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According to Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, the government focused on three main pillars. They are as following: Firstly, Saudi Arabia to become the heart of the Arab and Islamic worlds. Secondly, to be a global investment powerhouse. Last but not least, to transform our strategic location into a global hub connecting three main continents including Asia, Europe, and Africa. This vision however affect my personality in many aspects. For example, on the professional lever, I became more dedication and self-reliance. Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, focused on the productivity of the individuals to increase the income of the state and the nation as well.
Moreover, it focused on maintaining a high-level education. An example is King Salman Program for Human Capital Development, which designed to ensure that public sector employees have the right skills for the future. This also affected my personality by encouraging my confidence on myself and my government abilities for a better long-lasting future.
During my time at the university I have developed and enhanced many soft skills.
Some of them were the ability to accept and learn from criticism, time management abilities, self-confidence and strong work ethics.
Taking criticism refers to one’s ability to accept constructive criticism for improvement, and motivating oneself to work harder and better instead of giving up. While time management refers to the process of exercising control of time spent on specific activities, especially to challenges and competing priorities and deadlines. On the other hand, to be self-confident is to have confidence and trust in yourself, and to feel faith in oneself internal abilities.
Over the above, strong work ethics refers to a set of moral principles a person uses in the workplace to guide their work behavior, leading them to create high-quality work and motivates them to stay on track.
Since PMU considered to be a work environment, these skills were constantly used and maintained. All courses including ASSE requires specific date for assignments’ submission. This requirement imposed me to improve my time-management skills in order to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity. In Spring 2018, besides the school, I worked as a part-time job in a Veterinary Clinic. Between school and job, I felt myself lost sometimes. It was my first time to experience the real work-environment, therefore, I was super excited and enthusiasm. After one week of working, I gave all my time and energy to the job, I loved being at the clinic and meeting the animals. As a result, my grades went down because I did not respect the due dates anymore. My passion drives me off target. I came back home, went to sleep, and work on my assignments late; I often passed the due date therefore my grades were deducted.
Conversely, my work ethics were derived mostly from Professional and Technological competencies courses. As said previously, professionalism can be highly beneficial in the business environment since they recognize the usefulness of dedication and discipline practices. For instance, during my freshmen year I had an assignment about the uniform and appearance policies at work. We were required to wear formal clothes which represent the work environment – under specific policies and criterial – and to explain the importance of each element to the students. As a result of the assignment, I realized that the purpose of the policy is to ensure that all employees are clear on the standards of appearance expected while at work, and how that proffers respect and strength to their organization. Therefore, I strongly believe that professionalism is an essential part of being successful in the career-life.
On the other hand, to increase my self-confidence and ability to learn from criticism, I usually insist to be the first person of my classmates who presents, and always ask the audience for questions or feedback after I conducted my topic. This makes a huge difference in my personality since I used to believe my personal thoughts only and did not care about the opinions of others. This unfortunately makes me see myself from one angle and do not think about the flaws and mistakes that need to be improved. Nowadays, however, I use to turn the negative feedback into a better positive learning opportunity.
As being students, we often face difficulties and issues regarding teamwork projects. The first step I usually take to resolve any issue in this regard is to identify the problem, discuss it, and to formulate a hypothesis for the problem with my team members. This is the most vital process; I constantly repeat it until the problems gets solved.
I believe that the hardest situation I often face is when I lost contact with a member of the group one day before or on the day of submission. Some students usually use this trick to force their group members to do their parts instead, especially if the assignment will be graded on overall work not individually. They know wither they did their parts or did not, they will still have grade anyhow, because again it is a group assignment! So, in this case usually I suggest to re-divide the missed part between the rest of the members including myself, in order to avoid any delay or deducted marks. I believe that this is the best solution to this situation, although that my group members always disagree. I convinced them however that if we discuss the matter with the instructor we will be perceived as unprofessional, and we do not want this to happen.
On the contrary, if we tried to figure out a solution to the matter and dealt with the problem professionally this would be much better. Therefore, all my group members agreed on that and we submitted the project on its due date without any delay. After we submitted it we went to the instructor with the student and let her talk herself with the instructor and tell her that she did work with us at all, and that has no excuse. As a result, we got the grade which we deserved and she got a grade of zero.
Another problem situation I faced with teamwork projects is not sharing information. Most of the time, each member of any team would like to be distinguished from the rest, therefore, they prefer not to share information with the team members. A time ago, I worked in a group project for Chemistry course, the topic was about Environmental Toxicology, and we were a group of five students. We divided the work between us, on the day of presentation (first-draft) we were surprised that one of our team members did an experiment herself and present it as an individual work! Although we did not refer nor discuss any experiment to be presented in our project! To be honest, we were really upset because we do not want to look lesser or uncooperative. Therefore, after we present our first-draft we set together and discussed the issue and why did she behave this way. To overcome the issue, I suggested that we need to re-work as a group on the experiment and to enhance it more. This makes the capability of the whole team grow and gives them more power to benefit the project’s success.
Furthermore, in any teamwork project, the most difficult issue I often face is working in silos and not trusting each other. Lack of trust and silo working can lead to destabilization and dispersed the team apart. I remember one day, I worked with a new group which I have not worked with before, and we faced many problems regarding one’s opinion. A member of our team and I differed in the choice of dividing the subject. To resolve the matter in a simple way, I suggested that we divide the work based on the opinion of the majority. Whatever the majority suggested we will approve it, so as not to leave any disagreement or hatred between the conflicting parties, me and my colleague.
Generally, I believe that a conflict in a team setting is fine, as long as it is managed effectively. So, once a leader of a team recognizes the issue, it can start the process of resolution. I personally believe that the most effective strategies to further develop oneself teamwork abilities is to build up trust and respect among team members. Set defined goals and clearly outline roles and responsibilities of each. Moreover, an essential element of any team project’s success is to encourage socializing and to allow team members to actively take part in decision-making. I mostly need to focus on the importance of meeting regularly with the team members. I usually prefer to work separately after dividing the work, however, I now realized that meetings are important to touch base, check on progress and what each member is working on.
As known, the workplace including school presents ongoing challenges on almost a daily basis. Critical thinking skills is the first step to resolve any problem arises. An example where one can use a critical thinking skills is mediating interpersonal conflicts. We usually tend to interpret an angry friend’s needs to give him or her some help and support. One weeks ago, two of my BFF got a misunderstanding and were upset from each other. I tried to up the matter and to mediate in the conflict. Therefore, I implemented a plan and anticipating obstacles to implementation. Basically, what I tried to do is to round up their point of views and to give them a chance to face each other. I invited them into my house, without telling them that I invited them together the same day. When they came to my house, they were surprised of meeting since I supposed to be aware that they do not want to talk to each other. However, I gather them and told them that any misunderstood or a conflict won’t to be resolve until both of you talk to each other and explains your perspectives. I remind them how long we were friends and that such an issue should not impact our childhood friendship, so they began to talk to each other and each of them have clarified her intention and the matter were resolved efficiently.
Another issue I faced previously was during my part-time job at the veterinary clinic. One time, a client brought her cat for grooming and she was not happy with the grooming services we provided. She complained about the barbers – they are unprofessional, she said. I tried to fix the issue and do not let her leave the clinic while upset, therefore, I gave her a coupon card for a free showering visit, she smiled and thanked me.
Moreover, researching is a vital skill related to problem-solving. One is able to gather more information about a problem by brainstorming with another member of the team or through online research. An example issue I had since joining PMU was regarding researches; I hated to write research because it takes long time, continuous reliable search and critical thinking in how to write the research efficiently. However, I overcome these obstacles by practicing more and more research. Nowadays, I set myself up as a research professional because I do not find it difficult to write a research down as before.
Some of the helpful strategies I recommend to improve one’s critical thinking and problem-solving is to the online websites that sharpening those skills. Examples of these sites are Philosophy@hku.com and Globaldigitalcitizen.org.com. Practicing critical thinking and problem-solving though online courses and quizzes are super benefit to one’s ability of consuming critically thinking. Another important element to enhance one’s problem-solving is to give myself the chance to think out of the box for solution. Giving yourself the time to think for a solution can help you for the long-life term to think critically and to be able to solve any problem you face without relying on somebody else. Practicing problem and role-play can be very useful tools to develop one’s problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
During my time at PMU the most efficient leadership role I took was being a president for the Finance Club in 2018. Many responsibilities and problems I faced, as a result of my position. One of the biggest challenges I overcome was leading a team; it is a huge responsibility to build a team, manage its members, and consequently develop it. An issue I remember happened at that time was team’s dissatisfaction with division of tasks. I usually face this problem, my team members never satisfied with the division of work, although I always give them different tasks and never repeated the same work for the same person twice. I am very keen to have the work split equally. After continuing the same problem day-by-day, I decided to put the tasks randomly into small papers inside a box and that each member of the team chooses her task randomly and never complain. In this case, I have effectively overcome the problem and all my team members were finally satisfied.
Another leadership position I took was participating in King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), I played a team leader role. This position was a bit challenging because I was supervising a larger team. The problem I face during this role was being too “Hands-Off” suddenly. While I was managing the team efficiently, in some points I felt myself lost with among my group members. The reason why this problem arises was that some of the members misunderstood the project’s specification, and because they were so many I just was unable to stay in-touch with all of them to re-explain and supervise their work. I stood myself to identify the problem and to get the balance right, before is no way to be resolved. To overcome this matter, I re-defined the team’s goals, making time for my team members and supervising their work step-by-step.
On the other hand, I believe that the most challenging problem facing the global business community, especially the entrepreneurs, is that till date many company executives still operated in silos. Leaders do not want to be aware of the need for wider-ranging knowledge, for instance, they did not often get involved in the work of other departments and share their knowledge. In this case, if I was a business leader I would strongly encourage other leaders to engage and share their experiences in the table. Some of the leadership skills which I might apply are encouraging overseas experience and deep self-awareness, over watching team’s members- supervising, and patiently impatient.
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