Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Mmitseng Ntshonga, Top Paper Award Winner, Botswana


Mmitseng Ntshonga, an ABE student from Botswana, is studying the ABE Diploma in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality (QCF), and won a Top Paper Award in the June 2014 exams for the unit Introduction to Travel, Tourism and Hospitality. Here, she tells us a little about herself and the inspiration for her success.

I am a highly motivated person who is always willing to put in effort towards my success. I set targets that I look to every day, and come up with ideas which will help me to meet these, as focus and targets will get you somewhere.

The thing that inspired me to study with ABE was my dissatisfaction with my  BGCSE marks: I knew I could accomplish more than what I had. This really pained me, and therefore when I was admitted at New Era College (which offers ABE’s courses), one thing that I told myself was that I could do better, and go to higher places which other students in our country fail to reach.
Botswana is one of the main tourism destinations in Africa – its natural beauty encompasses wildlife, including zebras and elephants, and also the Okavango Delta. These aspects of Botswana’s natural beauty encouraged me to dream big, seeing myself as a businesswoman offering what our country has to tourists. After finishing my studies my aim is to own a hotel, camp, or lodge, or to run a company operating tours of Botswana. It is perceived in the local community that there are few women who can make it in the business world, but I want to show those people who criticize women that we can make it. Hence my career plan is to run an efficient, world-class business.

I am a young lady of many dreams – my other dream is to become a lecturer in one of the institutions offering ABE courses, as the ABE Diploma in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality has developed my knowledge, skills and attitudes to such an extent that it showed me that with confidence and trust of oneself you can conquer anything.


After finishing the Advanced Diploma in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality at New Era College my wish is to continue with my studies to degree level, in order to fulfill my dreams of becoming a businesswoman or a lecturer. With ABE I know and trust that these dreams will come true.



Interview taken from February 2015 edition of Student Focus - the free magazine for ABE members.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Emerald updates


As an ABE member, you have access to a large number of academic journals via Emerald, one of the world’s leading publishers of academic research. To access these journals, just log into the Members Area and click on the Academic Journals link on the bottom left-hand side.

These journals are great for doing wider reading around the ABE units that you’re studying, especially if you aren’t able to purchase the books on the recommended reading lists. For an in-depth guide on how to use the database, please see page 4 of the November 2014 Student Focus or the ABE blog at http://abetalk.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/emerald-introduction-to-academic.html. You can also email publications@abeuk.com with any queries about Emerald and how to use it.

New! The Emerald Learning Zone

Link from www.abeukmembers.com - Benefits - Academic Journals

The Emerald Learning Zone includes a selection of useful resources to help you improve your study skills and complements learners at all levels. For advice on writing essays, getting organised, developing your critical thinking and a huge selection of other topics, this is the place to come! For a start, we’d recommend the following articles:


Writing better essays gives guidance on how to write an effective essay, helps to explain grammar and also provides links to external resources that you can use. http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/learning/study_skills/skills/better_essays.htm

Understanding academic writing provides a breakdown analysis of essay, report and case study writing. http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/learning/study_skills/skills/structured_writing.htm

New! Emerald Subject Zones

Link from www.abeukmembers.com - Benefits - Academic Journals

Emerald Subject Zones offer a community area where you can access subject-specific articles, and keep up to date with the latest research and community events. You’ll find special features, field-specific news, top download lists and video content in the Subject Areas, so log in via the ABE Members Area and have a look.

New! Research ‘How To’ Guides


Link from www.abeukmembers.com - Benefits - Academic Journals

Emerald’s set of ‘How to... guides for researchers’ are a series of practical tips and guidance on how to design, develop and present your research. These are divided into two categories, Research management and Research methods and methodology. Here, you’ll find articles on subjects like ‘How to…use search engines effectively’, or ‘How to…undertake case study research’ – particularly useful if you’re writing assignments for the ABE Level 7 Diploma in Business Management!

Newest article highlights 

The articles listed below have been added to Emerald’s database recently. Find your subject area from the headings below, and read the articles to learn something new!

Accounting and Finance

Axel Haller, Chris van Staden, (2014) "The value added statement – an appropriate instrument for Integrated Reporting", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 27 Iss: 7, pp.1190 - 1216

Vera Palea, (2014) "Fair value accounting and its usefulness to financial statement users", Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, Vol. 12 Iss: 2, pp.102 - 116

Economics

Asma Mobarek, Michelle Li, (2014) "Regional volatility: common or country-specific? Exploration of international stock market: ", Studies in Economics and Finance, Vol. 31 Iss: 4, pp.406 - 425

Annunziata de Felice, (2014) "Measuring the social capabilities and the implication on innovation: Evidence from a special industrial cluster", Journal of Economic Studies, Vol. 41 Iss: 6, pp.907 - 928

Entrepreneurship

Anders Johan Kjellman, (2014) "Family business explained by field theory", Journal of Family Business Management, Vol. 4 Iss: 2, pp.194 - 212

Dilani Jayawarna, Oswald Jones, Wing Lam, Sabrina Phua, (2014) "The performance of entrepreneurial ventures: Examining the role of marketing practices", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 21 Iss: 4, pp.565 - 587

Strategy and Leadership

Simon C.H. Chan, W.M. Mak, (2014) "Transformational leadership, pride in being a follower of the leader and organizational commitment", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 35 Iss: 8, pp.674 - 690

Will Mitchell, (2014) "Why Apple’s product magic continues to amaze – skills of the world’s #1 value chain integrator", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 42 Iss: 6, pp.17 – 28

International Business

Alain Verbek, M. Amin Zargarzadeh, Oleksiy Osiyevskyy, (2014) "Internalization theory, entrepreneurship and international new ventures", Multinational Business Review, Vol. 22 Iss: 3, pp.246 – 269

Andreas Nölke, (2014) "Brazilian corporations, the state and transnational activity: introduction to the special issue", critical perspectives on international business, Vol. 10 Iss: 4, pp.230 - 236

Marketing

Harlan E. Spotts, Marc G. Weinberger, Michelle F. Weinberger, (2014) "Publicity and advertising: what matter most for sales?", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 48 Iss: 11/12, pp.1986 – 2008

Kim Lehman, Ian Ronald Fillis, Morgan Miles, (2014) "The art of entrepreneurial market creation", Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 16 Iss: 2, pp.163 – 182

Tourism and Hospitality
Pedro Pimpão, Antónia Correia, João Duque, José Carlos Zorrinho, (2014) "Exploring effects of hotel chain loyalty program", International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 8 Iss: 4, pp.375 - 387

André Richelieu, Stéphanie Lessard, (2014) "Long gone the glory days: Is branding of any help? The case of formerly successful European football teams", Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, Vol. 4 Iss: 4, pp.284 - 297

This article first appeared in Student Focus, Feb 2015, a free magazine for all ABE members.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Make 2015 your most successful year ever!

The start of a new year is a time for reflection when we consider whether we are on the right track to a productive and fulfilling future.  With this in mind, here are five simple but effective New Year's resolutions to put you on the road to success:

1. Devote time to professional development

If you are studying with ABE, then you have already invested in your professional development by undertaking a qualification that will help you build a successful career.  But being an ABE member offers the opportunity to do more than obtain a professional qualification.   You can access a wealth of resources in the Members Area, including the Emerald e-database of over 140 academic journals which provide the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s leading business authorities. 

Spend time taking advantage of these resources and use your ABE membership as an opportunity to become an expert in your field. This, of course, will also increase your chance of getting a fantastic exam result!

2. Learn something new every day

Whether or not you are studying, this is a great affirmation to live by.  Consider everything you do and always question whether things could be done better; learn what works well and how mistakes could have been avoided. This will hone your ability to understand new situations and make the right choices quickly and decisively.  With this ability you are likely to gain a reputation as a strong leader.

3.  Be a great listener

Learning every day depends on listening to those around us.  Talk to colleagues and peers, listen to their feedback and try to understand their point of view. Develop the art of being totally focused on what people are saying without getting distracted by planning your reply or interrupting.  Rather than making their own point, a good listener will ask questions until they have established all the facts and then, if in doubt, check their understanding by summarising what they have heard.   

If you find you are doing all the talking in a discussion, ask someone else to give their opinion and make a point of keeping quiet for a while.  If you disagree with their view, explain why in a way that makes it clear that you respect their opinion. That way, people are encouraged to share their thoughts with you and you benefit from hearing an alternative perspective.

4. Be positive

We all have setbacks, for instance when we don’t get a job, promotion or the exam results we had hoped for.  When this happens it is easy to feel defeated.  But remember, to achieve in life you need to retain a positive ‘can-do’ attitude.  For example, if you don’t pass an exam and say; “It’s too hard, I give up”, you will never learn where your knowledge was lacking or get the qualification you wanted.  However, if you remain positive, look at what went wrong with your paper and study hard in the areas that let you down you will be rewarded with success.   Take inspiration from the words of inventor and entrepreneur James Dyson, who overcame many setbacks in his early career; "Enjoy failure and learn from it. You can never learn from success."

5. Enjoy what you do

Your time is precious so use it wisely.  Take time to understand yourself, to work out what makes you happy and fulfilled and then set your goals based on these values.    A quote from the late esteemed journalist and television presenter, David Frost, sums this up nicely, “Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in and it will come naturally.”

Good luck!  

Do share your own favourite inspirational New Year's resolution.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Student Profile: Charmaine Anthony


What have you been up to since completing your ABE studies?
I recently graduated with a Masters of Business Administration Degree (MBA), specialising in Human Resource Management, from the Australian Institute of Business via the National Research & Development Foundation (NRDF) in Saint Lucia.  I also had the honour of being awarded valedictorian for the MBA Class of 2014.
You must be delighted; what else have you gained from studying?
While I am still beaming with pride at my accomplishment, I wish to highlight aspects of my personal and professional development that have led to my current success. I am a strong advocate of continuous learning - thus, I have been pursuing higher education over the past few years.
What made you decide to study with ABE?

I have always been a people-oriented individual, who encourages others to develop and grow. The perfect opportunity came my way when I joined the Human Resources team of a regional telecommunications company.  I felt like the door to my home was finally unlocked.  In September 2008 I decided to undertake a Diploma and Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management with ABE. The course complemented every aspect of my role, and enhanced my overall competencies, as I played a generalist role within the HR function.  During my tenure, my career progressed from HR Administrator to HR Executive - and Learning and Development Co-ordinator for the Eastern Caribbean Group - to being seconded onto two special assignments: leading the set up of the HR function for a new market, and taking on a specialist HR project role in the firm’s Haiti operations after the 2010 earthquake. 
Thereafter I served as HR Manager (Ag) before my departure in 2012.  In June 2010, I was also the proud recipient of ABE Top Paper Award for Personnel Information Systems.

What do you feel you have gained workwise, from your ABE studies?


My ABE studies have contributed significantly to my professional growth and career progression and served as the platform for my newly acquired qualification. The knowledge gained through ABE and my work experience are two factors that set me apart from my colleagues on my MBA programme, thus enabling me to perform exceptionally well receiving nine distinctions and three credits. I have also been identified as a tutor for the ABE Level 5 units, Personnel Administration and Managing People, which started in August 2014 at the ABE teaching centre in Saint Lucia. I am elated by this opportunity, as this demonstrates and reaffirms the value of the qualifications that I have been awarded here in Saint Lucia.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of doing this qualification?

I am assured that this investment has been very worthwhile, and that the returns have been manifold. In the words of Aristotle, “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet”. The academic journey will not be easy. There will be many challenges to contend with, and you will be required to develop coping mechanisms to fit your circumstances. However, the end result brings about a feeling of accomplishment and pride that is priceless!



Charmaine's story first appeared in November 2014 issue of Student Focus - the free magazine for ABE members.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Guide to the ABE Level 7 Diploma in Business Management (QCF) assignment support materials

If you are studying, teaching, or administering the ABE Level 7 Diploma in Business Management, then you’ll know that the assessment of this qualification differs from ABE’s other levels in that four of the Level 7 Diploma’s five units are assessed by assignment rather than examination.

The following list of assignment support materials is available by following the Level 7 Diploma link on the Members Area of the ABE website.

Administrative
  • Assignment Submission Process
  • Assignment Regulation
  • General Assignment Guidance 
  • ABE Plagiarism and Collusion Policy
  • Assignment Cover Sheet
  • Assignment Payment Form
  • Enquiry About Results (EAR2) Form

    Academic
    • Syllabuses and Lecture Guide
    • Assignment guidelines (by unit)
    • Examiners’ report
    • Reading List
    • How to use the Harvard system of referencing
    This blog will tell you what each of these Level 7 Diploma support materials is for. 

    Assignment Submission Process
    The Assignment Submission Process document is a flowchart that outlines the various stages of submission, whether you’re submitting through a college or independently. Looking at this should inform you of the stages that your assignment goes through during the marking and moderation process, as well as at what point you will be charged your fees and at what point your results will be released.

    Assignment Regulations
    This document sets out the various regulations assignments are subject to, as regards submission, marking, plagiarism, and results. Please make sure that you read it so that you are aware of your responsibilities when writing and submitting ABE assignments.
    General Assignment Guidance
    As suggested by its title, this document explains the features common to all of the four units assessed by assignment – which management skills the assignments will assess, how to select an assignment topic, the general structure of the assignment (although this can vary slightly depending on unit) and the word count. It is therefore essential to read this document at the start of planning your assignment. 

    ABE Plagiarism and Collusion Policy

    The ABE Plagiarism and Collusion Policy sets out how ABE defines the terms ‘plagiarism’ and ‘collusion’, and the risks you take by engaging in either activity. Plagiarising someone else’s work (copying and pasting from the Internet counts as this!), or colluding with other people to produce an assignment can result in your assignment being awarded zero marks, so please familiarise yourself with the policy and ensure that your work is your own!

    Assignment Cover Sheet
    This Word document template should be filled in and included as the cover of your assignment. It contains space for your name, ABE membership number, assignment title, and so on.

    Assignment Payment Form
    You can use this form to pay for your assignment(s). Simply fill in which assignments you are paying for and how you are paying for them, then forward the form to your college to include with your assignment(s). If you are submitting as a private student, this form can be sent to pgdassignments@abeuk.com.

    Enquiry About Results (EAR2) Form 
    ABE has a wide range of checks and quality assurance procedures in place to ensure that every student who takes an ABE assessment receives a result which accurately reflects their performance in that examination. However, on occasion, a student may consider that their result is not an accurate reflection of their performance. In such cases a student may query or challenge the mark/grade they have received, by using the EAR process.

    For assignments, the EAR process costs £50, and involves a clerical check, a full remark of the assignment by a different examiner, and a report on the student’s performance, highlighting where the student could improve in a future sitting. Students may apply for this service by using the EAR2 form.

    Syllabuses and Lecture Guides
    As for all ABE units, the Level 7 syllabuses and lecture guides outline and expand upon the content that will be assessed in each unit. Please see the blog entries http://abetalk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/how-to-study-abe.html  and http://abetalk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/lecture-guides-who-are-they-for.html for more information on these resources.

    Assignment Guidelines (by unit)
    ABE receives a lot of queries from students asking things like ‘where do I get assignment questions?’, or ‘what should I write my assignment about’? Where the General Assignment Guidance document discussed above will give you a broad idea of how to write your assignment, the Assignment Guidelines by Unit cover the specific requirements of each unit, and whilst there are no assignment ‘questions’, they do tell you what you should write your assignment about. Please read the Assignment Guidelines by Unit thoroughly before attempting your assignment, and follow their instructions closely whilst constructing it.

    Reading Lists
    The texts recommended in the Level 7 reading lists are particularly useful if you are undertaking self-study, since they’ll provide you with a depth of subject knowledge that you can then put to use when writing assignments.

    Examiners’ reports
    After the June and December exam sessions, the examiner for each ABE unit writes a report on the performance of students in that session. This covers the common strengths and weaknesses shown by students in that session, and how students could improve in future sessions. If you’re wondering why your assignment didn’t pass, and would like to submit an improved assignment in the future, examiners’ reports are a good place to start.

    How to use the Harvard system of referencing
    Knowing how to reference sources properly in your assignments is very important, as without proper referencing you are much more likely to commit plagiarism, even if you don’t intend to. This document will teach you how to use the Harvard style of academic referencing – follow its advice, and your assignment shouldn’t have any problems with plagiarism or a high Turnitin similarity percentage.

    Resources are available from the ABE Members Area for students studying ABE at all levels.

    Monday, 17 November 2014

    Emerald: an Introduction to the Academic Database of e-Journals

    ABE is working with a company called Emerald Group Publishing to provide you with access to Emerald’s online database of over 140 academic journals in areas relevant to ABE members. All journals are peer-reviewed and of high quality, with many being ranked by ISI Thomson Reuters and Scopus, demonstrating real journal quality. ABE members are provided with a free subscription to the Emerald eJournals database through this partnership.


    The benefits:
    • You have access to the latest academic thinking and research. 
    • You can inform your essays and assignments with evidence, theory and research material to back up your arguments. 
    • You will get to see how leading academics, in fields directly relevant to your studies, present, research and argue academic theory.
    • If you plan to go to university it will help you immensely as you are likely to use the same database or one very similar.
    In short, using this database can widen your understanding of a subject, increase your confidence in using academic argument and thereby improve your chances of achieving a good grade in your exams and any future higher level studies.


    Who can access the database?
    It is available to all ABE members studying at every level.


    How do I access it?
    You can link directly to the database from the Members Area – click on Academic Journals in the left-hand Benefits menu.  Then click on the link which says: ‘To access the database please click here.’

    If a session logs out and you cannot access the database, please repeat the process and click on the link again.


    What does the ABE subscription cover?
    ABE’s subscription will provide you with free access to some of the world’s most reputed academic publications in the following areas:
    • Accounting and Finance
    • Economics
    • Business Ethics and Law
    • Enterprise and Innovation
    • Human Resource Management
    • International Business
    • Management Science/Management Studies
    • Marketing
    • Organization Studies
    • Performance Management and Measurement
    • Strategy
    • Tourism and Hospitality
    Please note, there are other less ABE-relevant subject areas on the site which are not covered by the subscription which you will not be able to access


    Using the database
    A good way to start is by going to the subject area most relevant to you and looking through the journals relating to this subject. On the right hand of the screen, Emerald lists the most popular articles from the journal you are looking at. This gives a good insight into what other people are reading which can be a useful starting point if you are a new user. Alternatively, you can use the advanced search options to find the most relevant content. Try cross referencing terms with those in the syllabus that you are studying!


    Useful features
    The following useful features are available for free:
    • Advanced search options
    • Saving searches
    • Creating favourite journal lists
    • Sharing on email
    • Sharing on social networks
    • Setting up alerts for publications
    In order for you to use these services you will need to register with Emerald.  You can do this by:
    1. Accessing the database from the Members Area as described above
    2. Clicking on the button that says: “Register” at the very top right side on the screen, as shown in the screenshot below
    3. Completing the online form


    Online tutorials and guides
    To ensure you make the most of the database, we recommend spending a bit of time looking at Emerald’s online tutorials and guides.  You can access these by clicking the link in the Members Area which says:
    ‘For user guides please click here.’
    We hope you find this a great benefit that enhances your ABE studies. 
    If you find an article that you think might help your fellow students please share your tip below.


    This story was published in Student Focus the free magazine available to all ABE members.  Find out more at:  http://abeuk.com/publications.php

    Thursday, 18 September 2014

    Top Tips to Help You Get the Job You Want

    You are ambitious.  You are ABE qualified.  But in a competitive job market, how do you stand out from the crowd?  Here are some top tips to help you turn job applications into job offers.


    The initial application

    • Tweak your résumé (often referred to as CV/Curriculum Vitae here in the UK) according to the job you are applying for.   Have several versions you can use based on the type of role and company. For example, if the role stresses excellent IT skills, don’t bury your IT expertise several lines below less relevant information.    Include examples of the way you have used technology in a practical, work-relevant way.  Likewise, if the role stresses people skills, highlight the teams you have worked in and any group projects you have undertaken.
    • If you have some great references from past employers or tutors, consider including the best quotes from these with your résumé or covering letter. You can even list them on a separate sheet if you have enough. 
    • Create a professional LinkedIn profile and get peer recommendations and endorsements.  Include a link to your LinkedIn profile with online applications (remember, don’t link to your personal social media accounts if these show a less professional side of you).
    • Get a recruitment professional to look over your résumé and provide their honest feedback; ensure it highlights your strengths in a clear, concise, easy-to-read manner.
    • If you have a completed your ABE qualification, remember to highlight that you have a recognised professional qualification that has given you practical business skills.  Emphasise those learning outcomes that match the requirements of the job.


    The interview

    When it comes to interviews, remember the Benjamin Franklin quote:  “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”   He probably wasn’t thinking about job interviews at the time, but no saying could be more apt.

    Before your interview

    • Re-read the job application and research the company.
    • Think about the questions you are likely to be asked.  Prepare your answers in a way that highlights your skills and personality, and then applies these to the role. For example, most employers like to see that you are ambitious, but don’t give the impression that you will leave if not made a director in the first month! Talk about your ambition to take ownership of the role and make a difference in the department, as well as long-term ambitions.
    • Get a friend to give you a mock interview, or practice in front of a mirror. Make sure your answers aren’t just about you, but about how you can apply your skills to the job.  
    Some advice about good answers to typical interview questions can be found on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=As6TTIIdPdI

    On the day

    • Turn up on time. If you’re late to an interview, it gives the impression that you don’t care enough about the job to arrive on time.
    • Dress appropriately.
    • Make sure you sure you have the name of the person you need to ask for when you get there. This sounds obvious, but it’s a surprisingly easy mistake to make.

    The interviewer

    This is the unknown element of any interview.  Here is a lowdown on the types you might encounter and how best to handle them: 

    Friendly

    Luckily, most people want to put you at your ease, and recognise this is the best way to get to know a candidate. Most interviewers you meet should, hopefully, be friendly. 

    Tip: there is a danger you can get side-tracked by pleasant chat and lose focus.  Make sure you steer the conversation back to the role and your suitability for it.

    Unenthusiastic

    Unlike Friendly, this type has no interest in creating a connection with you. They just want get through the interview and fill the vacancy. Expect less casual talk and more focus on business.

    Tip: don’t waste time trying to get this type of interviewer to like you. Instead, simply convey your work ethic and your professionalism.  Build their respect by making your answers as clear and concise as possible. But be careful not to let their attitude stop you from showing your enthusiasm for the role, or rush you into finishing without providing a full account of your skills.

    Intimidating

    Sometimes, an employer will want to see how you react under pressure, which gives rise to this type of interviewer. They may try to put you off by grilling you for details or specific figures that you may not have to hand.    

    Tip: be honest about what you don’t know, and be very clear and detailed with the answers that you do know.  Above all, keep calm and don’t let them scare you into giving rushed, undeveloped answers.

    Inexperienced

    Though unusual, this type of interviewer can frustrate you by asking naive questions or demonstrating a lack of understanding of the role. 

    Tip: the trick with these types is to make sure you cover all relevant areas, even if they are not asked about, but without sounding condescending.

    Finally

    Try not to view a job interview as an ordeal. Instead, try to see it as a challenge, and a chance to shine and show what you know.  Keep calm: if you are prepared and professional, the only other thing to remember is to be yourself.  Good luck.

    Did you find this article useful? Do you have your own top job-winning tips?

    This story was published in Student Focus the free magazine available to all ABE members.  Find out more at:  http://abeuk.com/publications.php