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2500 OFE Essay Exam

Professor Tim Hill


By: Carson Killday
1. Five Professional Competencies
During Business Administration 2500, I have learned five basic core competencies regarding the
class. The five I learned were empathy, teamwork, valuing differences, conflict management, and
establishing relationships. Empathy is having the capacity to put yourself in another person’s situation
and feel the feelings they are. Having empathy is working to experience what that other person is
feeling, not just “silver lining” everything. Next, teamwork is having the ability to work well and be
successful with others. In an organization, you have to be able to work as a team and accomplish those
goals together. Valuing differences is key in an organization. Valuing differences means that you
recognize that every person is different and has different experiences, and you translate that into your
company culture. These different experiences and perspectives can help make an organization even
more successful. Conflict management is being able to navigate the different areas of conflict in your
organization and being able to work to a compromise or solution. Finally, there was establishing
relationships. In your career and life, you need to be able to talk to people and create meaningful
relationships and bonds with them. From those bonds and relationships, you can be even more
successful in your career.

2. Overview of OFE Experience


The organization I worked for was The Missouri House of Representatives. Their mission was to
represent the people of Missouri, enact laws and legislation, and do the duty of government. While there,
I was a legislator assistant. My duties included answering the phones, constituent services, keeping the
representative’s calendar, conducting bill research, and just overall duties of keeping the office running.
There are constant events and meetings all across the state and it was my job to keep track of them,
determine which were necessary, and schedule those. Bill research is very important so that we can
enact legislation that the constituents need. Constituent services are also very important because people
need help and the legislator is there to help them, thereby through me. There is a huge need for my
service. For one, the representative was very busy. He cannot do everything that needs to be done to
keep a district running. Therefore, I was the “middle-man”. The constituents could come to me with
their issues and I could help resolve them. If it was an issue I could not resolve, I would then get the
representative involved. I was needed to make the office more efficient so that the representative did not
get bogged down by minor matters. Their first and foremost mission is to enact legislation favorable to
their district and the State of Missouri. If the representative tried to do everything, then their foremost
objective would not be accomplished. There are three major stakeholders in the organization. The first
stakeholder is the representative. This is their job and their livelihood. They have a stake in the
organization being successful or else they would not have a job. Along with that, many of these
representatives serve as a service to others, and if they are not fulfilling that, then they are not satisfying
that need of service. Secondly, the constituents of the district are stakeholders. They are voting and
electing officials that will represent them well in government. If those representatives turn out to be bad
at their job, then it hurts the constituents. Finally, the employees, such as me, are stakeholders in the
organization. If the Missouri House of Representatives is not doing their job, then those representatives
will not be reelected, thereby, would cause people who have a position like me to lose their job.
Employees have a vested interest in the success of the representatives so that they will get reelected and
the employees can keep their jobs.

3. Drawing on your Organizational Field Experience


I have developed teamwork, empathy, and valuing differences during my experience. Firstly, I have
developed teamwork by being thrust into a new environment with new people to work with. To be
successful, I had to be able to work with them and get the job done. It taught me to be more patient with
people, learn how to delegate, and organize duties between members. Secondly, I have developed better
empathy. Ever since the empathy lecture, we had in class, it had me thinking more deeply about
empathy. Often, I would “silver line” my friends’ struggles to help them cope. However, the empathy
lecture taught me, especially from that video, that you have to put yourself in their position and feel
what they are feeling. Learning that, I transferred that into this experience, and it helped me better to
practice it and hone those skills. Finally, I developed the “valuing differences” competency. I learned to
accept other’s opinions as just as valid as mine, even if they were different. All of our experiences are
different, and we all have something to bring to the organization. I learned how to better accept those
differences and utilize them to make a more successful organizational experience.

4. Consider your Organizational Field Experience


There were many things to value during my organizational field experience. However, the one I
valued the most would be learning to deal with people who are being very negative. A lot of times,
people would come into the office screaming at me or being very angry about a specific issue. It was my
job to respond positively, or at least much more politely than they had to me. I had to quickly assess the
situation and deal with these people so that I could successfully help solve their problems. This job
taught me a lot about patience and how to handle people in a customer service way.
This experience has shifted, in part, my view on politics. There is this general idea that elected
officials do not do their job, are very corrupt, and are inept at their career. However, while at the
Missouri State Capitol, I realized that this is the case in the minority of those holding state office, not the
majority. What I found were people who were hard-working and dedicated to serving their constituents.
They were there day in and day out, serving people and making less money rather than working
somewhere else and making more. It made me see that the system is more bogged down than anything.
It is all the bureaucracy that makes government inefficient, not necessarily the politicians elected into
those positions. It changed my view of state government as a whole, giving me a lot more respect for
elected officials.
I was very impressed by the amount of professionalism in the office I worked in. I suppose that
has a lot to do with the public eye always watching the government, however, I was still impressed. One
of the professionalism aspects that stood out to me was their ability to utilize conflict management. This
was something I then was able to learn and utilize from thereafter. As I said above, there was always
someone in the office complaining or having an issue regarding something. That would tend to get under
anyone’s skin, however, the people in my office were very gracious and kind when dealing with these
issues. They always gave people the required amount of attention and worked to deescalate the situation.
It helped that the people in my office genuinely cared for these people, and sometimes these people just
needed someone to talk to. From learning conflict management so well, I will be able to draw on this
experience and transfer that into my life. It will help me listen to others better and help me understand
their problems when they come to me with an issue. In general, I have learned a great deal about
professionalism in the workplace. Those competencies we have learned are very important and I saw
them every day in my job. I have learned you always have to be willing to listen to people and help
them, that is the respectful thing to do. Along with that, empathy is essential in being able to help those
who come to you for guidance. Finally, you cannot be successful in a career unless you can establish a
relationship. If you cannot even talk to people or work with them, you’ll never succeed. More often than
not, it is who you know, not what you know, and that is why establishing relationships is so important.

5. Resume
Legislator Assistant, Missouri State Capitol August 2019-December 2019
 Drafting and editing legislation, including bills, and rules
 Scheduling the representative to meetings and conferences across the state
 Answering constituent questions and helping constituents on state matters