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Introduction

Perpetuating and creating a business that is successful has always been a challenge. In the current only-the strong-survive business world, managers require top-notch training and they should remain unshakable through acquisition of the desired skills. Business management has been defined as the coordination of material, human and resources pertaining to finances that are used to attain or accomplish organizational goals. In this field of management, workers with the necessary skills allow the efficiency of the business where they fuel prosperity and spirit of entrepreneurship. Careers within such a field have always presented many with the opportunity to explore myriads of markets and companies. The provision of information to larger pools of clients has always been the key in the success of any organization. For these reasons, an investment in the information sector has become vital since customer provision with the necessary information goes a long way in giving them the power of choice (Murakami et.al. 2009).

Scope

The aim of this report has been geared toward the understanding of what entails the visitor assistance program. This has been  the focus of the National History Museum where the program has been analyzed more than a citation program of enforcement but has been defined with regard to its legal restrictions and responsibilities. The stipulated guidance and regulations has been emphasized to portray the citation program as an important management tool..

Visitor Assistance Job Description

The key responsibilities of the visitor assistant position in general includes ensuring that the welfare of visitors to the museum is taken care of by providing them with a memorable and rewarding experience. The assistant is also responsible in ensuring the smooth running of activities within the museum’s public area where a focus is given to high standards in customer care. To conduct these activities, the assistant is supposed to be aware of the mission statement and the procedures of the museum and be focused towards its fulfillment. The main duties within the museum includes the day-to-day running of the public area that consisted of the shop, the gallery and the admission desk. The front desk activities included welcoming of visitors where they are admitted into the museum through the issuing and tilling of stickers as appropriate. The position also enhanced sales of items through the front desk where goods such as boat strips are sold. To promote staff interaction, aid is offered in the completion of any gift declarations coupled by the handling of audio devices where customers are informed on how to correctly use them. Prior to visiting the museum’s sections, the customers are made aware of the museum layout that provided them with the optimum route around the sections mostly the gallery section that seemed confusing to many. Other tasks includes the signing in of all back of the house contractors and a visitor, answering to enquires about the museum through the phone, passing and taking messages as required. In cases where museum objects were donated or inquiries were made about them, the assistant was to do the accepting. In instances when prominent people visit the museum, the assistant has to greet the delegates in such events answering their questions as well as informing the teams present when events will end.

Work Experience Definition

Work experience has been defined as the knowledge gained due to an employment of some sort in a given occupation. Work experience has always been valuable in successful career building where it fosters the individual abilities in assuming greater responsibilities according to Murray and Robinson (2001). Work experience provides individual with a greater understanding of a given market and the way such a market conducts its business. This is usually augmented by the ability to identify customers within certain niches who help one in the formulation of market strategies that provide opportunities for business growth. Work experience allows an individual to access ready contacts’ list that are useful when one is trying to find advice or suppliers or individuals to conduct business with. Experience gives one the confidence in certain areas where one gets ideas of what to expect and one can foresee problems more clearly (McQuaid & Lindsay 2005). Consequently, work experience can also be conceptualized from two approaches that include the quality and the quantity. The quantity approach is used to refer to individual’s total work experience years or the duration of a given experience gained within an organization or a given field. The qualitative approach refers to experience types that have been encountered within a stipulated time.

 

Transferable Skills Definition

With current rapid employment mobility and turnover, transferable skills have been considered as an arsenal in ensuring individual marketability. The skills are defined as the professional competitive advantages that ease ones transition from a particular role into another one that is different. This is normally achieved no matter how specialized or specific these roles are. Transferable skills are also defined as the skills that potential employers look for in individuals when interviewing them where one must stock these skills and cultivate them to enhance their employability according to McHardy and Allan (2000). From a generic point of view transferable skills are the versatile skills that one can apply in numerous and diversified roles. These skills are assets of inventory that helps given individuals to transit into new roles and excel in such roles. They, in most cases, ensure professional resilience and the robustness and longevity of one’s career. Moreover, they usually allow one to readily and easily explore their lateral dimensions in given careers where one acquires expertise and added skills. Though essential skills are need in building one’s competitive advantage and success surety, it’s through transferable skills that individuals are ensured of lack of professional redundancy or instances of becoming obsolete with time according to Kolb (1984).

Personal SWOT Analysis

After going through the placement, here are some of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that I came to realize within me and their influence in my future endeavors.

Strengths

  • I am excellent in deciding and analyzing the way forward in many instances. For example, I was able to convince the museum management to adopt new electronic tilling machines for visiting customers.
  • The business management course gave me a good academic background that provided me with alternatives when things seemed to go wrong.
  • I have good soft skills that enabled me to communicate with my fellow colleagues
  • Due to my vast travelling adventures, I have the understanding of different cultures that has increased my empathy to different cultures.
  • I now have a superb understanding of the museum’s competitors around the world

Weaknesses

  • When I am stressed, I tend to assume or not analyze available options and I jump onto  a conclusion what I feel is right
  • I am unwilling and stubborn to change my mind when I make decisions
  • I generally do not have a rich historical background that made me avoid in-depth historical questions.

Opportunities

  • The National Museum is incorporating an new management department where I might be of help in future
  • People have complained a lot with regard to services offered at the museum from a management perspective.
  • The gallery section in the museum lacks proper documentation of the artifacts and people sometimes miss important points about the ancient civilizations

Threats

  • Despite having great problem solving skills, I am often busy and I do not dedicate the required time to do what I like and good at.
  • Other museums are growing at an alarming rate and people are preferring to visit museums in neighboring countries
  • Growing and emerging technologies are posing as threats where they necessitate on-job training to keep up with growing demands and maintaining prevailing technological trends.

Identified Skills

As part of my transferable skills, the skills gained during my placement can be grouped into five categories. Firstly, I was able to acquire soft skills also referred to as people or interpersonal skills that entailed the skills to relate with one other, inspire or influence coupled by proper communication. I was able to delegate, coach, cooperate and present myself in a manner that upheld professionalism and integrity with regard to customers and my colleagues. Secondly, I was able to develop my analytical skills that enhanced my intellectual capabilities where I was able to analyze and identify problems and generate feasible and innovative solutions this include research skills and data analysis. Thirdly, I was able to acquire technical skills that allowed me acquire hands-on workmanship where my computer proficiency went a notch higher in dealing with computer programs mostly those associated with archiving. Fourthly, I attained organizational skills that allowed me to sort data as well as arrange, plan, maintain accurate records at the same time coordinating multiple tasks and resources. I prioritize events through time management and through resource coordination. Lastly, I was able to attain a workplace character that enhanced my personal skills and throughout my placement; I was reliable with tasks upholding punctuality and diligence.

Placement Importance to the Course

Placement under the business management course was to enhance my employability competence. The placement entailed the identification with the real world industry where I met my needs as a graduate. It is from this placement that my employment competencies have found academic values and this learning will be enhanced across all the stakeholders where I, as a student, have experienced more of the real life organizations or complexities found within such organizations as part of my degree. The placement particularly equipped me with self-confidence to work in organizations though such undertakings have not been included in employability competencies (Gibbons, Limoges, Nowotny, Schwartzman, Scott& Trow 1994). The placement also equipped me with opportunities for self-development and effectiveness within a dynamic environment that necessitate teamwork. This has enhanced what I learned in class to enhance my qualities at the same time enhancing my employability (Fallows & Steven 2002). The experience improved my learning and settling of the teachings that were done in class. Placement acted as a means to define standards that have enabled quality control and the monitoring of the teachings got from class. The placement has also enabled me to evolve through engaging in social practice where understanding and actions have been dialectically been related to bring out the purpose of the business management course (Elias & Purcell 2004). Placement within the business context involved the drawing into settings that were program aimed and that were directed at realization of goals and values where forms of social co-operation and interactions from an institutional context were acquired leave alone the resources in terms of culture. Professional placement that I undertook provided me with the professional development and growth where I was presented with a range of opportunities and experiences. The placement being dependent on the approach and designs of business management it allowed the sharing amongst involved parties where it also enabled the benefits to be reflected in the relationships the school had with the museum. I am well informed and highly skilled in a number of areas being able to critically evaluate what was taught in class. The process involved the increase of my knowledge about businesses where there was a change in focus where to some extents routines were automated increasing my meta-cognition that was differentiated into a context specific and multi-dimensional solving of problems. My involvement in organizational and the successful completion of the placement was dependent on the exemplification and induction by my course teachers who were also my mentors (Crebert, G. et.al. 2004).

Placement and My Future Careers

The location of placement within the course had definite benefits since they have allowed me to understand the business management realities through the exploration of business management practices. Placements have shed light on possible career paths that I might pursues, most likely Business Information Technology (BIT) within the financial sector. The placement acted as reinforcement on what career I wanted in life where I have chosen to further  study in the management field in future. The placement process largely provided me with the opportunities to connect with management professionals where I acquired the knowledge about different career paths within the management field (Chyung et al. 2006). This exposed me to varying specialty within the field where I was able to identify myriads of roles within the management profession. Placement played a great role in ascertaining the setting types of management practice I would want in future. Though the placement in a museum context can be underrated, it helped me gain the experience to establish an entry level competency into business management practice where I was exposed to a number of settings that impacted my knowledge about different professional areas.

The different influences that I got while on my placement were the determinant factors of what I wanted to do in future. These influences were both positive and negative and it’s during this time that I chose to work in the management industry. The experience was a revelation where I was able to understand the labor requirements in terms of emotions within specific niches of the profession (Harmer 2009). This helped in expounding what was required in particular roles. The placement also was able to expose me to working roles within the management sector early in the course. My first graduate position would be in the banking sector where my aim within the first few years is to gain confidence and experience through working to attain acute setting (Andrews & Higson 2008).

Recommendations

To provide students with the required knowledge and skills, the coordinator within the business department should establish a number of mentorship programs. This would be a collaborative venture between the institution and most organizations where students seek placements. For these reasons, the student will be in a position where competent professionals who would end up instilling the professionalism in them. This will also enable the students to be guided when selecting career paths that are more lucrative and marketable in terms of specialty to improve the employability of such students. Such a program in this case should be based on voluntary purpose where the credibility of such an exercise is ascertained.

Conclusion

Placements are important tools in the learning process of students and should be upheld. Placements provide students with organizational realities that enhance their entry point competence experiences into the corporate world. It is from such experiences that students get to know their abilities and inabilities that necessitate career choices that best suits them. A work experience is a skill that enables an individual to perform outlined tasks with little or no effort. Through work experiences, employers are usually keen in the identification of transferable skills that provide individual with a platform to transit from one position to another with ease. Placements offer an understanding of what is learnt in class and compliments the in-class theories and practical through real life organizational realities. The process also enhances career choices among students as what is learnt in the placements can be used in occupational positions within the profession.

References

Andrews, J & Higson, H 2008, “Graduate Employability, “Soft Skills” versus “Hard” Business Knowledge: A European Study”, Higher Education in Europe, Vol. 33 no.4, pp.411-422.

Chyung et al. 2006, “Building a competency-based curriculo architectura in 21st-century business practice”, Journal of Educational Business, Vol.81, no. 6, pp.307-311.

Crebert, G. et.al. 2004, “Developing generic skills at university, during work placement and in employment: graduates’ perceptions”, Higher Education Research and Development, Vol.23 no.2, pp.147-165.

Elias, P. & Purcell, K, 2004, “Is mass higher education working? Evidence from the labour market experiences of recent graduates. National Institute of Economic Review, Vol.190, pp.60-74.

Fallows S. & Steven C, 2002, “Building Employability Skills into the Higher Education Curriculum: a University-wide Initiative”, Education and Training, Vol.42 no.2, pp.75-83.

Gibbons, M, Limoges, C, Nowotny, H, Schwartzman, S, Scott, P & Trow, M 1994, The new production of knowledge: The dynamics of science and research in contemporary societies.Sage:London.

Harmer, B 2009 , “Teaching in a contextual vacuum: lack of prior workplace knowledge as a barrier to sensemaking in the learning and teaching of business courses”, Innovations in Education and Teaching International, Vol.46,no.1, pp.41-50.

Kolb, D 1984, Experiential Learning: Experience As The Source Of Learning And Development. Prentice Hall: Eaglewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

McHardy, P & Allan, T 2000, “Closing the gap between what industry needs and what HE provides”,Education and Training, Vol.42 no.9, pp.469-508.

McQuaid, R W & Lindsay, C 2005, “The Concept of Employability”, Urban Studies, Vol.42,no.2, pp.197-219.

Murakami, K. et.al. 2009, “Learning on Work Placement: The Narrative Development of Competence”, Journal of Adult Development, Vol.16 no.1, pp.13-24.

Murray, S. & Robinson, H. 2001, “Graduates into sales – employer, students and university perspectives”, Education and Training, Vol.43 no.3, pp.139-145.