This personal reflection was completed to fulfill the requirements of COMS 2302 on 14 July 2020 for Dr. Hughey at the University of Texas at Arlington.

The nonstationary workplace I face demands competitive performance to succeed in. In addition to the general economic forces driving my employment decisions however, I also seek to directly realize personal utilities. Finding employment that aligns my values, skillsets, and competitive advantages will maximize these objectives. I believe this will involve employment as a machine learning engineer where I will collaborate with an interdisciplinary team to optimize artificial intelligence systems. This is not a new ambition, but simply a formal restatement of my economic goal for over 15 months. However, formally reflecting on my own thoughts in this skills assessment reflection does strengthen my desire to continue.

The skills assessment reflection began by surveying present employment market conditions. (Bovee, 2013) Though not a textbook on macroeconomics, it clearly expresses the increasing adaptability required to compete in unpredictable, agile, globalizing, and specialized environments. (Bovee, 2013) This places a selection pressure on employees modulated by the employee market demand. (Bovee, 2013) Given the present coronavirus-induced recession, I expect to a significant disadvantage.

Although employee candidate competition is only driven up with unemployment, I can personally gain a competitive advantage by examining the traits selected for by employers. It was very encouraging to read about the esteem given to interpersonal skills, intercultural skills, and professionalism. (Bovee, 2013) These are qualities I feel competent in and enjoy exhibiting in social interactions. Additionally, data collection, analysis, decision making, and computer skills are at the core of my specialization: machine learning. Further specialization will especially reinforce them.

Why do I feel machine learning is my “specialization”? I don’t consider specialization in one domain to mean closing the door to another. However, this interdisciplinary combination of computer science, mathematics, engineering, and psychology is a rapidly emerging focus. As a science, I compare machine learning (and its broader study, artificial intelligence) to physics 100 years ago; or as an engineering discipline, to the Internet 20 years ago. I am attracted to solving interesting problems involving comprehensive analysis.

Of course, comprehensive analysis calls for a broad knowledge domain to draw on. I feel I have a competitive advantage in that regard as my mind is very symbolically oriented. I can internalize mathematical and logical symbolic statements and apply them in novel and adapted (creative) solutions. Without accompanying stress, this is entertainment for me, and I would enjoy never working a day of my life like that.

Realistically, work will sometimes involve stress. (Bovee, 2013) Therefore, to maximize my personal objectives respecting employment: I will initially seek employment at lower paying jobs; I will continue to specialize in machine learning; and I will take advantage of reflections like this assignment to prepare for future obstacles.

Works Cited:

Bovee, C. L. (2013). Prologue [Preface]. In J. V. Thill (Author), Excellence in business communication (10th ed., pp. 31-36). Harlow Essex CM20 2JE, London: Pearson Education.