Part 1 What problems do XXX University students expect to face in their future professional careers and what are their plans to overcome them?
On the basis of the requirements from the question, we know that we should conduct a research to find out XXX University students’ opinions on the problems rising from their future professional careers and the methods to overcome them. Because of this requirement, we have used two kinds of research methods such as questionnaires means and interview means to do this research. In the following we’ll justify the reasons for our choice and the implementation means and our analysis on the research results.
Reasons for choosing the research methods
I. Questionnaires and its function
Wright (2005) defined the questionnaire methods as the most cost effective means compared with other measures, which is useful for research involving many people. It has many advantages to help us implement out research.
To begin with, questionnaires are relatively easy for us to analyze (Wright 2005). For example, in this research we have handed out some questionnaires to the XXX University students to check their opinions on these problems faced by their future careers and the resolutions.
Secondly, questionnaire means is very time effective. Downs and Adrian (2004) reminded us that recipients and researchers can master their own time freely and manage their own timeline to finish or collect these questionnaires.
Thirdly, questionnaire method is one of the widely used research methods, which is familiar to many people (McNabb 2008). It may be more comfortable and free for XXX University students to show their ideas or opinions on their worry of their future professional careers and offer some resolutions since most of them may have some experience to complete questionnaires before.
Fourthly, questionnaire means can reduce bias. As Wright (2005) mentioned, through questionnaire means, questions are presented in a uniform manner without middle man bias. That is to say, using this means, we may get more objective answer from XXX University students’ own ideas and opinions without too much influence from our, the researchers’ opinions
Moreover, questionnaire means is less intrusive than some of other research methods as well (Mitchell & Jolley 2010). When we handing out questionnaires to XXX University students they can choose their own leisure time to finish the questionnaires without being bothered too much compared with other research methods, which may be helpful for us to win their cooperation when we conducting other research in the future.
II Interviews and its function
In addition to the useful questionnaire means, another research chosen by us is the interview means, or rather the face to face interview. The reasons for the choosing are as below.
Primarily speaking, face to face interview is an effective research means for us because it is a kind of synchronous communication in time and place (Wengraf 2001). Compared to other research means, face to face interview can make full use of the social cues, which include voice information, intonation information, and body language information and so on from interviewees.
Secondly, Opdenakker and Raymond (2006) also hold the idea that the advantage of the synchronous communication makes the answers from interviewees more objective and spontaneous without too much bothering from some extended reflection. That is to say, the interviewed XXX University students can give us the initial reflections to the research questions from their own idea without influences by others, which may make our research more objective and persuasive.
Thirdly, face to face communication is very flexible and easily controlled by interviewers (Szwarc 2005). Because the research time for us is limited, it is important for the interviewer to control the interview time. And the face to face interview means has such advantage.
By and large the two research methods such as questionnaire means and face to face interview means are suitable for this research and the reason for this choice is as the above description.
To better achievement the expected consequences of this research, in another word to collect more useful and effective information from the XXX University students on their opinions on problems faced by their future professional careers and resolutions, we have implemented this research as below.
I. Questionnaire implementation
According to the specialty of this research topic, the questionnaires are designed to include more open ended questions and a few of closed questions (e.g. Chart 1.0) (Royse 2008). And furthermore, we handed out nearly 15 pieces of questionnaires to the XXX University students in this college who are mostly familiar with us, which assist our research to conduct smoothly. And we give these recipients of the questionnaires about 3 days to finish the questionnaires and then we collected these finished questionnaires to summarize and analyze the results, which will be shown in the following part.
Chart 1.0 Questionnaire sampling questions
|Sample of open ended question
Question 1. What do you predict the problems will be faced in your future professional career?
Question 2. What solutions will adopt to solve these problems in your future careers?
|Sample of close ended question
Question 1. What will be your future career?
In terms of face to face interview, we chose 10 XXX University students to interview during three days period, whose information including nationality and age range as the figure 1 saying. To better get and obtain the results, we used tape recorder to record the interviews and some writing notes. The reason why we use tape to record and writing notes the interviews is due to its correctness and accuracy. The first advantage is that it can help us to double check whether the research questions are fully answerers. Secondly, if the tape recorder is out of function, we have the writing note to refer to. (Rubin& Babbie 2011)
Figure 1 Student information
Thanks for the cooperation of this interviewee from XXX University of our college; we get the following information related to the topic of this research. And in the chart 1, we can see the results of this research.
Chart 1 research data
|1||18-23 age group|
|2||XXX University students|
|3||20% female and 80 male students|
|4||100% XXX University students’ major|
|8||a: 70% b: 20% c: 10%|
|9||a: 50% b: 15% c: 0% d: 10% e: 5% f: 20%|
|10||a: 30% b: 40% c: 30%|
|11||a: 20% b: 25% c: 30% d: 30%|
|13||a,b,c: 90% d: 10%|
|14||a,b,c: 90% d: 10%|
|16||a: 40% b: 35% c: 25%|
|17||a: 35% b: 10% c: 45% d: 10%|
|18||a: 20% b: 15% c: 20% d: 10% e: 5% f: 10% g: 20%|
To begin with, most students choose to engage in careers related with business due to their major in college is related to the business. And there are three major concerns of them towards problems may be encountered in their future professional careers. The first one is the relationship maintenance with colleagues, bosses and other people in work. As one Chinese girl said according to her knowledge including she sees and hears, the relationship in the working environment is very subtle that there a sting of links among different people. As a fresh man in the working environment, especially in the complicated business environment who is lack of real word experience, it is difficult for her to properly manage the relationship let alone maintain it well.
Some other XXX University students also have such kind of worry as the Chinese girl. But they developed a hot argument and finally offered some solutions to this problem. The first suggestion is to do a good preparation from the college life. That is to say to try our best to engage in more social activities such as doing some part time jobs to obtain working experience especially to gain the experience in how to get along well with people. The second advice is to ask advice from these experienced people such as our parents, bigger siblings, teachers and other people have rich experience in workplace. The last suggestion from XXX University students is to practice the relationship establishing and maintaining in the college place. Just as many people said the college is a small society, if we can establish and maintain good relationship with our classmates, schoolmates or even teachers, it may help us to gain more knowledge and experiences to enable us to act more freely in our future careers.
The second concern of XXX University students towards the problem in the future professional career is the practical knowledge and career development for them. As one Malay Chinese student mentioned in the college we just learn some knowledge from our textbook. For example, gaining good marks in the human resource management course doesn’t mean we can be a good human resource manager in our future career. That is to say what we learn in our college may not be so useful and helpful for our future career.
As this worry shown by many XXX University students towards their future careers, there is also a hot discussion on this and students also give some recommendations to ease this worry. The first recommendation is to gain more working experience and knowledge from the college life as well. Although the knowledge from the college textbooks may not enough to facilitate our future career, we can manage our study more positively and actively. the part time working experience, such as a part time sale people, part time office assistant and so on can offer us with a great deal of good knowledge and many helpful experiences for our future career. And furthermore, refers to the future career development aspect, students suggested to attend some on the job training programs which are offered by companies. And besides the on the job training programs, it is also important for students in the future career to learn as much as possible themselves positively. For instance, there are many training center offering professional training programs for these careerists, which are good choice for students to choose to enhance their competitiveness in their future careers.
Besides most people’s choice, some XXX University student said they wanted to become a teacher in the future to teach the business course. In terms of this choice, some students said although they were keen on becoming a teacher, they were just business student who may have good knowledge in business field but lacking in the knowledge of teaching. Based on this worry, some students also offered their own solution. The widely suggested one is to gain more real life experience as possible. That is to say, we can apply some part time jobs as teachers in some schools or training center to accumulate teaching experience and knowledge which would be useful and helpful for the future if we become teachers.
In addition, from the results of this research we also find out the satisfaction rate of XXX University students on their current situation in figure 2, based on which, we suggest students to engage in more activities and expand their knowledge both from the college study but from the society to make them more flexible and capable.
Figure 2 Student’ satisfaction level on themselves
Part 2 Personal development plan
To begin with, I prefer to make an analysis on my self to find out these strong points I have and these weak points I have. And then I am able to work out an appropriate personal development plan on the basis of my current situation.
I. Current situation
I am a Chinese student in Stamford University of Malaysia. As I am an easygoing people I have made many friends here and enjoy the oversea study experience a lot. As my character is very easygoing and open minded, i have a lot of friends from different countries including the local people in Malaysia, some Japanese friends and friends from other Asian countries. And many people hold a positive attitude towards me, most of who regard me as a nice person. Just as some of my friends say that Y Yang Zhen is a capable, humorous and cute Chinese guy.
Without any doubt, their statements on me is my strong points, I have some weaknesses too. For one thing, as a Chinese student studying overseas, I don’t have a fantastic English speaking ability. Although I have many friends, there are still many problems when I communicate with them especially in English communication. Due to this problem, it is also difficult for me to find a better part time job, because many part time jobs with relatively high salary have required the English ability, which hindered me to gain more working experience.
For the other, as a young man, I do have some problem in self controlling. Sometimes it is difficult for me to push myself out from playing, which often disorder my study plan.
II. Plan for improvement
On account of my weak and strong points, I have summarized a personal development plan to make self-improvement.
In the first place, I will devote more time and energy to practise my English ability including English speaking ability, English listening ability, English reading ability and English writing ability. The specific measures to improve my English are summarized in the following. Firstly, I’ll try my best to speak English as possible even communicating with Chinese friends here. Secondly, I’ll try to keep an English diary instead of a Chinese one to write down my oversea life in Malaysia like before. Thirdly, I will only depend on the English subtitles instead of the Chinese such as the movies I watch, these American series I watch and other English related entrainments. And then I will attend some English insensitive training course to help me improve my English in order to make my study in Malaysia more comfortable.
In the second place, it is important for me to improve my self controlling and managing ability. To manage my study time and spare time more healthily and effectively. I will carry out a timetable to facilitate and guild my everyday life. In my timetable, I have two major concerns including the weekday’s period and weekend’s period. In my weekday time, I will make full use of my spare time to both finish home work but also practising some self developing practices such as writing English diaries every day, speaking English for the most time and so on. In the weekend period, I will have one day off to relax and refresh myself. And the other day, I will go to attend the intensive English training course to improve my English.
With the assistance of this personal development plan, I hope I can make a great progress in my oversea study life.
Future professional careers problems questionnaire
The following questionnaire is to find out UEL students’ opinions on the problems rising from their future professional careers and the methods to overcome them. Please fill he questions precisely to help us make proper assistance to help student have better preparation for their future career.
2. Name of School/college:
4. Your college major
5. When do you plan to leave education completely?
a) During school b) after school c) after graduation
6. I feel I know enough about my aim to help me go for future career?
a) Agree b) Disagree
7. Describe your ambition in one line:
8. What part of your work do you look forward to in your future career?
a) The work
b) My colleagues
c) T he environment
d) Other and please give your answer
9. You work best in an environment (you can choose more than one answer)
a) with interesting and friendly people
b) in a calm and quiet place
c) in a lab alone
d) outdoors with view of nature
e) with strict deadlines to be met
f) with little supervision so that I can work with my creativity
10. Which do you prefer working with?
11. What will be your future career?
a)Working in the public sector such as teachers and other kind of jobs
b) Engaging in the business
c) Become the professional
d) Other and please give your answer
12. The reason to choose the position as your future career?
13. What do you think is important to prepare for your future career? (Multiple choice)
a). Processional knowledge b) interpersonal skills
c) Conceptual skills d) Other and please give your answer
14. What is your ideal working environment?
a) Organized, calm and serene,
b) Work best in chaos,
d) Other and please give your answer
15. Are you better at thinking up new and innovative systems or at making existing systems more efficient?
Existing systems more efficient New innovative systems
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
16. What do you predict the problems will be faced in your future professional career?
a) Professional problems b) communication problems
c) Other and please give your answer
17. What do you support is the suitable means to solve the problems in your future career?
a) To analyze issues in a logical and systematic way
b) Naturally analyzing what people say and deciding whether it is logical and consistent
c) To sense the direction and your ability so as to find your way in your career
d) Ask suggestions from families, friends and colleagues
e) Other and please give your answer
18. Please select the statements that apply to you the most you think you will act in the future career
a) I like to work around people and have good communication skills
b) I am practical, organised and good with numbers
c) I like creative, artistic work as opposed to routine mundane work
d) I am spontaneous and instinctive
e) I have great problem solving skills and like to maintain deadlines
f) My career goals are most important to me and I won’t compromise on them
g) My family is important and I need time to spend with them
19. What problems you think other UEL students will meet in their future career?
20. What solutions will adopt to solve these problems in your future careers?