I wanted to know what students do to find jobs, in addition to going to campus interviews. So I gathered around 20 students and asked them. What I found surprised me. So we decided create an interactive event and look at some ideas. This is a brief summary.
KCG Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship Centre
KCG Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship Centre (also known as KCGTBI for historical reasons) opened for business on 2nd of Feb. This the first event at KCGTBI, focused on helping students. It was free for students of KCG College. We plan to expand it, to cover more colleges over time.
Buildskills is one of the first incubated companies at KCG TBI. The event was jointly sponsored by BuildSkills and KCGTBI.
We started with a few simple questions:
- What is your dream job?
- What company, industry do you want to work for?
The audience was a mix of IT, MCA, Aero and Mech students. We had some interesting answers, some very ambitious and some not very. My favorite answer for the company question was:
“I don’t care what company I work for, as long as it gives me great opportunities to learn.”
I started with a simple mind map and a survey. Besides asking them about their dream job, company etc., I also asked them:
- What is your current academic performance level ( Top 10%, Top 20%, Top 50% or rest? Even, I don’t know was a valid answer).
- What subjects do you like? What are your current interests, other than studies?
- What is your knowledge of your industry?
The answers, especially about the last two items was shocking. None of them had any knowledge of industries or jobs. They did not even know how to go about planning for their jobs.
While the revelation was a bit sad, it gave me a better sense of where they need help.
We started with a small group (about 8 people) and it grew to about 20. I think it was just the right size. What surprised me was, how attentive they were for the entire duration (about 3 hours with a 15 minute break). While they were not as interactive as I expected, they lingered on after the session to ask questions (one on one).
I had one of my ex-interns – Vinay, talk to them about how he found a job. How he took a programming challenge, got selected and interned almost through the entire final year and was placed as soon as he finished without even a job interview.
Finally, before we closed the session, I asked for a few volunteers to share with me, three things they learned during the session. I already got three email messages and one of them had a detailed feedback. I am going to bug all of them with a feedback form. I want to see what they retain after a couple of days. That will be the true test, of the effectiveness of the session.
The session was fun. Next time, I will structure it to be a lot more interactive and make them do some online research.