Tuesday, July 6, 2004

CAREER HOTLINE
Beat the big B-school bias

Q I recently completed a two-year PGDM from a middle-level management institute. I have been desperately looking for a job but to no avail. Most recruiters ask for work experience. How can I get work experience unless organisations take in freshers? Just because I don't have the tag of a top B-school, does it mean I'm lacking in calibre and potential?

Sumit Chanda

A I can entirely empathise with you and understand the dilemma. From your query, it appears that you have essentially been responding to advertisements. May be, it's time to take the initiative in your own hands; make a detailed list of the companies which you may like to work for in your city, find out about their activities, their marketing efforts, etc. Then send in your bio-data with a covering letter describing what you know about the company and how you could fit in and request an interview. You might be pleasantly surprised by the response because every company likes to see such kind of initiative. I would also like to add that:

  • There are always jobs which are not advertised.

  • Whether you can find them or not depends on what methods you use.

  • Another proven successful job hunting method is to ask your family members, friends, neighbours etc. for any job leads and potential employers that they may know of.

  • The retail sector is booming and so are the BPO and insurance sectors. Explore these options. All these sectors require people at all levels and with all kinds of skills. If you like the work, well and good, otherwise look out for better options. You'll find it easier to do with a job in hand, instead of sitting at home.

The PR reality

Q I want to do something exciting and different. I may be good at public relations as I love talking to people and I have heard that PR is a glamorous field. Is it true?

Gursharan Kaur

A It's very important to test our image of certain professions that we may have gleaned from hearsay or the media before we get too far down the road. Sometimes these glorified notions may not correspond to reality. While PR may appear glamorous from the outside, it requires a great deal of hard work, business savvy and persistence. Also good communication skills -particularly writing skills, and a broad acquaintance with a wide range of subjects.

One good way to find out what public relations entails is to talk to professionals in the field. Just make sure they know you are seeking information and inspiration, not a job here and now.

What you find out may turn you on, or even turn you off. But most importantly, it will give you the vital information you need.

Openings in forestry

Q What are the job opportunities in forestry and wildlife other than that of a forest guard? How can I join a private firm with a qualification in this field?

K.K Sukhdev

A Since you have not given your qualification, let me give you an overview of all the job opportunities in forestry/wildlife. Depending on the field of specialization, you can work with:

  • Governmental, non-governmental organisations interested in preservation of forest resources and ecology.

  • Corporates maintaining commercial plantations for spice, coconut, tea, coffee, medicinal herbs and timber.

  • Industries which utilise forest resources require the services of industrial and agricultural consultants.

  • The Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education (ICFRE) and its affiliated Forestry Research Institutes such as the Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehra Dun; Institute of Social Forestry and Eco-Rehabilitation, Allahabad etc.

  • Wildlife Research Institutes in Dehra Dun, etc.

  • Zoological Parks and wildlife sanctuaries

  • Education sector as tutors

As for the career options, various professionals like foresters, dendrologists, ethologists, entomologists, silviculturists (forest propagation and culture), forest rangers and zoo curators do conservation work.

Caring for children

Q I did my B.Sc Home Science with Child Development from Jabalpur University four years back. Please give me details of courses related to this subject.

Ketki Sood

A One option is to do your Master's in Home Science with a specialisation in the subject. You can choose from any of the several related courses in this field i.e. PG Diploma in Psychology & Education; PG Diploma in Guidance & Counselling; Pre-school/Early Child Education; Special Non-Formal Education for Children etc.

If you wish to study further, you can do research (M.Phil followed by Ph.D) in the area of your interest.

Alternatively, you can opt for counselling and development in a school or work for NGOs operating in the area of child development and childcare.

Nurse the desire to serve

Q I have passed Class XII in the science stream. I'm keen on doing a course in nursing. Is it a good choice?

Dipti Agarwal

A Combining the art of caring with the science of healthcare, nurses are perhaps the most important link in our health and population programmes.

Considering that the ratio of nurses to doctors in India is a pathetic 1: 4, as compared to the international norm (4:1), it's certainly a good choice. Moreso, if you are temperamentally cut out for helping and caring for people. In India we have about 28,000 trained nurses and midwives against a requirement of over 46,000. The best way to enter the profession is by obtaining a degree in nursing through a medical college or an affiliated institution.

You also have the option to go in for further specialisation at the postgraduate level in areas such as paediatrics, geriatrics, coronary care, cardiology, ophthalmology, oncology, psychiatry, dietetics, orthopaedics, etc. Another option would be to move into hospital management or healthcare administration by pursuing a specialised PG course.

Apart from working in hospitals and nursing homes, there are openings in health clubs, spas, hostels and hospice services. Or, you could offer home-based patient care services.

There is currently an acute shortage of qualified nursing staff in the US, Canada and Europe. Consequently, a large number of Indian nurses with experience are being recruited for well-paid jobs abroad after they have cleared the mandatory Exams. H1B Visas are now offered to nurses for working in the US and recruitment firms even offer to bear the cost of travel and examination fees.