Spend at least 10 years in one career, Subroto Bagchi says at The Hindu EducationPlus event

On a sultry Sunday morning, over a thousand students and parents sat through, in rapt attention, The Hindu EducationPlus annual career guidance programme and participated in various interactive sessions.

Over three hours, they were taken through a wide range of sessions, starting with an inspiring talk that set the mood for the morning. There were sessions on specific topics such as the online CET seat selection or counselling process, a talk on courses and careers, and an extended interactive session with subject experts.

Sound advice

Imploring his young audience to “follow [their] heart and not follow the herd”, keynote speaker and chairman of MindTree Subroto Bagchi said: “If you follow your heart and choose your own path, there's no stopping you from succeeding.” Anecdotal in his narrative, he cited examples from personal and public life to illustrate to young adults, now at a crucial stage in their careers, how the key to success was in working diligently and with conviction, and evolving a value system for oneself.

Drawing from Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligence and of “five minds”, Mr. Bagchi took students through a five-step process to work towards success, even excellence. First, he said, you have to choose a discipline and decide to master it. “Spend at least 10 years in one career,” he said.

The second, he said was the “problem solving mind”, which requires one to choose complex inter-disciplinary problems. The third, the “creative mind”, he emphasised, is an important element, one that is antithetical to all that our “cookie-cutter model of education” perpetuates.

Then, going on to stress on “respectful” and “ethical minds”, he said that whatever young people choose to do, they must follow a personal ethic and work with integrity.

If Mr. Bagchi's lecture set the mood for the day by inspiring young minds, and their parents, to think beyond jobs and careers, successive sessions took students through course and career options.

Quick decisions

The focus of this year's event was the all-important online seat selection process. Taking professional course aspirants through the first ever online counselling process, the public relations officer of the Karnataka Examinations Authority, Narasimha Murthy, said the most critical part was making firm decisions. “Once you make your decisions on your preference list, the online process can be completed in simple steps,” he said. “Also, go through the CET brochure in detail from pages 48 to 66 to get a clear idea.”

The other seat allotment process, conducted by Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka (COMED-K), was also explained. A.G. Prathab, a professor of microbiology at M.S. Ramaiah Medical College and a COMED-K representative, emphasised on the background work that students must do. “All you have is 1.5 minutes to make your choice in the counselling bay.”

What's the best option?

While most experts focussed on professional courses, a detailed presentation by director of Cigma India, Ameen-e-Mudassar provided students insights into a wide range of careers. Be it commerce, pure science or the fine arts, the best option for students was where their passions lie, he said.

The event's high point, and one that was much awaited by students, was a prolonged interactive session. Our expert panel fielded a volley of questions on course options, specialisations and admission technicalities. The panel comprised former principal of MSRIT K. Rajnikanth, Head of the Mechanical Department at PESCE K.S. Sridhar, Mr. Narasimhamurthy, Mr. Mudassar, RGUHS representative Reshma Lobo and Prof. Prathab.

In the post-lunch session, students stayed back to take an ‘aptitude and abilities' test offered free to all participants, conducted by our assessment partner MeritTrac.

All participants took home a free copy of Shape your Career, our annual career guidance handbook, a 128-page well-researched publication that presents a wide range of specialist articles charting trends, providing information and helping you plan the next step after graduation.

The title sponsor for the event is State Bank of India, Bangalore. The associate sponsors are Bearys Institute of Technology, Mangalore; Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences – Karnataka; Padmashree Group of Institutions, Bangalore; Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology, Bangalore; Sambhram Institutions and Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.