Business 96A

Management Reflection Project

Updated 3/28/10

Overview:

Although we use the term "management" to denote a wide range of positions within a company, each manager is an individual with his or her own unique strengths and weaknesses, behavior patterns, and personality.  The intent of this project is to allow you an opportunity for introspection, so that you can begin to predict how you might behave as a manager.  This can be very helpful for career planning, in order to select the position, company, and industry that takes advantage of your individual talents.  Please note that specific details about points and grading of this project are provided in the syllabus for this quarter.

Reflection Exercises:

Each week, I  will assign one or more reflection exercises.  Often, this will involve completing some self-assessment questionnaires, which are "scored" to help point out your thought patterns or behaviors.  Some exercises will involve answering open-ended questions.   One week you will also be asked to interview a manager to learn more about his or her job.  And in certain exercises you will have an opportunity to practice using a decision-making or problem-solving method that we reviewed in class.  These exercises will directly relate to the management concepts you are learning each week, and so they should help you to "learn by doing" in preparation for the exams. 

Optional Essay:

The essay portion of this project provides the opportunity to explore what you have learned about yourself as a result of the reflection exercises and case studies in the course.  It is optional, for those students who are aren't doing as well as they had hoped and are in need of some extra credit.  Depending on how well you address this essay,  you can earn up to 6% of your grade this way.  

The essay should discuss what you have learned about yourself as a potential manager or business professional.  
You should refer to course concepts, case studies, exercises, and self-assessment tools that helped you in this process. You should discuss how your revelations will change your actions or career plans in the future.   For instance, you may discover that there is additional course work or certain types of work experience you would like to pursue to develop your skills further.  You may also find that you have identified certain types of jobs or industries to avoid that would not be suited to your particular personality.  You may want to develop a plan of action for a managerial situation that may be difficult for you.   Feel free to include whatever specific actions are appropriate for your situation.  

Although this is an introspective work, please make sure that it meets professional writing standards.   This is not a creative writing class, so keep the fluff to a minimum.  Imagine that you have been in a professional position for about a year, and you have just returned from a management development seminar at work. Your boss is familiar with management terms and concepts, so there is no need to define terms within your report. Your boss is very interested in what you learned at the seminar and has asked you to prepare this report for her. You need to take this request seriously, since she would probably not be pleased to learn that you wasted the company's money at the seminar.

Sample Topics

In the past, students have used the essay to explore their career and/or academic goals and aspirations.  The important thing is that the essay is about YOU, not about your firm or about management in general. If you are thinking of a topic, but are unsure whether it would be appropriate, please contact me and I would be happy to let you know if it is appropriate.  Here are some topics that have been successful in the past:

Format of Report

All parts of the essay should be typed, double spaced, in a standard-sized font of 11.  The essay portion should be a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 pages.  (I will not read past the 5th page.) Please provide your report in .doc (not .docx), .pdf, or .txt format.   You should name your file to include your first and last name in this format:  LastnameFirstname_Essay.doc/pdf/txt.   So my essay file might be named FritzMichele_essay.doc.