Talk on Career Counseling

Dayanand_collegeVenue: Dayananda Sagar College, Kumaraswamy Layout
Time :10 a.m to 1 p.m.
Members present : MBA and graduate students (100-150 students)

The program began with Dr. M.A. Ramachandra the Director dayanand_college_studentsof Dayanand Sagar Institutions delivering the welcome speech. The lamp was light by Dr. Ali Khwaja, Ms. Asha, Ms. Reema and Dr.Ramachnadra. A devotional song was later recited.

Dr. Ali began the talk by the telling the students gathered in Auditorium about the importance to know the particular phase of life that they are in today. This would help them to decide where they have to reach in the future. For example a P.U. student while choosing a course, has to focus on various aspects. When he is choosing a particular subject he is not worried if he likes that particular subject, he is more worried about the scope that the subject can give and the job he can avail by taking up the course. If every student thinks about this there will be concentration of manpower in one area. And the other areas may have easier jobs availability.

Demand and Supply

In marketing there is the concept of demand and supply. If there is more supply there will not be any demand, in the same way if majority of students take up a particular specialization then when they pass out, the job opportunities will be low, and eventually that subject or area will loose its importance. There is another important aspect to be considered, there is no particular job which is always in demand, for example if there is a demand in the field of Marketing and majority of the students opt for marketing as their specialization. Now when everyone passes out at the same time there is a lot of supply in this field, and the demand comes down. This is a cycle. Like the law of gravity, what ever goes up should come down.

Students also select a particular college by considering the numbers of companies that come into the college for campus recruitments. The statistics states that an MBA graduate spends only 1.3 years in his first job. The decision to change may be taken either by the student or by the company. What will happen to them after that? Will they come back to the institution to look for another campus selection? No. That is not possible, hence why do they have to make a decision about the college depending on the campus recruitment where in, if selected they will spend only 1.3 years in that company. (Image:recruitment.jpg)

Do what you are interested in

Therefore when one chooses a subject he/she should first know if he/she is interested in the subject. They should also focus on the career that they enjoy to work. And this is the right stage of their life to take the decision as they have the freedom to do so. The present generation have a lot of opportunities when compared to the previous generation, they have many options open to them. And the support and promotion give by the present companies are also high and effective.

The life expectancy of the present generation is over 85 years senior_peopleand there will not be any ailments to get them bed ridden as every health issue has a solution now. So the chances are that we will be working till the end. After saying so, Dr. Ali gave the students a small exercise. He asked the students to take out their note books and write in the number which comes after deducting their age from 85, when they did so he told them to preserve it as it will be the number of years that they will have to live and work. The students should be able to plan for these many years as to what they would want to work as, and plan in such a way that they can achieve it.

To become an outstanding student one should know how to think out of the box.  There was a short story narrated by Dr. Ali. Before this he told the students that at the end of the story a question will be posed and whoever knew the answer should only raise their hand. Giving this instruction he told the story.

Out of the bboxox thinking

One day there is a fatal accident of a two wheeler in which a father and son are traveling. The father died on the spot and the son is seriously injured. People gathered around the horrific scene and saw that the boy was still alive. They rushed him to the nearest Hospital where the Doctor informed them that the boy cannot be rescued. The people pleaded to the Doctor, so the doctor replied that to rescue the boy an operation has to performed which can be done only by a Neuro-surgeon. They did not have such a surgeon in the Hospital and hence the boy cannot be rescued. One person from the crowd said that there is a Neuro-surgeon in town and we can contact that surgeon and ask for help. When asked, the surgeon agreed to perform the operation and and went to the Hospital. When the surgeon entered the operation theater and was ready to operate, saw the face of the boy and said "Oh God, I will not be able to perform the operation since this is my son".

Dr. Ali asked the students as how this was possible? How can the surgeon say that the boy was the surgeon's son?
There were approximately only 30 students who raised their hand. lady_doctorDr. Ali asked one of the girls to answer, and she said "The Neuro-surgeon is the mother of the child" which was the correct answer. But why didn't everyone think of this possibility? Why did only a few think of the answer? This is because only some of them know to think out of the box, and that's the reason they figured out the answer.

One should know what one is good at and use it for their benefit. You should know your weaknesses too. Weakness is something that one conquer for one's own benefit. Dr. Ali gave one of his own experiences as an example. When his office was opened they had no computers and all the accounts work were done manually. Then they decided to buy a computer and appoint a data entry operator to feed in all the present and the previous data. When advertised for the same he received more than 100 applications for the post. Initially Dr. Ali had decided that if he received any applications, he would call them for interview and ask them to work on the computer for 5 minutes so that he could take a decision. Now since there were more than 100 candidates it was impossible to call everyone for the interview. Confused as to how the right candidate can be chosen, Dr. Ali started verifying every application. Every applicant seemed to possess the same qualification. He came across one particular application where in the candidate had mentioned that she was an 'Introvert'. Dr. Ali was surprised as to why would anyone mention in a job application that they are introvert. girl_at_computer He decided to read that application completely. The candidate had written that since she is a introvert, she does not like speaking to people or socializing with anyone she, hence she can concentrate and do the data entry job without any disturbance or mistakes. She also mentioned that concentration is very important for a data entry operator. Only after reading this did Dr. Ali realize that "Yes concentration is one quality that a data entry operator should have, if he starts socializing with people in office and talks during his work he can easily make mistakes". Dr. Ali asked this candidate to come for the interview. She turned out to be the right candidate for she was a person who could not even tell her name properly. Dr. Ali had to spend about 5 minutes to get her to tell her name, but when given the job to enter data she did it in such a wonderful manner with complete concentration. An introvert is a person who is shy and does not talk to people, this can be a negative quality, but this person had used it in a positive manner and in the right method.

People tend to compete with others to prove that they are good in a particular area. Competing should be done not with others, but with oneself as it helps you improve in a much faster way. When competing with others it may become unhealthy or can also become a cut-throat competition.

Personal Experiences

Ms. Reema Hanamshet was called upon by Dr. Ali to share her experience. She is from Belgaum and her family is into business. It would have been apt for her to do a MBA and get into the family business. But no, she did not do that. She is 25 years of age now and she is into the field of counseling which is given her utmost satisfaction. Reema spoke about her experience in the field of counselling and how as a career counsellor she has been able to help hundreds of students choose the right path that is suitable for them.

Next Ms. Asha shared her experiences and why she choose to take up counselling. Ms.Asha was a distinction holder in SSLC and had joined MES college and had taken up commerce as her parents were against her Joining Mount Carmel College and taking up Science. She had taken up commerce against her wish (this was her revenge on her parents as they refused her joining MCC) but did very well at the subject. She was placed in Canara Bank immediately after graduation. She was not interested in the job and wanted to quite the very first day, but the manager asked her to just try for another 2 days. She did the same and was an employee for the next 20 years. She did not like the job and took a VRS. She was the youngest person to take a VRS. She then did her counseling course and became a counsellor. It is now giving her the satisfaction that she did not get working for a Government organization.

Me first

Dr. Ali said that he was in a recruitment panel and came across a lot of people who just came for the interview not because they were interested in the job, but to earn money. He also discussed about how ethics played an important role for students. He narrated an incident which took place during his college days. recruitmentSeven of his friends attended a campus interview which was conducted by an MNC company. Only one interviewer was present. First cam the Group Discussion and the interviewer casually raised the topic of 'cricket', which all the 7 were interested and everyone participated, eventually this became a session where one was trying to dominate the other. They were not even considering that the fellow candidate was their classmate and friend. After this the interviewer had to take a personal interview and he asked the students to come to his room one by one. The first person went in and the interviewer started chatting with him about the traffic. This went on for sometime and after that realizing that it was late he said "OK now I have to ask you some technical question, so tell me how much percent phosphorous is present in Phosorusoxide" the interviewee did not know the answer but still said "about 25%". the interviewer look very happy and said that it was the right answer. The interviewee went and told what had happened to all the remaining six people. The next person came in and the interviewer repeated the same question and this person too answered the same. This went on till the last candidate. When the interview was complete the interviewer asked everyone to come in and said "Well, it seems that everything went on quite well and you are all pleased with your performances. Let me tell you that I wanted an employee who can be a good team member and a person who is honest and does not give away the secrets. I am very sorry to tell you that none of you matched those qualities. I had the Group Discussion to see your ability as a team member and all of you were eager to dominate and cut off the other person not even considering that he is your own classmate. When asked the question in the interview to the first person, it was easily seen that he did not know the answer, he could have told so, instead he lied. Not enough he went on to tell this to all the other candidates. Let me tell you dear candidates that there is NO phosphorous in Phosorusoxide and there is NO job for anyone of you in my company".

Q and A Sessionquestion

Q: Is switching to different courses advisable?
A: You can opt for different course but please remember that you have to recognize your basic skills. Try to setup a short term and long term goal. Learn to work towards the long term goal by achieving short term goals. While deciding do remember to be realistic, this will help you have foresight about the method to achieve the goals.

Q: How to look for that proper opportunity?
A: You have to firstly know the opportunities available and go on exploring. Do not wait for the opportunities to come to you, if you feel that you have not got the right job or opportunity then take something lower and work towards your main aim.
Eg : Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalaam wanted to become a Pilot but lost out in the interview. He did not give up hope and took up Aeronautics engineering and went on to become the President of India.
Exploring is a continuous process, it should not stop at any point. You should always keep the options open, just in case one fails there is always another opportunity.

Q: Do you have any opinions about the movie 'Tare Zameen Par' or 3 idTaareZameenPariots?
A: Be it Tare Zameen Par or 3 idiots, they are just methods to shows how to think out of the box. These kind of movies can create a revolution.

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Leading Banjara Academy's online email counselling team of volunteer-counsellors, I realize it is not an easy task reaching out to a person one has never met, never seen, without the added advantage of gestures, eye contact, a gentle reassuring touch, tone of voice and yet providing empathy, positive strokes, making the person feel heard and understood.

With the aid of only written words, it is quite a task building trust, making people open up and share and helping them cope and feel better. So when in many instances they write back saying thank you and that they feel so much better, the feeling one gets is priceless and incomparable - knowing one has done something right, something good!

Hats off to all the volunteeer-counsellors of Banjara Academy who have been carrying on this work silently, anonymously for the last couple of years. Truly commendable! - Ali Khwaja

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