Ownership, Purpose, Passion, Responsibility, Perseverance, Excellence…

#Purpose, #Passion, #persevere
#Excellence #success #career #life

Watch the one min video….so much to learn !!
Love to hear your comments. Also kindly share.

#Fascinating #journeys!
#Pushing #boundaries!
#Celebrating #lives!

I was walking briskly with my #camera, with an intention to #photograph #Kite-making, in the short half an hour time I had. This young man, a #logistics-auto plier, tapped me as I was passing by his auto and asked, “#Reporter?”, “Write for #Magazine?”. I said I do write, for my websites and blogs, at times columns in newspapers. His #enthusiasm was so #infectious, I paused to talk to him….. As he started, realized this #interaction will be so invaluable for #youth who give a million reasons for their inability to perform. Hence recorded….

listen to him…..

Since I was in Ahmedabad, I had acceded to requests from Baroda and Ahmedabad offices of CL Educate to take PDP workshops. These we’re eight hour sessions, covering..

A. Understanding self
B. Personal Victory
C. Public Victory
D. Creating a vision for self
E. Building Profile
Leading to excellence in life

At the end of the sessions, quite a few participants started asking questions on how they keep their enthusiasm for long, overcome their language challenge etc…

I just showed them this video that I had just captured… Each one was overawed.

#Ownership is the key. Do you own yourself?

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What Now? After class XII results : On Zee Business Panel

Every year, this time of the year is a challenging time for most students who are graduating from school. The expectation that is thrust on each by the families and society really takes toll on every child.

It is very important to understand the child and help the child have confidence in himself or herself, in their capabilities. Through the school, facilitate the child to understand self and the world around, by exposing, exploring, experimenting, experiencing, imbibing in many contexts, across a variety of spaces in those eight intelligence dimensions – linguistic, logical/mathematical, spatial, nature, kinesthetic, Musical (read the article Every child is gifted).

The world is looking for problem solvers and shall dish out anything to have such on their board. Money is never a problem. Be a learner for life time, have courage to push boundaries, to discover what more you are; Be humble in any given situation… So much more in this panel discussion with renowned career counsellor, Ms Pravin Malhotra.

If you have any more thoughts or doubts can surely write to me sreeni@careerlauncher.com

Placements after MBA/Management education – Q&A addressed for a leading daily of INDIA

From Students’ Point of view:

  • How does an MBA degree/PGDM bridge the gap between where a student is and where he/she wants to be in future?

Most aspirants look at an MBA/PGDM program as another degree that has greater possibility of landing them in a lucrative job. It is far from truth.

The critical question to ask oneself is – What is going to be my arena of excellence? What is my goal in the next 3-5 years? If an individual has a great deal of clarity and specific goals in mind, then most of the job is done.

An MBA / PGDM program is only a means to achieve that goal. If you have a compelling goal in mind, then greater is the possibility of you getting into an institution of repute, as you know that such an environment can make a huge difference in realizing your potential and your goal.

Convocation of class of 2013, IWSB

What does a good institution provide –

  1. An inspiring learning infrastructure and environment that is vibrant and thriving 24X7, through the year.
  2. Faculty of immense calibre and repute who are respected and connected in the industry
  3. A competitive eco-system where you come across groups of eager learners who explore immense possibilities. They are always on look out for opportunities. They keep pushing their own boundaries, while compelling fellow travelers to push theirs.
  4. There are too many instances to share wherein not only many a batch-mate but also faculty who have become co-travelers for life, starting companies and endeavours together, realizing the immense potential each one of us has within.

Look at the current entrepreneurial eco-system and the inspiringly successful stories that you read; most of them germinated in a campus, with co-learners as co-promoters.

It is not about a degree, it is about a space or a programme that initiates you into a journey of excellence, lifelong.

  • From the industry perspective, which out of these is better, a regular MBA/ PGDM, Executive MBA or Distance Learning?

The effectiveness and efficacy of a business management programme lies in its ingredients and structure – higher inter-disciplinary courses, intense interactions between the learners and a hands-on approach to business. This can happen only when the program is a regular one, where you are on a campus for an intense period of a year or two.

The choice between a regular MBA and an Executive MBA is purely based on the candidate’s present situation. A candidate with 3-4 years of work experience can go for an executive MBA and the industry is extremely welcoming to the products of both, regular and executive MBA. The B-school should be chosen wisely though.

Distance learning MBA programs / Exec MBA with a few contact-weeks could be of value if one has worked for a significant number of years. The conceptual learning added with intense contact-weeks where in you discuss and debate the possibilities, can act as a great cauldron to initiate a few ideas within the experienced, who can explore and experiment in their respective organizations. The process and outcomes can be of immense value.

Industry still seems to be skeptical about the Distance Learning MBA programs, especially if the takers are not experienced. With the advent of new e-Learning and m-Learning technologies, Distance Learning MBA programmes will gain more credibility in the future, especially in the context of experienced candidates.

  • What are the resources that students can expect from their college and faculty during the placements and their preparation for the same?

A good institution runs like a well-oiled machinery. The processes, both academic and non-academic, take care of building the vision and confidence in most candidates to chase their career and life dreams. It provides immense opportunities to explore and experience, through various live projects and internships. It also enables them to take failure in their stride; see them as a learning experience. Guidance, mentoring and support from the institution, faculty and even co-learners help them win through every challenge they face, placements are just one such. Of course a learning institution is always finding new ways to facilitate.

 

  • What are the short comings, if any, that the B-schools need to address, in terms of discrepancy in the talent pool of students & the skill-set required by the industry?

Most of the top b-schools are already aware of the skill-talent gap and are trying to match the industry requirements by way of having practical case studies, presentations into the course curriculum. Also the summer internship projects take care of the same.

Of course, every institution can create –

  1. Practices in the institution that can facilitate every student to be confident in the real world. Ability to introspect, being observant of oneself, taking initiative, eagerness to learn and ability to communicate are very significant factors for one to excel in career and life.
  2. Opportunities to dirty ones hands to explore, experience and learn the business dynamics. Entrepreneurial endeavours needs to be integral to the learning process.

 

  • What is the role of students in the placement committee? Ideally how should it be?

 

Students usually form part of the placement committee and interface with industry at the stage of inviting them to the campus and overall coordination at the placement time.

I keep wondering how many of these institutions really foster an entrepreneurial eco-system. That is the key to the future. Can we enable the students to create job opportunities than looking for an opportunity to find a job?

 

  • What are the things that the students must keep in mind during the interview process? (Pointers)
  1. Clarity of thought and goal – what do you really want to do in life? And then apply only to those companies that would take you towards realizing their goals.
  2. Enthusiasm – An extremely important factor that enlivens the interview process
  3. Honesty – At no point of time during the interview you should lie, brag or exaggerate.
  4. Presence of Mind – Mental agility is one thing that can make or break the interviews. Being able to comprehend and think quickly, certainly goes a long way. With good presence of mind, difficult situations can be turned into favorable ones.
  5. Sound concepts and logic – Especially for the technical interviews, it is extremely important to have your basic concepts in place.

 

  • Is there a way through which the candidates can make the recruiters overlook their academic records?

A bright future can light-up a dull past. Students should show exuberance and the promise of heading towards an exceptional future. This can only be done by having a solid and steady present. A student’s performance in the B-school is the only shroud that can blanket the dim academic records of the past. Clarity about your future goal, the path that you see and solid performance in the B-school can give enough indicators for the recruiters to look ahead than dig into your past.

  • Should the students consider an industry’s growth while applying or opting for a particular job profile?

This is a point of great debate whether the industry performance should be secondary to personal interests or not. Certainly, industry growth does matter. The saturation of an industry is usually a sign of less scope of innovation. But, it is also time for Industry to look for exceptional talent who can replace even multiple role-holders. When Industry is in bad shape, exceptional talents rise fast!  A student must be really good in what he does and be judicious in choosing the right job profile for him that more or less falls in line with his aspirations. If a student is from a top B-school, chances are less that he would succumb to the situation.

  • Which sector is hiring MBAs the most and what would be the future hiring trend?

One sector which has grabbed everybody’s attention is the e-commerce sector. The likes of Flipkart and Amazon have indulged in aggressive recruiting in the last one or two years. Lately, these enterprises have come across as major recruiters from the top B-schools. The colossal billion dollar valuations of these companies make them appear as an untamed animal on the prowl.

Also in demand would be the ever green profiles of – Technology and especially mobility which is playing a big role; Analytics is gaining importance.

In India, the entrepreneurial eco-system is just warming up. Instead of asking, “what is in demand, what is the salary”, one needs to ask, “Am I chasing what I really want to do?; Am I an eager learner?; Do I dirty my hands?; Do I have the same enthusiasm at the end of the day, every day?” These will be critical in entrepreneurial organizations.

  • What should the current and prospective MBA students do to increase their job prospects?

Being a keen learner in whatever space he is in, being abreast with the world, keep working on his people and leadership skills along with having courage to think out of the box in solution-centric approach..

Good soft skills are almost a must these days. Doing your work diligently needs to be complemented with effective communication of the same. That makes a complete professional who is ready to bear the responsibility of taking an organization ahead.

From Industry’s Point of view:

  • Do the recruiters have any preference in terms of a specialization?

 

Every business needs people from various backgrounds. Every specialization is in demand. It is the vision one has and the passion one demonstrates begets the positions. Have you ever heard of a Chief Belief Officer (CBO) in corporate world? This position was created for a deserving person in the FUTURE GROUP, find out!

Recruiters always specify their preferences in terms of specialization before the interview process begins. A BFSI sector company would most probably be going for Finance graduates. A consulting firm may be looking forward to take marketing or systems graduates.

Having said that, if you really want to be in a company, work on polishing the skills that is of immense value to that company and just go after the company. In today’s networked world, you will surely find an opening.

 

  • Are there any attributes which are specific to a specialization or an industry which the recruiters consider while recruiting? E.g. one must be comfortable with number crunching when it comes to Finance.

 

Certainly, the industry expects people who are good with numbers for the finance profiles and people who are more creative and crafty to look after the marketing in their organizations. However, in today’s world, an MBA of any stream should be proficient in multiple skillsets. For example, even Marketing is a game of numbers. The industry expects a Marketing manager to have a good level of comprehension of numbers and data.

 

  • How much weightage is given to the academic performance of a candidate by the companies?

 

For finance and consulting profiles, consistency in the academic performance is considered and valued. For marketing and systems profiles, this consistency may not be that important as some other attributes of the candidates may cover-up for any deficiency in the academic record.

 

  • A lot of MBA professionals are going for start-ups instead of big firms. Is it good or bad? What is the reason for this trend?

 

Young MBA professionals going for a start-up shows a great deal about their risk-taking instinct.  Not just initiating a start-up but also joining a nascent one is a sign of courage. There is no job security, a start-up may fail. It certainly is a good thing and even those who have failed ventures are regarded and appreciated by the industry.

My heuristics suggest that the reason for this trend, this exodus of students from the promising final placement sessions of their B-schools, is the hunger for innovation. This is fueled by the various possibilities, resources and the upcoming technologies.

What are the factors to be considered while choosing a B-school?

Choosing a B-school can be broadly done by judging 3-4 factors given below:

  1. Learning environment – How innovative and facilitating is the environment? What is the methodology, pedagogy of learning?. How hands-on is the program? Does it keep pace with the changing trends in the economy?
  1. Industry Reputation & Placements – understanding about how is the industry response during the summer placements and final placements. Finding what companies from which sectors are dominant in hiring from that B-school.This factor majorly determines how smooth a student’s entry into the industry would be.
  1. Courses and Specializations – finding the best courses and specializations of the B-school. Assessing whether they are in-line with the candidate’s aspirations or not.
  1. ROI – The Return on Investment evaluation should go beyond the monetary aspects. One must also see what the other are takeaways from that particular B-school.
  1. Location – This affects the kind of companies that hire and also the opportunities of summer internships.

What are the factors to be considered while choosing a specialization

If passion can become profession, nothing else is needed. The greatest challenge for every aspirant is to discover his passion and excel in that space pushing ones boundaries. You need to be special, specializations really do not matter!

Having said that, I must say that, students get a great chance of understanding what their calling is during the first year which has common subjects. For the self-driven and self-motivated this much time is enough to identify their specialization.

Apart from this, being factually aware of the type of job profiles offered to students of that specialization at that B-school is one factor that should be kept in mind. Students need to keep abreast with the current trends and the future prospects of the industry of their interest.

Sreeni in Charcha Mein – DD News : Reforms in Indian Education System – Is coaching a necessary evil?

For the textual version of it that I blogged earlier, kindly visit Sreeni in charch mein – Is coaching a necessary evil?

Sreeni on DD’s GeNEXT – April 30, 2011: Expressions; The real article link

Sreeni on DD's GeNEXT by Vasu..
Sreeni on DD’s GeNEXT, a photo by Vasu.. on Flickr.

GeNext on DD, telecast on April 30th 1:30pm… Careers of the future…

Sreeni on DD's GeNEXTSreeni on GeNext on DD, April 30, 2011, 1:30pmSreeni on GeNext on DD, April 30, 2011, 1:30pmSreeni on GeNext on DD, April 30, 2011, 1:30pmSreeni on GeNext on DD, April 30, 2011, 1:30pmSreeni on GeNext on DD, April 30, 2011, 1:30pmSreeni on GeNext on DD, April 30, 2011, 1:30pm
Sreeni on GeNext on DD, April 30, 2011, 1:30pmSreeni on GeNext on DD, April 30, 2011, 1:30pmSreeni on GeNext on DD, April 30, 2011, 1:30pmSreeni on GeNext on DD, April 30, 2011, 1:30pmSreeni on GeNext on DD, April 30, 2011, 1:30pm

Self, a set on Flickr.

Was to be about careers beyond engineering, medicine, chartered accountancy, the way the show got compered it got limited to conventional careers mostly…

For those who are keen on knowing the opportunities that exists, could go through one of my earlier posts
The world at your doorstep….. what are you passionate about?

Hope to anchor a program on careers beyond and entrepreneurship.. soon!!

sreeni@iwsb.in

The world at your doorstep….. what are you passionate about?

(This is an old article that I had written in a couple newspapers. I stumble upon it on my laptop and thought posting it could be of value to parents who are in a dilemma about what should their children pursue.)

IT’S a paradox of the times. The world is shrinking and expanding simultaneously. Technology is transforming our planet into a virtual village. More and more people, particularly youngsters like you, are using computers and the Internet. Sitting in your classrooms or homes, you can access whatever information you need from the World Wide Web and interact with any one around the world. No wonder geography is history now. If you really capitalize on this revolution, EDUCATION can become fun and paying too. No longer is the class XII student compelled to compete only for the engineering and medical courses, not that there is anything wrong with these popular streams. But now there is a plethora of career options. One can follow one’s heart and pursue a vocation of choice.

Ask yourself, “What do I want to be?” With information at your finger tip, literally, as your ARMORY and passion as your FERRARI, if you are enthused about a career, you can invigorate your parents too to jump in, to help you chase your dreams!!

Here are a few career areas that hold promise for the next decade or so.

ICE (Information, Communication and Entertainment): With integration of technologies, we are bound to witness a greater interactivity of computer networks, communication channels and entertainment media. You can now watch movies, enjoy a concert or even attend a class of a professor and university of your choice at your own pace and time, in your room at a click of the mouse. This means that the good times are rolling for back-end professionals such as innovators, software developers, content providers, engineers, technicians, producers, writers, script-writers, set designers, animators, and researchers. Of course, there’s good news for front-end experts like journalists, anchors, jockeys — VJ, RJ and DJ — newsreaders and performers. Those opting for humanities have a world of opportunities to choose from. So don’t suppress your desire to take up the Arts after class X.

Biotechnology, bio-informatics, biochemistry, biomechanics etc.: Developments in areas related to the application of biology and allied subjects along with Information Technology is bound to transform lives. Miniaturization of technologies will see outstanding progress and application in a variety of areas ranging from ICE to medicine. At the same time health-care products, food processing and preservatives, agriculture productivity, oil refining, contamination control, medicinal cures, waste management and environmental sciences will gain prominence. Keen to make a mark in these areas? Well, master both the physical and biological sciences in your senior secondary.

Design: Office or home Interiors, landscapes, shopping displays or communication – all need designs for enhancement. Institutions offer specialized and intensive courses in design – product, textile, ceramic, interior, landscape, fashion, gem and jewelry, retailing and communication design, not limited architectural design. Remember, it’s not the stream but creativity that determines your success in the world of design.

Education and Human Resources Development (HRD): They will be highly integrated and with the world becoming a knowledge village, there will be a growing need for educationists, counselors, trainers, assessors, motivators, academic administrators, instructional designers, course designers, and techno-academic integrators. One can get into this area irrespective of the subject at higher secondary.

Healthcare: Another area that will witness a great shift from public or governmental domain to the private domain. Healthcare will see greater application of technology and sophisticated medical practices at a reduced cost. Hospitals will be run like any other business corporate and so will require people for administration, public relations and customer care in addition to needing doctors, surgeons and paramedical staff.

The conventional sectors: Sectors that have a continuous demand for trained people include: Infrastructure — transportation, energy, community planning, for instance; Financial — innovative instruments for resource generation, insurance, banking and so on; Services — hospitality, tourism and travel, IT enabled services, for example; Development and legal sectors — such as social work, human rights, developmental economics, environmental issues; and, of course, the defence sector.

So list your thoughts and prioritize your interests, pursue your passion. Read up about the areas that appeal to you and see whether you have the capabilities needed to pursue that career. Armed with the information, speak to your parents and teachers, asking them to do both, listen to and question your plans. They will be able to help you in discovering the path to your goal. Befriend them as you would your peer group. If you need more help email me. Focus and work hard…the Ferraris will be yours for the asking.

R. SREENIVASAN, MTech (JNU), MBA (IIM Bangalore)
Educationist and Motivator,
Chairman, Indus World School, RAIPUR
sreeni@clef.in

Selecting a course, an institution to study in; an organization to intern with….How do I take a call?

It is that time of an year where a student is very confused and parent very stressed. They want to reach the portals of an institution worth pursuing a course from. There are many questions that may be popping in mind – How do we really evaluate a course and the institution very objectively? How to compare a course in an institution with that of another? Is an education fair useful to find answers to my dilemmas?

Exploring the self for course and institute

Exploring the self for course and institute

Education fairs are welcome interventions to facilitate parents and students to get the feel of the institutions and the courses. They may facilitate the confused child and a stressed parent, by providing opportunity to interact with counsellors, not only to gather information, but also have insights into the authenticity of the programmes. Many times one may even come across a university or a course of his or her liking while browsing through the fairs, which otherwise one is not really aware of.

But it has been observed that most of the times these fairs usually fail to attract the top-of-the-line institutions as those do not need any publicity. And also students who have scored well and who have the potential to get admitted in the top institutions do not visit education fairs either. So, education fairs are just a means to serve the purpose of gaining awareness of institutions and courses.

Bombastic claims and ad campaigns in various media should not influence our decision taking. It is very important that the parent or the student does a serious research to understand and evaluate the institution before taking a final call. This research can scourge secondary data on the web, primary research by visiting the institution and also interacting with professors, alumni etc.

A few of the parameters on which any institution can be evaluated are –

a. Course – How relevant is the design of the course you want to pursue, to the current and future evolving context of industry / economy? How up-to-date is the course? Is it futuristic and enabling enough for a student to discover or stroke ones potential and also grab the opportunities.

b. Faculty – What are the credentials of the faculty : academic background, experience (teaching / industry), publications – papers and books, larger roles played in the societal context (government committees, industrial societies etc.), consulting work (which organizations). Able and reputed faculties can make a huge difference to the institutional building and also in facilitating students’ excellence.

c. Infrastructure – campus, well-equipped classrooms, round the clock access to well stocked library and cutting-edge computer centres, sports arenas that can really engage the students in their learning process

d. Students Residential ? If a course is residential, it can make tremendous difference to learners as the collaborative learning through interaction becomes a 24X7 process. If the programme is residential, the interactions can be more intense and extended; discussions can encompass the entire gamut of issues around a problem that we are trying to solve, rather than looking at perfunctory solutions.

e. Faculty residential? If faculty also resides on the campus, the interaction can be even richer. While I was a student, I have had many an interaction with the faculty really late evenings too in a relaxed and productive environment, as the resident faculty usually spends in their office rooms till late in the evening and they encourage involved students to push their boundaries.

f. Location and Industry institutional integration? How well the institution is integrated with the industry is a significant key to shape the institution in terms of design of courses, attracting visiting faculty who are practicing professionals, possibility of students engagement in industry alive projects etc.

g. Students – how competitive is the selection process of students? Greater the competition (not necessarily marks) and intense is the selection process, higher the quality that emerges. If the student community is vibrant with activities across the spectrum – co-curricular and curricular with active clubs, inter-institutional competitions etc – developing ones personality will happen naturally.

h. Placements / Alumni record – Finally every student either wants to join a corporate or engage oneself in an entrepreneurial environment. The future of our nation will very much depend on the environment in an institution to foster entrepreneurial leadership. So I consider this as a very important parameter. Kindly probe more into the institutions records to categorize.

If an institution is new, and yet one can find significant strength in other parameters except for placement, I for one will opt for the institution as it gives an opportunity to the student to be part of the institutional evolution.

i. Last but not the least the cost for doing a programme after all the above parameters evaluated

These are a few parameters one can use to evaluate an institution. Irrespective of which course you are opting for, benchmarking will help you narrow on to an institution and programme worth investing for the next three to four years of under-graduation or subsequent graduation too.

2) While approaching an organisation for internship, what are the factors that a candidate should keep in mind?

As much as we evaluate an institution, one can benchmark an organization when a student looks for an internship –

a. What sort of work is the organization engaged in my area of interest? One needs to probe a little deeper to gain real insights.

b. How serious is the organization about the interns? Do they give live projects to work on? Do they really implement findings and recommendations of the intern to make the systems, processes and business more effective?

c. Does the organization invest in the interns as much as it does on the regular employees? Do they take interest in the development of the interns?

d. What sort of relationship does the organization maintain with the interns even after they leave? Do they give pre-placement offers and recruit outstanding interns?

In either of the cases – The course and the institution evaluation and, the organization evaluation – what would really help is the clarity one has about ones own goal; what is that one really enjoys and what one wants to do in life. Once we have this clarity, achieving the goal is a natural process as we will definitely work towards realizing it – where to undertake the course, institution to study in and Organization to associate with will emerge.

sreeni@careerlauncher.com

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