Students should continue to build on their skills and knowledge
A crisis of the nature and magnitude of COVID-19 has a direct and indirect impact on all sectors in varying degrees. Industry reports also state that the overall hiring sentiment in the country is likely to witness an adverse impact in the short term with 60-65 per cent interviews getting delayed and the hiring process becoming more stringent, especially in the services sector, following the slowdown across industries triggered by the Coronavirus pandemic. Manish Madaan, Deputy Director, Head-Career Services and Corporate Relations at UPES, answers some of the queries uppermost in the mind of students.
What is the impact Covid-19 has had on the economy and further on employment opportunities?
While some sectors will get marginally affected, others will take a hard hit and will take time to recover. Agrochem, Medical & Health Science, Insurance sector, E-commerce and Digital Marketing are the few marginally-affected industries and the industries that have been hit a little harder are Oil and Gas, Chemical, Automotive, Manufacturing, Travel & Tourism, Logistics, Poultry and Exports.
However, agility and innovation will play a big role. We will witness a rise in start-ups and those individuals and companies, that are ready to offer services and products keeping in mind safety of the human race and promoting a healthy, sustainable future, will stay ahead of the curve.
How should students, especially those who are graduating this year, better prepare themselves for placements?
Students who are graduating this year should not lose hope and continue to build on their skills and knowledge. The new roles will become more multi-disciplinary and graduates who will match this criterion will be preferred more. It is advisable that students should start developing additional skill sets that are cross-disciplinary and relevant to their area of study. Here are some tips that will prove handy:
- Adapt and keep an open mindset: Stay updated and keep applying for jobs by changing your CV basis a possible job opportunity. Be ready to work on multiple aspects within one job profile. Each employee is expected to be a multi-tasker.
- Ask for help: Reach out to your institute, friends and family to help you with CV/ portfolio development, mock interviews, connects and networking. Make sure to add relevant data, keywords, internships and projects in your CV. Also, practice and prepare for online interviews.
- Upskill: With global economies running on digital platform, it has become vital to upskill yourself with short courses that may help you gain extra advantage in an interview.
What online courses would you recommend for students to equip them for the changing economy?
With businesses and functions moving online, content has become king. Basic skill sets such as copywriting and content generation have become imperative. Audio, written, visual, infographics, frontend and backend languages, modelling and simulation-based skills are in high demand from core industry standpoint. Social media management, blogging, online journalism and publishing, digital marketing are other areas where professionals will be in demand.
Additionally, organisations will require professionals with following the skill-sets:
- Collaboration Skills
- Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
- Agility and Adaptability
- Creativity and Imagination
- People Management
- Negotiation Skills
- Data Analysis
- Project Management
- Design Thinking
- Cloud Computing
- Basic and Advance Excel
- Presentation skills
What kind of support is UPES offering to its students and alumni?
At UPES, we have always believed that our students are at the heart of everything we do. Their success is our purpose. Even in the current challenging times, we have ensured that their learning does not stop. UPES invested in state-of-the-art online learning management system (LMS) and training of faculty members in using this LMS five years ago. Before COVID-19, 20 per cent of the overall curriculum was digitized and taught online, which has now been scaled up to 100 per cent.
UPES students have free access to 3900 + global courses available on Coursera and can supplement their curriculum modules by undertaking these certification programs. This not only gives them an edge over others, but also makes them industry-ready.
Our faculty, corporate relations and career services teams are relentlessly working to prepare students on multiple aspects to increase their employability. Each graduating student has a career mentor assigned to him or her. The mentors keep the students updated on market trends and job opportunities, guide them to create their CV/portfolio, conduct mock interview sessions and help them acquire necessary interview skills.
A team of trainers, under our initiative EDGE (Enhanced Development for Growth and Enrichment), is also working with students to prepare them for new kind of roles that will emerge in various industries.
Support to UPES Alumni
We care for our alumni as much we care for our existing students. UPES alumni will now be able to take advantage of career mentoring and placement support provided by the university for five years after their graduation. Under the UCONNECT initiative, which is exclusive for our alumni, we are offering:
- 35% scholarship for higher education: Alumni interested in higher education can avail up to 35% scholarship to pursue a PG program of their choice from international institutes within the Global University System (GUS). These institutes include The University of Law, London College of Creative Media, Webster University, London School of Business and Finance, Toronto School of Management, University Canada West, University of Applied Sciences-Europe, GISMA Business School and many more.
- Entrepreneurial Support: UPES has tied up with WeWork Labs for selected few alumni of UPES where they will receive focused mentorship and access to experts in start-up education, networking opportunity with over 5 lakh+ members across the globe to connect with investors, media outlets, and corporate partners, plus an immediate network of 500,000+ WeWork members for building global brand awareness.
- Counselling Support: Difficult and uncertain times like these can take a huge toll on mental health. UPES, under its ‘We Care’ initiative is launching a counselling helpline for its students and alumni and ensuring they have professional help at hand to overcome mental stress.
How is UPES tackling this situation to ensure good opportunities for all its students?
UPES Career Services team is well-equipped to tackle such challenges, given our strong connect with the industry, our robust protocols and solid database. The team is in constant touch with recruiters and we are using this time in further preparing our students for the changing industry scenario. We are conducting regular masterclasses and inviting industry experts to teach our students via virtual platforms. UPES is also facilitating online recruitment, which has had a positive impact even in the time of lockdown.