Simply put , it is a piece of equipment that can take ‘something’ from Point A to Point B – without that ‘something’ putting any effort, apart from just getting itself on the belt.
Your favorite Cola is taken on the belt through a maze of processes that empties the bottle, cleans it, fills it, checks it, caps it, puts the label on it and finally packs it, ready to be shipped. The Cola bottle didn’t need to do anything along the way. And yet it moved from Point A to Point B and in the process transformed itself from a simple looking, dirty, transparent glass bottle to this bubbly, fizzy, coloured water that we all love !
Now imagine being the Cola bottle yourself and look at your entire education journey to be one long Conveyor Belt. It can be your graduation period or your time at management school or any other institution that you worked so hard to get into.
So, you put in the effort to get through the admissions and just as you enter that prestigious institution, you get on the Conveyor Belt. You’ve hopped on the Belt and now you want the institution to wash you, fill you with knowledge, fizz you up, add a label and send you packing to that coveted dream job.
Sounds like a life that’s pretty similar to the Cola bottle? Right?
Wrong! There is a difference.
The Cola bottle is dumb. You are not.
The bottle cannot do much except be pushed around. You can.
These prestigious institutions are not in the business of getting you jobs. Their job is to open your mind and make you realize your potential. If you are one of those students who consider the work done once you have secured the admissions and completely depend on the institution to take you over the line – there is trouble ahead!
These students expect the best job placements (not teaching curriculum, mind you) and god-forbid, if the institution does not deliver on their expectations, the frustration and the angst for the subsequent few years is just mind numbing. Would the students do their bit to secure that best possible dream job – absolutely not! They feel they are doing their institution a favour, if they complete their assignments, are awake in class, are participating in group activities, going beyond their curriculum to do a project, so on and so forth…
Oh… the sense of entitlement!
The institutions also may be at fault because the only way they can sell their programs is by promising the ‘best salary’ and not the best experience. They may be at fault because there is arguably not a single institution in India that has the guts to put out an ad that says “We promise to transform YOU so you can go out and get your own job”.
And yet, every curriculum allows one to extract whatever one chooses and wishes for – be it academic or non-academic, in the classroom or outside it.
In this context, it becomes imperative for students to take a grip of their career paths and take matters in their own hands.
The responsibility of extracting the most out the degree – be it knowledge or a job – is the student’s responsibility. The institution can only be a hose that can keep pouring out value and it is the onus of the students to collect it and use it to their advantage. As a guiding principle, the students would do well to use the year to figure out:
- What they are truly interested in
- What makes them jump up in excitement
- What keeps them motivated
- Skills they are good at
- Skill gaps they need to fill
Dream jobs don’t come to campuses! Well… not very often! In my year at business school, the best jobs went to people who realized what they wanted to do, skilled themselves, went out and picked the job they matched the closest with their career objectives and skills.
And those are the individuals who did not change jobs within the first 6 months after graduation!
Are you willing to go out there, on the strength of what you have learnt… and pitch yourself as the next best thing?
Can you step off that Conveyor Belt, explore and figure out your ‘Point B’ on your own?
– Guest Author post –
The author is a successful industry professional turned entrepreneur and has a management degree from a top tier B-school. He’s been kind enough to allow me to publish this article on my blog as the original post.