Tag Archive: Student


With the current trending in the education space, words like exams, fear, depression, nervousness and tension have become synonymic in usage while referring to EXAMS. All this darkness arises during exams because the meaning and purpose of examination has diluted to a pre-requisite for a certification.

Intent to hold exams

The basic intent behind conducting examinations was to allow a student to self appraise and allow the tutor to use it as an evaluation tool. In the ancient time, examination was one of the tools used by a teacher to evaluate the students’ level of knowledge, skill sets and performance. However, in the current era, sadly, examination is the ONLY tool to evaluate a student.

It is time for teachers to expand their ways and means of assessing a student’s ability, skill, knowledge and attitude. With the rising need to approach an exam differently, students also have to re-orient themselves towards exams.

Exam fever at different temperature

The exam fever takes a different avatar depending on the importance of the exam in one’s life, extent of using the results as an evolutionary determinant and impact on one’s persona with a trepidation to disapproval.

For instance competitive exams like CAT, MAT, GATE and so on are screening tests or more of an elimination round for the assessors to pick the best from the crowd. However, each competitive exam will have its hidden criteria to select the right candidates for a given course or job.

Similarly, the main motive behind conducting term-wise exams in schools is to ensure that children and in sync with the pedagogy and are acquiring the necessary knowledge and aptitude required by their age. But now the purpose of conducting is not this anymore. Schools conduct more and more of these exams and tests to check their status of churning out more number of education board toppers.

With this we can infer that the true motive of holding exams is meant for progressive reasons. Hence, it is good to revisit our approach towards writing and preparing for exams.

College is a cool playground to implement your start up ideas. This will also be encouraged by the management. To start a business at college you need to identify a niche market, where you can sell a product or service. Once you identify the market, make a list of resources you require. Form a team with your seniors, peers or juniors. You could involve one of your professors as a mentor. Your customers could be students, tutors, management or parents.

  • IDEA 1: Stationery store – Start a stationery store at subsidized rates for colleges. Your college could be your first customer. Colleges require basic stationery items like pens, markers, chalk, notepads, papers and so on. Apart from that some electronic items like headphones, mouse, usb sticks could be added to your product catalogue for sale.
  • IDEA 2: Virtual learning – Colleges are hubs for learning. To develop a ecosystem to educate each other is always a challenge. Create a virtual learning support system for your college and involve other colleges eventually. Manage your college community and engage with other colleges to build an interactive and supportive ecosystem.
  • IDEA 3: Personal tutoring – Few students at college require personal attention which not be possible in a classroom. Professors and lecturers may not be accessible all the time for students. If you are good at a subject you can capitalize this opportunity. If you are a smart kid, help your peers and tutor them one-on-one. You could charge a nominal fee for spending your time with focused attention on the student.
  • IDEA 4: Sports education – Though college is centered on academic learning, sports will definitely be a part of the curriculum. Cricket, hockey, basketball or any other sport that rules your college could be a great source of income. Conduct innovative games and introduce new game methodologies for students to enjoy sports and apply them during tournaments. Coach your juniors and peers in college sports. Bring in seniors as sport mentors.
  • IDEA 5: Notes on my back: T-shirts are a common wear among youth. T-shirts with academic notes could be your unique selling proposition (USP). This will inculcate easy learning among students. Your t-shirt will have a new piece of information for your friends to learn and you will have other t-shirts to learn from. This could be a good learning methodology. You can sell to other colleges by customizing their logo on it.

For those who can’t afford to go through a regular course, at a regular college, yet want to pursue education and gain a degree, distant education is perfect choice! Distance education is also referred to as ‘education by correspondence’. Distance education in India is governed by Distance Education Council (DEC). 

Who chooses distance education?

Everyone cannot afford to join a regular college due to time constraints, family obligations, gender discrimination or lack of monetary support. For such people India has many courses to offer through distance education. Sometimes for various other reasons a student drops out of a regular college. Such discontinuation could be renewed by a distance course.

What should be my approach when I choose a correspondence course?

This is more challenging than a regular course. In a regular course, students get the support of  tutors all the time, engaged in various college affiliated networks to share knowledge and also have the support of placement cells.

In a correspondence course our five senses have to be open to draw information from any where and everywhere. Typically, students are supported with study material, counselors, contact classes and online help. These elements are very basic for a student to groom into an industry person. To gain all that a regular student receives, try to adopt the following:

  • Read more books, apart from your study material.
  • Engage with a mentor who can connect you with the upcoming trends, pertinent to your course.
  • Chalk out a plan to explore new things for each subject.
  • Join networks that talk about your course topics
  • Create or join a group of like minded people who are pursuing your course. Exchange thoughts, ideas and knowledge with each other.
  • Participate in contests and fests at a college close to your locality.

Share this article with your friends who are facing trouble, while pursuing a correspondence course. All the best folks!

Here is a link to colleges in India that offer distance education: http://www.indiastudycenter.com/univ/distance-education.asp

Make up and Maths – Beauty with Brains

Beauty with brains (BWB) is a rare combination. People who are characterized as BWB can be accessed only on cloud 9. Beauty with brains in other words is someone who has the ability to groom and present themselves as well their intellectual abilities.

Makeup and Maths is not a common combination found among people. But, but, but, it is found in people with an achiever’s DNA. One simple example with which we all connect with is the movie “LEGALLY BLONDE“. Reese Witherspoon, a blonde proves her mettl by getting into Harvard Law School to get her boyfriend back.

Is it possible for all geeks to be glamorous and the gorgeous to be brainy. There is no rule that denies this from happening.

Let go of your inhibitions. 

For Geeks: Use all your intellectual ability to understand and be aesthetic. Meet more people who are inclined to groom. Make it a habit. Block some time in your calendar for the SPA! Study beauty, cosmetics and diet as maths, physics and chemistry.

For Gorgeous: Use your detailing and organizing skills to understand a science concept. Problem solving involves creativity. Creativity is something most design oriented people have. Use it for a different reason. Get smart!

Does a COLLEGE DEGREE define me?

Before we elaborate on this topic to understand whether or not a college degree can define a person, let us understand the purpose of both ‘a college‘ and ‘a degree‘.

A college as an educational institution has been established to impart specialized knowledge and skills and to educate the students in a holistically, to excel in a stream of study. A degree is further used to certify the level of skill sets and knowledge a student has acquired during the course duration in a college. The question to be answered here is, ” does the purpose to study in a college and acquire a degree, sustain even today?”.

Candidates who are prospective employees in an industry are evaluated by the degree they carry on paper and not what the person is really capable of. To beat this inefficient evaluation method, recruiters are constantly on an innovation spree trying to realize ‘THE CANDIDATE’ for their company.

Here is how the evolution took place.

  • Employment Exchange
  • Newspaper ads – Interview – Placement
  • Referrals – Certificationscreening – Interview – Placement
  • Online recruitment portal screening – Recruitment drives – Interview – Placement
  • Social media recruitment screening – Interview – Placement
  • Online & Offline Networking – Engaging with potential candidates – Being proactive for screening – Inviting candidates (Interview) – Placement

We can also see a parallel trend evolving which is – catching them young. Recruitment firms are now in a neck tight competition to engage with students and strike a relationship for a long term association. In India this trend is interestingly upside-down. We all know the potential is at the Bottom of the Pyramid but industry and institutions, who are pretty much the organized sector, are  not attempting to reach the potential from bottom. Catch them younger to beat the heat.

Why is this not happening?

This is not happening because the labour force at the bottom are large, huge in magnitude and number. This is impeding efforts to reach and make them a part of the organized sector. What is the way to make it happen? The answer to it is, ” COLLABORATION OF INDUSTRY, GOVERNMENT AND ABODES OF EDUCATION FOR SKILL ENHANCEMENT AND ATTITUDINAL SHIFTS”

When such a congregation is possible with smart execution, India will deliver anything and everything with finesse and perfection and build a new age.

Does a College Degree define me?

The answer to this questions still remains abstract. After engaging with the thoughts above, a person might be influenced to say ” A college degree does not define me.” It definitely can’t define or judge a person, but it should be considered as a valuable and authentic instrument to understand the potential of a candidate. Again, people who use a College Degree as the only instrument to evaluate will encounter fallacies in their judgement. It could be used as one of the parameters to understand the abilities and anticipate potential of a candidate.

For students who are scrambling to get a degree may find this thought process useful.

CAT – Common Admission Test for most premier MBA colleges in India has evolved from an unknown exam to the only exam most students are getting coached for. CAT is the most talked about exam among final year students in India. It promises a cozy job and other great career prospects. If you pass through the exam, you will see a white cat and if couldn’t get through you would say I saw the black cat, most Indians believe in this!

Where is all this leading to? You must be thinking we know enough about CAT by now. It has sections like quant, verbal, data interpretation, logical reasoning and so on. Geeks who are good at maths, verbal and reasoning will reach the next round of selection affairs. Most of all, to make our lives miserable and difficult they also have this amazing feature called  “NEGATIVE MARKING”. Hey and there is more to it, CAT exam organizers realized in 2009 that students have got tech savvy and hence they introduced a computer integrated exam. How easy can it get to crack CAT?!!!??

Most of us feel like this. But, some of us feel like this….

Let me dissect CAT and understand it.

You won’t find any thing organic after dissecting this type of CAT. All you will find is YOUR ATTITUDE and YOUR INNER SELF. You must be thinking why did this take the turn of philosophy. From now on, this can be titled as “CAT PHILOSOPHY”.

What exactly happens if you accomplish to pass through all three rounds of the b-schools. You sit in the classrooms of the most premier institutes in India  for two long years. Work your ass offff and realize that you will be placed in a comfortable job. Most of them for who this happens, are treated as a different ilk. How can these few people make it happen? It is their attitude of confronting and solving problems. People like this, just love problems. They don’t run away from problems, they don’t procrastinate to solve  problems. They just do it.

Further dissection and diagnosis

Why are these guys paid so much? Do they have such extraordinary skills that I don’t have? The answer is no. You may have skills better than the guys who graduate out of premier b-schools, but not have the right attitude. This attitude is what the b-schools and companies look for while recruiting them.

QUANT: This section is all about math. You definitely will need to have a decent understanding about numbers and math. The word ‘DECENT’ can be defined as mastering your 10th grade and 11th grade math chapters. Then comes application. So what you have to practice is not when you start preparing for CAT. What you have to start with is, application of these mastered math concepts and hence show your ability to solve problems.

VERBAL:  If you know good literature, grammar and English then you will get through this section. Wrong again.

Test yourself. How well can you communicate or present your thoughts with simple English and with good grammar. Can you comprehend, interpret and analyze a passage in few minutes. If you can then you can crack this section.

DI & DS: With limited data can you draw inferences and understand what the problem is? This is a mindset we have to develop as a prelude to solving Math.

Smart coaching centers advise students to get a feel of this section before any other section.

LOGICAL REASONING: The phrase speaks for itself. You think you have common sense then apply it. If you don’t have it, then develop it, to bypass this section.

A small attempt to give my readers a reality check about one’s self.

Alumni Power

Should universities utilize alumni more for career development for current students? Alumni is a great resource to be used to connect with the students of a college. The students who have passed out of college, step on their journey of discovery while settling in different careers.

How can Alumni be used for the benefit of students?

Case study: Some of the students from alumni would be able to help by sharing the ongoing industry stories and provide a great bank of case studies.

Industry exposure: Colleges can build tie-ups with the companies in which alumni are associated with. Students could be provided first hand experience of the pertinent industry updates and trends.Alumni Power

Guest Lectures: Colleges scramble for speakers. Alumni settled in good jobs could be invited as  speakers for guest lectures and college events.

Internships: Access to companies where alumni is placed is easier versus a new company. Such access could be used to generate more fruitful and well designed internships.

Mentoring: As mentioned earlier alumni could be a capable source to provide industry exposure. Hence, some of the alumni could be recruited for an ongoing programme to mentor students on projects, subjects or any other industry related assignments.

Placements: With a strong industry network it becomes achievable for colleges to place students in good companies.

There is no perfect solution to manage time when we are juggling with multiple things in life. HCC has studied lives of college students and suggested an ideal way to plan your week and cater time as per priority.

Study hard play hardBefore you plan, here is a short to-do list you could follow:

  • List your likes and interests
  • List your priorities
  • Plan and anticipate any contingencies that may occur.

HCC understands that unlike other international schools and colleges, institutions in India mostly work for 6 days or 5.5 days in a week. So, here the fun time for students is definitely reduced. Mostly when we look at a student’s life we feel college and assignments are the only things they need to do. But, the fact is not the same. They have to manage their time with assignments, internals, semester exams, extra study to excel, preparation for competitive exams, internships, final year project work, sleep, food, movies, partying, sports, exercise, friends and phew! a lot more…..With this assumption let us see how an ideal week with high time optimization should look like.

168 hours in a student's life

You may have tweak this chart a little here and there to customize it to your course and life requirements. Now you can de-stress yourself, as you have a solution for your time.

Is internship earning or learning?

A glaring trend in the Indian student community, in the recent times is “Internships”. How far is the student troop marching towards true value for internships. Why is this trend gaining more and more attention among colleges?

Why do companies offer internships?

  • To fill temporary gaps
  • To build an ecosystem within the industry
  • To screen for full-time careers in their firm
  • To promote innovations
  • For academic research

With these reasons and a lot of other companies are more and more willing to encourage internships.

What should students expect from internships?

Internships typically last from a month to an year. 4 to 6 months is a reasonable duration for a student to achieve an internship’s objectives. Students should opt for internships when they need

  • A learning environment
  • Exposure to industry
  • Easy access to the right employer for a permanent job
  • Some exclusive time to experiment their skills
  • Free mentoring and a professional experience
  • Lastly, a stipend for their pocket money.

Internships have to be looked at as opportunities for both learning and earning.

Design interns, design your career

Designing and planning a career is every student’s errand. When you know that your passion is DESIGN, then your planning and groundwork needs to be as creative as you are.

Though your presentation and process could get creative, there is a structure you could use to plan.

Before you choose your internship

Design Internship

Design Internship

  • When we are ambiguous about next steps, research is a recommended step. Talk to people, read a lot, explore opportunities and always be on look out for chances to learn more. Research as much as possible to list out your available options. Subscribe to intern portals to acquaint yourself with trending job profiles.
  • Different time, suits different people. Summer break may be perfect to make the most out of an internship opportunity and for some, everyday during college may be perfect. Understand your priorities and commit yourself completely to your internship at a time that is perfect to you.
  • “Understand what an unpaid internship pays you?” . When you are offered an unpaid internship in a firm, ask yourself what is it worth? Sometimes the opportunity may turn out to be great while you meet new people and engage with the unknown to learn new things. Sometimes, it is a backlash. A healthy way to evaluate this is to figure out whether you are learning something at this place or are you rendering your services. Where there is learning, foregoing your paycheck may not pinch you.

During your internship

  • Professional structure and designed chaos; dress well and present yourself professionally. Though you are a student, you are now in a professional environment. Hence, you will be considered as a professional. This means you will have to dress, speak and behave like a professional. All you need to do is, show some etiquette at the place you work. That is work etiquette.
  • Know your employer. After your stint, if you don’t get to know your employer, your chances of connecting back with them are reduced. Know what you can expect and tap and what you can give then in return.
  • Know your mentor. Knowing your employer is different form knowing your mentor. Most interns are assigned to an employee of the firm, who ends up being your mentor. If the person you work does not seem good enough to be your mentor, then find one before you know you have lost on all the learning.
  • Get your portfolio up-to-date. Your portfolio speaks for you. It is your “branding tool”. Amateur designs may indicate negatively about your potential and abilities. Hence, enhance and update your portfolio with what you think is best to represent yourself.
  • Visit and engage with a studio often. Apart from your daily assignments with your employer, visiting a studio rejuvenates your creativity.