Reflective Journal

Topics: AOL, Bebo, Time Warner Pages: 8 (2524 words) Published: June 21, 2013
Contents Page

Introduction| 2|
Learning Preferences| 4|
Targeted Development * Strengths * Weaknesses * Conclusive Theories * SMART Action Plan| 6| Conclusion| 11|
Bibliography| 12|

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”  Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

My sponsor role is with AOL Inc. AOL Inc. is a brand company, which is “committed to continuously innovating, growing, and investing in brands and experiences that inform, entertain, and connect the world.” (, 2012)

AOL has a prominent place within internet and media history, being one of the first Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and online experience companies in the world. Its past has one of many ups and downs, having survived the ‘Dot Com bubble burst’ of the early 2000’s. In 2001, AOL merged with Time Warner, to form AOL Time-Warner. However, this venture was relatively short-lived, with AOL once again becoming an independent publically traded company in 2009. AOL continued to acquire additional properties and products, such as TechCrunch, Moviefone and MapQuest, and in 2011 acquired the Huffington Post Media Group. I have joined AOL at a time of great change. At the time of writing, AOL’s 2012 Q3 profits have shown consistent growth, and investor confidence is at an all-time high. The company has just come out of a very turbulent few months, which involved staving off a proxy battle for the Board of Directors and massive internal restructuring.

My position with AOL is focussed on Digital communications including social media, community management, digital marketing, public relations and social analytics and blogger relations. My previous experience in ‘Social Media’ and digital marketing has been very ‘grassroots’ – I previously managed bands in the UK, and worked full-time in Government communications, and so moving into a multi-national brand media company, based in New York, is a complete culture change, but is an opportunity that I am determined to make the best of.

Learning Preferences
I work with the Social Media team in executing Digital, Social Media and Internal and Sales communications strategies and campaigns. This includes reporting and tracking success, as well as managing communications with internal and external community managers, bloggers and other social media professionals. In addition I am to identify new sites, bloggers and communities who may be helpful for AOL to partner with.

My previous experience within Social Media and Digital marketing, was within a very ‘grassroots’ arena. I managed new and breakout bands on minimal-income basis. I was brought up in an artistic household, but was pushed down a route of academia before returning to the Arts in my late teens. I went on to have an exceptionally varied employment history over the past 10 years, having trained in Acting I then went on to work in at least four different sectors of industry, as well as within Government and the Private sector. As a result, I have not developed a career specialism. Researchers have argued that “the most important factor in determining expert performance is not innate ability, but deliberate practice,” (Ericsson & Charness, 1994). An overriding problem that I have had in the past was that I have never felt as though I have ever had a clear career path or well-defined aspirations.

My first step was to take a broad-brush approach in assessing my learning and development preferences. Through Chislett & Chapman’s 2005 VAK (Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic) assessment, I discerned that I am primarily a ‘visual’ learner, with a secondary preference of ‘kinaesthetic’ learning. My personal background in the performing arts (theatre, dance and martial arts) attests to this. I am unsure as to...

Bibliography: Books
Essentials of Management (DuBrin A J, Cengage Learning, 2008)
Introduction to Learning and Behavior, (Powell R, Honey P L, Symbaluk D G, MacDonald S E; Cengage Learning, 2009)
Knowledge and Innovation in Business and Industry (Hakansson H, Walusewki A, Routeledge, 2007)
Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice (Gardner, H; Basic Books, 1993)
Journal Article
Expert Performance; Its structure and acquisition: (Ericsson, K.S. & Charness, N; 1994; American Psychologist, 49, 725-747)
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