Over 70 firms to participate in the event, Samanway, on April 6

It’s a common refrain that academic institutions have poor industry links. In a bid to change that, and in the process improve career prospects of students, the students’ council of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.) has, for the first time ever, organised a career fair.

Students and organisers of the fair told The Hindu that the idea behind the event is primarily to “improve awareness”, both among the student community on the kind of work in the industry and among industry representatives who can get an idea about their research.

Titled Samanway, the one-day career fair will be held on April 6, and over 70 companies are slated to participate. These companies range from research and development engineering units to life science businesses, and will see public sector participation too.

“It’s a win-win situation for all,” said Vipin Gupta, second year master’s student in electrical engineering and convener of the programme. “What we wanted to do is to build a common and long-term platform, so companies across the world could come and present or discuss their work and their profiles. We envisage stalls or event sessions where this can happen. There’s a lot that happens in the industry that as students we are completely unaware of. This opens a window into this world.”

Though conventional placement rounds — which comprise interviews and written tests — are nearly over for this year, this event will also give companies an opportunity to scout for talent. “It’s not only about jobs, but also internships, projects and so on. It’s a bridge between the industry and academia,” said Pramod Verma, chairman of the students’ council of the IISc.

Placements at the elite institute generally takes place between October and January every year. But given the diverse nature of the student population, there are no hard and fast rules on this, another student said. Most of the companies that scout for talent during placements are looking for some very specific techno-scientific job profile, she added.

Mr. Gupta said that companies have already been contacted and they are waiting to hear from them. It’s called a career fair, but that’s a bit of a misnomer, he says. “It’s more than just a job fair. The larger intention is to know what’s happening in the industry, which will eventually improve the quality of our work,” he said.

Plaudits

In a message to students on the career fair website, IISc. director P. Balaram, wrote: “I believe that this is the first time that such an initiative has been taken up by the students. This fair will give an opportunity for potential employers from industries to directly interact with the students in the one-day meeting. I hope there will be plenty of opportunities for industry participants to get a feel for the activities of the institute.”

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