They teach you how to roll your r’s and soften your d’s. How to bite your lower lip when you say ‘victor’ and how to move your jaw back when you say ‘whisky’. If you fancy a job at a BPO then how you speak is of prime importance. Your voice and accent should fit smugly into the accent of the country you are serving. To train you in the accent of the country is the job of voice and accent trainers — a new breed of professionals who have come up as a direct result of the ever-increasing call centres in Indian cities.
The voice and accent trainers make sure that a caller calling from across the seven seas does not have any trouble whatsoever in understanding the Indian executive who takes his or her calls. "The idea is to make the caller feel that the person on the other line is just a few blocks down from his office, not thousands of miles across the world’’, says Nitin, a voice and accent trainer working with a BPO.
The number of voice and accent trainers in a call centre can vary between 20 and 60. Their services are used from hiring the suitable candidates to training them in the requisite voice and accent. Till now, there are no institutes where one can do a course in voice and accent training. The call centres themselves are the best training ground for a career in voice and accent training.
"I joined a call centre as an executive and took calls for a couple of years before getting selected for the job of a voice and accent trainer’’, says Pooja, a 27-year-old girl who works for an American call centre in Gurgaon. Pooja has a training session with several batches of new executives, where she trains them to speak like Americans." The vowel sounds and the consonant sounds of certain words have to be changed to get the required pronunciation’’, she says.
She, however, says that what matters above everything is the clarity of speech and if that is good then it is not necessary to adopt a foreign accent. Agrees, Itish Arora, a 24- year-old accent trainer working for a call centre in Noida," Our first priority is clarity. If someone has clarity of speech , it is good enough’’, he says.
The main challenge for the voice and accent trainers is to neutralise the accents of their executive. "South Indians, North Indians all have a particular way of speaking. We try to make them speak in a standard way, which is clear to everyone’’, says Pooja.
Besides the accent and clarity, good grammar is another pre-requisite for a call centre executive and a voice and accent trainer plays an important role in screening candidates for their grammar, accents and clarity of speech. They are also required to monitor calls of executives. They periodically listen to employees’ conversation with callers and see if they need a refresher course in voice and accent training.
Since the voice and accent trainers are hand-picked for the job because of their better accents and fluency, they are better placed professionally. This is also reflected in their pay-packets. A voice and accent trainer starts with around Rs 15,000 a month and goes on to get Rs 30,000 when he/she begins to lead a team of voice and accent trainers.
However, needless to say, voice and accent trainers, too, have
erratic timings and have to do night shifts starting from as late as 10
Cyber security is a challenging field
QI am doing BCA. How can I build a career in cyber security?
Vivek Sagar, Chandigarh
A Information security has emerged as one of the most critical issues in IT and consequently one of the most sought-after specialities in demand.
Governments and corporations have increased their spending on IS and are looking for people who can administer the systems safely and securely. Besides IT companies, job opportunities exist in financial institutions, insurance companies, banks, research institutions, media and entertainment organisations, government, defence and law-enforcement agencies.
India is estimated to require more than 80,000 cyber security professionals over the next five years. The work can be highly challenging. You’ve got to be on your toes all the time to stay ahead of smart hackers. There’s never a dull moment — you’ll find a new problem everyday! The rewards are excellent. Experts command huge salaries to consult companies on security issues.
To begin with, you require thorough knowledge of an operating language like C, C++ coupled with thorough knowledge of one UNIX operating system and an assembly language. Make sure you are comfortable with networking, TCP/IP and various other protocols. There are no shortcuts. A specific course in the subject would be an asset.
Q I am a Class XII student interested in joining the defence services and the Navy in particular. Could you please give me the necessary information?
Karan Gulati, Patiala
A You can join the defence services either after finishing your 10+2 or after obtaining your Bachelor’s degree. If you want to join straight after Class XII, then you must seek admission to the National Defence Academy (NDA) or the Naval Academy (Executive Branch). Recruitment to both academies is done twice yearly through an all-India examination, which is announced in April/May and October/November. The last date for filling in the application forms is May and November, respectively.
For joining the Air Force and the Navy wings of the armed forces, you need maths and physics at the 10+2 level.
The written exam consists of two objective type papers. Paper I is on maths (300 marks) and Paper II is on general ability (600 marks). The paper is further divided into two parts: Part A consists of questions on English, and Part B consists of questions on general knowledge — physics, chemistry, general science, history, freedom movement, geography and current events.
If you obtain the minimum qualifying marks in this exam, you will be asked to appear before a Services Selection Board (SSB) for the intelligence and Personality tests.
Candidates for the Army and the Navy wings of the NDA and the Executive Branch of the Naval Academy are assessed for officer potential. Those for the Air Force have to take an additional Pilot Battery Aptitude Test.
There are also certain physical requirements that you have to meet, which are specified in the notification that is published in Employment News and leading national dailies.
The Navy also recruits matriculates and those who have completed 10+2 with physics and maths as artificer apprentices. For details, log on to: www.nausena-bharti.mil.in
For complete details see CARING’s Guide to Careers in the Armed Forces.
Q Could you please tell me something about Hospital Management? Are there institutes offering BSc courses in this field?
A The emergence of multi-speciality hospitals encompassing a variety of functions and roles in the private as well as corporate sectors, underscore the need for professionalism and quality in hospital administration in bold relief.
Hospital administration aims at equipping professionals with the requisite knowledge to plan, co-ordinate, direct, and control the various activities of a large hospital.
Hospital administration is a multi-disciplinary approach incorporating modern managerial tools and techniques, principles of public administration and behavioural sciences. While a handful of professional courses admit non-medical graduates, a qualified MBBS is eminently suitable and preferred for this field. There are many postgraduate courses, and it is best done at this level.
The courses broadly focus on four areas of management: human resource management, facility management, quality and cost management, and information systems.
There are only three universities which offer this course at the Bachelor’s level:
Bachelor’s in Hospital Administration is offered at the following universities:
Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, Nalanda Parisar, 169 Ravindranath Tagore Marg, Indore 452001. Course: Bachelor’s in Hospital Admin (3 yrs, leading to 2 yrs MHA) Eligibility: 10+2.
Bharathidasan University, Palkalaiperur, Tiruchirappalli 620024 (T.N). Course: BSc (Health Care & Hospital Mgt).
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