Career cues Education

Cash-in on lockdowns

Illustration: Freepik

Illustration: Freepik   | Photo Credit: Illustration: Freepik

While an unexpected break is a chance to unwind, it is also an opportunity to work on your profile and acquire skill sets

It is a party! When I was a student, any shutdowns due to national emergencies meant that great movies were telecast on television. Kids’ parties were thrown in the happy belief that the adults would figure things out and things would soon be back to normal. Among all the partying though, this long, unexpected break is also an opportunity to work on your profile — especially for those applying to college this year, and the next. Here are some simple strategies that would take upto an hour a day, over this break, and add considerably to your profile.

Do an online course

Most online courses are self-paced and require three-to-five hours per week. Pick beginner-level courses in an area you are likely to apply to in college, and choose well-known universities. Harvard, MIT, Wharton, Yale and Hong Kong University offer excellent courses across platforms such as Edx and Coursera. Here are five general courses that cater to almost anybody:

  • Digital marketing by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Coursera
  • Consumer behaviour by IIM Bangalore on Edx
  • LaunchX Edx course by MIT- Becoming an entrepreneur
  • Creative thinking: Techniques and Tools for Success by Imperial College on Edx
  • Python for everybody from University of Michigan on Coursera

Work on a personal project

  • Most students are full of ideas of what they would love to do, and this is a great time to take the first few baby steps. Some suggestions:
  • Write poetry or start a blog. Explore platforms such as Medium, Wattpad, TeenInk, or Tumblr
  • Choose a theme or style to draw or paint in. Explore water colours, charcoal or other media you have been dying to explore. You could tell a personal story or take inspiration from the current lockdown, or from doctors fighting the virus, to tell a new story.
  • Prepare a curriculum for a workshop you may want to run. This seems bigger than it actually is. Some simple and useful workshops that almost any student could run, include offering senior citizens a five-day crash course on how to use newer social media such as Instagram and Five Fun, organising engaging games, or even teaching them five songs on the guitar or uekele.

Work on basic college essays

If you are applying to college this year, you could start working on college essays — the common app prompts are the same as last year, and almost everyone will need a statement of purpose. You could also work on essay prompts from liberal arts universities in India such as Ashoka University, Haryana, and Flame University, Pune, to get some practice and create a bank of ideas.

And of course, tank up on academics — choose one subject to deepen and strengthen in an hour a day over and above everything else.

But seriously, do tank up on fun and laughter as well. Schools will open soon and start catching up at breakneck speed. So really, now is the time to party.

The writer is Founder and CEO, Inomi Learning, a Gurugram-based career and college guidance firm. info@inomi.in

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 3:06:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/cash-in-on-lockdowns/article31126429.ece

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