Meeting with Mentor
- What did I learn from the three meetings with my Mentor,
including the presentation that I gave to my Mentor?…………………………………………….
- How well I think I was successful in achieving my RAP research objectives I set on part one?
- How have I demonstrated my interpersonal and communication skills during the project work?
- How has undertaking the Research Project helped me in my accountancy studies and current employment role?
It was around the start of January 2018 that I called London School of Business and Finance (LSBF) to see whether they will provide me a mentor for the Research and Analysis Project. After registration, I got an email from LSBF saying that the Mentor will personally contact me. The Mentor approached me and introduced herself to me her name is Brigita Petrova. She is a tutor in LSBF. I learned a lot from her, she was very patient and answered every question I had in my mind. We were in different countries so time difference was a significant issue but she resolved it by planning the time that we both could join the discussion. Team work is considered to be a key success factor in an organization in this regard and hence I am also working on developing a team spirit in the organization.
- What did I learn from the three meetings with my mentor, including the presentation that I gave to my Mentor?
Before the first meeting my mentor e-mailed me the information pack and Harvard referencing methodology, she also told me in the email that I need to decide on the topic before the first meeting and review some of the pages in the information pack. I picked the issue and decided to write about Bosch since I worked for it and asked her through email if it was ok for me to write about Bosch since I am working here. She advised me that I could but have to be very careful with the ethical matters and that I need an official permission letter from an authorized person at Bosch. I assured her that I would obtain a letter of confirmation before the start of the work.
In my first meeting, I learned that I should have three or four objectives than many to make sure I can achieve them by setting up research questions. At the start, I had many goals, but as we discussed, I was able to choose the most important ones. If the important factors are considered in a research methodology in this regard then it is beneficial for the person.
I was not much clear about the kind of information that I used to when I told her the ways I get or use the information then she guided me. She also provided me with the relevant sources of data and information from where I can start my search from scratch.
She asked me what ethical issues I can face while conducting research work on the selected topic. Ethics is a discussion of choosing what is right or wrong and in this regard the correct kind of ethical background have to be applied in this regard.
Then we discussed the business models what kind of business model can be applied to the research and what are the potential benefits or drawbacks of each model in consideration.
By the second meeting, I completed my first draft of part one and two and already got the comments from my mentor on my weak points and areas were needed to be explained in the least number of words. In the second meeting, I learned that when I need to analyze something, it means to give facts and reasons behind facts rather than opinion. I also learned that I needed to explain what it is and why it is explicitly done at Bosch. The overall research objective for the selected company was to be discussed and presented. Based on this objective I will present my analysis related to research.
I learned from her that to be able to achieve the project objectives I needed to answer the questions I set at the start of my research. She reminded me about the deadline for submission of my project. I also learned that SLS has to be my words based on the experiences I have got while doing the research and if I face any problem, how I get it. The next couple of discussions were based on the design of the research question which was supposed to collect data for research of my article. Based on this data the decision will be made related to research which will be tested both on numerical and empirical grounds under a substantive framework regarding this.
I also learned from her that the presentation should include essential points and better to be bullet points than a long sentence and that using some pictures will make it more interesting. She also told me to make the presentation less wordy and include photographs and diagrams in it as it is said that a picture is worth a thousand words.
By the third meeting, I completed my project and made the amendments on my part three based on the comments my mentor gave after I sent my part three to her. Then I had to wait for a couple of days for her response on that draft.
One significant thing that my presentation helped me to improve was my communication skills. I usually use long sentences for words that can be said in short sentences too. It made me think hard and try to figure out what points will cross over the essential ideas to the audience in 15-20 minutes that was very effective for my communication skills. Through practical communication skills, I was able to present my materials at the conference and other social events without any hesitance. It became easier for me to address the number of issues related to the SLS.
How well I think I was successful in achieving my RAP research objectives I set on part one?
I had three objectives for this research in my mind. They are as follows:
- To analyze Bosch budgetary control system and evaluate it using various business models. It was also decided to highlight the different pros and cons of the fiscal policy in this regard.
- To explain what performance management is, the effect of Bosch budgetary control system on performance management (by providing some of KPIs used in Bosch), the three performance management styles and the style adopted by Bosch through examples of different events. A list of major key performance indicators was to be used by me in this process which I prepared in advance.
- To explain some of the critical financial decisions made as a result of a budgetary control system like that of Bosch. The impact of these financial decisions of the company and investor wealth was also needed to be discussed.
I was able to obtain all of the objectives of my project. One weakness I faced during my research was there were one or two Key Performance Measures that Bosch started using in 2017 but they were critical, and I wanted to include them in my project to be able to give an analysis of the overall performance of Bosch. What I had difficulty was that there was no budget for them in previous years, I mentioned this difficulty to my Mentor and she told me there should have been a reason behind Bosch starting to measure a specific thing like the number of on-time shipments to total shipments (Outbounds) and that helped me massively because then I thought about it and saw her point. The data collection constraint was there in that case which I had to overcome in this regard hence I had to work hard to obtain the data of previous years.
I also had the problem with referencing because this was my first research project and I never did reference before. The Harvard referencing that my mentor sent me was very useful because it had examples of every situation. It gave me an idea of how to provide an in-text citation in the paper and how to place a reference in the document in this context. My mentor told me to use the maximum number of references in each text as it increases the credibility of it and hence will give a positive image of the work which is performed.
How have I demonstrated my interpersonal and communication skills during the project work?
Communication skills are essential to interact with the mentor and positive result of the project. Communication skills are critical in wining an interview for a job, keeping a career and. Communication is a process of exchanging information between two individuals with the element of complete understanding. In every communication process, there are two parties involved one is called sender, and another one is called the receiver. It is a two-way process of exchanging information in this regard, and both of them had an equal role to play in this regard.
This skill is essential in communication in personal and works life. Before doing the project I was very impatient, so if my manager wanted me to prepare a spreadsheet for him, I would not let him finish telling me what he needed and continuously interrupted him but doing this project helped me to understand that if I let him finish what he wants me to prepare it stops me from going to him over and over asking questions that if I listened to him in the first place I wouldn’t have needed to ask later.
Furthermore, there is a salary communication meeting each month for salaried associates, I used to not pay much attention to it, but since I started this project, I was listening and paying attention to it which helped me to grasp what is happening in the company. The more things I know about the environment of the company the more benefits I am getting through it as I have developed a good number of personal contacts here and hence it is going to give a positive reflection in the future.
English is not my first language so at times I had difficulty to express myself in writing my report. I am planning on improving my English by reading accounting articles which can help with my English skills as well as my accounting skills. Through improvement in English skills, I will be able to communicate with others in a better manner and through the increase in accounting and finance skills I am now able to conduct a financial analysis of better nature.
This report needed technical skills in using Microsoft word and excel. My excel skills are pretty good except I am not very familiar with pivot tables and pivot graphs and those are very important for an accountant. I have decided that I will join for an online class to improve my skills in this regard. The more office skills I will have the better job opportunities I can obtain in the future hence it is a decisive factor for me in this regard.
How has undertaking the Research Project helped me in my accountancy studies and current employment role?
Before doing this research I didn’t have much knowledge of the operation side in the warehouse but for this project I went to the warehouse looking at each area to see what drives the labor cost and a customer places the process of receiving full pallets (inbound) and the process that takes place after an order (outbound).
Also, this project helped me to have a deeper understanding of budgetary control system and its effects on financial decisions being made. Also, it helped me analyze how an organization can efficiently exercise cost control when its expenses are unavoidable and out of manager’s control.
This project also helped me to pay more attention to details as well as get a better understanding of cycle counting. Cycle counting is an essential factor which is needed to be considered, and hence one should have adequate knowledge related to cycle counting issue.
This research also helped me to think about the weaknesses of the budgeting at Bosch and be able to specify those weaknesses. Through an analysis of strengths and weaknesses, I will able to understand what kind of things I would have to perform in this order.