Archive for July, 2012

why prisons don’t work

July 27, 2012

Upon reading Why prisons don’t work which is a 1994 article by Wilbert Rideau, a former inmate at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, it is clear that holding criminals in prisons does not work as an effective way of rehabilitation. This is a highly instructive article, where Mr. Rideau candidly states the reasons prison systems fail to work. This paper seeks to use several examples to show why prison systems fail to work. Prison systems fail to work because prisoners get exposure to other dangerous criminals and learn from them, thus developing a criminal culture. Some offenders get to learn about drug use while in prison. In addition, most offenders face numerous forms of violence, including rape while in prisons. Thus, although prisoners need rehabilitation, holding them in jail does not offer appropriate solutions because most of them came out worse off than they came in as they develop a criminal culture, face harsh experiences such as rape, violence and drug abuse from other hardened inmates.

Rideau’s article mainly serves to educate rather than to entertain, and largely aims to address state security officials, correctional facility officers and other law enforcers. Accordingly, the article has a sober tone, covers a wide scope and sets a steady pace. The author is categorical that holding criminals behind bars for too long is detrimental as it makes it harder for them to readjust to normal life upon their release. Most inmates that joined Rideau in prison were amateurish, spontaneous and uneducated misfits, most of them black, who had committed dumb and impulsive offenses. State security officials should not hold prison inmates for long because they could use funds spent to rehabilitate inmates to catch up with other criminals in the streets. Confining convicts behind bars for long periods does not help them reform into acceptable members of the society but instead many become worse with others even losing their lives while in prison. Criminals that end up in jail commit different offenses so they deserve to receive different forms of punishment. For instance, prison officials should not subject petty offenders to similar punishments as other offenders who commit worse crimes such as rape, robbery or murder. Indeed, according to the Human Rights Watch (2007), there is widespread victimization of inmates in prisons in America. Ideally, prisons should serve the purpose of punishing prisoners, protecting the public as well as rehabilitating the prisoners. This is not possible to achieve without proper reforms in prisons.

Confining criminals for long in prison does not help them to reform. Instead, most offenders going to prison get to meet other hardened criminals who teach them worse forms of crimes. These experiences only serve to instill a criminal culture in the criminals. The hardened criminals usually glorify criminal activities and take pleasure in passing it on to new criminals; thus, the new criminals are likely to embrace a criminal culture, which is detrimental to rehabilitation efforts. For instance, Steve (2003) gives an account of an inmate that went to prison in 1979 for shoplifting a goose down sleeping bag worth $150. According to Steve, the inmate experienced all sorts of assaults, including sexual assaults from other inmates. These experiences made the inmate embrace a criminal culture in order to survive in prison. The only possible way that an inmate could survive safely at the prison was to acquire a reputation, which often entailed stabbing another person. Then again, there is the problematic issue of drug abuse in prisons. To illustrate this, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (2006), new inmates that have never consumed drugs before in their lives get their first experiences in prisons. When prison officials fail to engage inmates with constructive activities, the inmates engage in drug abuse to fight boredom. The inmates in prisons usually involve themselves in the use of drugs such as heroin, tobacco and cocaine, a habit they pass on to new inmates not used to drug use, thus frustrating the rehabilitation process.

Prison reforms mainly intend to curb criminal activities before they happen. For the inmates that are already in prison, prisons should serve to teach the inmates to have respect for humanity and lead dignified and productive lives. However, too much violence present in today’s prisons only worsens the characters of inmates. For example, Steve (2003) gives an account of violence involving an inmate that went to prison for shoplifting. The inmate encountered violence on a frequent basis from older and stronger inmates that had gone to prison for worse offenses than his. Such experiences only worsen inmates as they develop and embrace violent behaviors through experience. Moreover, these inmates usually go to the extent of raping fellow inmates that are weak when lights go out. For example, Pittman (n.d) notes that rape cases in prisons are quite common as he narrates an experience of a former inmate who encountered rape regularly from former inmates. Such violent assaults traumatize other inmates, making them commit worse offenses in bid revenge and vent out their anguish and frustration. Similarly, young convicts face older convicts who often take advantage of them sexually. The older inmates abuse the young inmates by forcing them to work for them, willfully injuring them as well as by using them as their sex slaves. Subjecting these young inmates to such experiences only worsens their characters while they might have gone to prison for petty offenses.

In conclusion, it is obvious from the above examples that prisons do not work. In fact, the prisons might work against their intended objectives, as the inmates are likely to come out of jail worse off than they came. Retaining the prisoners is not only costly for the state as it also means that the inmates become accustomed to criminal activity and experiences and begin viewing them as acceptable. The inmates develop new, appalling habits that they never had such as drug use, violence, rape as well as new ideas to commit other crimes upon release. Certainly, holding inmates behind bars does not offer the appropriate solution because it worsens their characters and renders them as unproductive members of the society (Rideau, 1994).

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Medical Law

July 23, 2012

Introduction

The medical phenomenon is characterised by pulsating conditions faced by patients across the world, which medical practitioners have to attend to in an ethical manner with accordance to the law. Persistent Vegetative state (PVS) is a condition whereby one is conscious without awareness. Confusion on ethical choices incurred when dealing with (PVS) patients who have in the recent years been in question of what the right choice is. Family members such as Jenny, the wife of Jeremy, are faced with contradictory choices concerning the best option with regard to the husband’s continued life support treatment. This paper seeks to give a clear description of what the law agrees with, regarding the decision made by Jenny.

Arguments across the world have been proposed that (PVS) patients ought to be considered as living persons with rights to medical integrity and options (Shepherd, 2006). In the case of Jeremy, this law might bar his wife, Jenny, from terminating his life in case the (PVS) state continues. Before Jenny makes turns to the law to find a reasonable decision to take, the husband’s recovery chances must be determined first. According to the New England Medical Journal (1994), consciousness and function recovery options ought to be considered before the patient’s next of kin makes a termination request to the hospital. Doctors suggest that persistent medical examinations are needed to verify the patient’s real condition. If a mistake is made at this point, the hospital might end up being sued for malpractice and poor diagnosis techniques by Jenny.

Four issues arise when trying to make decisions concerning (PVS) patients, they are considered living persons, they lack awareness, their condition is permanent, and that they might live long in their vegetative state (Shepherd, 2006). When considering these issues, it is vital for Jenny to consider every possible alternative before plugging off Jeremy from life support treatment. Treating (PVS) patients ought to be done with regards to the patient as a person. It means that Jenny’s option to withdraw her husband from treatment should not be done to meet her own ends. Living wills play a prominent role when making life terminating choices as in the case of Jenny’s husband. Jenny must ensure that she acts according to what her husband wanted in his will, in case he had one. A will is a legal document which directs the doctor on the best suitable option which the possessor wants in case of a terminal illness such as (PVS). Withholding from acting in accordance to the patient’s will is considered a violation of the person’s right, thus can lead to severe consequences for the perpetrator. In case Jeremy’s wife, Jenny, does not agree with her husbands’ will document, she might be able to acquire a legal power of attorney document, which will put her in charge of any decision making procedures concerning her husband’s illness. Many people confuse the power of attorney with a will document. A will is made by the patient concerning his or her perception of what is the most suitable option the doctors ought to take in case of a terminal illness. On the other hand, the power of attorney document gives someone else the authority to make choices best suited for the patient. Jenny is the best option in case she applies for a power of attorney document.

Having both the living will and a medical power of attorney is an important aspect for a person to consider. This will entitle the person made responsible by the power of attorney to make the best suitable option regarding the patient’s living will. Since Jenny prefers her husband to be withdrawn from life support and left to die, the husband’s legal will document ought to be followed precisely by the doctors before the decision is made. Revoking someone else’s will is not possible according to the law. It is only possible if the incompetent person gave someone else the authority to do so. If Jeremy’s will suggests that he wishes to continue living in a PVS state, then his wife may not be able to make any decisions regarding his life termination. Doctors also have a part to play before such a will is revoked. A doctor must receive the revocation letter before it is considered legal.

In other regions, such as the state of Florida in the US, the law allows for the withdrawal of life sustaining treatment such as tube feeding. This is only possible if doctors have clearly under all possible means assessed and evaluate the patient’s condition and fully come to an agreement that the state is permanent. In case family members continue to upkeep life support treatment, the region’s statute is completely free of the outcome. Jenny must review with the region’s law and its standing on (PVS) patients’ withdrawal decisions.

The cost of maintaining a (PVS) patient on treatment is a difficult task to undertake for families. Annual cost for long term PVS medical care in the United States ranges between $97,000 and 180,000. Jenny has to consider this cost in any decision she makes regarding her husband’s treatment. It is impossible for a middle class working person to raise such funds and resources yet support the family. Although the law has to be followed with accordance to the patient’s will, exceptions ought to be made on how financial support for continued life treatment will be acquired (Jennet, 2002). Many spouses prefer to terminate the life of their loved ones for economic benefits. Jenny ought to consider the right reasons as to why she prefers to withdraw her husband’s life support. This will ensure that her motives to terminate her husband’s life are both sincere and pure.

Best interest principle is a necessary outcry for (PVS) patients across the world. Dealing with their (PVS) cases is full of argument and debate as to what is the best option to take. In the UK and Ireland, best interest principle is regarded as a standing law. Best Interest principle steers to bring into harmony the three aspects which are said to be the keys towards achieving the best option for (PVS) patients (Fenwick, 1998). Jenny must be aware of the court’s jurisdiction, medical involvement, and interest classification in case she decides to withdraw her husband from life support treatment.

In different countries, such as Scotland and Ireland, courts have a role to interfere with a decision made concerning (PVS) patients in case the incompetency is present. This authority allows the court to make decisions on behalf of the patient. Jenny has to be familiar with her country’s court system regarding (PVS) patients. Her decision might end up being objected by the law courts regarding the patient’s best interest. In addition to this, medical involvement poses another threat to Jenny’s decision to terminate her husband’s life. Medical opinion by doctors and other medical practitioners is a fundamental aspect when trying to withdraw from offering (PVS) patients’ life support. Although decision concerning (PVS) patients highly regards orientation from benefits and encumbrances of treatment, medical opinion and evaluations ought to be also highly regarded. Jenny must exhaust all her evaluations, and make sure that her final conclusion is the best option to take.

Furthermore, classification of interest has spawned due to many cases of (PVS) patients presently across the world. Previous and present formulations concerning the patient’s condition must be assessed to get the true objective of the decisions made. Here, one must realise the purpose of making life support withdrawal choices. Jenny must consider these three elements before withdrawing her husband from life support.

Conclusion

Permanent Vegetative state Patients’ rights ought to be respected and acted upon according to the law. This has been provided for by the law through legal will documents and power of attorney documents both of which try to exhaust the best possible means to deal with PVS patients. Integration between law courts, medical professionals, and the general society allow the flow of information on how one can act in case a family member suffers from (PVS). Jenny needs to exhaust all the resources she has through connections with her husband’s doctor before turning to the law to legalise her actions. She ought to realise that her husband’s legal rights do apply according to the law before withdrawing him from life support.

References

Ahronheim, J. (2005). Case Studies in Geriatric Medicine. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bernat, J. (2008). Ethical Issues in Neurology. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins Publishers.

Brody, B. (2004). Taking Issue: Pluralism and Casuistry in Bioethics. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press.

Fenwick, A. (1998). Applying best interests to persistent vegetative state – a principled distortion? Jme. Retrieved from http://jme.bmj.com/content/24/2/86.full.pdf

Foley, E. (2011). The Law of Life and Death. Cambridge, MA: Havard University Press.

Goodhall, L. (1998). Tube Feeding Dilemmas: Can Artificial Nutrition and Hydration be legally or ethically Withheld or Withdrawn. Hadassah-med. Retrieved from http://www.hadassah-med.com/NR/rdonlyres/CC8AAF22-ED2D-4F21-A499- 501D04C74EAB/7605/tubefeeding.pdf

Jennett, B. (2002). The Vegetative State: Medical Facts, Ethical and Legal Dilemmas. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

New England Journal of Medicine. (1994). Medical Aspects of the Persistent Vegetative State- Second of Two Parts. Ethics. Retrieved from http://www.ethicsconsultantgroup.com/uploads/1/3/8/6/1386542/4.medical_aspects_of_p vs_2.pdf

Pozgar, G. (2011). Legal Aspects of Health Care Administration. Mississauga, Ontario: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Shepherd, L. (2006). In respect of People Living in a Permanent Vegetative State-and Allowing Them to Die. Standuphelpout. Retrieved from http://standuphelpout.com/law/activities/publications/lljdocs/vol37_no2/shepherd.pdf

Analysis of the Legal Methods in the Child Poverty Action Group (Respondent) Vs Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Appellant) [2010] UKSC 54.

July 23, 2012

Analysis of the Legal Methods in The Child Poverty Action Group (Respondent) Vs Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Appellant) [2010] UKSC 54.

The legal provision as to whether the Secretary of State has a right to recover the overpayment of social security benefit claims forms the ratio decidendi for this case. It was based on section 71 of the Social Security Administrative Act 1992 as the only provision as the route for this recovery. It thus focuses on the entitlement of the Secretary of State to recover funds over paid due to misinterpretation or non disclosure (Child Poverty Action Group vs Secretary of State for Work and Pensions).

The case came as an appeal to the House of Lords by way of enquiry on the role of the Secretary of State to recover overpaid claims made from “official error”. It is not clearly expressed by the common law. This followed the ruling in favor of the Secretary of State by the deputy High court Judge at the Michael Supperstone QC then the subsequent declaration that the case be linked to this section of the Act 1992 as the only avenue for recovery by the court of appeal.

The respondents argued that the common law did not provide an elaborate provision for the recovery of overpaid claims by the Secretary of State. They stated that the common law did not allow for the Secretary of State to write to the claimants and seek recovery for the funds mistakenly awarded. This they argued should not have been the case where a notification has been issued or when a notification has been overlooked. They suggested that such cases should not be linked to the exclusive clause in section 71 since there was misrepresentation and disclosure.

Lord Brown used the section 71 of the Social Security Administrative Act 1992 as the approach to resolve the issue in the case with regards to certification of the legal point. This was, however, changed through amendment, which provided another power of recover eliminating that of the 1992 section. Sir John Dyson supported this by comparing his ruling to that of the High court where recovery was only allowed in case of misrepresentation or non disclosure and not errors in calculation. He affirmed that, in the previous laws, the secretary of State was allowed a different channel of recovery by common law. To him, the parliament provided a strong scheme in statutory recovery process for the Secretary of State in section 71. Lords Phillips, Rodger and Kerr read these judgments and agreed to them. The appeal was thus dismissed (Child Poverty Action Group vs Secretary of State for Work and Pensions).

List of References

Child Poverty Action Group (Respondent) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Appellant) [2010] UKSC 54.

sociology

July 13, 2012

Gender and sexuality

Gender is a term used to distinguish males from females. Biological variations in our anatomy and social-cultural environment determine our gender. We can define gender by our biological variations from birth, but as we gradually progress from kids to boys and girls, the social-cultural aspect shapes us into our distinctive genders. As a baby boy grows up, the society expects him to emulate his father’s behaviors. Naturally, baby boys engage more in their hands quietly. We can squarely attribute this to the biological variations since at this age; cultural factors have no role to play. The baby girl, on her side, takes more interest in talking and singing (lulling her teddy bears and dolls). Interestingly, the baby girl, in most instances, learns to talk earlier than the boy child. The girl child tends to emulate her mother in her undertakings who mold her into a feminine character. Unconsciously, they tend copy the roles of their mothers in the family.

They see the way in which their parents treat each other and try to emulate them. In normal circumstances, the boy assumes the dominant role as he sees his father doing. He prefers involving himself in demanding activities such as going to the garden or taking livestock out for grazing. The aspect of providing for the family slowly gets into his mind. The girl, on the other hand, assumes a caring role just as her mother. She tries to keep herself busy with the household chores and other in-house activities. She assumes a submissive role as she views her mother behavior towards her father. It is at this juncture that aspect of gender hierarchy comes into the picture. At this point, the boy can be observed to command around objects and assumes more masculine duties. A girl, on her side, tends to assume her mother’s position like cooking and doing some washing. It is also at this point that emotional development commences. The boys tend conceal their emotions as a show of manhood and the society even discourages them from certain activities that reveal their emotions such as crying by the society.

The society also shuns shyness from them and trains them to be bold in their stands. The girls, on their part, engage emotions in their interactions. They tend to be shy in their stands, and their decisions are more inclined towards emotional judgment than rational judgment. Culturally, the society expects the boys to engage in activities that depict assumption of responsibilities. As the boys grow into men, they grow both biologically and physically. The roles they assume diversify even the more the differences between the two genders. Socially, men tend to abide by what the society expects them to do. They tend to engage their actions as were brought up. Culture expects them to command respect from the women. It does not expect boys to be shy and tend to hide their feeling and prefer handling tough situations by themselves. Women on their side tend to share their problems with their friends or their mothers.

The society allows boys the freedom to do whatever they dim fit since the society expects them to be responsible. Their freedom depicts the trust bestowed to them is as they grow up. Whereas the boys are less supervised, the girls, as Judith Corfer puts it, are placed under strict surveillance. They are presumed to be bound to messing up and so require guidelines as they grow up. Growing up with such an attitude, the girls go into marriage while knowing their position as women. Even in marriage, women are expected to show exemplary behavior and uncomplaining obedience. It is hence normal within the society to find a man having several concubines while the same will be treated with contempt for a woman. Even to date, a man seen with a number of women does not raise eyebrows unlike in the case of women. Just like in the Confucians hierarchy, the five human relations prescribed in this case are also applicable to the current gender hierarchy in our society. The interactions in this case are the superior inferior one in which the man is seen as superior while the lady should comply with what the man says. In this case, as a child, the girl is expected to obey her father, as wives, the women are expected to obey their husbands and so forth.

This mode of operation has prevented women from protesting even during violation of their rights. In Judith Corpher’s article, she cites having heard of the sexual harassment that the Puerto Rican women underwent under the hands of their bosses. Their bosses had the liberty to hire or fire them if they did not submit to their demands. The inferiority in women is also instilled by the customs. They are forced to behave the way they do for fear of being prejudiced or even harassed. Chances of freedom accorded to them leads to changes their mode of conduct. Spanish women on the island are free to put on what they like due to the protection by the Spanish and catholic laws. Therefore, the mode in which we express our sexuality is highly dictated by the cultural upbringing and our social interactions. Men tend to emulate what their fellow men do and any contradiction to these norms is met with mockery and hostility. However, review of this mode of conduct is required. This is because one gender seems to be oppressed and lacking the guts to stand up for themselves. Luckily, some cultures are evolving and are contemplating gender equality in an endeavor to eradicate the oppression against the other.

Contribution of feminism to understanding sexuality

Continual oppression of the female gender has seen the establishment of feminism movements whose sole aim is to change the perceptions towards women. These movements aim at changing the view of the society towards women. In most instances, the society tends to merge gender and sex and fails to know the marked difference between these two terms. In the social-cultural concept, gender is usually taken to mean sexuality. Sexuality is determined by our biological endowments which makes us either a man or a woman. Gender, on the other hand, is determined by the way we were brought up. For instance, in some cultures, a man is only respected as one if he has been circumcised. This does not imply that if one is not circumcised, then he ceases being a man. Sexually, he remains to be a man; however, he is not regarded as a man as per that community.

Similarly, in some communities, feminism is viewed in line with sex. Women in this context are presumed to be sex objects whose sole existence is to satisfy men. Due to this, women have continuously been treated without respect and worse still in some African cultures they are treated as part of the man’s property. Therefore, as perceived by the cultural feminism, that the female beings are associated with a caring attitude, and the chores associated with them such as the house chores which do not result into any payments, adopting this view makes people lose respect towards women. Surprisingly, the women themselves seem to have accepted some of these roles and are participating, not for survival but pleasure. For instance, Steele cites the peepshow in which the ladies, of various academic qualifications participating willingly in the event. Some of these women were even financially stable, living high-end lives. This scenario, coupled with prostitution, gives an entirely different picture of sexuality to what feminism activists depict.

A scantily dressed woman might have done so a number of reasons, but the impression created on men is that of sex objects. The feminist activists are hence working towards enabling the community to see the importance of the role of a woman. In changing the perspective of the community against the role of the woman, they will have managed to change the society’s understanding of sexuality in the feminine perspective. This social activism will, however, only be accomplished if the women join in solidarity and walk the talk in fighting gender imbalances. Currently, advancements have been made, and women are taking up jobs that were previously reserved only for men and also the aspect of taking women as male subordinates is slowly being phased out.

Problems due to feminist approach to sexuality

The feminism perspective should, however, not be completely adopted in defining sexuality. Some cases have been reported in which men have suffered from these activists. In the disguise of fighting for the right of the girl, men have been ignored and have, as a result, been sidelined. Jacquelyn Hall’s article highlights cases in which a black man was lynched for whistling to a white lady. This was not only racial violence but was also violence against a one gender. Currently, there are numerous women activist groups which protect women in all spheres. Men, on the other hand, are left to suffer since they have few if any bodies that are ready to stand up for them. The suffering of men is further accelerated by the way in which the society nurtured them. A man is supposed to be in control and is not supposed to show signs of weakness. As a result, men have continued to suffer in silence for fear of being tagged cowards.

Feminism view of women as a weaker and oppressed sex has seen to the securing of certain opportunities to women while ignoring men. This is a violation of men’s rights as it denies those opportunities and considers women alone. These have most importantly been utilized by some women for political reasons. Therefore, changing the perception of the society towards women and establishing gender balance will only serve to bring conflicts and confusions in the communities. Women have been brought up knowing their position and hence trying to change this will be practically unachievable. Naturally, women know that they are submissive to men and so it will be difficult for them to assume some roles like taking over the full control of the household in the presence of a man.

In conclusion, this entry has addressed the feminist view of gender as is solely constructed by the society and that it has nothing to do with biological orientation. It has further looked at the impact of understanding of gender in the perspective of the feminists view and established some divisions among women and to some extend, members of the team. These women are talking of fighting gender imbalance and changing the perspective of the society against the role of the women but going against this, behind the scenes. Therefore, in as much as these feminine activists should be encouraged to reduce the disparities between the masculine and feminine gender, it should be done under some guidelines which will not oppress the other gender. Talking of gender equality should imply that both sides are accorded equal opportunities to access of resources.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference

Steele, T.L. (2005). Sex, Self and Society: The Social Context of Sexuality. Belmont, Calif : Wadsworth.

Deloitte

July 12, 2012

http://careers.deloitte.com/united-kingdom/students/country_custom1.aspx

Through your research and in your own words please explain five key reasons why you are interested in joining Deloitte
(max 100 words in bullet point format)

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Deloitte offers the best in career development opportunity as evidenced by their recent achievements.

A key accounting firm, one of the Big Four accounting firms, where my expertise in finance and economics can be used.

A leading professional services network in the world. It offers services on audit, tax consultation, business risks, and financial advice.

A giant in the financial world. During the FY 2011 alone, garnered a record profit of revenues of USD 28.8 billion.

This same year, the Verdantix Green Quadrant , a prominent evaluator of business sustainability capabilities has ranked Deloitte as top market leader.

Please explain your understanding of the core activities undertaken by your chosen service line and the value they add to their clients
(max 100 words in bullet point format)

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The Global Employer Services, my chosen service line provides professional advice to global clients in through:

  • offers professional consultations and advice regarding labour-related and employment issues on compensation and benefits.

  • presents reliable advice on questions regarding international assignment services by the client of its employees in several areas of operations.

  • affords the clients researched advice regarding its international human resources, such as internal viability and mobility of human resource programs .

  • grants the client professional insight on the management of risks, performance, and rewards of its international human resources program.

  • supplies the client technology and information expertise that raise the standards in services and internal management.

Please let us know what you think you will be doing in your first year on your chosen programme and service line
(max 100 words in bullet point format)

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On account of the fact that Deloitte recognizes the serious challenges that clients, corporations, and businesses face in establishing their operations in several countries and areas, I see myself, during the first year of my chosen programme to be:

  • Offering professional advice and analysis in financial aspects needed by the client for the success of his/her business, such as costs analysis, profit projections, and financial foresight.

  • Presenting clients with professional analysis and advisories regarding taxes in areas of operations and tax planning for international operations.

  • Providing clients with reliable data and consultations with regards to labour-related and employment issues from wages and remuneration, employee benefits, and questions on international assignments.

FSA

In this first question we are particularly keen to understand why you are attracted to a career at the FSA (rather than the characteristics of the scheme you have applied for).

Please explain why you have applied for a career at the FSA:

  • Why are the reasons you have stated important to you?

  • How have you prepared for making this application?


(250 words max)

The FSA is the primary agency tasked with the responsibility of regulating financial services in the United Kingdom.

It holds great power and vast functions as conferred to it by law, specifically the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and Financial Services Act of2010, making it one of the most influential government agencies affecting financial relations in the country.

It would be a great honour and opportunity to be given the chance to work at such a prestigious organization. Rest assured, I possess professional qualifications and principles that make me suited for such a purposeful company.

In this question we are keen to understand why you are attracted to the particular role you have applied for.

Please explain why you have applied for your choice of programme.

  • Why are the reasons you have stated important to you?


(250 words max)

The reason I applied for the particular division, the Economics Development Programme is on account of the fact that it offers unparalleled development opportunities, and the chance to work with some of the world’s leading financial agencies such as the FSA.  I believe it also provides the chance for me to gain good business acumen to compete in a fast-paced and dynamic environment and workplace.

Moreover, the programme, would enable me to further develop and specialize in financial and economic analysis. Given my skills in financial foresight and projections, I can be of much service to the programme, which is based on the Risk and Financial Stability Division of the FSA.

The Specialist divisions of the programme, namely the Macro Prudential Analysis, Statistical Analysis and Business Intelligence Team (SABIT) or Sector, Thematic and Aggregated Risk (STAR) team, all offer distinct and diverse opportunities in economic analysis, which I find very exciting and challenging in my chosen career.

The FSA has frequently been in the news over the past two years. Please outline the main issues the FSA is currently facing or will face in the future.
(250 words max)

Certain issues which are currently facing the FSA or in the near future are as follows:

  • The regulation of current and savings accounts with building societies. There is a conflict on whether this should be regulated by the OFT or the FSA.

  • The proposed abolition of the FSA and reconstruction into several new agencies.

  • There is the problem of banker’s bonuses. Following the 2008 global financial problems, it is believed by many that excessive risk taking by bankers to meet performance targets led to the outbreak of the crisis and as such the FSA feels that regulating bankers’ bonuses can reduce the amount of risk taken by bankers to acceptable levels. However, there is a conflict between the FSA and bankers with regards to this because bankers believe that they should be rewarded for delivering better performance;

  • Money laundering issues

  • Credit card fraud;

  • Protecting consumers. Many high street banks charge excessive fines on unauthorised overdrafts. The FSA needs to ensure renew confidence in consumers of banking and financial products to ensure that they get a fair deal when dealing with financial institutions

  • Lack of liquidity in the economy. Following the global financial crisis, there have been increased concerns about the liquidity of banks. The FSA needs to ensure that banks are always liquid ensuring that they can meet the demands of depositors and that they can provide loans to consumers.

  • Another issue that the FSA will face in the next couple of years is the implementation of its principles based regime as well as its retail strategy

In the following two questions, you must relate your responses to the specific programme that you have applied for.

In answer to the previous question you have identified some issues that the FSA is currently facing. Please now choose one to discuss in more detail.

What in your view is the most important issue currently facing the FSA?

  • In your opinion, what action(s) should the FSA take to deal with this issue?

  • Why?

  • What would the implications be?

The most significant issues for me is the proposed abolition and reconstruction of the FSA.

On June 16, 2010, George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchquer announced that the FSA would be abolished, and its functions devolved to several new agencies, and the Bank of England.

These new agencies include the Financial Conduct Authority which is responsible for looking into anomalies and concerns in the banking systems. The New Prudential Regulatory Authority provides for the prudential regulation of financial firms, including banks, investment banks, building societies and insurance companies. The Money Advice Service has assumed the role of the Financial Capability Division of the FSA since 2010.

Other functions which are not covered by the said agencies would be exercised by the Bank of England, through its newly-created Financial Policy Committee.

The action which should be taken by the FSA is to take careful steps to ensure an effective and smooth transition. The FSA currently offers diverse and important services to the financial world. Hence, a disruption and poor quality of services offered by the new agencies would prejudice investors and financial clients dealing in the country.

In my chosen career field, I believe in the concept of specialization and devolution. Hence, if there is proper implementation of the reconstruction program and certain agencies are only given specific tasks to perform, there would be more efficiency. Should I be assigned in one of these agencies, I would be working with the topmost calibre of individuals and specialists in the field.

The implications of the abolition and a successful reconstruction of the structure of financial regulation in the United Kingdom are contingent on the success of said development. If the reconstruction is successful, a more efficient and effective financial services would be offered and performed since the agencies now have their own specialized functions.

On the other hand, an unsuccessful reconstruction, even initially would lead to the damage and slow processing of financial concerns in the country.

Please choose another issue facing the FSA to discuss in detail.

What is the issue?

Another significant issue facing the FSA is the remuneration of bankers.

An altogether significant issue that hounds the FSA is sufficient liquidity in the banking sector.

This problem is drawn from previous market instability and turbulence as exhibited by Northern Rock and other several street banks that ran into a quandary in failing to meet the customer’s demands for deposits. Although the bank had a large pool of several mortgage loans which were supported by properties, the values of the property had actually declined.

The problem and dilemma facing these banks is that they both take deposits and issue loans from, and to customers, respectively. Since, in effect, the banks borrow on a short-term and lend on a long-term, there exists the real risk that they will eventually fail to meet customer demand for deposits.

In providing financial forecasts as part of my functions should I be employed in the agency, the aforementioned problem would be addressed by the a proper review and analysis of the liquidity policy statements, in assessing whether they have contingency measures to address liquidity concerns.

Furthermore, a historical analysis into the behaviour of the banks to properly assess whether they have funding or parental support agreements and contingency plans for liquidation concerns are proper.

Santander

Through your research and in your own words please explain five key reasons why you are interested in joining Santander.
(max 600 characters bullet point format)

  • The Santander Group offers the best in career development opportunity as evidenced by their achievements in the recent years.

  • Considered as one of the leading banking groups in the whole of the Eurozone. My background in finance and economics makes me suited for such a top-notch company.

  • Offers the largest growing opportunities in the banking industry since it is one of the primary banks in the globe on account of its market capitalization.

  • Advocates excellence in professional services, has a superb track record in customer services, possessing over 90.1 million customers, 13,390 branches worldwide, and boasting 2.27 million shareholders. 

  • Considered as a giant in the financial world. It has been recognized by the Forbes Magazine Global as the 13th largest company in the world.

Please explain your understanding of the core activities undertaken by your chosen business division. 
(max 600 characters in bullet point format)

  • organize and negotiate financial and investment transactions. The investment banker is tasked to professionally advise clients, ranging from corporate clients to individuals investors regarding financial investments they want to enter into. This would include entering into a venture with the client to provide capital and investment to the company.

  • analyzing corporate matters of clients such as merger or acquisitions, the sale of subsidiaries, among others. After finding it is advantageous for the client, the investment banker negotiates the deal between the parties.

  • analysis of financial success and losses, such as looking into budget deficits and failing banking operations, and offer remedies and solutions to the situation.

Please let us know how you will add value as a graduate /Intern/School Leaver on your chosen programme.
(max 600 characters in bullet point format)

  • Possess extensive professional experience and successful track record as a Mathematics and Economics student. I firmly believe I possess the skills, qualifications and experience, which are vital and necessary to make a very significant contribution to a celebrated corporation such as Santander.

  • Developed sound analytic and quantitative skills, and a comprehensive understanding of many aspects of the investment banking industry.

  • Successfully and competently understood relevant concepts which have been involved in the associated essays I have produced as part of the course.

  • Efficiently apply and adjust theoretical knowledge I gained in my course to practical use in forwarding the interests of the company.

dates

Accounts and Finance Manager

name of residential home

  • Researching and reporting on factors influencing business performance, and also analysing competitors and market trends

  • Developing and maintaining relationships with external contacts including auditors, solicitors, bankers and the Inland Revenue

  • Interpreting financial information, monitoring cash-flows, predicting future trends, analysing change and reporting on all of these activities

  • Formulating strategic and long-term business plans and developing financial management mechanisms to minimise risk

  • Identifying cost reduction opportunities by conducting thorough reviews and evaluations

  • Managing all accounting, monitoring and reporting systems

  • Generating accurate financial reports, consistently delivering the required reports within challenging deadlines

  • Controlling budgets and arranging new sources of finance for debt facilities

  • Supervising staff to ensure that all work was completed on time to the highest possible standard

dates

Director

Parsa Luxuries Cakes

  • Personally setting up a designer cake company, managing all aspects of the business from accounting and finance through to marketing and production

  • Succeeding in winning lucrative contracts with the key businesses including the Dorchester, Landmark and Jumeira Carlton

  • Recruiting and training both permanent and casual staff, planning shifts and rotas and dealing with any staff issues arising

  • Providing strong leadership and motivation to develop a cohesive and productive catering team, and managing their payroll efficiently

  • Planning and agreeing budgets, establishing realistic financial targets and forecasts and monitoring spending levels

  • Monitoring quality standards to ensure that the company consistently provides the best possible products and service

  • Liaising extensively with suppliers and clients, demonstrating the ability to establish productive business relationships

  • Negotiating contracts with customers and evaluating their requirements to ensure that they are fully satisfied with the service and product provided

  • Contributing significantly to the development of the business by planning new promotions and initiatives, and setting the strategic direction of the company

  • Keeping abreast of industry trends and developments, by monitoring trends in consumer tastes, menus and management issues

  • Planning menus, monitoring stock levels and ordering supplies, checking event bookings, managing facilities and keeping accurate and up-to-date financial and administrative records

  • Exhibiting at the National Wedding Show and other events

(Cover-Letter for Oliver Wyman)

Parsa Ahmed

Telephone:

Email:

For the attention of: The Personnel Manager, Oliver Wyman

Dear Sir/Madam,

Re: Investment Banking Internship

“Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence — only in constant improvement and constant change.” – Tom Peters. In applying for an excellent corporation such as Oliver Wyman, I cannot agree more.

I have a tremendous interest in the investment banking industry and possess outstanding competence in the field, which can be fully utilized to forward the interests of your esteemed company. I strongly believe that the industry and your corporation offer excellent development opportunities, and the massive opportunity and honour to work for one of the financial world’s leading companies. 

Your esteemed corporation, Oliver Wyman. is considered as the top financial services consultant, and even was labelled by the New York Times as “a leader in general business consulting.” Your excellent roster of the best in the financial world such as  Adrian Slywotzky, among others of equal esteem, inspire me to be best and be part of the best in my chosen career.

It would be an honour to be part of such a prestigious and socially-concerned corporation, which has worked with non-profit organizations to improve the lives of people in the developing world through microfinance, healthcare, and education.

Rest assured, I am a dedicated individual trained and geared to face challenges. Born as the first child in my family, which belongs to an under-represented ethnic minority, I did my best to take and finish with colours, an undergraduate degree at a prestigious university. I am a highly-motivated individual, which can be attested to by my extensive professional experience and successful track record as a Mathematics and Economics student.

I have acquired a different type of skills from my career to date. As Director of my own business, I have demonstrated that I have the drive and motivation to deliver work in an exceptionally high standard. I acquired the ability to confidently make difficult decisions. In this role I trained, developed, and led a small team, effectively by being both a strong leader and a team player.

I also proved my negotiation and influencing skills by winning several lucrative contracts with major accounts. I established realistic financial targets and forecasts for the teams, monitoring spending levels and reviewing opportunities to cut costs where applicable.

I would gratefully welcome the honour and opportunity for a detailed review regarding my CV with you in order to demonstrate my affluence of skills to you. I can certainly be available in your most convenient time. Please do not hesitate to call me on Mobile so we can discuss my application in greater depth.

Yours faithfully,

Parsa Ahmed

enc.:     CV

BNP PARIBAS

Please provide details of any extra-curricular activities that you are involved in. (Max 250 words)

The extracurricular activities I am engaged in include my business, Parsa Luxuries Cakes. Personally, I love sweets such as cakes and pastry. Hence, my enterprise is my own personal fulfillment, where I am also able to share to other cake and pastry enthusiasts or people who are simply hungry, the simple joy of dining cakes and pastries which were passionately baked from them by my staff and I.

My other activities also include intensive and recreational sports such horse-back riding, swimming, and performing in the production staff of my University. Despite my dedication to my professional career, and busy schedule, I firmly believe that recreational activities and rest are essential for my health and spirituality.

Charity works, such as rendering my professional and personal services to charitable organizations are also included in my extra-curricular activities. I firmly believe in helping the less-fortunate by empowering them to help themselves, through the outreach and educational programs we provide for them.

Being in charge of the financial matters of the charitable organizations I am helping out with, I make sure that the funds allocated for outreach programs are maximized to bring about the best services and results for the recipients of our charitable programs.

What attracted you to this role and to BNP Paribas as an organisation? You should include in your answer the rationale for applying to the particular business area, and the specific qualities which make you suited. (250 words max)

Being given the opportunity to work in an outstanding organization such as BNP Paribas is an exciting and thrilling thought!

I am deeply attracted and interested in working for BNP Paribas due to its outstanding track record in financial and customer services. A revered investment bank and corporation, BNP Paribas, is considered as the top financial institutions and banks in the whole world, offering its services to millions of clients all throughout the globe.

Among its many achievements, it has been ranked by prestigious financial firms such as Bloomberg and Forbes as a leading global bank with its assets totalling to over $3.1 trillion. Being part of such an excellent and esteemed institution would be a great honour and opportunity for me to be able to impart my skills and talents for the growth of the company and my own professional development. In an amazing show of its perseverance and sustainability, BNP Paribas escaped from the 2007 credit crisis unscathed, its profits even increasing €3bn net profit for the year of 2008, and €5.8 for 2009.

Rest assured, I am a dedicated individual trained and geared to face challenges. Born as the first child in my family, which belongs to an under-represented ethnic minority, I did my best to take and finish with colours, an undergraduate degree at a prestigious university. I am a highly-motivated individual, which can be attested to by my extensive professional experience and successful track record as a Mathematics and Economics student and a successful businesswoman.

Outline / give an example of when you have had to influence others and adapt your behaviour in order to achieve a goal. What specific approach did you take to ensure others were fully engaged? What obstacles did you face? What was the outcome and what did you learn? (250 words max)

While managing my own business, Parsa Luxuries Cakes, I experienced the challenge of financial decision-making and risk-taking. I also had to establish rapport and good relations with my staff and the employees which I hired. I also had to work with my clients, contractors and customers, learning the art of negotiations.

I also provided services to charity works and charitable organizations. In helping out Senteble, a charitable organization, I undertook the role of raising funds for the projects of the organization. Through our work, we were able to raise funds in the amount £2000 within a week for Lesotho’s orphans and vulnerable children.

During my academic years in the University, I also held positions of authority and influence in several student organizations. I was part of the school production team where I had to direct and influence the work of the members of the organization and production team. The key was becoming a team player where I had to consider the views and opinions of my ideas.

Conversely, I also had to assert myself as a strong leader in the face of my members, where I politely asked them to perform their respective roles and responsibilities in the projects we were working on. Time management was also a problem with my members. Despite my own busy schedule, I was always present and early during meetings and practices. It was an effective strategy, my members eventually emulated my example.


Please provide an example of a time when you needed to adapt your approach to a project based on new information becoming available. How did you determine that you needed to change your approach? How did you deal with the ambiguity? What was the outcome? (250 words max)

Information is undoubtedly necessary in the field I am applying for. Sound business judgement and financial advice would not be possible if the data the judgment is based from is not updated and reliable.

As the Director of my business, I had to know certain information and data regarding the market in which I was engaged, supply and demand, economic downturns, aside from hundreds of other economic and financial considerations. An example of this information is that when I learned of a new supplier which offered more economical raw materials with the same quality. I carefully approached the dilemma by investigating and requiring more information regarding the products offered. I eventually discovered that the good were smuggled, and desisted from any further negotiations. Eventually, the smuggler was apprehended and his products confiscated, to the prejudice of my competitors who purchased from him.

During my academic years in the University, I worked on the projects with regard to the school production team. There was a time when we had to conduct an outreach presentation for out-of-school kids, where we had to train them for their respective presentations. The new experience and information we had to adapt to in teaching the kids who were resistant to our approaches motivated me to better understand them. I conducted exciting workshops and counselling sessions with the children until I earned their trust and confidence. The program was a success, and most importantly, I made an impact on the lives of the children.

(Cover-Letter for Martin Currie.)

Parsa Ahmed

Telephone:

Email:

For the attention of: The Personnel Manager, Martin Currie

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am most respectfully writing you to apply for an Investment Banking Internship in your most reputable organization.

“Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence — only in constant improvement and constant change.” – Tom Peters. In applying for an excellent corporation such as Martin Currie, I cannot agree more.

I have a tremendous interest in the investment banking industry on account of its impact on a macro-level – on the global and national finance levels; and on the lives of its millions of clients seeking to invest into enterprises to better their standard of living.

I strongly believe that the industry and your reputable corporation offers consummate development opportunities, and the massive opportunity and honour to work for one of the financial world’s leading companies. 

A highly esteemed financial corporation, Martin Currie, sentimentally referred to as the Big Boutique, is considered as a leading specialist investment management business, providing top notch services to a wide variety of clients from financial institutions, charities, foundations, endowments, pension funds, family offices, government agencies and investment funds. It currently boasts the management of £6.4 billion (US$9.9 billion, as of 30 September 2011) in active equity portfolios. It would be an honour to be part of such a prestigious and outstanding financial corporation.

Rest assured, I am a dedicated individual trained and geared to face challenges. Born as the first child in my family, which belongs to an under-represented ethnic minority, I did my best to take and finish with colours, an undergraduate degree at a prestigious university. I am a highly-motivated individual, which can be attested to by my extensive professional experience and successful track record as a Mathematics and Economics student.

I have acquired and developed essential types of skills throughout my career. As Director of my own business, I have demonstrated that I have the drive and motivation to deliver work in an exceptionally high standard. I acquired the ability to confidently make difficult decisions. In this role I trained, developed, and led a small team, effectively by being both a strong leader and a team player.

I also proved my negotiation and influencing skills by winning several lucrative contracts with major accounts. I established realistic financial targets and forecasts, monitoring spending levels and reviewing opportunities to cut costs where applicable.

I would gratefully welcome the honour and opportunity for a detailed review regarding my CV with you in order to demonstrate my affluence of skills to you. I can certainly be available in your most convenient time. Please do not hesitate to call me on Mobile so we can discuss my application in greater depth.

Yours faithfully,

Parsa Ahmed

enc.:     CV

M&G Investment Banking Summer Internship Programme

July 12, 2012

Parsa Amhed

4 Alias Drive

Bling Road

London NW2 3HD

25 November 2011

TO

William Nott

Executive Director

M&G Investments

875 Third Avenue,

New York, NY 10022, USA.

Dear Mr. Haley

RE: M&G Investment Banking Summer Internship Programme

I am writing to you to express my great deal of interest and motivation in completing a six-month internship programme in investment banking. I have heard of your program while I was a student at University of London.

My research indicates that investment industry is deeply involved in the international investment/trading and marketing leverages, and this forms a platform for me to be an active member of a team that drives the organization further forward, albeit for a short period. My interested for applying for an internship programme at M&G Investments stems from its impressive reputation.

I am dynamic and enthusiastic 21-year-old graduate student. I did Finance and Business Economics Degree. The courses of I have taken in university introduced me to similar tasks. By learning economics, business management, and mathematics enabled me build up a basic concept that is useful in investment industry.

I posses the talent, commitment and energy you may wish to have in prospective member of your Team. The success of your company fits perfectly within my vision, and I truly believe I possess necessary skills for your company thrive. I am therefore very excited of being able to become an intern in your company and pursue my wish of developing a career.

My CV, enclosed herewith for your reference, it has sufficient information on my education, experience and interests, and I would be very happy to be chosen to join the program.

Thank you for your attention

Yours Sincerely,

Signature.

Application for Investment Banking Internship at M&G

July 12, 2012

Why I am Interested in Investment Banking

I have great deal of passion in investment banking on the premise that the industry holds great prospect to attaining my life goals. I truly believe that investment banking is one of the challenging industries in the global economy, and being in such working environments has been my desire. Investment industry offers a vast range of challenging opportunities therefore working some firms operating in the industry would help me gain the appropriate business knowledge and skills that I will use in future after retiring. Joining the industry presents opportunities through which I can learn different knowledge, skills and capabilities relevant to investment. The investment industry provides numerous opportunities for me to gain good business skills and ideas that can be helpful in the fast-paced and dynamic business environment within which a firm can thrive. Investment banking industry is a high world of finance. 1

My interest of being an investment banker has developed over time. Thanks to improved technology which has enabled people from all corners of the world access information quickly and easily. The collapse of Lehman Investment Bank in the United States attracted my attention. I did research to investigate what led to the downfall of the company. The findings of my research indicated that the company had collapsed due to poor investment in the mortgage markets. Another prime reason for the collapse of the company is attributed to high executive pay during the economic crisis. I only wished that I was among the investment bankers in the company. I have sought far and wide information about investment banking. In the pursuit of attaining valuable information, I interacted with my relatives who have been working in the industry. Their way of life inspired me to working hard in order to achieve my dream.2

Why I am interested in working at M&G Investment

I was initially attracted to M&G because of its fame owing to record of investment excellence and very appealing innovation culture which stretches back over 30 years. I truly believe that I will gain the best possible start to my career by learning from successful professionals within an international environment, using industry best practice. I consider that your commitment to partnership and teamwork will complement my style of working, and will also enable me to both contribute to and draw from the expertise of your team. I value your commitment to professional development, and am keen to maximise the opportunities you offer to build upon my existing knowledge.
Having managed my own business I appreciate the value of good customer service and support, and am encouraged to see that you have maintained a strong local customer focus despite the size of your business. I personally found success by building an understanding of specific client needs, and would like to replicate this success within your organisation by working with your diverse client base. Having chosen to enter the financial sector at a challenging time, I was also reassured to see that you value high professional ethics and integrity, and am confident that I will be an asset to your company in this respect.3

I appreciate the fact that your company offers constant stream of fresh challenges thus enabling me learn or acquire new skills. Working for the company, albeit short term, would enable me access increased opportunities characterized by culture of high performance. I also acknowledged your company’s efforts to accommodate the needs of employees through educational and training programs on investment scheme effects. I am assured that I will broaden the breadth of my business skills.

I am looking for a challenging career which will make the best possible use of my professional experience and my degree in Maths and Economics, and am sure I could contribute significantly to your team whilst developing my skills further.

Actions that I have personally taken to make a Difference to Charitable Organisation (Senteble)

I was raising money for a charitable organisation Senteble to create awareness in my university and the local community. The mission of the charity is to transform the lives of Lesotho’s orphans and vulnerable children who are the forgotten victims of poverty and of HIV/AIDS. Basing on personal experience, I have discovered that orphans and children brought in poor family setups are prone to numerous challenges. They experience very many negative changes in their lives. They suffer emotional neglect long before they are orphaned. Children without parents experience trauma in their lives in the event that the society does not take corrective actions.

To achieve my goal we had to overcome few obstacles, my target was initially to develop a team capable of raising £2000 in a week. As a productive team leader I implemented this by recruiting two teams of fellow students, the first team set up a stall near the student union to sell baked cup cakes and krispy kreme donuts. Second was to dress up in different costumes to gain attention from the student. We had achieved both of our goals by raising more money than we expected in a short period of time. We had also our story written in the university new letter and in the local paper.

I arrive at the decision of raising such amount of money after critically analyzing the future implications of the condition and the impact that the future impact that the organisation could create among the lives of the victims and the society as a whole. The money could be used to assist the victims. In my mind, I knew that availability of sufficient money would be used to change the lives of the individuals in the long run. These monies could be used to fund the education of the orphaned children, and this could positively change the society in the long run.

I credit myself for spearheading a very successful initiative. I organized the students into two teams of 20 members. We raised more than £2000 within four days. The money has been utilized by the organisation under different managements to improve the general welfare of the affected victims in Lesotho. The funds have also been used to conduct campaign on how these victims should be treated in the society. In the recent days, the extended families in the Lesotho communities have become part of the solution to mass orphan hood. The community has come out to adequately support the children.

An Important Decision that I made

I was about half way through my life and I did not know what decision to make. The difficult decision that I was to make is to marry or get a business degree. I could say getting the degree was an important decision, but I could also say that getting married was also paramount to my life. This issue disturbed for a long time. I did critically analyse the merits and demerits of each opportunity, only to discover they had similar weights. If I had not drop the idea of marriage, I would not have gotten my degree course and my life would have been totally different. This is a simplistic illustration of a decision that would have account for the future complexities that could have arise.

When I think of my current life, I think I made the right decision. Education has changed my life and it is a source of my family pride.

What attracts me to a career/internship at M&G?

I really know that deciding where to start my graduate career basing on my strengths is not an easy thing. My dreams of working in a well established and reputable organisation will come true when I land on internship programme at M&G. From the comments of friends and relatives working at the company, I have been attracted to pursuing an internship programnme in investment banking in the company. The internship programme is quite unique than those in other firms within and outside the investment industry, and this is what has attracted my attention and interests. In case I am fortunate enough to join the company, I will be treated as a key member from the first day. I will be actively involves in various business undertakings of the entity. It is has been my wish to work in demanding environment thus M&G remains the only company within the United Kingdom which can enable me realize my dreams and ambitions.

Not only are they treated as key members of the entity, interns are also accorded good foundation where they can advance their specific knowledge and careers. I am also impressed by the fact that the company provides interns with opportunities to explore the management run businesses within their areas of responsibility. This is something that distinguishes this company from other firms in the investment industry. I will be allowed to interact freely with people in all departments, thus enabling me develop a wide range of skills and competencies in various investment areas.

As an intern, I would gain exposure in Fixed Income and Equities among other business investment areas. The interns are established as teams thus providing me with opportunity to interact and network with other graduates with different educational background. I am also attracted by competitive salary during this period.

Outline any positions of responsibility you have held within or outside of your formal academic study

I have held a position of an accountant and finance manager at Unique Former Care Home Hotel Property. Here, I used to carry research and report on factors affecting business performances in the United Kingdom. I was also concerned with developing and maintaining relationships with external stakeholders of the company such as auditors, bankers, solicitors and Inland Revenue. I managed to source finances for debt facilities in the company.

In 2008, I established Parsa Luxuries Cakes, designer cake company and I served as the director. I was concerned with management of all aspects of the business. I performed accounting, finance, and marketing and production management. Notably achievement as a director was winning of lucrative contracts with key business players such as Jumeira Carlton, Dorchester and Landmark.

At the university, I spearheaded a funds drive for charitable organisation to raise money that could be used to help improve the lives of Lesotho’s Orphans and vulnerable children who are the forgotten victims of poverty and of HIV/AIDS. As a team leader, I developed a team to pursue this goal. We managed to raise more than £2000 in less than a week and this was used to created awareness of the situation Lesotho.

At high school, I started science club. I become the chairman and I was concerned with arrangement of club activities. I organized events for raising money to fund the activities of the club. The club has grown significantly. Currently, it is the only strongest existing club in the school.

Further information that would be taken into account when reviewing my application

I actively participate in community development projects. I am the Chairman of Women Finance Trust Organisation in my village. Horse riding is my hobby.

My understanding of the daily tasks during my Internship Programme at M&G

As an intern in investment banking program at M&G, I am responsible for management of the investment portfolio of the clients. I will also be an advisor i.e. to counsel the clients of the company (investors) concerning guaranteed investments. I will be entitled to give advice and guidance to people who want to get start-up with the investment plans. With the aid of the existing investment managers, I provide company’s clients with up to date information for investment platforms. I would advice them on the most profitable business ventures where they can invest their money. Whenever a new investment product is introduced, I am obliged to acquire sufficient knowledge so that I can deliver the right service to the clients of the company. With other experienced investment management committee, I would specify investment objectives and constraints for the investors. This entails determining safety of principal, current income and capital appreciation. It is my responsibility to address ascertains the constraints that may arise out of liquidity and time horizon. Taking up the roles of an investment manager at M&G is very interesting because I will gain in-depth exposure to various front office investment areas and wide business.

Industry-based challenges faced by Investment consulting clients

Current business environment is turbulent, and this is posing great deal of challenges to investment consulting clients of M&G. Most of these clients invest in European single market which is currently experiencing notably property bubbles, depopulation and ever rising inflation. Since early 2008, European Union countries have been hit hard by the recession, global credit crunch and ensuing international slowdown. The deep recession that is being experienced has adversely affected investment markets, a condition that would cause a lot of problems to the clients.

The clients are facing mounting resource constraints due to ever increasing input costs. This has become universal backdrop to start-ups in the investment banking industry. With oil approaching peak output, reordering of economic priorities is the order of the day in many households. Thus, sustainability has become a serious business issue across the investment banking industry. Seismic demography being experienced in the European countries is challenging factor to the investment consulting clients of M&G. This often changes the people live and work.

Professional qualifications that I would like to take

I would like to take Investment Banking. From experience, I have acquired not only sufficient but all relevant knowledge on investment industry. I possess deep knowledge and understanding of how economic trends affect the investment industry. I know how to assess risks, and how to limit financial losses in business investment be it of the company or the clients I represent. My vast knowledge and experience in investment industry would be useful to the organisation because I would be able to attract large number of clients. I am effective in communication and this will enable me present investment information to the clients and the corporations. The stellar interpersonal and communication skills that I possess are necessary when interacting with clients all over the globe.

A time when I have had to explain a complex concept to someone who had no prior knowledge

I was asked by the lecturer to present math concepts, a topic which many considered complex. I knew that the way present my topic influence the way the class would understand it. Before I crafted my presentation, I look at the math concept as if I was a complete beginner to it. Thereafter I imagine what would need to be explained to an individual with no prior knowledge. The first thing I did was to develop the concept clearly on the board. In my drawing, I labeled points I wanted the students to focus on. Next to the picture, I wrote out a sentence about the concept. I went on to explain the concept while I touch on each important point without leaving anything out. Throughout the presentation, I controlled my voice to make sure that I was clear and precise. At the end of the lesson, majority of the students had understood the concept.

Describe a time where you made suggestions to improve an established process

My Father had established a poultry project. However, it was doing well and this disturbed me so much. The genesis of the challenge was lack of an automated food and drink system, and this compromised the amount and the quality of food and water provided to chickens. One day, I suggested that we acquire one such system. My father was reluctant to accept my proposal citing financial constraints. In the course of family discussions I proposed that we could buy the system using family contribution. We did contribute and the system was acquired. Since then, the poultry business has flourished.

Reference

M&G Investments, “M&G Corporate Website”, 2011. Retrieved November 26, 2011 <http://www.mandg.co.uk/Corporate/AboutMandG/index.jsp>

1M&G Investments, “M&G Corporate Website”, 2011. Retrieved November 26, 2011 <http://www.mandg.co.uk/Corporate/AboutMandG/index.jsp>

2M&G Investments, p.1

3M&G Investments, p.1

New Deal Consensus

July 12, 2012

Introduction

New deal was considered to be various economic reforms and programs that were implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. The programs were passed by the Congress in the first term of Franklin Roosevelt and they were considered as the reaction of the United States government to the great depression which was occasioned by the crash of the Wall Street. It covered various issues such as financial, economic and social. The economic programs were founded on three Rs namely: recovery, reform and Relief. Relief mainly for those who are unemployed and the poor population, recovery mainly for the economy to be restore it to the normal level and the reforming of the entire financial system so as to protect it from further depression. The new deal is associated with president Franklin Delano Roosevelt who served as the president of the USA for unparalleled four terms; he was considered to be a reformer who waded off the Great Depression (Venn, 1998).

New Deal Consensus

The period of new deal produced alignments of political nature that was aimed at reaching consensus referred as the new deal consensus. The democrats supported the new deal due to their liberal ideas while the republicans considered the new deal an enemy of the business and they opposed it entirely or wholly. This consensus on the new deal dominated several presidential elections till the period of 1960s. The new deal was motivated by the desire to create better living conditions for the poor Americans. The new deal lasted for a very short time and it started in March 1933 following the legislative measures that encompassed the programs passed by the Roosevelt government in a hundred days between 1933 and 1935.

After their strong opposition to the New Deal program, republicans changed tact and they opted to support the government by supporting the new deal consensus and this led to the support of Wendell Willkie who backed the new deal while others advocated for isolationism. The relevance of the New deal consensus was beyond political economy and it greatly shaped the American domestic policy and party politics during the world war period. The new deal consensus contained a lot of ideological assumptions for liberal consensus and it was motivated by the desire to distribute prosperity among the American people and the expansion of the capitalists system of economy (Venn, 1998).

The new evaluation of the new deal placed a lot of attention on various groups which included women, the blacks, urban and industrial workers. There was new consensus on the evolution of the new deal which accepted the limitation of the new deal while recognizing the contribution it made to the nation. The liberals, the democrats and the conservatives and also the republicans all joint hands to support what came to be called the New deal consensus (Venn, 1998).

Evolution of New Deal Consensus

There has been debate by commentators and scholars as well as historians on the genesis, the intentions and the consequences of the new deal and there has been unanimity on these matters but in the period 1940s and 1950s historians were within the period of liberal consensus that resulted in the new deal being part. New deal traces its evolution to the progressive heritage established in the era of new nationalism engineered by Franklin Roosevelt. New deal was considered to be remarkable not for its purpose but in its effort to attack capitalism and in addressing the civil rights and other social problems was well as ameliorating the poor conditions that were faced by the sharecroppers of the south. Though the new deal did not succeed in shaping the America social structure, it had intelligent administrators who better understood the problem and tried their maximum in addressing it. The new deal was considered to be are reforming radical force and its achievement aided in consolidating and institutionalizing the economic and political spheres of the United States for example it shaped capitalism. The new deal garnered the support of the ordinary Americans and it altered American politics by influencing the nature of the Democratic Party, it also restored public confidence (Paddock, 2005).

As opposed to the expectations of most democrats, Kennedy elections as the president of the United States of America did not produce emerging consensus and legislative fruition. The evolution of the new deal when reflected from the period of industrial capitalism accommodated itself to the new realities inherent in capitalist economy. There was need therefore to reform the efforts of the new deal and move it beyond the progressive eras as well as to break it from the refining moment of the social contract (Venn, 1998).

The evolution of the New Deal policies rested in various hands which included progressive reformers and social workers and it relied upon the efforts of experienced group to implement it. If the Democratic Party could not have given up its left wing, it is argued the new deal coalition could have survived. The democratic defeat of Dewey and Wallace had the effect in the two political parties and it resulted in the strengthening of the anti-leftist consensus in the American political structure that preclude the new deal evolution as well as the policies that were anticommunist foreign policy. Truman based his campaign for presidency on his wish to expand the parameter of the New deal (Paddock, 2005).

The Vietnam War for example had a lot of influence on the new deal system from the end of world war 11 and the middle of 1960s that was inclusive in the foreign policy of America. Together with other domestics and political issues, the party system in the New deal suffered from the American class structure and the party era during this period was fundamental factor in voting (Paddock, 2005).

The new deal consensus rested in three main foundations namely a strong economy that could generate unprecedented prosperity, a political order of the new deal and the commitment of the government to contain the expansion of communism on the global environment (Paddock, 2005).

Relationship of new deal consensus and the civil rights movement

The moral commitment of the new deal consensus towards social activism and in the behalf of the lower income cadre of the population demonstrated this relationship. The politics of the America was dominated by democratic coalition of the democrats that was created by the new deal. The consensus on the new deal has resolved around the support for communism activities which were economic, military and diplomatic. The republicans were afraid of the success of the civil rights movement. The era of the new deal consensus was considered as a struggle over the terms of the liberal order which was dominant during that time. It wad difficult to arrive at consensus with civil rights movement because they were considered to be anti-government, had populist expression and belief in activism which was considered threat to government stability. The violent response of the whites from the South to civil rights movement and the political disputes of the time were more significant to the consensual issue being debated. There were however consensus on certain matters which modeled the character of American politics and expanded the country’s capacity of capitalism that can be under moderate control by the government (King & Carson, 2010).

Civil rights movement was made with a lot of resistance from the Southerners. Racial segregation was a factor in major cities dominated by the whites and this helped shape the new deal election consensus. The civil tights movement and their victories during the 1960s enabled them to realize government objectives. This was observed by martin Luther king who argued that the victories by the civil rights movement penetrated deep into the depth of the deprivation of the Negro especially in the North and this was actualized when President Lyndon B Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act as a consensus document and this placed civil right matters into national domain and eliminated the notion that they were divisive in nature. The civil rights movements and the government of Johnson attempted to approach civil rights issue in a radically changed situation. The leadership of Johnson helped the civil, rights achieve their objectives and the right wing of the protest movements appreciated the changes and accomplishments realized by the civil rights movements. The primary objective of the civil rights movements was the creation of a classless society and the amelioration of the Negro (King & Carson, 2010).

References

King, M. L., & Carson, C. (2010). Stride toward freedom: The Montgomery story. Boston: Beacon Press.

Paddock, J. (2005). State & national parties & American democracy. New York, NY: Lang.

Venn, F. (1998). The New Deal: [a message of hope]. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press.

Integration of Information Systems

July 9, 2012

Abstract

Traditionally, information systems have been focused on managing information within the company. Currently, intense level of competition in the market has forced corporations to actively involve in the search and management of information of other companies, especially their market rivals. As such, coordination of information systems of companies has become a crucial component of managing the systems. In the present business arena, high technological advancements have resulted into the capability of integrating different information systems for efficient decision-making process in companies. This paper seeks to explore integration of information systems in business enterprises, primarily focusing on the roles played by information systems and consequences of their integration.

Introduction

Information systems have become indispensable part of doing business in the current global economy. When managed strategically, information system can be a crucial source of competitive advantage to a firm. Systems integration refers to assembling different subsystems into a whole in physical or functional perspective. System integration adds value to the system by enabling efficient communication between the subsystems.

Globalization has resulted into a competitive business world where companies have been forced to share information among them to serve their customers better and keep abreast with their major rivals in the market. The integration of information system functions is increasingly becoming important for business enterprises (Guido & Paiano, 2010). It facilitates easy retrieval of information whenever it is required in the company.

There are three basic information systems integration: vertical, star and horizontal integration. Vertical integration is where subsystems are integrated according to their functions by developing functional sections. Star integration is where each system is coordinated with all other subsystems. The method is cheaper in the short-run. When viewed from the subsystem being integrated, the network is star-shaped. This method is more expensive than the vertical approach. Finally, integration of systems can be horizontal. It is also known as Enterprise Service Bus (ESB). Here, a specialized subsystem is focused on communication between the remaining subsystems.

Informational Function of Information Systems

No single organization can thrive in the present competitive business environment without generating and utilizing crucial information. Information management has become an indispensable part of doing business. The success of strategic decision-making entirely depends on how efficiently and effective information is managed within an organization (King & Malhotra, 2000). To achieve efficient information management, a company must establish an effective information system. As such, information collection, analysis and distribution are one major role of information systems of companies (Pant & Ravichandran, 2001).

Informational role of information systems concerns the reception and transmission of important information from source to the intended targets. Company mangers are primarily charged with the task of conveying relevant information to various destinations. They therefore must acquire, analyze and disseminate relevant information on the operations of the company to the intended groups with an aim of improving the performance of the organization. The informational role of information systems may include monitoring, distribution and representative purposes.

Managers are faced with the task of evaluating the sources of information deemed crucial for business operations. The manger gathers information on factors that are likely to affect the operations of the corporation from both within and outside the organization. The process of gathering such important information from internal and external company environment is referred to as the monitor task.

The manager is also charged with the responsibility of distributing the necessary information to their respective destinations within and outside the company. Information systems are charged with the task of providing efficient medium through which these informs can be transmitted easily to their final destinations. An effective information system will integrate well with other systems of the organization in order to ensure efficient and timely delivery of information whenever required at any department of the organization or the company’s affiliates (Sowa & Zachman, 1992)

Information systems provide a means through which the information about the organization can be communicated to the external environment (Kumar & Thapliyal, 2010). It is the means by which a company networks with its stakeholders, who are major success determinants of any business organization. It is critical to implement systems that can facilitate effective communication with people who have great influence on the operations of the company. Information systems supply mangers with information which enable them make effective decisions for the success of the business enterprise.

Intelligence Function of Information Systems

Competitive Intelligence Systems

Business Intelligence (BI) or a competitive intelligence system refers to a systematic process of gathering, processing, analyzing and disseminating external information essential for making crucial business decisions (Hohhof, 1994). It is important for an organization to organize its crucial information systematically in order to ensure smooth flow and improve its operational and decision-making process. Competitive intelligence (CI) and Business Intelligence (BI) are often used interchangeably but competitive intelligence is an integral part of the business intelligence system. Business intelligence focuses on the external environment variables that have a bearing on the operations of the company. Competitive intelligence system must therefore support the general business intelligence as linked to competitive dimension of the business enterprise (Barnes, Hinton & Mieczkowska, 2003).

Competitive functions of information systems may include collecting information on rival companies, the entire market segment, customers socio-economic and political forces as well as technological advancements that can improve the operations of the company and optimize returns for the firm.

Competitive intelligence system, as a subsystem of business intelligence, is usually charged with the responsibility of providing adequate and timely information for making critical decision by the management of the company. It placates the magnitude of possible shocks to decision makers from the company’s competitive niche. It also aids the management of the company to discover the underlying threats and opportunities for growth in the market (Anica-Popa & Cucui, 2009). The reduction of time spent in developing counteractive measures by the management of a company is characteristic of an effective competitive intelligence. It enhances fast implementation of competitive actions.

Competitive intelligence also encourages and supports tactical planning. Competitive intelligence systems are founded on three fundamental tasks of providing general information services, gathering of primary data and analysis and evaluation of collected data. The system is usually comprised of different personnel who mange the activities. The activities must be integrated to make a whole and effective system that supports quality improvement and results of the operations of the organization (Gilbreath, Schilp, & Pickton, 1996).

The intelligence functions of information systems of organizations are concerned with gathering external and internal data from the organization’s business environment. The information obtained from external business environment is analyzed in connection to the internal data of the business enterprise, which aids in deep understanding of external environment and reduces chances of risk and uncertainty that concern managerial decisions. The intelligence function eliminates the incapacitation of business managers in their ability to make effective decisions concerning business operations. Competitive intelligence systems allow mangers to gain knowledge on their competitors’ intentions or actions and develop counter actions that enable them to stay on top of the market (Olszak & Ziemba, 2007).

A good competitive information system must be capable of integrating well with the existing organizational information systems. It is crucial to understand the source, managers and users of business information when designing competitive intelligence information systems. According to McDougal et al (1973), the intelligence function is the collection, examination and distribution of information, which is essential for decision-making process. The authors identify intelligence function as a crucial variable at every level of decision-making. Information systems create a rich pool of information from which mangers can chose from and develops business strategies. Information systems reduce the level of uncertainty and improve critical choices in business enterprises.

Transcriptional Function of Information Systems

Transcription form part of non-voice enterprise process outsourcing projects of a company. It enables business organization to store important records in a manner that can easily be accessed for long periods of time (Troshani & Rao, 2007). The current global economy is overridden with a lot of uncertainties and risks. With threatening economic downturns, companies are continuously on the look to achieve secure places in the market. Transcription is a crucial technique in dealing with the deaf and individuals with hearing problems. It allows such individuals to pursue their intended objectives, which cannot be achieved through sound devices.

Technological advancements have enabled people to control voice texts from different locations. Through transcription, recorded audio texts can be transformed into standard text documents through user’s modified voice model. Transcription makes use of speech detection element that matches a specific voice to the available information in the database. Transcription process aids in achieving smooth workflow in an organization. The user commands the information, which is relayed to the transcription server to aid in speech recognition and identification of personal information. The transcribed text is then conveyed to the workflow management system. After the creation of text file, workflow application transmits sound signals and text to the manger to ascertain that correct editing has been done. The important texts are then kept in the workflow data system.

There is growing urgency to optimize business potentials and also to maximize resource use. In the face of recession, many business enterprises have been scratching deep to discover ways in which they can survive in the market without necessarily using too much resources and their financial reserves. Labor cost usually constitutes one of the highest costs especially in a situation where a task demands high levels of professionalism and specialization.

Under these circumstances, outsourcing plays a crucial role in cutting the operation cost of the company. Outsourcing enable a company to seek for cheap labor elsewhere and hence greatly reduce and save its costs of operation (Gottschalk & Solli-Sæther, 2005). It is a strategic way of spreading the burdens of a company to other players who are ready and willing to execute them.

The existence of different word-processing systems provide various types of file formatting features, which allow users to manipulate and set documents into formats that suit their needs. This function permits creation of files in sophisticated formats that ensures documents meet the required specifications (Kohn, 2009).

As business organizations grow, it is essential that they concentrate on their primary and core tasks. Information systems allows organizations to determine which activities are crucial to the organization and cannot be outsourced and also it enables the management to identify activities, which are non-core functions of the organization and make critical decision on how, when and whom to outsource such activities.

Information systems ensure that mangers get adequate information about all the players in a particular field of concern. Effective information systems will give information about best performing companies and hence aid in making critical decision about outsourcing some of the activities of the organization. For example, in healthcare provision, there is increasing need to distinguish core functions from non-core functions of the organization so that as it expands in its activities, it can easily decide to outsource non-core tasks like transcription among other secondary functions. Outsourcing medical transcription is more advantageous than internal transcription process. Information systems allow companies to organize and store their information in the most convenient way and also accommodate other companies’ data without necessarily without prior request. It allows the use of data from different sources without demanding that the data be of standard form. It reduces immensely the cost of data transmission for companies.

Technological advancements have resulted into the development of devices that can convert speech into texts, which simplifies the dictation process of memos and e-mail for transcription on the computer with a lot of precision. The software when complemented with digital recording tools can make the work of sales officers and reduce elaborate and tiresome paperwork. These techniques allow more interaction with the customers of the company in virtual world. They can also be utilized in capturing the impressions and crucial information about the customers, who make calls at sales centers.

Consequences of Integrating the Functions of Information Systems

There are organizational factors that influence the nature and effectiveness of information systems within various companies. Organizational culture and structure of management will determine the nature and how effective the information systems of a company can be (Weber & Pliskin, 1996). Different companies, for example have different information systems. In the event of mergers and acquisitions, the functions of each information systems of different companies will overlap. The company, which is acquiring the other may in some occasions ignore the culture of the acquired organization and consider only its information systems at the expense of that of the acquired company. A balance must be achieved when companies are forming mergers or when a company acquires another business enterprise so that integration success of information systems can be realized. Integration of information systems may result in change in organizational structure. The company will need management structure that can support its new information system. As a result, some employees of the organization may be forced to quit during system integration. The success of the integration will be determined by whether systems employees of the merging companies stay put or leave the organization.

Integration of information systems functions will lead to organizational restructuring. Organizational structures that outsource information system development may have great impact on information system integration. Varying organizational structures may also to a considerable extent affect the level of integration of information systems.

In the dimension of information systems integration, the major idea is to stimulate greater benefits. The integration of different functions of information creates a whole system that can operate with more efficiency and also encourages information sharing within an organization (Litan et al., 2011). Integrating information systems ensures that necessary information is available to mangers at all times. This is achieved by making sure that managers can easily access the data they need through a single network of computers that allow different departments of the organization to share critical information for decision-making process. Integration of functional dimension of information systems ensures adequate and reliable flow of information across the organization as well as exchange of information between the company and its business environment (Markus, 2000; 2001).

According to Bharadwaj et al, (2007), many companies do not have system-level integration that can allow them to retrieve essential information easily and effectively mange their business processes. Integrated information system capability will permit an organization to access a wide range of data on a particular field and hence improve decision-making process thereby leading to improved business processes. Integrated information systems are focused to create a link between business activities so that there is improvement in visibility and information flow (McAfee, 2002).

Integrated information systems ensure better flow of information across the company and improve exchange of relevant data for making crucial decisions by managers. The integrations process upgrades the performance of other resources of the company and promotes joint planning process in pursuit of organizational goals. Further, integration of information systems ensures that information is transmitted through a standard language and thus eliminates the need for additional administration mechanisms to ensure that the objectives of the organization are achieved.

Conclusion

Managers need adequate information about the stakeholders of the company as well as the company’s competitors in order to make decisions. Without sufficient information on the company’s environment, no success can be smelled and the only visual phenomenon is company failure. Information systems are crucial part of organizations in the current competitive business world. Without effective information systems, no company can manage the wave of global competition. Every company requires information about its potential customers, competitors and even political factors that can affect the business. Information systems are charged with the responsibility of collecting, analyzing and disseminating relevant information, both external and internal. Mangers rely on information systems to gather knowledge on the company’s business environment and make crucial business decisions that steers the organization closer to achieving its goals and objectives. Information systems can be categorized into three areas: informational, intelligence and transcriptional functions.

The integration of these three major functions of information systems improves business processes of an organization by ensuring improved flow of information within the company and also between the company and its external environment. The integration process may demand change in organizational structures that can support the desired information systems. The integration of functional areas of information systems result into easy and timely access of information, which are essential for decision-making by mangers of different organizations. Organizational culture and culture are some of the factors which affect the success of integration of information systems. Therefore, when integrating the functions of information systems of companies, the executives of the company must consider if the present organizational structure and culture can support the resultant information systems.

References

Anica-Popa & Cucui, G.(2009). A Framework for Enhancing Competitive Intelligence Capabilities using Decision Support System based on Web Mining Techniques. Int. J. of Computers, Communications & Control, IV (4): 326-334.

Barnes, D., Hinton, M. & Mieczkowska, S. (2003). Competitive advantage through e-operations. TQM & Business Excellence, 14(6):659-675.

Bharadwaj, S., Bharadwaj, A. & Bendoly, E. (2007).The Performance Effects of Complementarities Between Information Systems, Marketing, Manufacturing, and Supply Chain Processes. Information Systems Research, 18(4): 437–453.

Gottschalk, P., & Solli-Sæther, H. (2005). Critical success factors from IT outsourcing theories: an empirical study. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 105(6), 685-702.

Guido, A.L. & Paiano, R. (2010).Semantic Integration of Information Systems. International Journal of Computer Networks & Communications (IJCNC), 2(1): 48-64.

Hohhof, B. (1994).Developing Information Systems for Competitive Intelligence Support. Library Trend, 43(2): 226-38.

Gilbreath, R.E., Schilp, J. & Pickton, R. (1996).Toward an Outcomes Management Informational Processing Architecture. Healthcare Information Management, 10(1):83-97.

King, W. R., & Malhotra, Y. (2000). Developing a framework for analyzing IS sourcing. Information & Management, (37): 324-333.

Kohn, D. (2009). How Information Technology Supports Virtual HIM Departments. Journal of AHIMA, 80(3):38-42.

Kumar, P. & Thapliyal, M.P. (2010). Integration of E-Business with ERP Systems. International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology, 2(5): 768-772.

Litan, D., Velicanu, M., Copcea, L., Teohari, M., Mocanu, A. M., Surugiu, I. & Raduta, O. (2011). Business’ New Requirement: Information Systems Integration – Methods and Technologies. International Journal of Computers and Communications, 5(3):133-145.

Markus, M.L. (2000). Paradigm shifts, E-Business and Business/Systems integration. Communication of the AIS, 4(10): 1-45

Markus, M.L. (2001). Reflections on the systems integration enterprise. Business Process Management Journal, 7(3): 171-176.

McDougal, M.S., Lasswell, H.D. & Reisman, W. M. (1973). The Intelligence Function and World Public Order. Temple Law Quarterly, 46(3): 335-449.

McAfee, A. (2002). The impact of enterprise technology adoption on operations performance: An empirical investigation. Production Operations. Management, 11(1): 33–53.

Olszak, C.M. & Ziemba, E. (2007). Approach to Building and Implementing Business Intelligence Systems. Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management, 2: 136-148.

Pant, S & Ravichandran, T. (2001). A framework for information systems planning for e-business. Logistics Information Management, 14(1/2): 85-98.

Sowa, J.F. & Zachman, J.A. (1992). Extending and formalizing the framework for information systems architecture. IBM Systems Journal, 31(3): 590-616.

Troshani, I. & Rao, S. (2007). Enabling e-Business Competitive Advantage: Perspectives from the Australian Financial Services Industry. International Journal of Business and Information, 2(1):80-103.

Weber, Y. & Pliskin, N.(1996).The Effects of Information Systems Integration and Organizational Culture on a Firm’s Effectiveness. Information and Management, 30(2):81-90.

Ethical controversy related to genetically engineered foods

July 9, 2012

The modification of crops by humans started way earlier before genetics and the modern-day biotechnology was introduced. In fact, farmers, about eight millennia ago, chose weather, pests, disease resistant and well-growing plants. From then onwards, farmers have only been breeding, crossing, and selecting varieties of plants that are productive and worthwhile. Today, these ancient methods have been perfected, or even replaced by a number of molecular tools that lets a specific gene or genes to be deleted or inserted so as to produce plants or animals that possess new qualities like resistance to salty environments, improved content of nutrients and even longer life. It is such genetic engineering – gene manipulation – that produces genetically modified organisms (GMOs) (“Human Genome Project Information” 1). GMOs have been a subject to debate, more so in the ethical fronts. While skeptics argue that genetically modified organisms are more ethically controversial, the GMOs have in fact brought about a number of advantages that override the controversies.

Genetically modifying organisms is not an act of scientists “playing” with God as skeptics would like to argue, but a process that facilitates natural development of organisms. Genetically modifying a plant or animal simply means changing the qualities of that plant or animal either by taking genes from one organism and placing them in another organism or by getting rid of the unwanted qualities from the organism (Romeo, Leire and Cirión 22). The ethical arguments fronted by skeptics is that when scientists change the qualities of the organism, they are playing with God; and that it is wrong to alter the natural qualities of organisms. In doing so, the skeptics argue, scientists are allowing changes that would not have occurred naturally and thus interfere with nature’s natural order (Romeo, Leire and Cirión 21). If genetically modifying foods or plants were as unnatural as the skeptics make it, then every other agricultural element is unnatural, even the cows and hens that produce more milk and eggs than previous ones. There is in fact no difference between GMOs and non-GMOs as the genetic modifications permitted to plants and animals are just an extension of the development that has taken place over millennia so as to maintain the produce’s quality.

The assertion by skeptics of GMOs that modifying is like playing Russian roulette with the environment is incorrect (Romeo, Leire and Cirión 19). Genetic modification does in fact result in plants and animals that possess a number of qualities. The sweet corn for instance, when genetically modified, can produce its own insecticide which prevents the farmer from spraying insecticides which may affect the nearby environment. The argument fronted by skeptics is that the poison that the sweet corn produces also affects other animals and may even lead to the animal’s extinction. They also do not agree with the fact that there is a possibility of the transferred characteristics being spread to wild plants and the fact that man will live unconscious of the fact that these unhealthy qualities are being spread all over nature (Romeo, Leire and Cirión 23). Despite these objections, genetically modified plants cannot be abolished for the reason that there will be a reduction of poison spread which has a thorn for many farmers. As a matter of fact, it should come as a relief that technology such as genetic modification helps protect the already damaged environment.

It is for a fact that most of the genetically modified organism’s research is carried out in the developed countries and a majority of the product developed is sent to undeveloped countries. Genetically modified rice, for instance, contains more Vitamin A that helps most of the poor people who would in some circumstances become die or, even worse, die due to lack of Vitamin A. Corn which has been genetically modified is capable of growing in deserts which gives humble peasants more security with an unfailing yield. Skeptics however question this and claim that it is not fair that the developed countries make products and make the underdeveloped countries depend on these products (Weasel 11). They instead vouch for evenhanded distribution of the globe’s present foods and a more mottled diet to the poor countries and go ahead to allege that all these assurances that GMOs will save the world’s famished people are merely a trick from the big biotechnology corporations to convince them (the skeptics) that GMOs are advantageous. Their allegations do not make sense as it will not be fair that the developed countries have the technology to save from hunger the poor in undeveloped countries and not be able to use it (Weasel 12). If GMOs can produce crops that are capable of withstanding drought and eventually better the farmer’s yield, they should by all means be used. The developed nations should not say not to genetic modifications if the GMOs have more nutrients that can prevent blindness and even death.
While the debate, especially the ethical debate, over the genetic modification of foods will not be settled in the near future, it is evident that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Issues, like GMOs is an act of scientists “playing” with God for instance, hold no water as such modifications started as early as eight thousand years ago. GMOs help prevent: malnutrition that may cause blindness or death, starvation, and the pollution of the already strained environment. All these are critical for the world’s development and the arguments put across by the skeptics cannot in any way overshadow them. Genetically modified organisms will in the future, if not already, help the human race.

Works Cited

Romeo, Carlos, Leire Epifanio, and Aitziber Cirión. Global Food Security: Ethical and Legal

Challenges. Netherlands: Wageningen Academic Publishers, 2010. Print.

 

 

Weasel, Lisa. Food Fray: Inside the Controversy Over Genetically Modified Food. New York:

AMACOM Books, 2009. Print.

 

 

“Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms.” Human Genome Project Information. DOE

Genomes, 5 November 2008. Web. 21 Apr 2012. <http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/elsi/gmfood.shtml&gt;.