Fancy corporate jobs never fascinated Radhika Gupta. So, when it came to listing her preferences during the placement season at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B), where she is doing her final year B.Tech, she opted for an NGO.
“I had always wanted to work for sometime in the social sector and education is a cause that is close to my heart,” said the engineering physics student. Gupta will work for Teach for India and spend the next two years teaching primary school children.
She is one of the three students who have opted to work for the NGO.
For the past two years NGOs have been part of the campus placement process at the IITs. Although they offer salaries that less than a fourth of the big multinationals, there are a handful of students who want the experience. IITs, on the other hand, are happy to support a cause.
“Working in the social sector is not about charity for me. I look at it as personal growth. My parents were very surprised when I told them about my decision but they have been supportive,” said Prachur Goel, an IIT-B dual degree student.
“I was sure of my decision. When I saw the life of my seniors who worked with big companies, I realised that it is not for me.”
Last year IIT-B had two NGOs on campus and this year they have had one.
But not every NGO can get to recruit at the prestigious institute because they have a stringent screening process.
“We do due diligence of the NGOs to see if they are well organised. It should not be that our students go there
and find everything out of place,” said Ravi Sinha, chairman, placements, IIT-B.
“We encourage the social sector because at this age students can experiment. Everything is not about high salaries.”
The same attitude is at IIT-Kharagpur, which is expecting NGOs in January.
“We always welcome the social sector and want our students to participate in it.
We are expecting a few NGOs but have asked them to come next month after all the
companies are done recruiting,” said SK Shrivastva, placement head.
But how does it feel to earn pittance compared to your peers? “Well, it doesn’t really matter. The learning here is remarkable and very different from the corporate sector,” said Goel.