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Saturday, April 23, 2011

A "Reflection" Paper composed for Business Management

Reflection Paper

          I am pleased to reflect on my experience this semester in Business Management 3510. I feel that it was a successful class which taught me a lot regarding how to function in a team and as an individual. Personally, I do not enjoy classes that don’t challenge me. I have always been one to persevere through difficult situations and challenge myself by undertaking complex tasks. If I am presented with a class that doesn’t meet my intellectual standards I have a habit of making things harder than they have to be in order to challenge myself. That’s why I was content in Business Management 3510, I found the team activities, fun, challenging, and stimulating. I will admit that the Business Simulation was far more entertaining to me than the Functional Presentation; however, I found each equally challenging.
          I believe my role in the functional presentation wasn’t as significant as the Simulation. I feel that there was groupthink (George & Jones, 2009, p. 171) occurring quite frequently. This was probably due to the fact that we presented at the end of the semester fresh off the coat-tails of the Simulation project. I made it a point to take on the role of a quasi-leader in the functional team, although everyone pulled their weight in the end. I made it a point to think outside of the proverbial box by taking the team away from the norm (George & Jones, 2009, p.53) of banking that Finance teams had brought to the table in the past. I brought in the investment perspective, which I hoped would be a fresh change. Since July of 2008, I have been invested in some mutual funds offered by American Funds and Southwestern Investment. Bill Zizzi has been a role-model to me ever since I met him and has been a wonderful source of knowledge. This proved incredibly valuable in garnering information for our functional presentation. I contacted Mr. Zizzi, made him aware of the project, and scheduled a meeting with him. Unfortunately, the industry and his company has many regulations so he couldn’t meet with out entire team, though he could meet with one person. Before meeting with Bill, I knew I’d have to have some questions at the ready. Since I didn’t want to get too detailed in the presentation and wanted to keep it mostly simple, I stuck to the basics. Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and all kinds of investment options. We talked for an hour until he had other appointments. It’s amazing the knowledge you can gain from just an interview or even in-depth communication with a person who is knowledgeable in a particular field.

       The Functional team presentation was a huge success in my mind. I feel that our roles were very much evened out. I took on role that suited me very well and I think the presentation was better off with the fresh perspective. With investment perspective, I think it was a pleasant change and offered some excitement to the class and the team while working on the presentation. Although I feel that our presentation could have been better if we rehearsed it more thoroughly, in the end I think it exceeded our expectations.

       Through the Functional Team presentation I was able to learn more about the environment I will be subjected to once I enter the Investment Banking world, although not to its fullest extent. During my interview with Bill Zizzi I asked him if he enjoys his job and if it offered a variety of experiences. Bill told me that every day was something new, because the market is an entity of itself and it’s constantly changing there is always a different feel to every workday. This taught me that as a manager in Finance, especially when handling people who handle people’s money, you have to be ready for almost anything. You have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best (...again with the cliche’s). Most importantly, I learned that being a manager is not easy work. At least it’s not easy work if you care about your job or career. To achieve any sort of advancement you have to be effective at your work and you need to bring new concepts to the table. The investing “industry” is high risk and a lot of the time many professional investors fall into investing norms (George & Jones, 2009, p.53) where they will stick with what has been tested and is mostly accepted as trite and true. However, as Bill Zizzi mentioned the stock market and by default mutual fund market are constantly changing, so an investor and consequently a manager who is able to think differently may have a better chance at succeeding because of the new ideas he or she brings to the table. However, this is not always the case. Today we see many entrepreneurs (George & Jones, 2009, p. 176) try to emerge and make a name for themselves, but often times they fail because their ideas may be too radical or they were unable to stay on top of things, another important aspect of being an effective manager. In the investing wold, it’s incredibly important to be on top of things. Not just your employees and clients, a manger who wants to be efficient (George & Jones, 2009, p. 5) will be on top of changing market trends and new IPOs being offered. defines an Initial Public Offering as, “The first sale of stock by a private company to the public. IPOs are often issued by smaller, younger companies seeking the capital to expand, but can also be done by large privately owned companies looking to become publicly traded.” (Investopedia). As you can see, based solely on the definition a manager who stays on top of changing trends, thinks outside the box, and for example makes an investment in a new company that tailors to societies current trends could stand to make a lot of money for himself and his clients. By the time the stock does really well, it’s usually too late (too late to make incredible gains).

          Through my experiences and everything I have learned, there are a few things I will incorporate next time I have to be a manager. First, I will use what I have learned to establish a close, personal relationship with my team members, people I am managing, and clients. It’s seems having professional relationships, not only relationships but people who like you, is the best way to advance any career in the business world. The information that can be gained is priceless. When I have to manage a team or project, I will definitely make sure that I expand my knowledge of the topic as thoroughly as possible; this individual experience has served me well not only with the functional presentation, but the business simulation, as well as with other past experiences. To have yet another cliche, knowledge is power.

          The Marketplace Business simulation was something I had mixed feelings about. I was anxious to begin, but once I started I was full-force. My “official” role was Brand Manager and VP of Finance. However, my actual role felt more as “Paragon of Marketplace Business Simulation Excellence” ...or something like that. Donnie Holder worked very hard to help our team achieve the standing we received. However, I think I was the only one who pored over the Coaching tips for hours trying to gain a leg-up in the competition. As I gained knowledge of the simulation, every subsequent team meeting, I was the one explaining game mechanics and “suggesting” what our next move should be. By “suggesting,” I mean I would know what to do and Donnie seemed fine with every suggestion I put forth. I took the lead in almost every major decision that had to be made, from when to open sales offices and how much to advertise. I designed every advertisement and every brand. Of course, I am entirely happy with the way things turned out, and I did take the responsibility of all this by being a point-man (think of a lineman in football or the soldiers who charged the beach on Normandy). Also, I mentioned that I love to bite off more than I can chew to challenge myself.

          The marketplace Business Simulation actually gave me a lot of insight into myself. I’m glad I had the experience of working with the team I was in. Donnie Holder and myself developed a Friendship Group (George & Jones, 2009, p. 368). I enjoyed his company and working with him as I hope he feels the same. I was hoping to earn first place, but I’m sure this is to be expected given this generation who’s had their needs catered to their entire lives. I know I put forth a lot of effort into the Marketplace project, but I think if I had done my research much sooner, and concentrated harder from the beginning, we would have done much better.

          Although I wasn’t the CEO, I sure felt like it. Effectively putting me into the role of manager during team meetings. Donnie was the manager in the sense he coordinated when and where we would meet. I however, made the decisions as to where we would be taking the company and deciding the next steps we should take. I learned a lot about the role of a manager and decision making (George & Jones, 2009, p. 156). After we received the results from the first quarter we released out product, we actually lost money. If this were any regular person, they would probably pull money out or not reinvest. I knew that it takes money to make money, that there was no way we could succeed if we didn’t spend. It’s another important lesson I learned about managing a business. When we received the results for the following quarter, we were pleased to see that we had made money. We assumed that it would be a good idea to use around the same amount we used in the previous quarter, we were wrong. It turns out there is a direct relationship to the amount of money spent on advertising and expanding your sales force to the amount of money that you bring in. Essentially, it is important to not let your money accumulate, why sit on your assets, when you could be using them to expand and grow? As a manager it’s important to learn from your mistakes.

          When it is time for me to manage an lead a business, I will not make the mistake of being to conservative, however the opposite is true as well. We were unable to see the final results of the last quarter, but we did not do too well, we did well enough to remain in second. Our team decided to spend more than we probably should have. This means to me that there is an equilibrium to spending. Too much or to little is harmful, it is important to understand the market in order to reach the maximum earning power.

Works Cited:

Investopedia ULC. 12/7/2010. . 2010.

Interview. Bill Zizzi. Southwestern Investment.

George & Jones (2009). Essentials of Contemporary Management (4th Ed.). New York, New York:

Raymond-James Financial Services. 12/7/2010. . 2010.

1 comment:

  1. Hi friends,

    Now many institutes are providing courses about business management, it is good. It is your duty to develop your knowledge on this topic. Now there is more demand of business analysts, and it gives you a career to you. Thanks a lot.

    Business Management Solutions