Today's Higher education system is knowledge intensive. And, it should be because domain knowledge is the first step towards starting any career. Knowledge is what gets you your first job. However getting a job does not mean you are industry ready. You need the skills to survive in that job. These skills cannot be taught by any higher education curriculum. However, institutions can create a skill improvement environment around their knowledge-based curriculum, to ensure that students are truly Industry Ready. Students need to make extra efforts to develop the right skills along with focusing on knowledge through books.
Attitude: Your attitude determines your altitude. It is the most important factor that determines how far or high you go in your chosen field. Attitude cannot be taught through textbooks. Attitude needs to be learned. Looking at the positive aspects of everything - people, work, ideas, and so on, the glass half full helps one develop a positive attitude. Attitudes are shaped by family backgrounds, Teacher/Professor interactions as well as Social Peer Group communications. A learning environment based on encouragement rather than fear, helps students develop a positive attitude. Teamwork is crucial here. Group project work, group games, and group competitions also help by providing the right social development of students. The corporate world is all about succeeding in teams. Individual success may help in the-initial 2-5 years. That's it. The road beyond that is all about Team success.
A continuous learning mindset helps one become an all-around professional
Passion: Passion is what will help you run the entire Corporate Marathon. The corporate journey is a long one with its own ups and downs. Passion is what gives the runners a reason or a purpose to keep running in spite of the odds. When people are passionate about what they are doing, work does not seem like work. Work becomes joy. Passion can be learned. It is said that when you do what you like, you succeed. It is also said that when you like what you do, you-succeed. The best way for students to develop passion as a trait is by dabbling with all extra-curricular activities at the campus. Be it a volunteering activity or an adventurous boot camp, organizing events or multiple club memberships, all help in learning how to be passionate about activities we love and do not love. This is important to learn because every corporate job role has activities you love and do not love.
Flexibility: When students enter the corporate world, sometimes they have fixed mindsets on what they want to do or do not do. This rigid mindset may restrict them to explore new opportunities. The corporate world is an ever-evolving world. What is relevant today may be obsolete in 5-10 years. Hence, students need to be flexible towards different types of job roles that come their way and consider them learning opportunities. A continuous learning mindset helps one become an all-around professional. Campuses can enable the creation of this mindset amongst students by offering flexibility in the courses that the students can choose. This will enable the students to learn to make choices and be open to learning diverse subjects and skill sets.
Resilience: Bouncing back every time you fall is a rare but essential trait to survive in the corporate jungle. Many times professionals are faced with challenges and circumstances, which may-not be under their control. To stay confident and undeterred in such situations, to do everything that is within your control and to stay positive all along - does not come easily to all. Hence, it's important that students try new things, make mistakes and learn how to deal with failure when at the campus. So that unexpected circumstances cannot break them, but make them better and enable them to bounce higher. So if you have never played chess or football, please try learning, falling, getting up and learning again. You are not just learning sports, you are also learning sportsmanship. Participate in as many competitions as you can, win some, lose some, but keep at it. You are learning resilience. Bon Voyage, as you start sailing towards your Corporate Journey!
Dr. Jasmine Gupta, a senior banking professional, with 14 years of corporate experience, is Vice President at Kotak Mahindra Bank, Mumbai. A Gold Medalist in MBA Finance and Doctorate in Management from B.K. School of Business Management, Gujarat University, she also excels at Dancing, Fine Arts, and Public speaking.