Topic outline

  • General

    The Art of Personal Development Planning

    • Are you good at planning a night out? Then you’ll be good at PDP!

      Personal Development Planning (PDP) has been designed to help you, as a student of Marjon to consciously manage your learning in ways that will help you to succeed academically and to lay the foundations for a successful career. To make to the most of PDP you need to be able to PLAN, and you need to be able to DEVELOP.

      How you develop and what you plan also matter. Developing your PS3 skills as well as planning to spend most of your three years playing pool in the student bar are not enough. Or at least they are only enough if you learn to draw every last ounce of value from your experiences.

      So an accomplished PDP planner will use these pastimes to demonstrate "competitive spirit and determination" as well as advance "social skills & networking abilities".

      Anyone who has been involved with planning a night out will understand the three main elements of PDP:
      1 - Planning to do something
      2 - Actually doing it
      3 - Reflecting on the event

      At the planning stage it is imperative that you set achievable goals, and to identify what you have to do, and what help you will need if you are going to achieve them. Goals should be positive rather than negative. It is always more effective to plan to stay sober than to try not to get too drunk, for example.

      PDP is an opportunity to ask yourself big questions such as:-
      What do you want from life?
      What sort of person do you want to be?
      What would be your ideal job once graduating from University?

      Don't expect to answer these questions instantly. The process tends to work best if you think about your ambitions over time, seize every opportunity to practice the skills you need, and try out experiences to see if you like them.

      It is therefore a good idea to have an action plan. Give this some kind of structure, with separate "to do" lists for academic, career, work-related and social parts of your life, and keep revising it as you progress. Make sure you have as much information as possible to help in your decision-making, and identify people you can talk to about your learning and development as you go along. Here at Marjon there are a number of useful resources to help you keep your portfolio up to date for example: Mahara, which can be found on the front page of LS.

      Next, you need to act. Take up that work-experience opportunity, do that bit of volunteering, attend a training session on presentation skills through MOLU (Marjon Open Learning Unit). Registering for Marjon Plus would be a great way of motivating yourself to tackle new skills as well as getting some hands on experience under your belt.

      Finally, think carefully about what exactly you've done. Keep a regular diary or blog. Reflect on specific important events or experiences and how you dealt with them. When you receive back assessed work, don't dwell on the mark, but take time to think about the feedback. Keep asking questions - how could you have done things differently? Was it wise to go on that pub-crawl the night before the essay deadline?

      Personal development planning  is key to your own success, although you can get assistance along the way it’s down to you to bring all your experience and knowledge together so when it’s time to apply for that dream job, you’ll have the resources readily available so you can blow your own trumpet with ease and get yourself noticed.

      • Creating A Portfolio

      • Supporting documents for your portfolio

      • Gaining and Enhancing Experience

      • Learning Styles and Reflective Practice