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Contents:

Section 01: Meeting and Presentation Experience Section 02: Self-Performance Evaluation Section 03: Interpersonal and Communicational skill development Section 04: Development as Accounting Student Section 05: Overall Experience and Conclusion

Section 01 Meeting and Presentation Experience I got my result of ACCA Skills Module results on 18 th august 2008, I was very happy to realize that I have finished ACCA Skills Module. My one of the main objectives of finishing Skills Module early was to become eligible for the degree of Oxford Brooks University. As I was not so certain about my results, I did not start preparing for my Research and Analysis Project (RAP) before results. Hence, after the result I had to extensively devote myself to research on chosen area. First Meeting Experience: My first meeting with my mentor, Mr. Samiur Rashid, Faculty Member at BiMS College (Dhaka), held on 21 st August 2008 at 12.30 p.m. In the first meeting I got to know about the criteria of RAP and what I have to cover as crucial steps of the project. The discussion included research objective, information gathering to analysis and finally SLS. After getting the overview of what I have to do in the first meeting, first thing which came into my mind was, I should have started the work earlier. Nevertheless, I was determined to finish my project. I was ready for hard work. However, the opportunity cost of working full time on RAP was not less; I had to reduce my Professional Level studies for some time. One comparative advantage was my confidence and understanding of the chosen topic. I had relevant theoretical knowledge about that topic (Business and Financial Performance Analysis). However, my mentor did propose other alternatives as well though finally he also preferred my chosen one.

My mentor gave me all the promise to support me but I knew that three meetings would not give me enough support. Learning Outcome from Meeting 1: Basic knowledge on Research and Analysis Project of Oxford Brooks University. How to prepare project report? How to create SLS? What should be the approach of performance evaluation? How to make things simpler for reader (e.g. Explain through Graph, Pie Charts etc) How to collect relevant data on performance evaluation? Post First Meeting Experience: Post first meeting I had all the tasks in the world. Somewhere enjoyable others were not. The toughest task was to collect sector average, which I could not find anywhere. Finally, I got it from Bangladesh Bank but I had to re analyze them, as they were very scattered. In addition, I was not an expert in excel works so I learned it from one of my teacher. Second Meeting: By this time, I had collected all the necessary information and appropriate analytical tools to do a full analysis of my chosen company. I also collected sector average from Bangladesh Bank and annual report using formulae in MS Excel sheet word, prepared my draft report, and presented it in electronic format. However, getting time to show all my works to mentor became a tough task for me, as he was very busy with his works. I had to wait for his appointment, which really gave me pain, as I wanted to know about how I worked and what my mistakes were. After meeting him and showing him my works he was happy with my calculations and quality of data collection, though not too happy with my comments and performance evaluation. I was not so sure about what exactly my mistakes were. Learning Outcome from Meeting 2: Do not be so bookish while commenting on financial performance of a company (e.g Current Ratio less than 1 is bad or more than 1 is good etc). How to mean many things by saying less? Knowledge on the 1st two parts of my RAP (Project Objective, Information Gathering)

Final Presentation: Before having the third meeting with my mentor, I had the toughest time during the journey of my preparing the RAP. I had to compile and align all the information and analysis I made in the last 2 months as well as prepare a presentation in front of my mentor. After making all the last time preparation, I made the presentation to my mentor where I was very confident and clear of what I made. However, I am a parttime lecturer but still this was my first formal presentation as a student so I was very excited as well as a bit nervous. I was unhappy on the fact that I was not demonstrated or did not have any workshop before my presentation but later I got to know that I was only allowed to have three meetings with my mentor. So I regretted the fact that I could have get some tips from him about my presentation. Learning Outcome from Presentation: Well Prepeared presentation where I almost covered all the relevant areas. Confident and knew exactly what I was trying to say. Made eye contact with a nice smile There is no alternative on making more and more practice before presentation. The more you try to memorize your speech the more you will forget. Be spontaneous and chilled out while presenting. Be more specific and example driven in question and answer session.

Section 02 Self-Performance Evaluation I was very much sure about my research objective or research question, which was to Evaluate Business and Financial Performance of Brac Bank from 2005-2007. After making my total analysis of 6500 word if I look back and see how good or bad I have perform in answering to my research questions I would like to mention the following things: Information Gathering: I did not feel the need for any primary sources of information. Later I feel that I could have collected that primary information which would have benefit to my study. However, I think I was quite detail and efficient in collecting secondary informations which gave me enough ground on creating a valid and informative study. Ratio Analysis and trend analysis: I tried to mention all the possible ratios and compared it with sector average also did a detailed trend analysis of three years which would reflect true performance of Brac Bank. The best thing I did here is that I used my excel skills effectively by showing as many graph/pie charts as possible. In addition, one thing for which I deserve good mark is that I compared the trend analysis of Brac Bank with its main competitors, which helped me to make faire comments. In ratio, analysis and comments there were room for improvements, at times, I was a bit here and there but I revised them repeatedly, which helped me in correcting my errors. But I could have added some more ratios such as; P/E ratio, ratios from cash flows but because of word limitations I could not. But, still I feel I was not in my best in ratio calculation.

Section 03 Interpersonal and Communicational skill development

One of the best parts in my whole journey of preparing Research and Analysis Project was that I got the chance to have one-to-one conversation with my mentor, which enhanced my overall knowledge as an individual. I have understood the importance of interpersonal skills. Though I felt that if I had got more time (3 meetings was not enough I thought) or if he could have extend the time allocated for those meetings, I would have benefited a bit more. To be frank, typically I am not a very good listener but this time I consciously made full effort to ensure that, I listen carefully to every word of my mentor. That effort undoubtedly developed my listening skill, which I think one of the most important communication skills. During the meetings, I regularly took important notes and kept voice recorder. However, I think I could only use voice recorder so that I could concentrate a bit more on what he is saying. I deliberately made my conversation in English with my mentor so that my speaking skill improves. Initially I was a bit reluctant and not so comfortable. But throughout the second meetings, I was quite comfortable with it. Overall our communication was dominated my listening and speaking but a bit of writing and reading as well. If I split them, it would look like the following table: Speaking Listening Writing Reading 45% 38% 11% 6%

I did not make the company visit, which would have improved my interpersonal and communicational skills. Most importantly, bank declined to provide data or information in addition to that was publicly available through report or websites. Still that loss was recovered to some extent when I had conversation with some lecturers and senior

students regarding different issues on companies, financial statements, SWOT analysis of Brac Bank and by visiting different sites and books.

Section 04 Development as Accounting Student

I always feel that knowing how-to-play-well and playing-well are two different things. Before doing RAP all my previous studies were based on pure textbooks, we were given problems followed by suggested solutions. One experience I would like to share which I think would give a clear picture on how this whole process of preparing RAP has helped me. When I planned to prepare ratios, trend analysis and make comments, I thought that I should just follow one of my financial accounting textbooks of which I already have good control of. So, I calculated all the ratios I knew and make relevant comments. However, when I further studied other documents (e.g. Annual Reports of different banks and other relative books and magazines) I found out that Financial Performance Evaluation differs from industry to industry and there is no certain path. More importantly, different industries have specific set of jargons for different account titles. The biggest benefit, which I have obtained during my study, is that I can now see things more critically and more objectively while analyzing a financial statement. I learned that there is no black and white area of a business entity.

Section 05

Overall Experience

I should be honest enough to say that if I were got proactive in preparation, it would have become so-far the biggest learning experience of my life. Nonetheless, it was one of the most exciting ones. The fact that there are not enough OBU graduates in our country really made me struggled to look for sample report to comprehend the standards. In addition, I feel that no working experience was a bit backdrop for me but still I managed to complete the assignment through hard work and determination. I had more expectation from my mentor in terms of quantity of his assistance. However, overall I am satisfied with his inputs.