I began my studies at the University of Phoenix in December 1997. The ability to learn in a classroom lecture setting and to apply knowledge toward group based projects has been an invaluable part of the school's curriculum. This paper, being written near the completion of the management major's core curriculum, will discuss and evaluate my personal experience with the University by comparing key areas of my knowledge and skills base at three different periods. The first portion will describe my standing prior to the beginning of the program. The second portion will evaluate where I am now at the completion of the management coursework. The final portion will state some of the personal, professional and educational goals I have set for myself over the next five years.
Bookmarks: TOP Intro Past Present Future Conclusion Past
Upon reminiscing, it is amazing to look back upon the previous year and a half and gauge what has transpired. When I came to the University in December of 1997, I had not been to school in over 6 years. My previous schooling had been at Arizona State University where I did not have educational or professional goals in mind and lacked the real-world experience to be able to relate course material to practical application in the workplace. Later, enrolling in the University of Phoenix, I possessed that experience but my study habits had grown rusty. I decided to renew my pursuit of my bachelor degree because I had committed to myself that I would obtain a degree and out of a desire to increase my marketability in an increasingly competitive employment market.
There are many valuable criteria for comparing then and now to show the impact of the University's education. When I started classes at the University, I had obtained approximately 5 years worth of work experience, including several years in management, and had become aware, at least in concept, of some important processes and values in business. I found myself in the position of vaguely understanding the how's of business, but unclear about many of the why's.
The curriculum and environment at the University of Phoenix have primarily affected several areas of my understanding of business, including my ethics, attitudes, knowledge base, communication skills (both written and oral) and interpersonal relationships. I believe that I have always held high ethical standards, however, prior to my coursework at the University, I had difficulty expressing those ethics and explaining the foundation for them.
My attitude towards upper management was mostly adversarial. A lack of understanding for the underlying reasons for some business practices led me to see things in terms of management, employees and customers all competing with one another for attention and advantage. When a manager made a decision that would reduce costs or improve efficiency, my perspective would reduce the decision to a simplistic effort to gain advantage, rather than evaluating costs and benefits to the business.
Prior to my university coursework, I had not received formal training in business methods and decision-making tools. Therefore, my knowledge base was limited to what I had learned through work experience, most of which was accumulated from only 2 different organizations, both within the same industry. Much of my knowledge at that point consisted of how...