production markets likeMexico and China.Rural and suburban Americans love Wal-Mart despite the CSR and other moralobjections of urban activists given their strong cultural objections the unionism.Why? First they do an amazing job of helping the people and the charities connectedto the people, where their store locations are in terms of money and man-hours. I canattest to countless in kind and cash for various charities activities allowed to be doneon their premises from car washes to gift-wrapping during the holiday season.I am glad I took part in this project and got to spend some time thinking moredeeply how a consumer products company could be more sustainable. However,there is a limit to how far consumers are willing to go to save a few cents. It has beenmy experience that there are certain everyday use products in my months in Ireland,that are either substantially better or worse than the equivalent in the United States.Some examples: trash bags; aluminium foil; sandwich Baggies; and food packaging.As an American, these products all feel substandard to me, but Irish and UKconsumers would consider them just fine. However, some products are superior towhat America consumers are willing to put up with including most fresh fruit, fish,and certain alcoholic beverages of cultural significance. Americans will not purchasebread that is not in packaging or eggs that are not refrigerated and Europeans will.Different market preferences and tastes are important and impact how a companymay be able to proceed in making their business more sustainable or claim to.Different markets have different concepts of fairness and price to value of productsand services. However, many of the end goals are the same and translate acrosscultural divides. We need to think deeper about how exactly we will function as a
  53. 53. planet, with the billions of people in the developing world wanting and desiringsimilar lifestyle expectations as the modern American or European has today.This POD forces teams to consider some of the big social and environmentalchallenges companies face, in our near and further term future that must be dealtwith. I am by no means an expert in regards to CSR and sustainable development,but this POD has given a great foundation to understand the scale of the challengesthese subjects present to businesses in our economy.
  54. 54. SELLING IN AMERICAEvent: Selling in AmericaPresenter: James Dellinger and John WalshDate: 20/04/2012Venue: WebEx based WebinarWeight: 2I spent weeks thinking about doing some kind of pod that would help bring someelement of Business Development skills and help connect my new Irish networkwith my technologist network in the United States to my Next GenerationManagement classmates, since networking is so important to develop leadership(Ibarra, 2007). As an activist leader, and an action-based learner, I was only reallyinspired when I was sadly diverted back to Atlanta, Georgia during our semestertwo reading in March. My grandfather and personal hero was very ill and likely notto make it much longer. He had come down with double pneumonia and it wastaking him from us.I made it home to be there with him before he passed and I am glad I was with myfamily through the whole week and especially for my mother. However, somethingstruck me, in being away and having to give a eulogy for one of the hardest workingsalesmen ever born. I was inspired by his legacy to me, to teach his “rules of sales” Ifound in the autobiography my aunt was helping him complete before he passedand create an event that I could share my some of the key links in my social networkas they work primarily in sales in the technology industry.SAM D. GUY’S 10 RULES OF SALES: 1) CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT. 2) DO YOUR HOMEWORK; KNOW THEIR BUSINESS. 3) SEEK OUT THEIR CONCERNS AND ADDRESS THEM HEAD ON. DO EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING TO ADDRESS THEIR CONCERNS. 4) GET TO KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS AND POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS AS FRIENDS. INQUIRE ABOUT THEIR FAMILIES AND INTERESTS AS WELL AS THEIR BUSINESS NEEDS AND CONCERNS. 5) CARRY SOME FORM OF NOTE TAKING DEVICE AND JOT DOWN PERTINENT INFORMATION IMMEDIATELY AFTER A MEETING WITH A CUSTOMER. 6) ALWAYS PRESENT A TIDY, CLEAN APPEARANCE WITH THE APPROPRIATE DRESS FOR THE OCCASION.