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Choose a career that matches your personal interests

First lap: Students should treat their bachelor’s degree as a base for further options in their careers, say experts

education Updated: Jun 12, 2015 20:06 IST
Aanchal Bedi
Aanchal Bedi
Hindustan Times

As Delhi University (DU) gets ready for the hustle and bustle of admissions, many students find themselves grappling with the dilemma of how to choose the right course and college. To address their queries, the Hindustan Times Campus Calling initiative hosted a counselling session. Hundreds of students and parents participated in the three-hour session on career guidance held at YWCA, New Delhi. These events will continue over the next two weeks and will be held at Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan, KG Marg on June 13 and YWCA, Ashoka Road on June 20.

The sessions are aimed primarily to help young students gain a better insight into the career options available and most suited to them. A panel of experts was available at counselling sessions to clear all confusion and misunderstandings related to career planning. They not only guided students to effectively plan their careers but gave them information about the various options available to them, based on their skills, aptitude and interests.

Emphasising on the importance and benefits of diversity, Preeti Dhawan, associate professor, Lady Shri Ram College said, “Delhi University prides itself in the variety of the student population from all over the country. This amalgamation helps students understand not only themselves but people around them. There are some important mantras that can help a person to be better equipped to handle a situation, perform and move ahead at a steady pace. The first mantra is regularity. Unlike the annual system, DU has a semester system in place where exams are held twice a year. It is a 14-week period… three assignments, two projects, a series of lectures… come November and your exams are just around the corner. Being regular will help students score well in internal assessments. The second mantra is time management. No matter what course or college a student chooses, there are innumerable co-curricular and extracurricular activities to participate in. This helps in exploring one’s passion. The third important mantra is inter-personal relationships. Try and form new bonds, get out of your comfort zone.”

Advising medical aspirants Sushma Singh, associate director, Career Smart said, “Medical exams are highly competitive. But it is not the be-all and end -all of career. Students can go for other options like paramedical sciences and nutrition.”

Several questions were asked about cut-offs, calculating the percentages, applying through ECA quota and filling the online application form. Many students enquired about choosing a college over career and if a private institute could be kept as a backup option.

Answering them, Yashodhra Arora, counsellor, Career Smart, said, “The best way to make a choice is to know what you want to do in life. Always treat your bachelor’s degree as a base for further options in your career.”

Reiterating the same, Dhawan said, “Course is very important but college provides a culture of activities, associations, engagements which can become life changing and learning experiences. If a student is not sure about his/her goal in life, then choosing course over college is a wise decision. But students who have vast career goals should always give preference to a college over course. Visit the campus. Talk to students and alumni. Find out associations and activities that a university has had over the period, the dignitaries that they have called, the talks that they have held, the kind of workshops that they have engaged with.”

While Sripati Arjun, who scored 94% in Class 12, was not sure if he had many options besides economics (hons) and BCom (hons), Simran was doubtful about choosing a course that the market demanded or a course of her interest. Answering their queries, Sasidhar Sista, manager, student outreach programme, Ashoka University said, “If everyone chooses a course which is in demand, then how will a student show that he/she is unique and better than others while putting an application for a job? Those who go by the herd mentality will be at disadvantage of not choosing a course of their interests. Find out your passion because that will give you uniqueness and an edge over others. There are a lot of options available today, you just need to explore.”

The uncertainty of ‘what if my child doesn’t get an admission in DU?’ was a matter of concern for many parents. “My daughter scored 85 % marks in Class 12 and wants to become a doctor, but in case she fails to score well in the entrance test, how and where can I secure an admission for her as a second option,” asked KL Gupta, a parent. Another parent wanted to know if one could check the authenticity of a private institute.

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