Eighteen-year-old Sara Sheikh has been dreaming of pursuing a degree in culinary arts and running a global cuisine restaurant for years. Despite family pressure to study science, she is interning with a famous restaurant in Mumbai before pursuing an under-graduate degree in the field.
While interning is becoming mandatory in some courses, the practice of interning before pursuing a degree is catching on among Mumbai youth.
Academicians say acquiring hands on skills through internships before joining a course makes for a very interesting trend since our education system is still very theory based.
“It is good to know that students want to make informed choices about their education. Such internships will help them acquire skills at a young age that is not yet a part of our education system,” said Dinesh Panjwani, principal, RD National College, Bandra.
Sheikh however says that very few places actually let someone as young as her intern with them.
“I had to pull some strings in order to get into a restaurant kitchen. I wanted to know before pursuing a degree in food management or culinary arts whether I would be cut out for it,” she said.
Apart from internships, students are getting taking online courses to get acquainted with the discipline they are going to graduate in.
“I was confused whether to take up law or engineering as I am interested in both. So I started taking an online introductory course in law after my Class 12 exams. It helped me understand whether law was as interesting as it sounded. I also visited some lawyers and attended hearings,” said Jitesh Sharma, a first-year law student at Government Law College.
Entrepreneurship is another area of study that students are preparing for. A Class 11 student from SK Somaiya Junior College in Ghatkopar, started by selling her popular homemade earrings in college and is now in the process of setting up a social media page and website for the same.
“I always wanted to set up my own business and now, I am planning to take up a course in entrepreneurship to help me better my marketing and business acumen,”said the student.