Off the edge Education

Careers and choices

Do you feel uncertain about a career option? Do you lack the freedom to choose a subject that you want to pursue? Do you feel low on self-confidence? Are you constantly doubting yourself? A Q&A column by Nandini Raman, practising counsellor and trainer, to assuage your doubts.

I have completed my B. Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering but have not graduated because I have a lot of backlog. I am not interested in a graduation degree. I want to study in a different stream. But my parents want me to finish this. I am confused. Please guide me — Rini Dhivyah

Dear Rini,

What would you like to study now? Also, how young are you? How many arrears do you have to clear? I understand it must be an agonising, unbearable and a tormenting process to attempt and clear the backlog now, but don’t you think that it is a step closer to you being professionally qualified?

Think about it with a peaceful mind and set your intent to clear them in the next cycle. It is best to finish what you started first and then switch if you need to surely, but don’t quit and give up halfway. Ask the help of your college teachers and professors or even get tutorials if you need to. Get it out of the way.

I have worked with so many engineering students who have had 30, 32+ arrears, but set their minds and cleared them with self-determination and a push and a pep talk every now and then. I wait to hear from you soon in the affirmative. Best of luck!

I am a class XII commerce student. I am confused whether to go abroad for graduation or just go for a year through youth exchange or some summer school because a bit of foreign exposure is necessary for commerce students. Please advise. — Aneri Thakkar

Dear Aneri,

Foreign exposure is helpful, no doubt, but it is not a mandate or a prerequisite for your graduation.

I believe, though, that a youth exchange programme or a meaningful volunteering opportunity will help widen your horizon and views of a different culture, as you need to move away from your comfort zone. That is when one learns and grows and experiences so many different things at such an impressionable young age that they in fact shape and make your identity.

You improve your language skills, become more independent, develop a wider perspective on a whole lot of new issues and it truly is a life-enriching process.

So should you find a great internship, volunteering opportunity or a brilliant youth programme, consider it. If not, nothing is lost, for you have your entire life to explore, travel, study and reconnoitre life.

I am 21 and currently in my final semester of Engineering. I want to take a break for a year and prepare for the civil services exam. I am facing a stiff roadblock from my parents who want me to get a job and pursue my preparation side by side, as they feel that a gap year will affect my career — Rakesh

Dear Rakesh,

The fear, perhaps, that your parents have is that it might take more than a year’s preparation to crack the IAS exam, given its format and success rate. Before you know it, it is a few years that the aspirants end up investing and preparing for the gruelling exam; thereby losing their edge to qualify for core company IT jobs.

Having a frank heart-to-heart conversation with them on your exact game plan, drawing up a timeline that you have in mind for yourself and taking complete accountability and responsibility of your decision might just get you some leeway with them.

Stay calm and focused through the conversation. Good luck.

Disclaimer: This column is not a substitute for long-term therapy. It is merely a guiding voice. Some issues may need medical intervention.

The writer is a practising counsellor and a trainer. She has worked extensively with students and young adults across a range of issues. Send your questions sent to eduplus.thehindu@gmail.com The subject line should be: ‘Off the edge’.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 12:12:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/careers-and-choices/article31711325.ece

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