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Feb
16

How to Become Job Ready Professionals By Taking Advantage of Experiential Learning

Experiential learning can be defined as process of learning which is not limited to just interactive classroom session. It is boundaryless and helps students relate to theories through their application in the real world wherein they desire to enter. It can be in the form of opportunities that help them tackle challenges that come their way like winter internships, summer internships, role plays, live projects and other activities that provides students hands on experience. These activities polish the management skills and make the student cope up with the fast-changing environment which is a must to ensure their long-term career.

The Employability Question:

Technology continues to quickly change and drastically affect industries, government policies, mode of  education and even the non –profitable sectors. As per the Bureau of Labour statistics, careers in software development and programme are growing at a 17% rate faster than the average. Regardless of a very attractive career path, with reference to the national survey (almost 9 out of 10) human resource managers and recruiters say it is very challenging to find technical talent in today’s time. Despite the career opportunities going higher, the no. of unemployed isn’t coming down, that shows HR managers and recruiters are not able to find the right fit for the jobs in the market. There could be many reasons for talent shortages, maybe companies have unrealistic expectation about work experience of candidates at entry level, Gap between Theory and Practice, lower engagement levels, lack of personalized Learning, etc.

What does it Mean?

It is increasingly becoming clear that the world of work now wants more, to sustain a career, colleges need to teach students through practical and experiential methods so that they can use their theoretical learning in the corporate from day one. As a student I feel that there’s also a lack of understanding before choosing an institute to study with. Most of the time, this decision is based on just placement rates of the college alone, but there’s something missing in the bigger picture.

What Can we do?

Before:

I feel while choosing a B-School, it’s also the responsibility of the student to find out what’s in the curriculum and how many of the courses offer experiential learning. In our conversations while selecting the right management institute, we need to ask the counsellors about the duration of internship, the kind of industry exposure that is provided through seminars, guest lectures, industry visits, field trips etc. The point here is to make an informed choice and to invest the 2 years of time in the right kind of learning.

During: The actual story begins here; this part is to actually get involved and make the most of the opportunities that come your way. At FIIB, I make sure that I am an active member of at least 2 student clubs through which I get to participate in and manage several student events and activities. I get to learn while I play. I think every student, particularly management students shouldn’t let go of activities like field trips. We can learn much more about supply chain and operations by actually visiting fulfillment centres, markets, and factories rather than learn through diagrams in a textbook. Being clear, that textbook learning is what sets the tone and direction for me but that extra assignment I did or that event I managed tells me how to do it. For my fellow students from my college and other institutes, I would say, please be extra careful about the time you spend in these activities, you can thank me later.

After: Let’s say you’ve spent your time wisely at your MBA college and now are at the crossroads of placements, my suggestion to you is to talk to research more about how best to showcase your experiential learning in your resume. Talk to the career management team at your college on how to polish your profile. Before interviews, always research about the company and the job roles, not just on what they’re asking from you but also whether the organization encourages a culture of learning and teamwork, ask your seniors and alumni working in the same organization about their growth. I am new to this too, but what I’ve learnt so far is that for a long-term career, a mindset of learning, a culture of practice, and an attitude to succeed are the only 3 things needed.

Divya Udharamani

Batch 2018-20