Stepping Stone to a Successful Career
by Kathakali Nandi, Author- The Hindu Date: October 5, 2015
Internships can help you find out whether you are really cut out for the job you are seeking.
At a time when coaching classes are mushrooming to help students crack entrance tests and job interviews, there is hardly any guidance to make job-seekers aware of the actual demands of a job and prepare them accordingly. It is very common to find confused or dissatisfied young working professionals who take up a job not knowing its demands, say career counsellors.
Career guidance is essential for job-seekers. While internship is the best way to test a candidate’s comfort and skills for any job, students often don’t realise its importance.
“Many a time, students lack information about a specific job profile and are unaware of its parameters. The recruitment cells in colleges should also provide assistance in securing internships. Most colleges offering postgraduate courses have recruitment cells, but there is lack of a proper internship programme policy in colleges offering only undergraduate courses,” says Abhishek Anand, director of test-prep company Eptitude.
Internships are not only required for grooming students so that they meet the demands of the corporate world, they also add value to the resume.
“What is expected of students is evolving. Nowadays, many MBA colleges prefer students with at least two years of job experience. Besides, internships help test a candidate’s employability. An employer can check out if the intern can become a prospective employee,” says Anand Venkatesan, mentor and COO of Eptitude.
Admitting that companies are also on the lookout for trained professionals, Sonal Mehra, an HR professional from a telecom company said that companies usually push HR personnel to hire trained professionals.
“Internship programmes are the best way to test the grey matter of a prospective employee. Freshers who join a company come with a lot of expectations and require a lot of hand holding. Companies want professionals who can start contributing to the work space immediately. They don’t want to invest too much time in training new recruits. Although training programmes are conducted for new recruits, these programmes are held only for freshers who are recruited through college placement cells. Companies should also conduct workshops in colleges which help job-seekers acquaint themselves with the various types of work profiles,” said Mehra.
While internships help in getting a hands-on experience, it is also important to reach out to working professionals and ask for information.
“It is important to network. If you want to pursue a career in investment banking, talk to an actual investment banker and see if his/her job appeals to you. Social media sites like LinkedIn are helpful for asking around for such help. When a company posts an advertisement for a vacancy, go through the demands of the job in detail and see if you’re really cut out for the job,” said Jatin Bhandari, founder and CEO of education consulting firm PythaGurus.
Companies should also conduct workshops in colleges.