Through my CAS project I have used various of the IB ATLs such as communication skills, which have constantly been developed. I have increasingly had to use this skill for formal/professional communication with stakeholders in my project such as the veterinarians from Cavallini, sponsors I emailed for fundraising events, and the administration as well as parents contacted through emails. Nevertheless I have also used more informal communication with both the families I’ve worked with to provide access to care for their animals, which has been a particularly difficult part of this experience, as well as potential families that would adopt the animals I’ve rescued. Additionally I’ve learnt various marketing skills which fall into my ability to communicate various messages to my community in a persuasive way that makes them want to contribute and participate in the project/event.
Another major ATl ive used in my project is self management, since this project is fully
independent i’ve had to even further develop this aspect of self management. As no one is setting the assignments to move your project forward or specific deadlines therefore the initiative must come from you. Particularly during the first fundraiser I organized there were so many aspects to think about and organize, in order to make it successful which required a lot of time and organization within my life to be able to balance it with my school work. I was constantly making to do lists which is a habit that stuck with me since.
Additionally, self motivation and perseverance has constantly been something I’ve had to work hard on as this project requires a lot of outside of school work and time, as well as planning and self initiative. The time required was much more than I expected, from the long hours at the vet, the time spent communicating to people which also takes much self management to keep up and answer quickly, to spending time visiting different towns to talk to families or rescue street animals. A lot of the times on weekends when it is most accessible to do work for my project I lack motivation and would rather do something else, but the feeling after is always rewarding and keeps me motivated to continue.
Lastly, social skills or collaboration have also been majorly important to my project, it’s helped me develop my patience and empathy when working with different demographics of people. For example, particularly a family I worked with in the beginning with extremely limited resources whose 4 dogs I brought to the vet and paid for their extensive medical expenses, as they were all in terrible condition. This family was extremely difficult to communicate with despite their seemingly good will to take care of their pets, they would never answer my messages and had difficulty understanding what the treatment they had to follow which really put into perspective the things so many of us take for granted like education, nevertheless I knew my patience and perseverance to reach them and make sure they understood and carried out the treatment was vital to the well being of the puppies.
It as well as showed me the importance of collaboration and the benefits of building professional relationships for the success of a project. Particularly the relationship I’ve developed with the Cavallini vet and the people working there has been key to my work with rescued animals, they provide me with discounts, advice, and are generally more flexible and understanding as our relationship has grown, as well as are willing to collaborate and provide the contacts for the organization of a neutering campaign which I couldn’t plan alone. An example is the mom of the cats I just rescued, who has been at the vet for a week now and they always allow me to go in the back and be with her as well as take her in immediately and are willing to eventually give her a permanent home at the shelter if no owner is found.
Overall the use of these ATls have helped me in other classes and be prepared for life in many ways. Communication skills have been extremely helpful organizing events, or contacting other professionals for other classes, and I will continue to use and develop these throughout my life. Self management I will also continue to increasingly need for both college and finding a job, but specifically within CAS I developed many time and self management skills/ strategies that I apply in other classes. It’s also helped me learn how to manage my time and get things done even when you’re overwhelmed and have so much to do. It’s also shown me that in life for me to remain motivated and persevere through work even if in the moment it isn’t rewarding I must find work that I’m passionate about and that is having an impact within an issue I care about . Socially I think this project has developed my patience and empathy when communicating with people as well as the ability to collaborate with people who are vastly different from me, which is a necessary life skill, and helped me with other projects such as my global politics IA.
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