Reflections, Part 2

Reflections_2
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Iina

In this assignment, we were given the option to write either blogposts or a report on our findings of a company’s communication patterns. The company of choice was QC Immigration and we decided that we want to set up a blog and blog about our findings. I really like this idea since it is different and allows us to explore a new world of blogging. QC Immigration is a really small company, so I think what we found the most difficult was how do we get enough information for good posts; this was one of my thoughts in the beginning at least. However, after having the skype interview with the director and deciding who will focus more on what I think the text started to flow better and we got a chance to share everything we wanted to.

I personally find it amazing how this company manages so well with only a few employees. The director has so much responsibility and it was interesting to find out how she deals with almost everything. It was also interesting for me to see how the communication works there, our assumptions of their communication and the reality of it, what kind of a role social media plays in the company and how well the external communication REALLY works with the government, for example.

Overall it has been a pleasure doing this project and I am really happy that we decided to dive into the world of blogging a bit more with this project.


Nikita

The team certainly have succeeded with the project. The main goals of the analysis were achieved in the given time, what is the most important indicator of success. Here I want to emphasize several points that made our group task easy and enjoyable.

First of all, overall group organization of the project, and especially Eugenia’s contribution to contacting and arranging a meeting with the director, which made the work flow smoothly.

Secondly, each team member’s individual task was done well and on schedule. It has always been a pleasure to work with my colleagues throughout the year and this time was no exception.

Besides, the company was of a real interest to me and, I suppose, to all of the team members owing to its reputation, worldwide clients and location. This provided a greater incentive to get to know the company and proceed with the project.

In that way, we have not only covered the material about business communication and applied the theoretical knowledge to the real company in practice, but also encountered project management issues. Without doubt, the experience working on a project in a team will leave each of us with valuable experience and new knowledge after everything is done.


Svetlana

Our group project task consisted of discovering ways and effectiveness of communication in QC Immigration, a company providing visa and nationality services for individuals and businesses. Working on this project for four months, our team analysed various channels and tools used by the company to interact with its current stakeholders. The project helped me to learn how to communicate with the company representative in an ethical and friendly manner. In my opinion, the information provided by the firm is relevant to our future career. With the help of this project, I have a better understanding of how the communication not only with employees but with other interested parties should be held. The most essential part was the online conference with the director of QC Immigration – Qiyin Chuah through Skype. I have personally noticed her openness and the strong willingness to coordinate with students and new people. Although the company is relatively small, it was still a great practice for us to act as the real possible stakeholders of QC Immigration.

Moreover, I would like thank my team for the fruitful cooperation. We worked in the polite and friendly atmosphere, and divided all the tasks equally and helped each other in case of difficulties.

Furthermore, the assignment helped me to develop my personal communication and writing skills. Our team has chosen to represent all the data and analysis about the company in the form of a blog. It was an interesting and challenging experience for me to act as a blogger and write blogposts in an appropriate style.

The communication group project is a good way to familiarize with channels and ways real companies use to cooperate with employees and other stakeholders. It helps to develop effective team communication skills and get new and useful information for the future career of business students.

 

 

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Reflections, Part 1

Reflections_1

Albertina

Writing a blogpost for this company project was firstly a pleasure and secondly a very interesting thing to do.

I have learned so much about QC Immigration since me and my colleagues started to do some research about the company and its communication methods.

I am very impressed how the director of QC Immigration can handle all the paper work by herself and only with the help of one to two employees. It is also interesting to see that even though this is a small company, it is still well-functioned.

After having an enjoyable interview via skype with the director, we had a better idea about this company. In addition, we advanced our understanding of the company as a legal firm and how it communicates with its stakeholders.

Our assumptions were really close to the reality which is interesting to me because at the beginning we weren’t that familiar with this company.

I really enjoyed the interview we had with the director and it kind of changed my point of view when it comes to being an entrepreneur. I always found it interesting being an entrepreneur but I never thought that it could be so phenomenal and even possible.

This task made me think about creating my own blog. I have never even thought about having my own blog but now I find writing blogposts very interesting and fun. I think that changes are actually not bad and we should always give it a try when it comes to once-in-a-life-time opportunities.


Mariia

During the implementation of the project and communication with the director of QC Immigration, we have encountered some challenges when organizing meetings. This happened for several reasons:

  1. The need to combine a tight working schedule of the director and our schedule of classes.
  2. different geographical locations (UK and Finland).

Despite the difficulties, we were able to find a convenient time and method of communication, which was the meeting via Skype. Another type of communication, through which we have interacted with the company, was the correspondence by email.

I believe that the usage of email is not very convenient in this kind of projects, because the information exchange process is slowed down significantly, while the contact person has to do double work. Emails, nevertheless, are effective for communication between two people or to establish a contact for the first time. I am satisfied with the results of our work. Communicating with the QC Immigration was an interesting experience, which helped me to understand the theoretical foundations of communication and see their practical application. I realized that the choice of the right channel of communication largely contributes to the success of the project. After learning from effective and ineffective communications with QC Immigration, I am convinced that I can make a better choice in terms of communication channels next time.


Eugenia

In my opinion, the objective of this company project is twofold. One concerns the understanding of a company’s communication patterns and methods and the company in our case is QC Immigration. The other concerns how to communicate effectively among team members. Being the contact person between the director and other team members is never easy. It took me some time, for instance, to arrange a convenient time for both the director and other team members to have an interview. However, with the help of communication software (such as Whatsapp and Facebook messenger), I was able to speed up the process whenever I wanted to or had to communicate with my team members.

Besides, I think that the interview with the director went really well. It was partially because we did some background research on QC Immigration as well as consulted communication-related literature before the interview. By doing this, we could come up with the questions leading to the key information we would like to know. Despite the fact that the information we got from the director is not as much as we had expected, I personally am very satisfied with the results.

 

 

Formal and Informal Communication

Difference between formal and informal communication

The difference between formal and informal communications has nothing to do with whether the communication is “grammatical” or “ungrammatical”. It is register that distinguishes formal from informal communications and it includes tone of voice, vocabulary and syntax. In our everyday life, we tend to use different register in different situations. For example, when we write or speak to professors, we would be more careful about what we write and speak and thus tend to use a relatively formal style. When we write or speak to our family members or close friends, we usually write or speak in a casual manner and tend to use a relatively informal style. So, what makes formal communication different from informal ones? There are three general conventions:

1. Conservative language
In formal style, noun-pronoun agreement should be taken into consideration. For instance, we use “everyone has his or her own weakness” instead of “everyone has their own weakness”. However, it should be noticed that “everyone has their weakness” is more or less accepted nowadays due to the requirement of gender-free language.

2. No contractions
The use of contractions should be avoided in formal style. For example, “I cannot attend the meeting” is more formal than “I can’t attend the meeting”.

3. Restrained style
Slangs and colloquial terms should also be avoided in formal communications, as they are more casual and less serious.

Formal communications are usually in a written format, which indicates that the information given is more precise and less likely to be misunderstood. They are however more bureaucratic and require longer time to receive feedback. Informal communications, usually in an oral format, are more personal and allow two-way communication. They are also helpful to create a harmonious and cooperative relationship among workers. However, as informal communications are mostly oral, it is difficult to trace information if required.

The case of QC Immigration

In the previous blogpost, we talked about QC Immigration’s internal communications and they belong to the category of informal communication. Considering that QC Immigration is a small-sized legal company, communications between the director and employees or among employees are usually face-to-face and oral. Such communications allow them to give immediate feedback and are more time efficient.

Gmail

When communicating with its clients, on the contrary, QC Immigration prefers formal style in order to maintain its professional image. In our email communications with the director, she tended to use formal style as well. For example, in one of our email threads, she avoided using contractions (we will instead of we’ll). Moreover, all the emails from the director end with the name of the company, its contact information, as well as confidentiality disclaimer. The function of confidentiality disclaimer is to mitigate the risk a confidential email may be forwarded to a third-party recipient and ask the third-party recipient to delete the message, as he or she is not the authorised recipient. It is also the risk that QC Immigration, as a legal company, wants to avoid.

Company letterhead-QC

With regards to the communication between QC Immigration and governmental institutions, they are also formal. The communication method, however, is rather limited and the communicaitons are usually done by traditional letters. QC Immigration has its own letter format, with its logo in header, as well as company name, contact information and its registration number in footer. According to the director, its communications with its regulator and governmental institutions are basically one-way and not very frequent (a couple of times per year). The director also mentioned that it always takes a lot of time for her to receive response from government officials, no matter whether she sends the message through emails or traditional letters.