One of the best strategies for self-assessment of one’s knowledge, combined with the identification of weaknesses and strengths, is to conduct a reflective analysis. In fact, reflection requires the student to have critical thinking skills and minimize subjectivity because then the results can be skewed. This paper uses a reflective analysis technique to determine what knowledge and competencies have been acquired through the course assignments. Improved skills and discussion of future perspectives are also mandatory parts of this reflection. Thus, the aim of this paper is to summarize the critical points of the reflective analysis and the overall evaluation of the past course.
First of all, it is necessary to emphasize that when I first started this course, I had a general understanding of what awaited me. Business Administration in Accounting is a very telling title, so I had no doubt precisely what I was going to be doing. However, when I took the Advanced English Composition Class, I did not fully understand the nature of the program itself. The name encouraged me to think that I would learn how to write essays, but I could not really grasp how deep the course would be. However, it is fair to say that now that the course assignments are behind me, I realize how superficial my initial expectations were. Through this course, I have clearly understood that writing texts is not merely a combination of semantically related words into a single sentence but a way of expressing one’s personality and professionalism through text. This activity should not be seen as something simple and uncomplicated with the idea that “anyone can write a text”: The valuable primary knowledge I have gained is that this is not the case. Writing a good, academically correct and, most importantly, conveying the author’s original meaning is a craft that must be learned.
As part of the assignments and lectures in this course, I was also gaining new information in parallel regarding the topic of my major. Thus, I was able to understand that business administration is not just about giving orders and ensuring that the work plan is met. It is the strategy of gray managers who may earn praise from management but will not bring long-term benefits to the company. On the contrary, as I now understand it, this approach turns out to be radically flawed and can lead to professional crises. In this context, I have learned how important it is to be an effective leader who has the confidence and trust of subordinates.
It is not only the information about leadership — and even its styles — that I have learned in this course. In fact, through the assignments and lectures that were offered, I understood how dynamic the corporate environment is. Companies are constantly evolving in response to external market demands, so it is essential to have high change management skills and excellent stress tolerance to keep the work team productive. For example, when I take over as business manager, there is no guarantee that ethical values, technology agenda, and policies will remain the same as they are now. Consequently, recognizing the dynamism of the times and implementing concrete steps to stay relevant will make me a consummate, highly competent professional.
For the knowledge I gained, I have to thank the instructor and the pedagogical program that was pre-designed for us. Hence, one of the assignments of the course was to write an annotated bibliography for several sources on a given topic. Although at first, this task seemed difficult because of the necessity of carefully studying more than ten sources and then describing them in-depth, in the course of the assignment, I realized that it was somewhat more straightforward than it seemed at first. More specifically, by the third source, I had developed a clear strategy for finding and reading the material so that it did not take too much time, but the descriptions had to match the content. Doing the Annotated Bibliography gave me the confidence to use digital platforms to search for subject sources, and it also explained the very essence of this assignment format. There is now no doubt in my mind as to the difference between a literature review and an annotated bibliography. However, I am not yet sure if I am going to use such a research tool in the future since it seems that the result does not justify the effort expended. Perhaps if I keep practicing, I can change my mind.
Most of all, I liked the assignment, which evaluated students’ skills in writing business letters. This is an essential skill for my future professional activities, as communication with partners and employees will not always take place in a face-to-face format. I often use business communication in my life when forwarding some information via email, but I had never before considered how important it is to be persuasive. In the practice of business administration, I will have to urge stakeholders to take concrete action, and so I found this assignment categorically helpful. Thus, I learned how to write to business partners — albeit fictional ones — and use the three pillars of rhetorical persuasion: ethos, pathos, and logos. With these tools, as well as eloquent text, I am more likely to persuade a person.
There were also some problems that I had to face. First of all, it concerned the stress caused by the fear of challenging assignments. Not yet beginning to write an annotated bibliography, I was feeling stressed about the assignment. Furthermore, when I searched for sources, I often found excellent material, but I could not get the articles because of access issues. Ultimately, I was able to overcome the stress, but I still did not understand what I needed to do to access the restricted material.
To summarize my overall assessment of the course, I want to point out that it did not meet my initial expectations. It is an excellent mismatch because I was not disappointed but instead pleasantly surprised. The Advanced English Composition Class expanded my knowledge of what constitutes a good text and what kind of text can be persuasive. I realized that writing literate and academically valuable material is a challenging endeavor that requires patience and training. However, with the help of the course assignments, I learned the necessary competencies, and now I feel much more confident than I did before. I will write any text that is descriptive, discussion, or persuasive without much trouble. For this reason, I find this course extremely useful. Thus, I intend to use the acquired competencies in further studies and certainly apply them during my professional practice of business administration.