Tips to deliver a perfect pitch!

The working world is constantly about pitching something to somebody whether that be an idea, a service, or product or even yourself. A pitch can be delivered by a manager, entrepreneur, student, almost anyone! While confidence and communication are the key areas while presenting a pitch, you should also have knowledge about the topic in question. Here are a few tips you can keep in mind while delivering your pitch:

 

  1. Pitch from the customer’s perspective, not your own!

Understand the needs of the person you are pitching to first. Remember the most successful pitch is not about you, it’s about them! You need to get into the mind of the person you are pitching to, focus more on the benefits it delivers to the customer. Keep it crisp and relevant and avoid unnecessary information. This will help you build a relationship first and eventually close the partnership or sale you are working towards!

  1. Watch your body language

According to researchers, the visual impact of a “pitch” has the greatest influence on the client (55%), followed by tone of voice (38%) and finally the text and content of pitch (7%), which gives us a whole new meaning to the art of influencing and pitching! Gestures and proper posture can reinforce sales. Make sure you stand tall in front of the customer and maintain eye contact with a welcoming smile!  

  1.  Conquer your nerves by doing your pre-work!

Many people get worried and nervous before delivering a pitch which is not surprising. The best tried and trusted “remedy” is prior preparation. Make sure you have run through the pitch by somebody experienced, made changes as per the feedback, rehearsed the key points a couple of times, and double checked all the materials needed for the day. You can create a presentation, video or brochure to give the client a better picture about the idea. Another simple way of feeling comfortable is coming in early and giving yourself enough time before the pitch.

So what next if things do not work out the way you imagined? Sometimes your pitch may get rejected. Turn the rejection into a valuable learning experience – one that leaves you with a stronger presentation for the next time. Make sure you ask for feedback from your client and work on the insights they provide. You should also take this positively and recognize that you need to keep trying. With enough practice, you will be able to perfect your pitch and see it convert into results.

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Tips to improve your campus placements!

Some colleges today have committees and student bodies that are focused on keeping students engaged and motivated. One of the most important student bodies is the placement or career cell. The best placement cells ensure that students receive mentorship and career support. It’s easy to complain about the best companies not coming to campus or not hiring enough talent. However, as a student you can also try to make the most of the placement cell to achieve your career milestones. If your college doesn’t have a career cell, you can start one and focus on the students work-readiness journey. Here are a few tips every placement cell can incorporate:

  1.       Pre- placement and industry training

This is one of the most important aspects to improve your placement. Some colleges start their training in the final year, others begin from second year onwards. Your training should focus on helping students know themselves and then prepare them for placements. The training should be focused on real world problems and what the industry currently requires. Having your students trained on this will differentiate your college from others and will certainly give you an edge.

 

  1.       Build connections with Alumni and industry

You can build a network with Alumni from your college. These graduates who are now working will be excited to come back and support your college. To ensure that the maximum students get the benefit out of the placement process, the team should conduct pre- placement visits to potential companies, build relations, follow up continuously and make sure that a senior level experienced head is directly involved in the placement process. Share stories of the activities your college is doing via a newsletter with relevant industry bodies so that they are impressed. Think about leveraging LinkedIn to invite industry on your campus. Create a resume book of your students and share it with potential recruiters. This will be a good way to build a brand and get people hired.

 

  1.       Professionalism and hospitality

Showing professionalism in every step of the way from the first email you send to a company’s HR to the way you and your college conduct themselves when a company visits your campus, makes a huge and lasting impression. Most large corporates, if not all, rate this as quite high in their list. Like a good host, your hospitality has to excel and the HR recruiters must remember their trip. You have done all the hard work to get them through your door and most importantly you need to make sure they visit your college every time. Hospitality is one of the factors that maintains your long-term relationship with any external party. It is also great way to network and build your professional relationships.

Most colleges have academics as a focus. However, when students enter their third year they are extremely anxious about the next step. This is where a strong placement cell can really help. In fact, the placement cell should collaborate with other student societies to build the communication and confidence of students in college as a whole. This will be required along with their academic scores to crack their dream job or Masters interviews. In case your college does not have an active cell, revive it and support the professors and faculty to build a brand for your college in industry. Wish you all good luck for this placement season!

 

Article 114-1

Is the MBA for you?

 

In the current competitive world, everyone is vying to differentiate themselves. For many, choosing a promising Master’s program is vital to ensure a safety net in their careers. In India, many graduates are especially keen to take the CAT, GMAT or state level entrance exam and apply for their Masters in Business Administration (MBA). People take gap years to study and invest significant time and money in preparing for the entrance exam. They additionally have to invest time and money doing the MBA program. The question is, is the management degree relevant in today’s world? Is it a must or can students do a more specialized degree and be equally successful?

Here are some reasons to do an MBA:

  1. Build a career in management

              An MBA can help you develop as a manager and leader. An MBA can add specific business managerial skills to your toolkit, such as leadership, innovation or strategic thinking. These will be helpful while managing teams and projects. An MBA will provide a new outlook on life, develop your survival skills and professionalism, and train you on how to handle stress and pressure. It is also designed to develop your communication and problem-solving skills which are essential for a managerial position. People keen to be generalists rather than specialists would benefit most from an MBA.

       2. Meet other leaders and grow a large network

              If you are looking for great networking opportunities, an MBA will provide you the platform to meet like-minded professionals. Some top tier MBA programs help you gain access to an extensive alumni network. Most programs have time built in to travel with your peers, work on group assignments and participate in team events. These opportunities will help you get to know people at a personal and professional level. This will definitely be helpful if you plan to work in a management role or eventually become an entrepreneur. You will also get to interact with speakers and successful business leaders who can become your advisers over time. If in a global program, you can broaden your cultural and geographical understanding and perspective. This could also help with cross border opportunities.

Sometimes, people feel stagnated in a job and feel the need to do an MBA just to move into a higher position or a different sector. Others might hope for an increase in compensation which may happen if you are selected into one of the premier institutes. In most cases, an MBA is not the only option, even a specialized course could prove useful. There is no specific time to do an MBA but ideally you should have worked for a few years to be sure that it’s the right track and worth the investment. Once you’re sure you want to go for it, you should choose a program that will give you an edge and caters to your individual needs!

 

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Read your way to success!

Pursuing your interest helps increase happiness and satisfaction levels. It could be reading, dance, music, photography or playing a sport. Experts from the University of Quebec at Montreal have found that participating in a passion can add eight hours of joy to your week. Leisure activities give you a break from your daily chores and make life fun. Reading is an activity that seems to be losing importance with the increase of social media and mobile phones. Reading doesn’t have to be boring. You can read self help books, fiction, biographies, newspaper articles or magazines. You will learn something different from each of them. Some will inspire you, some will relieve stress by making you laugh and others will make you more knowledgeable about the world. Here is why you should take time out for reading:

  1. Broadens your mind: Reading opens the mind. It introduces you to different points of view. According to experts from Northcentral University, reading expands a person’s appreciation toward others’ life experiences. It makes a person more empathetic. It drives you to think out of the box and hence improves your critical thinking skills. It is a good exercise for your brain. Psychologists say that reading helps your brain to retain information over time which makes you smarter and sharper.
  2. Reduction in stress levels: Pleasure reading is known to reduce stress levels. According to a study conducted by the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom, reading can reduce stress levels by as much as 68 percent. This is a greater impact than listening to music or going for a walk. The professional world is growing increasingly competitive and stressful. Reading is a silent activity. It gives you relief from the commotion of everyday life. You can lose yourself in a great story once in a while and disconnect from your stress.
  3. Improved performance at college or workplace: Reading improves your concentration, understanding, articulation and writing skills. These are prerequisites for most professions. When you read, you conduct a single task for a considerable time period and this helps in improving your concentration. When you observe different styles of writing and the vocabulary used, you improve your communication skills. While reading, you develop the ability to synthesize and draw insights from large amounts of information. This is a critical skill at work or in college.

Books have the ability to make you happier, peaceful, patient, motivated as well as inspiring in the long run. According to Harvard Business Review, deep, broad reading habits are often a defining characteristic of the greatest business leaders. They can catalyze insight, innovation and empathy. With so many benefits of reading, you should definitely start a book. It may be challenging in the beginning to finish it. You may get distracted by your phone or TV. However eventually, you will start enjoying reading different genres of books. Books transport you to a different world, and help you grow exponentially. Happy reading!

20 Aug

Managing your life away from home

Many Indian students leave home at the age of 17 or 18 to study across India and abroad. A significant number of students in reputed colleges are outstation students. For example, according to some reports, up to 70% students in reputed Delhi University colleges are from outside the city. When students get the opportunity to live away from home, it comes with mixed feelings. They often grow up faster, become more mature and transform in their few years away. However, keeping certain things in mind might help you make the most of your years away.

Here are some ways to make the most of your experience away from home:

    1. Get to know yourself: You will learn to juggle between handling your hostel life, academics, extracurriculars and volunteer work. The important thing is to know how much you can take on and balance your time. You will suddenly be in control of your calendar which will be hard initially. You will learn to handle pressure and eventually find what you love! It will greatly help in developing your personality. 
    2. Be responsible: The independence that comes with living away from family is amazing at the outset. You may be drawn to try new things and experiment with new activities. While it’s important to have fun, you don’t want to get involved with the wrong crowd. Make sure you’re being productive and responsible. Taking drugs or substance abuse could result in a waste of your experience. According to government estimates, around 7.21 crore Indians are affected by drugs. It is crucial for you to draw the line between fun and bad habits.
    3. Push yourself: You will learn to take care of the tasks that you earlier wouldn’t have been so concerned about. They could be household chores, paying bills  and managing your bank account. You will have to interact and deal with your roommates and college friends. Colleges usually have more diversity than schools. It may take a while to get comfortable with the diverse environment. It will compel you to learn how to adjust with people and eventually you will start thriving in various scenarios. Getting out of your comfort zone is important for your growth.

 

 

Initially, you may miss your hometown and family. However, stick it out.  You will learn to make new friends, keep yourself healthy and make wise choices eventually. It will make the whole effort worth it. Living away from family is an exciting and rewarding experience. Treat the experience wisely. Cherish each moment of it and you will soon find a new, more confident you!

dainik article

 

Value of community service in a student’s life

Many people hope for a better world, but few actually work towards it. In a world affected by inequality, poverty and environmental degradation, it’s great to see several young people trying to bring about a change. Many schools and colleges have made community service part of their curriculum. For example those doing the IB curriculum, or enrolled at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, commit to a specific number of hours of community service.

There are many opportunities for the youth to volunteer or work in the social sector. There are lakhs of NGOs ranging from small to large. You can choose to get involved full-time through Fellowships or part-time alongside work or college. Even if you’re stretched with college commitments, it is always a good idea to take some time out for someone else. Here’s why:

  1. Learn about different issues: Social work will give you an opportunity to learn experientially. You can explore your interests while working for the community. You can serve the community in different ways such as caring for the old and and teaching underprivileged kids. You can help plant trees or save water. You can travel to remote areas and help them with their resources. Whatever the issue might be,  learning by doing is the best way to learn.
  2. Build your resilience: While trying to make a difference, you will encounter many challenges. Through this, you can learn to look at the brighter side. You will need to remain optimistic and keep everybody motivated even during hard situations. You will acquire the ability to have a vision and translate that into action. Since you will have to manage your school or college activities along with community service, you will learn how to work under pressure and prioritise your tasks. This will increase your ability to multi-task and problem solve. According to a UNDP report, teacher volunteers have become more employable.
  3. See better satisfaction levels: By giving of yourself, you will gain satisfaction and happiness. According to research from the London School of Economics, people who volunteer weekly are 16% more happy than those who don’t. Every drop makes the ocean. Even one person’s effort can make a difference to someone’s life. You can inspire others and eventually bring about a change at a larger scale. This will make you feel happy and fulfilled.

You should consider your time commitment, what kind of  impact you want to make and the skills you possess before you choose the volunteering activity.  So get inspired and start solving society’s real problems! You will get an opportunity to leave a better world behind.

Value of community service in a student's life

Saving from the beginning of your career

We all have dreams about our first salary. Earning and becoming independent is a bridge to living the life you want. It is also a way to become responsible and start saving. Not everyone manages to save at a young age but if you save a little amount every month, it translates into a considerable amount after a couple of years.

There are many financial instruments that you can use for saving and investing such as mutual funds, fixed deposits, equities, bonds and insurance. Some simple short term options could be putting away certain amount of your salary in the beginning of the month, budgeting your expenditure and using cheaper modes of transportation. Colleges could also take initiative by teaching students the importance of saving and exposing them to various options. Here are some advantages of saving a small amount each month:

  1.       Higher education: You can take up a job after graduation, gain some experience and then go for a higher degree after a couple of years. Saving for a particular purpose will also keep you focussed during your work years. You will start thinking more seriously about your future. It will reduce the financial dependency on your parents or a loan for your higher education.
  2.       Dealing with a sudden financial need: Reserve money in the bank helps in dealing with financial emergencies such as medical situations. You may lose your phone and need to buy a new one or need to buy books before an exam. It could be unexpected travel or household repairs. It is always helpful to have a little buffer in terms of your funds.
  3.       Comfortable middle and old age: By starting early, you will have enough by the time you reach middle age. You can have a more comfortable life then. Handling financial stress when you are younger is easier as you are not responsible for a family at this stage. You can work around a budget and manage your expenses. In old age your medical bills will be higher and you may have to employ people for domestic work as well. A considerable reserve of money is vital for a peaceful old age.

You may face certain challenges such as cutting down some habits and dealing with peer pressure. You can try motivating your peers to save too! This is not to say that you should be too hard on yourself. If you want to travel or pursue any hobby, find ways to do it. These may be things that keep you going, stress free and eventually result in your success. So don’t feel constrained and lead your life the way that makes you happy!

Saving from the beginning of your career

Appearing for Civil Services? Here’s how it works!

The Civil Services exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) each year. UPSC through this exam selects candidates for different services in the government such as Indian Administrative Service, Indian Revenue Service, Indian Foreign Service and more. There are three rounds starting with the preliminary round which is objective, the main round which is subjective and finally the interview which is conducted by a panel. It is one of the most competitive exams in India. Approximately three lakh aspirants appeared for the exam in 2018 for under 1000 vacancies. Here are the different aspects that you can prepare for:

    1. Preliminary round: This is the first round covering two papers. The first paper tests a candidate’s knowledge on current events, politics, national movement and history of India, environment ecology, social and economic development, general science, and world geography. The second paper consists of numerical ability, comprehension and problem solving. Prepare from last years’ question papers, build a clear understanding of concepts and perhaps join a Prelims test series to keep yourself on track.
    2. Mains: You shouldn’t wait for the prelims results to start preparing for Mains. The mains examination covers nine papers, out of which seven will be counted for merit and the other two (language papers) just have to be qualified. To improve your knowledge, read newspapers and editorials, keep track of current affairs, and NCERT books. To clear Mains you need to know how to write crisp answers and essays and approach the question from various dimensions. A strong understanding of history and current events will help you provide relevant examples and rationale in your essays.
    3. Interview preparation: This round is a conversation that covers the personality and overall profile of the candidate. You can start by preparing what you’ve written in your Detailed Application Form. The idea is to know yourself and how to present your thoughts clearly. You can take mock interviews with experts or prior applicants. Be calm and confident while delivering your responses. Don’t get stressed if you don’t know all the answers. Focus instead on sharing what you do know and backing it up with examples.

In the Prelims, you need to secure a certain percentage to qualify for the Mains. The Mains are marked out of 1750 marks and those who qualify the Mains are called for an interview which is scored out of 275 marks. In the end a ranking is done and students are offered different services based on their rank. They are then sent for training, after which they are allocated different locations. It’s a rigorous process, so prepare well!

 

Misconceptions regarding Masters degree!

In India, students are under immense  pressure to get a Masters degree. Just doing college doesn’t seem enough. According to a UGC report on higher education in India, about 37% students enrol in Arts, 19% in Science, 18% in Commerce and Management and 16% in Engineering and Technology post-graduation programs. There are various misconceptions about obtaining a Masters degree. Most students are interested in an MBA  only because they believe it will fetch them a lucrative job. But is that the case?

Before you dive in to pursue a Masters degree, keep in mind some of the popular misconceptions about post-graduation:

    1. “Double the salary”: The most common misconception is that a masters degree will increase your compensation and make it double or triple of the current salary. However, the truth is that compensation depends on the designation, role, industry and company you have applied for. Prior relevant work-experience and the reputation of your institute also play a role. An MBA or additional masters degree does not always increase your salary significantly. According to a survey, by Business Standard, about 90% MBAs are unemployed in India.
    2. Master “immediately” after undergraduation: It is important to know what  career options are available after you graduate. Research is required to know what will add to your profile. Before you go for masters, make sure you understand your strengths and development areas. This will help you take an informed decision before you invest your time and money in a post-graduate program. It is recommended to gain at least a few years of work experience before taking this call. If not, experiment with at least a few internships to know where your interests lie.
    3. Masters “limits your career choice” to that field: Another popular myth about masters is that you cannot diversify to another field if you have a Masters in a particular one. For example, a student with a Masters in English can apply for marketing as well. Often the most important criteria in a job is a relevant skill-set that may not be defined by your post-graduate degree. A coder does not need to have done a Masters in computer science as long as he or she can build a website and applications.

 

  • “Have to do a masters”: It is important to do a cost-benefit analysis before enrolling in a Masters program. Some careers and organizations require experience more than a postgraduate degree. For example, for a career in corporate law, a graduate degree in law with other specialized certifications may be enough. But if you want to teach law, you may have to consider a post graduation or Ph.D. Simply doing a Masters does not get you hired. Instead, bringing appropriate skills to an organization will result in job opportunities.

 

It is therefore  important to focus on getting a relevant masters degree. Research thoroughly before enrolling into a program. Seek mentors in your field of interest who can guide you. Develop your skills with professional experience. Research a masters program thoroughly including the program’s placement statistics, subjects for specialization, course structure and likely compensation post completion. Take time to think your decision through instead of following the herd. This will ensure that you won’t be disappointed with your Masters program!

 

Build a career in Sports!

India has always been cricket crazy. Now, with the fever of FIFA 2018, the England cricket tour of India and various tournaments around the corner, sports are becoming cause for daily excitement with Gen Z. Will sports remain a passion for people or will it become a serious career option? With movies like Dangal showing the perseverance required to make it in sports, and the common belief that it may not be lucrative unless you become famous, many people don’t consider sports as an option.

However, there are many real careers that revolve around sports. These include sports journalism, sports management, coaching, commentary, sports science, sports marketing, sports medicine and sports psychology. There are specialized  institutions that provide professional qualifications in these fields. Students interest in these alternative careers has piqued and with correct guidance and coaching, more and more students can pursue them in future.

Some of the ways you can explore careers in sports are:

 

  • Being a sportsperson

 

To be a sportsperson, it is great if you start early.  Years of dedicated practice, discipline and stamina will help you succeed. Start by playing for your school or college. Join professional sports clubs that select people for competitive tournaments. Participate in try-outs, district-level, state-level and national-level competitions through these clubs. Be aware of the sports scholarships given out by various  bodies such as the National Sports Scholarship, AAI Sports Scholarship and several non profits.

Fitness and being in the right mental and physical frame of mind is a must for sports. Exercise and play regularly. There are certain interpersonal skills required in a player as well. One should have a vision, be positive, a leader, team player, resilient, passionate and compassionate with teammates. Lastly, diligently abide by the rules of the institution, club or sport!

 

  • Sports management

 

Passion is a must for a career in sports management. Roles would include managing a facility, liaising with media and healthcare providers. Managing a team, starting a league, running a company that coaches students or a scholarship fund could be different options. Functional skills such as sales, marketing, operations, Human Resources, community development, and communications are all essential for sport managers. Sport managers should also demonstrate responsibility, effective  oral and written communication skills, good decision making, organization, and planning skills as well as critical thinking.

The field of sports may be very competitive but has now opened several career paths. There is potential to earn money and do something you care about. Before entering this field, research credible institutes that provide education in sports, organizations where sports internships are available, required skills and remuneration. Self-motivation is a must in this career. Your attitude will determine your progress in this field!