More and more students today are pursuing professional courses or those that prepare them for jobs as they attend college full-time. Special: Campus Calling
Why not wait until one is a graduate? “After college I want to do an MBA,” says Aditya Ajmani, a first-year student at the Shri Ram College of Commerce. He is studying Actuarial Science along with Economics Honours. “If I do at least three or four papers of Actuarial Science in a year and finish the course soon after I leave college, I’m free to do an MBA. Having done both will definitely give me an edge.”
While Ajmani does end up missing the occasional theatre practice (he is an active member of the dramatics society in college) and is often berated for the same, he thinks he can manage. One of his friends who joined the course with him though has dropped out, complaining it didn’t leave time for much else.
Gagan, a graduate of BCom Honours from Khalsa College, faced a similar problem. He was taking CA classes along with regular college, but with time he found he could not continue doing both. He chose college over CA, deciding to do CA after he’d finished college.
In the same boat was also Sahibjeet Singh Ahuja of Motilal Nehru College. Attending college in the morning, he would rush after his last class to his CA tuitions, where he would sit in a class with 600 other students for up to eight hours on some days, after which he was also expected to finish his ‘homework’ for the next day.
“It was taking a toll on my health,” he says, “I decided I’d study CA on my own and stopped going to class.”
The course also requires you to do an 18-month training or internship. Undergoing training and CA class and college leaves you with barely any time to sleep, let alone time for extracurriculars or hobbies.
Some choose to do what is called a ‘dummy’ internship, which you don’t really do but shows up on your CV. But this could put one at a disadvantage. “Companies can tell the difference between real and dummy internships,” says Gagan, “when you don’t know anything about the practical aspect of the course, it becomes obvious”.
Most colleges also make a fuss about attendance, though some waive the requirements.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India recently made it compulsory for those enrolled in CA to take correspondence courses instead of regular college, or show a certificate from their college stating that college timings would not clash with training timings.