Hundreds of students and parents gathered in Kandivli on Sunday for the eighth and final session of Hindustan Times Campus Calling 2016.
The series of free career counselling sessions is organised annually for students from Classes 9 to 12, in association with career counsellors from Disha Counselling Centre and RN Podar School.
The sessions help students untangle the various career, admission and entrance test options ahead of them, through group and one-on-one sessions with experts.
Among Sunday’s participants was Cheryl Joanes, a Class 10 student from Malad, who was having trouble choosing between the Science and Commerce streams. “My parents asked me to study Science at least till Class 12 to develop a strong base. But after this session, I have changed my mind and have decided to study Commerce because of the various career options available after graduation,” said Joanes, smiling.
Also present at the sessions was Spoorthy Shetty, 44, CEO of the BBlunt salon chain and mother of a Class 12 student. “The session was extremely insightful and the counsellors were very informative,” she said. “The one-on-one session helped us make a confirmed decision about sticking with the Commerce stream.”
In a time of a confusing array of options and the added complications of peer pressure, counsellors say it is important to get some help before picking your course and career direction.
“The admission process keeps seeing changes and parents along with students become wary of taking decisions,” said Shilpa Pathak, counsellor at RN Podar School.
“Parents have become very cautious to ensure they don’t end up wasting a year or taking risks,” she said.
She said she noticed a higher number of students opting for the Commerce stream this year. “Children consider the number of options a stream opens up for them in terms of job opportunities or pursuing post-graduation, and pick Commerce,” said Pathak. “Even if they opt for Science, they are considering fields such as paramedical or pharmaceutical studies.”
Also widely discussed at the group and one-on-one sessions were the many new careers opening up. “Before this session, I had no idea there were courses such as Retail Management or Bachelors in Vocational Education by the Mumbai University and now I’ll definitely look into them,” said Class 12 student Sahana Sharma, who came from Goregaon.