That mere learning by rote and writing examinations will not make graduates good communicators was proved right at Bharathiar University where 89 candidates of the 2012 undergraduate batch underwent five-week training.
When the socially and economically deprived students, from arts and science colleges of the university, began the training, they did not have the confidence to even form a single sentence in English. This was because they had studied in Tamil medium in school and the three-year college education too had not helped to improve their communication skills.
The third edition of the “Initiative for Employing Scheduled Caste / Scheduled Tribe and Minority Graduates” of Bharathiar University and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) saw an improved and activity-filled version of the earlier two. On Wednesday, as the programme came to an end, the participants were a confident lot. They could not just form a sentence, but speak whole paragraphs.
The programme is an initiative of the “Affirmative Action” wing of the TCS, held in partnership with Bharathiar University, to make candidates from the economically weaker sections corporate-ready.
The content, devised by TCS and the university, was delivered by company-appointed experts.
The new additions to the content were word-building games that students were made to play. This improved their vocabulary to a great extent, according to the trainers.
Another was the ‘hot seat’ session. A group shot questions at the person on the ‘hot seat’ who had to tackle them efficiently. This was to build the confidence and also improve the communication skills of the person.
The most interesting addition, which was found very useful, was the ‘virtual volleyball.’
This was a kind of assessment where participants were judged for the way in which they used words effectively to make their team win and also defended a volley of words effectively to not give a winning edge to the other team.
The Department of Extension and Career Guidance provided additional inputs on aptitude training. Participants were also given a book on developing aptitude.
C. Venkatesh, one of the trainers, explained how the training had to be started from the basic level. It was not only an academic one, but an overall training of the personality.
“Due to the lack of confidence in communicating, almost all of the participants were introverts when they started the training.
Now they have not only been transformed into extroverts, but have gained confidence to deliver extempore speeches.
The response has been very good because most of the learning has been activity-based and done in groups. They not only inspire and encourage themselves but also do the same to others. They have rediscovered themselves in the process,” he said.
Feedback from the participants was very positive. They sounded so confident of themselves that they were sure to fare well in the recruitment that was to be held by TCS on Thursday.
In case they cannot make it, they look forward to facing interviews of other companies with the winner’s attitude.