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Campus connect: Curator’s call on your career path still a deep dive in Pune

Mega upload of information to the Gen Y (and Z) mindset means guidance is key in aiding smartest choice

pune Updated: Aug 24, 2018 16:46 IST
Ananya Barua
Ananya Barua
Hindustan Times, Pune
Nilima Apte, head of Jnana Prabodhini Samshodhan Sanstha’s centre of aptitude testing and career counselling, takes a session with parents at the institute.(HT PHOTO)

A Google search with a handy tab on Wikipedia is by and large the career R&D at the student level today. The word ‘counselling’ now must stretch to include the vast online diaspora of LinkedIn pings, Snapchat GIFs and Facebook posts.

The deluge of information available needs a curator now more than ever. This is why parents and teachers are on edge every time wards mention a career choice.

DrShreeram Geet, a physician-turned-career counsellor with over two decades of experience, says,“Most people come to us as the last resort. We are seen as the agents to only manage disasters, when parents and their wards are at a crossroad, or have failed to get desired results. It would be truly helpful for children, if they come to us at an early stage to assess their aptitude, capabilities and interests, and seek our advice on probable career options based on those.”

The lack of early intervention is being attributed to parents deciding the future of their wards at an early stage.“The illusion that a good career is either medical, law or IIT - engineering - has clouded the minds of Indian parents. Instead of seeing what their children possess the best and helping them to harness that passion to profession, they are imposing their own dreams on their wards, thus leading to career confusion, depression and under-average performance later in life,” explains Geet.

City-based institute, Jnana Prabodhini Samshodhan Sanstha’s centre of aptitude testing and career counselling, is one of the oldest and most renowned career guidance centres in the city.

The programme that the sanstha has developed has now evolved to include counselling sessions for parents as well.“There are a number of aspects we concentrate on when a student comes to us for help. First are the scores in the standardised aptitude test to spot their real potential. Their academic marks don’t matter here. The next step is to check the family background, academic intellectual and financial, to understand where this student is coming from and how we can help her/him in the best possible way. These are then followed by sessions with parents and students, to help them understand different career opportunities based on the current trends in the respective fields,” says centre head Nilima Apte.

The parents, however, are not done yet. Aparna Satalkar, a parent of a student of Class 9, added that while there might be cases of parent and peer pressure, a lack of awareness is the root cause.“Personally, I have been looking to take my daughter to a counsellor but I hardly know where to go. While in the West it’s an integral part of the school system, in India its hardly practised. We all need help, but we will only be able to seek for it when we know where to look,” said Satalkar.

Jnana Prabhodhini’s Apte counters that the job of a career counsellor is not to merely to help the student land a job, but to help her or him find a path they are passionate about. “A healthy and holistic outlook that can allow them to make a substantial career and social contribution in the ever-evolving world is a necessary facet of counselling,” she added.

Geet points out that parents also need to find the right counsellors. After having worked with Jnana Prabodhini and now with theShyamchi Aai Foundation, Geet says,“Being updated with different courses and job opportunities and off-beat career possibilities is needed to be a good career counselor. These days most psychologists or counsellors add career counselling as an extension of their services without proper knowledge about the field. Then its all about taking big names of colleges and courses to lure the parents and confuse the students more, instead of really helping.”

Career advisor training programme at Jnana Prabodhini Samshodhan Sanstha

Date: September 7, 8 and 9

Time: 9 am to 5 pm

Venue: Jnana Prabodhini, 514 Sadashiv peth

Registrations open from 10 am to 4 pm (Mon-Fri); and 10 to 1 pm (Sat)

First Published: Aug 24, 2018 16:40 IST