Josefa Spiteri, Malta - Top Paper Award in Introduction to Business Communication & Introduction to Marketing & Introduction to Travel, Tourism and Hospitality (self-study through private centre)

Josefa SpiteriI hail from Xewkija, Gozo, Malta. I am twenty-six years old. I have read a degree in Education and I am currently a teacher of Home Economics and Vocational Hospitality.  I have been teaching in an all boys Catholic school for the past five years, and I am an active member of the Parents-Teachers Association at the school. I am also reading for a Masters degree in Education specialising in Health, Family and Consumer Studies. I have a passion for food and travelling. In fact, I administer a Facebook page called Hungry Lovers, simply to share my culinary and gastronomic experiences. I also enjoy reading, spending time by the beach and baking. I grew up in a healthy loving family whom I love dearly. I am the eldest of two siblings.

ABE is a professional body which enjoys worldwide recognition. It also provides me with the necessary flexibility to organise my studies within the limits of my busy schedule. It also offers a vast range of courses, which appeal to my interests. Additionally, ABE provides ample opportunities to scaffold the student’s learning, namely through study manuals, helpful and approachable lecturers and online support. ABE is also widely known for its professionalism and this motivated me to embark on this Level 4 Diploma. 

ABE benefits from a positive reputation in my country, since it is widely known as being a professional body, which caters for the pupils’ needs. 

Within the next couple of months, I intend to conclude my dissertation as part of my Masters of Education degree, conducted with the University of Malta. The main objective of the dissertation is to determine how the sharing of food experiences in a social media context (Facebook) is impacting on Maltese Millennials’ beliefs, philosophies and behaviours about food, eating and health in the light of food choices, purchases, preparation and cooking.

I have enjoyed my experience at ABE as it enabled me the flexibility to study and sit for the examinations at my own pace, and thus enabled me to achieve a work, life and study balance without negatively affecting my standard of living. ABE offers various subjects at an affordable price. In the future, I intend to engage in more courses offered by ABE.

Through my studies for an ABE qualification I have managed to widen my academic spectrum with the assimilation of new knowledge gained from the lectures and the study manuals themselves, and in turn disseminated such knowledge with my colleagues and my pupils. I was also able to improve my critical thinking and problem-solving skills in order to provide solid arguments and essays throughout all the examinations. Additionally, I was also provided with the opportunity to improve my communication skills, both in writing and orally, formal and informal, which apart from being beneficial throughout the lectures and when communicating with my peers, has helped me immensely in my delivery when teaching. 

Being a teacher, I am required to develop and present numerous presentations, write reports, compile pupils’ data and information, which in turn, I share with students and parents, thus I practise most of the communication skills mentioned.

I am also expected to help pupils carry out research work associated with their Ordinary Level examinations, and therefore I am able to discuss and debate issues encompassing different topics. Throughout my years at ABE, I managed to exhibit good interpersonal skills since there were several times where negotiation, teamwork and delegation skills were implemented in order to present assignments and manage workload.

Moreover, this diploma enabled me to enhance my organisational skills. During my studying at ABE and at work, there have been many instances where I was required to show initiative and a pro-active approach whilst balancing both academic and social commitments. These skills acquired and fine-tuned at ABE were incredibly useful when revising for exams, and whilst writing my dissertation. Computer literacy skills and research skills had to be properly mastered in order to successfully accomplish academic goals. Such skills have also helped me in my occupation as a teacher as I am requested to prepare examination papers, home-works, manuals, recipe books and other resources in order to engage the learners throughout the learning process. 

In order to widen my theoretical base, apart from reading the study manuals, I also kept abreast with the latest relevant literature published in academic journals and newspaper articles. This has empowered me with sound and justifiable arguments. I also used to organise my study space in order to make it as comfortable as possible and get rid of all distractions. I found it very useful to write short notes, summarising each chapter and used different highlighters to mark out important content, which greatly helped when recapitulating the theoretical aspect of my studies. Regular study breaks were considered a blessing during my examination period, since they provided the required time to reorganise myself. Positivity also helps a lot as in my case; it acted out as my internal motivation as a means to ace the exams and achieve the much-needed diploma. 

In the coming years, I intend to further my studies in the area of Tourism and Hospitality Industry. I also want to take my career to the next level by teaching at a post-secondary level and engage in adult education. I’d like to build a long-term career that lets me focus on professional growth.