Between degrees, youngsters opt for ‘work ex’June 13th, 2009 - 11:55 am ICT by IANS
By Vaishali Bhambri
New Delhi, June 13 (IANS) Standing at a crossroads eight years ago, 29-year-old Ramneek Khullar decided to take a break from studies after graduation and “experience” some real work - as a sales executive with a private bank. The decision paid off.
“I wanted to gain some experience before doing post-graduation. I took a break for two years and then did my MBA,” said Khullar, who is now working with the Citi Group’s finance division as a branch manager in Gurgaon.
“My two years of work experience with Citibank not only gave me an edge over others when I went for the MBA interview but I also got a promotion with Citibank,” Khullar told IANS.
These days many undergraduates feel taking a break from studies gives them an edge when they actually seek a job because of their “hands-on knowledge”.
Career counsellor Jayanti Ghose said taking a year’s break is a concept from the West that is now being adopted by Indians.
“It has become a trend to take a year’s break after graduation. Until a few years ago, this concept was very popular in Western countries but now is a hit here too,” Ghose added.
Ghose told IANS: “Many students are not sure of the field in which they want to pursue a post-graduation degree. So I often tell them to work for a year or two. This not only puts some work experience in their pocket but also broadens their horizon and helps them find their field of interest.”
For many, taking a break from studies means some time to relax and earn some money.
“I want to work for a year because I desperately need a break from studies. I think it will give me a chance to roam around and relax,” says Saanya Khanna, a final year English student.
The 21-year-old is not only relaxing at home after her examinations, learning aerobics, but also writes occasional articles for fashion magazines to earn some extra money.
“I want to become a full-time writer later. The one-year gap would give me the much-needed experience. The money is also good,” she said.
Teena Jha, a journalism graduate, feels: “I think, with a strong portfolio, one stands a better chance than other candidates at an interview. I have just completed my graduation in journalism and I plan to work.”
According to career counsellor Pervin Malhotra, director of Career Guidance India, many students come to her every year after their graduation.
“Taking a break and going for a job will certainly give an edge to a student who wants to do an MBA. But if one wants to pursue a masters degree in disciplines like English, history or sociology, work experience will not be of any help,” Malhotra said.
Rachit Puri, a second year student of the Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology, an engineering college under Delhi University, has already made plans for dropping a year before he pursues a post-graduation degree in business administration.
“I want to take a break for a year or two before I sit for the entrance exams of various MBA institutes. I want to utilise this time to prepare for entrances and also learn some new software and programmes because there is a new invention every day in the IT industry,” he said.
Mehak Sharma said she was in a dilemma after she completed her graduation.
“I was confused about what subject I should do my masters in. So I took a break. Now, I have decided to pursue a diploma course in travel and tourism.” She reached this decision after working with a private airline for a year as a phone operator.
Rahul Duggal, a graduate in bio-chemistry, worked with a research centre for over a year and now wants to take up research methodology as a subject.
“Just imagine, if I had not worked, I would not have realised what I enjoy most. Thank god, I decided to take a break and work. I now know what I want in life,” he said.
(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Tags: aerobics, career counsellor, citi group, citibank, crossroads, extra money, fashion magazines, finance division, ghose, graduation degree, occasional articles, post graduation, private bank, sales executive, time writer, undergraduates, vaishali, western countries, work experience, youngsters