Saturday, August 2, 2014

Student Orientation Programme

Student orientation programme plays an important role in a students transition to a university life. Orientation programmes are aimed at familiarizing the students to an unknown campus environment, its faculties and infrastructure. It enables them to make essential connection with studies and develop network among other peers.
“Where will be my classroom? What will be my majors, What is the course structure?” Umpteen numbers of questions looms in the minds of students, when they start their college life.
In the beginning of the first year, students need to be made acquainted to their surroundings in the campus. This includes introductory sessions, giving them an overview of the university life; the rules and regulations mandated for each student in a particular college/ faculty.It is an essential period at the beginning of the college session, which allows the students to get settled in their new environment.
Teacher coordinator of every stream sets a model of introductory orientation programme that includes academic as well as social activities.
The three basic goals of any university/college  when organizing an orientation week/month are:
  • Introducing students to their college life.
  • Incorporating them in the university environment.
  • Giving opportunity to the university members and faculties to get connected to the new batch.
Introducing Students to a college life
This is the most essential aspect of an orientation programme in any university, irrespective of the nature of the course. Students need to be made aware of the social environment of their university/college. This social factor most definitely includes the extracurricular activities, social clubs, events, workshops and other special training programmes available in the college course. This encourages them and helps them in getting socially integrated with the college culture. In the early few weeks of the college itself, a student should be able to discover his interest in any of the college activities other than the mainstream course. Social involvement will make sure that students don’t lose interest in the college life and hence are regular with their attendance.
Introductory sessions most importantly aims at giving an overview about the academic course, pursued by the students. By giving a rough idea of academic expectations, students are prepared for the challenges they might face during their graduation/post graduation programmes.
Often in the orientation programmes, eminent lecturers and experts in various fields are introduced to the new students, to mentally prepare them for awaited professional life they have set out to achieve.
Orientation programmes in colleges also give opportunities to students where they can self evaluate their aptitude level, by participating in the workshops and discussion sessions. Attending Orientation enables students to make important connections with the collegiate environment, academic studies, peers and network with the campus community.
 Incorporating students in the university environment
The second most important aspect of an orientation programme is to make students accustomed to the campus surrounding. For many students going to college may be their first experience away from home, so orientation programme gives them the required aid in getting acquainted with their new neighbourhood.
Answering all their queries and doubts, counseling, guiding them in the choice of their social clubs are some of the activities involved in these orientation sessions.
In this manner, orientation helps students get their attitude right as best suited for the new place.Campus maps, guided tours in the campus allow them to physically get apprised of the college interiors so that they do not find themselves lost. Orientation programmes are the best platform for the new students to get a total overview of what all a university has to offer.
Giving opportunity to the university members and faculty to get connected with the new batch.
Involving the entire university community in the orientation programme is the most effective aspect as it gives the students and teachers an equal opportunity to interact with each other. The entire campus community including the faculty, dining services, housing, facilities management, and student activities groups gets involved in this programme of welcoming new students.
The interaction among the students and the college community strengthens student’s persistence in the college. A feeling of belongingness is inculcated in student’s mind during the orientation, which makes them feel a part of the university community. Institutions appoint old students as the orientation leaders who can also share their own experience with the newcomers and make them aware of the awaited experience.

Conclusion

Orientation programmes serve as a foundation for college/university success. It sets a lasting impression for new students and their families.The main purpose of a good orientation session in a college is to bridge the gap between the professors and the students, ensuring a smooth communication between the two. A good orientation programme should be designed in a manner that it can answer all the queries of the students, before they are asked.
A structured orientation model can aid all the participants including students, faculty members, administration, parents and current students. Orientation marks a successful beginning of a college session as it assures to the new students that they made a good decision in their college choice. It also helps students prepare for a successful career with clear vision about what lies ahead and what can be  achieved at the end of their courses.

Student Orientation is a warm up session for students before they are ready to hit the ground for their final performance, for a successful career. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Factors that Influences your Career Choice: 7 P’s of Career Selection

Career selection is an important stage in a student’s life. It influences a number of decisions that he/she takes based on their career choices. Choice of a subject, a university, an institution, a company, a job profile depends on the career one chooses to pursue.

Nowadays it is quite certain to find students confused or unaware of their career path, even after having completed their graduation. They seem unsure of the degrees they hold as it doesn’t given them a clear vision of what they want to do.

Career Planning is no more a one time occurrence which would end with the decision of the right university or college. It extends till we get the right job and get a satisfying work profile.
After completion of schooling, one tends to select a stream based on their previous best performance. If a student scores 90 percentile in Science he/she wants to become an engineer/ doctor and likewise they go for commerce and every other subject. In more than 90% of the cases, it turns out to be haste or a wrong decision. The basis on which we evaluate our career choice remains unjustified.

Students who face exam anxiety and fail to perform up to their standard in the classroom tests are left out in the race. They are treated as a non-performer or a below average student. Similarly there are few who manage to excel just by rote learning. Some depend on their families to take the right call; well, some choose to follow the crowd. There is no clarity of one’s self interest. This is the first wrong step that can lead them to a wrong path.

A wrong career choice can also increase the investment cost of a student in his/her education. Every time when a student’s career vision oscillates it calls for unnecessary expenditure. Most of the students invest huge amount of money as well as time in getting clarity over their career choice. They keep changing their subjects, even after having done majors in a particular subject they end up choosing a totally different profession.

What is most important is to have a good and clear career choice at an early stage so that it allows one to excel and achieve better in the chosen profession.

Brig. S. N. Setia, the Director of the ICT who has been associated with the Manav Rachna International University (MRIU) for long , has carved out 7 most common factors that influence the career choice of a student, which often swerves them from making the correct choice.

Parents’ Desire/Parental Pressure: Choosing a career just to live up to the parents expectation is the most common decision taking by students at an early stage, which they tend to regret later. Most of the students from business families are by default expected to choose commerce and hence B.Com or BBA as their suited career course. Some who resist submit to the parental pressure leading to an unsuccessful career graph. Such influences under the garb of adhering to their guardians wish are considered unfruitful for the students in long run.

Peer Persuasion: This is the easiest way of getting away from taking self decision. Most of the students want to follow the crowd to get to their destination. ‘Follow your friends’ is the most trending exercise visible during the selection of a university/college. Majority choice is considered the best choice. This mindset has increased the count in the mediocre group where students fail to succeed in their career and just keep on it with an average performance.

Past Performance: This is in fact the most unjustified and distorted basis of analyzing one’s performance and interest area. In India, we are not only churned in an old education system of rote learning but we believe in the numbers to prove our caliber. This practice of determining one’s interest field based on one time exam performance has often led to a wrong career decision.

Potential: Potential of a student can be legitimate criterion for choosing a career. Very few are able to identify their potential and choose their subject of knowledge based on it. A career selected on the basis of one’s potential has greater prospect of assuring success.

Placements: We wish to choose a profession that can provide for our bread and butter. 
Placement opportunities in a particular university are thus considered most important factor for the students when they harp about their career choice. Good placement options are an important motivation driver for students in their Career Planning.

Personality Driven: Most of the people choose their interest field on the basis of their personality and character. It can be the other way around also,  when a career chooses them based on their personality. Here personality includes not only the outward presentation of a student but the perception he/she holds about society. A good communicator, who has good command on his/her language skills, is more inclined towards a mass communication stream. Similarly, a good leader who has the capacity to influence masses chooses a management field. Personality traits always help in deciding a good career, for it is easy to hone the skills we already acquire.

Affordability (Paisa): This is the basic and the most essential criterion for most of them who set out to make their career. Affordability or Paisa in lay man’s language determines the purchasing power of  individuals who dares to dream. In India, when Right to Education aims to ensure education for all, it fails to distribute the standard quality of education. One, who can afford it, can only receive the ace quality training, knowledge and plum opportunities. Most of the students neglect their interest and choose a career that fits their pocket well.

Brig. Setia says” Career choice should not be based on any particular model or concept. One should choose his/her career on the basis of his interest in a particular area. The above mention model of 7 P’s can only be an influential factor in the career selection process, it should not be the criterion for Career Planning”.

Career Planning is essential to ensure a successful and enriching work life.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

MBA is not an academic degree, It teaches you how to work with people.

MBA stands for Masters in Public Advertisement+ Administration + Governance in Manav Rachna International University (MRIU).

The Director of Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), Mrs. Chavi Bhargav Sharma, at Manav Rachna International University (MRIU) has defined MBA degree in a new perspective.

Talking strongly against the current archaic system of education, Mrs. Bharghav, popular for her passion for teaching, believes that MBA is a course that teaches you 'how to deal with people'. The art of communicating and doing business with people is the basic quality trained in a MBA course.

MBA is one of the most sought after degrees in the world. It is the most preferred choice of graduates from different streams as every Industry requires a Manager, an Administrator, a Communicator and an HR to run the show. This plump post hence requires maximum hands-on training to match with the dynamic nature of the subject. 

There is no one standard procedure of dealing with people/situations as an administrator or a manager. Life skills of dealing with people and a situation, is the most essential quality to be learnt by a MBA student. This requires enhancing one’s leadership quality. Some of the most important chapters in a MBA course include:
  •   Leadership
  •   Management 
  •   Advertisement
  •   Communication
  •   Profit 
  •   Partnership
Most of the above mentioned topics are basically a comprehensive study on ‘how to convert situation into your profit model along with creation of a valuable product for the society”. This practical study requires continuous training for students in an industrial training atmosphere. This will also provide students with enough opportunities to think out of the box.

Catering to the above requirement, MRIU focuses its MBA programme primarily on the employabilty factor of its students. Following the UGC curriculum for MBA, MRIU has initiated a specialized skill training programme-STEPPES (Structured Training for Enhancing Personnel and Professional Employ-ability Skill).

This unique programme, as a part of the two year course, gives practical training and knowledge on skill development. This helps in increasing the employabilty factor of students. There are two papers covered under this study which includes:
  •  Live skill Training
  •  and Communication Skill Enhancement
Encouraging a skill based training exercise; MRIU has launched a special skill centric training workshop in collaboration with big corporate houses like KPMG, Fortis and ITC. Students derive immense benefit from this additional training session as it opens the entry door of some big corporate houses, giving them a fair chance to prove their employablity skills for hiring.

This year for the first time MRIU has launched its dual degree MBA Program that allows students to acquire internationally accepted degree of learning. During the two year course via Faculty exchange programmes and a blend in the curriculum with the Napier University in UK, MRIU will be providing a dual degree MBA certification to its students.

Talking about the newly introduced Dual Degree programme and the purpose of affiliating with an International training Institute Mrs. Bharghav said, “I believe it is extremely important at this point in time, to give global exposure to the students. The process of learning a skill cannot be limited to one paradigm or pattern. In order to excel and accomplish the art of performing with your management skills, it becomes imperative to be exposed to a dynamic environment".

MBA is not an academic degree rather it is a continuous process of learning, says Mrs. Bharghav. She added, “It is just like swimming, where one needs to practice to stay abreast with the skill and improve its performance each time".

A skill centric curriculum and a practical teaching paradigm can make MBA degree course more valuable and the students employable.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What has failed our education system in India?

Education system in India carries the colonial baggage shouldered by us for decades now. It is a structure that was built to produce civil servants, clerks and bureaucrats who could do the routine job. Not much has changed in the objective of our education system, even today. Now we have engineers being produced in bulk creating imbalance in the demand and supply in the job market.

 The same old rote learning mentality of students to score the highest marks, holds priority not only for the students but their guiding angels (parents and teachers). There is a thin line drawn between an educated and talented individual. Anyone with a first class degree is preferred over a hardworking and talented student, who scores in an average slot.

 The impact becomes larger when the marking trend overshadows the interest of a student, making him/her incompetent in the real corporate world. The career graph of an individual is rather drafted on the basis of the report card marks.

What makes the situation even more bizarre is the fact that with more and more students frequently and routinely scoring 90% marks, in their board exams, have raised the cut off bar for the college/university to an impractical score.
 This further narrows down the entry door limit, leaving a major of students chunk of in the mediocre bracket.  The recent roll back of the four year undergraduate programme (FYUP) introduced in Delhi University, was another example of a confused education paradigm of universities.

 More than 70% of the course structure focuses on preparing its students for their best performance in the examination and does not pay heed to the teaching process. In this attempt we often see that some intelligent students, who are not good performers in class written tests, are often left behind and challenged in their career path.

 Education which was meant to reform human behavior appears to have failed to achieve its goal, rather it has further confused students in their directed path. The lack of a standard method of learning/ teaching has made 'a particular course'  different  for different individual. 

MBA students who have acquired the degrees from different colleges/universities are unknown to the standard idea of the management course. Some universities prefer to stick around the old rhetorical academic syllabus without implementation of new ideas; while some have become totally skill-centric following a western pattern of educational paradigm.

Who are the ultimate sufferers?

In this process it is ultimately the economy that suffers. Lack of skilled employable students leads to ineffective growth in the industry and increasing rate of joblessness in the country. Jobs are then filled in by semi-skilled people who do not contribute to the industry in the required manner.

According to the 2011 census, increasing  literacy rate in the country, from 12% (1947) to nearly  74.04 %, has not made a real growth in the literate class. Learning the basic English language and fundamentals of different subject matter is a a half-hearted attempt towards the bigger goal of producing intellectuals who can then contribute in the society and industry.

 What should be the road-map ahead?

It is imperative for educational institutes to instill the zeal of learning and practising knowledge in students. A balanced course structure including the theoretical, practical and industrial training is apt for a complete graduation course.

It is important for universities to train its students for the final deliverance so that the corporate houses can save a lot of training cost on their employees. This can further strength the competitive standards of all the universities as well as create a healthy job market.

Manav Rachna International University(MRIU) much acclaimed for producing highly skilled and employable batch of students excelling in their respective field has set out an amended model of education, which allows it students to choose their method of learning as per their skills and capacity.

Students at MRIU are not only provided with the best infrastructural and research resource to keep them updated with the latest technology but they are given an upgraded industrial training from time to time, to enhance their adaptability in the changing industrial environment.

Students from MRIU find it easy to fit into the dynamic and changing work environment as they have been trained on the ground, under the guidance of experts from the academia as well as by the professionals from the real corporate world.

Students today need to re-create their learning paradigm as with advancement in technology and evolution of time, it is difficult to achieve excellence with the old archaic method of education practised in greater part of the country today.

It is true to believe the saying " I was born intelligent but education ruined me"; in order to change this distorted thought we need to restart our defunct body of education and overhaul it with a progressive and innovative approach.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Giving Power To The Performer

Surging unemployment rate in the country has increased the burden on the higher education institutes, who are making constant attempts to reduce the gap between the job availability and employ-ability in the market.

More skill focused programmes have been initiated in almost every university and college, to improve the employ-ability standard of its students. With expansion in facilities the count of students successfully completing their graduation is higher than the number of students who land up in a job, in the industry.

This creates a lacuna in the whole education system which fails to fulfill the purpose of acquiring a professional degree. The main reason cited for this, is the lack of proper skills and industrial training,  which makes the academic qualification of students insignificant for a particular job role.

Empowering youth through employment is  the most important medium of engaging youth in the nation development process as well. As per the recent survey record, nearly 45 lakh graduates remained unemployed annually. This figure has further swelled up by 9% in the last two years indicating a major drawback in the skill development sector of the country.

What is the root cause of the problem?

The root cause of the problem lies in the theory of practicing traditional method of learning in the institutes at higher education level.  Vocational training and interactive sessions should be given mandatory approach by the institute ensuring good placement records.

In this age of universal science and technology where innovation has been prioritized as an important element of research and development, limited resource has resulted in less contribution in this sector.

Students often study a subject of convenience over their interest. Wrong subject / course choice because of limited seats during admissions,  is another major deterrent in the career growth. It narrows the employ-ability chances of students further, as they are unsure of their academia qualification and also lack the practical skills.

What is the possible solution?

Job orientated training courses are gaining more popularity among the masses as it assures them higher chances of getting absorbed in the industry, immediately after their degree course is complete.

University like Manav Rachna International University (MRIU) provide special vocational training sessions, in each of its courses,  that focuses on the enhancement of the practical skills of the students, giving them power to perform better.

The Engineering graduates from MRIU have exemplified their innovative skills on various national and global platforms, receiving laurels for their performance. Higher placement record of the students have further confirmed the quality of the training programme delivered in the university.

Skill+Will + Zeal= Win, the most successful mantra of empowering the youth, initiated in Gujarat, practiced by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the most fundamental method of preparing a pool of skill employees, ready to be hired.

This mantra needs to be adopted by the education sector as well, to help build a connectivity between the recruiter and the trainer.

MRIU provides its students with  skill-centric industrial training courses, that equips its graduates and post graduates to deliver efficiently in the job market. MRIU believes in creating a complete training package, as an integral part of its course structure, across varied courses.

Change in the recruitment paradigm of corporate giants, who give first preference to a higher qualification and more experienced CV, compared to just a graduate.  The dual degree programmes of MRIU have received positive result, with students acquiring dual degree stamp and getting a better pay package and exposure in the market.

MRIU dual degree programmes also contributes in the international learning process of its students, through its foreign university affiliations, thereby opening a job opportunities for them abroad.

The only way of mending the broken bridge and improving the employ-ability status is by providing enough power to the performers through skill development short term programmes/courses in the college, in order to prepare them to be readily hired.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

What makes employ-ability so important?

In our country less than 15% of the graduates get started on their career path; then what hinders the rest from taking the first successful step in their career?
The Career Development Centre (CDC) at Manav Rachna International University (MRIU) takes care of the employability factor in their students. Every student is not capable of matching the standards of the corporate world, despite their highest score or a good academia background.
The director of the CDC, Vikash Mehra, believes that there are students at various level- graduates, MBA and a chunk of engineering graduates who remain unemployed as they fail to match the industrial standards.This is a major reason for the huge gap between the employability and the availability of job opportunities.
 If we look at statistics in India on an average only 10-12% of total graduates get employed in an industry of their choice. There is a huge gap that needs to be addressed in order to hold actual value to the degree received by the students.
Citing some facts, in case of management, on an average only 15% of the graduates get employed. Nearly 16 lakh engineers successfully complete their graduation every year of which only 17% receive their due return in terms of jobs in the market.
When we talk of employ-ability skills, Career Development Center at MRIU has defined it in simpler terms. According to them employ-ability stands for -
 Ability of an individual in assessing his/own strengths (skills, assets/vale/knowledge) and also being aware of one’s weakness that needs to be covered up over time. This quality of self assessment allows students to explore correct job opportunities.
The basic problem faced by our students today is their wrong judgment and selection of their career path, Most of the engineers end up pursuing a totally different course post their graduation as they seem unsure of what they aspire to do.
Counseling in that case is most crucial and important at the start of the career graph. There is free counseling sessions in most of the universities and institutes that provide guidance to the students during the orientation week, so that students choose right course for themselves. Once the students are capable of self-assessment, they are equipped to explore right job opportunities in the market and make informed career related decisions, all by themselves.
CDC helps students in identifying the requirement of a job role and then training students accordingly.  They achieve this by preparing a compelling action plan (Effective resume, Covering letter, Preparation for Personal Interview etc.)
To cater to all the above issues Career Development Centre provides coaching and practical training sessions on basic Employ-ability Skills and Business Communication. They also providing personal grooming to the students by working on their  Personal Productivity Skills (Time Management, Problem solving, Decision making etc.), Quality (Lean, Six Sigma) and Managerial Skills (Performance Management, Effective Coaching, Team Building etc.) which are rated very highly by corporate across the world
Career Development Center is providing extensive process oriented and activity driven training on Personality Development, Business English, Business Communication and Aptitude Development. These trainings are delivered in two formats – Regular Semester coaching and Crash courses
Career Development Center is also helping the placement initiatives of Manav Rachna Educational Institutions by tying up with companies like Aspiring Minds, Co Cubes, E Litmus etc. These companies conduct Employ-ability Assessments that are recognized by wide range of corporate. This has helped students get placed with companies that do not come to campus otherwise
Career Development Center has been instrumental in making students participate in activities that help them add more professional qualifications to their CV. 
Employ-ability is considered one of the primary objectives of a higher education system. It becomes mandatory for institutes/ higher education universities to ensure a good career opportunity to all its students.
Although colleges offer campus placement as an important medium of connecting the students to the corporate world, providing proper training to each student for their easy acceptance in the industry is also imperative in the present.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

When College Becomes Your Work Place

Research is the birth point of new ideas that leads to innovation and evolution. India is still striving to buck-up in the department of research and development as most of our students choose to get away with just scoring numbers and getting placed in big corporate giants.

However, the changing trend in the corporate world has also changed the rules of education. Corporate houses are now keen on employing skilled and already trained minds over just the top scorer in the class.

This has called for great emphasis on the research and development department of the institutes, who lay great impetus on ensuring sound R&D infrastructure and resources for their students.College libraries, research labs, cyber cell, special research departments are few of the mandatory research spaces allotted carefully in every institute.

What has become more encouraging for students is an option of assisting the research team of their own institute after they have successfully graduated from the college.
This is another most opted career by students where they choose to serve their own alma-meter by joining the institute in various capacities like researcher, student coordinator, placement cell manager , creative department head  and social media coordinator to name a few.

Manav Rachna International University (MRIU) is emerging stronger in its research and development department, by giving new and challenging opportunities to its ex-students in their research team.

Students are overwhelmed to be recruited by their own guardian educational institute where they can work in familiar environment and sit on the other side of the desk.
Many successfully graduated students of MRIU have shared their enriching experience of getting placed in their college campus itself. They believe that the process of learning does not end with acquiring a professional degree. It is rather more important to have a practical application experience of the knowledge.

MRIU professors believe that their main aim is to break the walls between the disciplines, industry and academia to inculcate the true structure of learning.
There is a greater need of preparing students with a mindset that quality work is more important than a brand name of a company. If a student is able to get more detailed understanding of a subject and the same profile becomes its job it can solve the dual purpose of learning and earning, at the same time.

Youth who were once students can now interact, connect and communicate with their junior colleagues and help cross over the step which they found difficult to move on.
The campus employment option also helps create more job in the otherwise limited opportunities for the fresher lot.

Manav Rachna has always created new platform for its students, to establish themselves so that they can fulfill dreams of different kinds, in the on campus jobs in their own institute.

Hence learning has taking precedence over education qualification and job.