Showing posts with label career guidance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label career guidance. Show all posts

Sunday, September 13, 2015

What is my GROW Model?

Credit: Coaching Journey

Yesterday, Barcamp CapeCoast had a discussion on the theme, “Equipping the Youth to plan their Future Today”.
It was a successful, insightful programme – as ALL Barcamps in Ghana are.
The main speaker at the event, adviced barcampers to find out who they are, and what they want to be while in school. I suggested further, that attendees do a stakeholder mapping, by asking family and friends to tell them the qualities they see in attendees. This will help attendees understand how they are wired, thus pursing stuff they are passionate about.

In this post I share how we can apply the GROW model to achieving our visions/plans.

So, let’s say I want to be a Data Scientist, what do I do?

Goal - How SMART is my goal? How would I know I’ve succeeded in achieving my goal?
I want to be a Data Scientist by December, 2015. I would know I’ve succeeded when I’m able to perform data analysis, and create visualisations that contribute to development (in health, education, and other sectors of interest).
Also, being useful to organisations, either as a freelance data scientist, or in-house data analyst will indicate my achievement of my goal.

RealityWhat is currently happening in my life (work/school/home)? Have I already taken any step towards my goal? Does this conflict any other goal that I have?
My job gives me enough time to pursue this goal if I want to. As a student, you’d have enough time too. This goal fits perfectly into my career development plans, so no conflicts there. I’ve got basic statistics, mathematics, and programming skills. Currently, there are a number of books and online courses I could use to help me achieve my goal. However, I’m not doing that because I spend a LOT of time on social media, instant messaging, and watching TV Series. I am yet to take any step to achieve my goal.

Options - What else can I do, differently? Any constraints with this option(s)?
Based on my current reality, I can reduce the time I spend watching TV Series and movies. I will take online Data Science courses available on Udacity, edx, and Coursera, while reading books and blogs on the subject.
I will find datasets, or create my own, and use them in personal projects, thus creating a portfolio.
I will also join Data Science groups, forums online, and contribute to them.
A constraint would be the availability of reliable internet connectivity, and constantly motivating myself when progress is slow.

WillWhat do I need to do now, and when? How can I keep myself motivated? When do I review my progress?
I look forward to dedicating 4-6 hours a week, to study Data Science (including the R and Python programming languages). While studying, I will also use the Pomodoro Technique to help me be focused on my studies.(This app switches off internet data while you use it).
I will do well to contribute to Data Science groups I will join, frequently. I will review my success weekly. I am sure my plan of action will yield 90-100% success rate.

It is my hope this helps someone out there as it has helped me – and still does.

Do share your thoughts via the comment section. Thanks

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Choosing referees, and supervisors

Making a choice of who to contact to act a referee and give you a recommendation (for a job, or to further one's education), can be a headache sometimes.
I've had this problem before, and currently see a number of my friends and students going through the same dilemma.
Who qualifies as referee/reference? A person who can be asked for information about another person's character, abilities, et cetera. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
I've learnt that, it is not as clear-cut a choice, as it seems to be.
Here are some tips:

  • Consider the job, or course you intend to read. This makes it easier to choose a referee who has considerable experience in that particular industry (i.e. for the job application), or field of study (i.e. for the intended course of study).
  • For job applications, an former boss is ideal, as they can really give the needed information on a your abilities and attitude.
    If it's for an entry position, and you do not have any work experience, relations and acquaintances can make the recommendation.
    If the requirement for such an entry position is a university degree, then the you would have to fall on former lecturers to recommend you. This can be a lecturer who taught you a relevant course, the intended course of study or job expects you to have knowledge of. It can also be your final year project supervisor, or a supervisor for any project you undertook as a student.

This brings me to the issue of 'choosing' a supervisor.
Most institutions in Ghana, choose supervisors for students. Sometimes students (i.e. Postgrads) get to choose their supervisors.
I've had a number of encounters with students who had wished to have a particular individual as their supervisor, and as such were disappointed with the choice their institutions had made for them.
As a student, choose a supervisor who has a keen interest in your research/ project. This can be a published researcher/expert in your research domain. The advantage is that they can guide you to make the best out of your research, by making worthwhile contributions.
Choosing someone you are 'comfortable' with does not always help you as a researcher, or with your finished project. There have been instances where projects are assigned to supervisors who are not interested in them and so just 'manage' their given roles till the end of the project. Others also do not have a clue what the research/project is all about, and the student is left to fend for himself/herself, like a lost sheep with no shepherd.
Other times, the case is reverse, where you have a student choose a project or research area they are not interested in, and expect their supervisor to do all the work.
That. Won't. Happen.
For now, these come to mind. If you have any other comments, please don't hesitate to share them via the comment section. Thanks.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Misplaced priority?

Yesterday, I missed Barcamp Kumasi because I had been invited by AIESEC-CUCG to talk to SHS students about my career. This was a major programme of the group for the academic year; I felt glad to be a mentor for my younger brothers and sisters.

I got to the venue and was hugely disappointed -- after a while. The picture below explains why.
The empty auditorium
I found out the heads of the invited schools had not prioritised the event -- after accepting the invitation in person!
"Oh, is it today? I have forgotten o", was a reply from one of the heads.

Here I was, saddened by the fact that, these young leaders are replicating GhanaThink Foundation's barcamps, which are empowering the youth to shape their future -- for free, and such heads of schools are failing to see their impact and appreciate them.

Misplaced priorities?

The foreign AIESEC interns were hugely surprised and disappointed. And rightly so.
I refuse to support the 'excuse' that this is Ghana, and so such actions should be tolerated. If they are, then where comes the change we are working for?