Is Higher Education Necessary to Achieve Financial Success?

Perspective of a student –

During our childhood, we all must have heard from our parents and elders that if we study hard during our childhood, we will reap the sweet fruit of it during our later years of life, but we have many examples in front of us like Mark Zuckerberg who left the Harvard University without even completing his degree but still, he has a net worth of 10,680 crores US $. And one of the greatest examples will be of Steve Jobs, so today most of us will be proud and feel self-satisfied of having the latest model of i-phone with us but this couldn’t have been possible if back in 1997 a college dropout wouldn’t have “THINK DIFFERENTLY” approach and launched an entire series of iMac, iTunes, iTunes Store, Apple Store, iPod, iPhone, App Store, and the iPad.

Education is one of the important factors which might help us to decide our future goals and career paths to lead towards financial success in the future but it is surely not the most necessary component for creativity, innovation, and constructive disruption in society and most importantly for our financial success. The era of Industry 4.0 has demanded an immense need of technical skills which were not there in the existing fundamental formal education structure but since the New Education Policy 2020 came in, it signifies that how important IT and technical skills are, that the government has to include it in the basic curriculum of primary and elementary school children.

The current digital era has brought many new professions that do not require higher education. So even if we consider time duration of the long back but just recently a decade ago, people would have never believed that “vlogging” – making videos and posting them online – would be a future career option. Now, some vloggers pay the bills uploading YouTube videos alone which have given rise to an entirely new segment of “social media influencers”. Irrespective of whether you hold any degree or not it has no impact on your popularity.

Having a formal degree does not directly lead to a successful career. If we look into the current scenario most of the employers place a higher value on experience, which could mean volunteering, work experience, or general experience of life for selecting the best fit for their organization. With a mixture of skills, hard work, and luck, people will do just fine even without degrees.

Even in this era of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a sudden higher drift in the demand of online Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning based technical and behavioral competency-based skill-courses which are quoted as vital to survive and compete in the current job market. As been quoted in one of the recent advertisements that to progress in career, continuous learning and skill-building are also important apart from basic institutional education.

One thing is also clear that most people do not land up working in their dream job aligned with their education even if they have enough skills for such a job or work. Intensive research should also be a mandatory part of the curriculum to reduce the current skill market gap and make our present and future workforce being ready for jobs in the upcoming digital era which will ensure financial stability along with a wider knowledge base as well.

As per an article in Financial Express dated December 26, 2018, India had only twenty- one thousand publications during the last decade which seemed to stand nowhere in the global mark. India holds its heads high in some of the key areas like traditional healthcare facilities existing in Ayurveda and other ancient histories. To survive and get successful in the current globally cut-throat competitive market, we should try to adopt an appropriate mix and balance of our ancestral knowledge along with adding technological aspects to the same.

And all these courses demand deep learning and research on the subject area which can be learned through various sources but just limiting ourselves to textbook knowledge or few restricted sources will never help us in attaining the right results rather we should focus more towards attaining a proper balance of theoretical knowledge along with practical aspect into the same.

So to conclude we can say that formal education should be made mandatory but then it should be flexible enough to let a student explore the creativity, innovation, and technological aspects of themselves. At IILM where I study for my higher education, the nurturing environment has given me the flexibility and freedom to choose from a wide array of electives and soft skills to pursue my passion and creativity and be future ready.

Author – Harshita Jain

MBA, Year II – IILM University Gurugram

 

 

Whatever I am is all because of IILM: Satyaveer Pal (Alumnus, Batch 2006-2008)

After completing his Bachelor of Science from Mahatma Jyotiba Phule (MJP) Rohilkhand University, a young lad stepped out of his hometown Bareilly to fulfill his dreams in the Millennium City of Gurugram. A career-ambitious student, he landed at IILM to pursue a career in management. Meet Satyaveer Pal, Regional Manager – Sales (International Business), Aurionpro, Gurugram, an alumnus of Batch 2006-2008. His work takes him to places, literally. He has extensively traveled to Europe and the APAC and South Asia region, particularly Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Nepal where majority of his clients are based. His last International visit was to Indonesia and Vietnam in February 2020, just before the national lockdown.

I had the opportunity to speak with him recently, and he was reminiscing his experiences at IILM during his stay at the campus. Considered as a studious person, he was the CR (student Class Representative) for two consecutive years, and this helped him tremendously in improving his interpersonal skills and leadership qualities. His favorite faculty was the marketing professor, Dr. Priyanka Dhingra whose lessons in sales and marketing were a lifelong learning for him. Giving presentations, participating in quizzes and class exercises are among his best memories at the campus. He fondly recalled an instance when he had to make a sales presentation where he came up with an innovative idea of marketing and branding of pens. This activity – based classroom pedagogy made him realize that marketing was where his career lay, and today business development has become his forte.

IILM gave Satyaveer learning both inside the classroom and outside. He learnt how to respond and gauge behavior of other people. He acquired networking skills and learnt how to brand oneself. This learning has taken him to the pinnacles of success.

He got an opportunity to do his summer internship at Shoppers Stop Gurugram, and he was also part of a new outlet opening in New Delhi where he helped Shoppers Stop in setting up their retail business from the scratch. He gained hands-on experience during his SIP and developed a multidimensional approach to handling problems. He believes those students who do not take their SIP seriously are the ones who loose out on good placements later.

Satyaveer feels that he not just gained academic knowledge at IILM but also the soft skills that are required to be successful in the corporate world.

As he was an outstation student, Satyaveer stayed at IILM boys’ hostel, and that was a wonderful experience for him. He learnt to become independent and gained friends for life. He cherishes the memories of playing cricket after classes in the campus grounds, going around in the local markets and malls of Gurugram, and chit-chatting with his hostel roommates till late night.

It is such a pleasure to have an alumnus as Satyaveer. His colleagues praise him unabashedly. I was going through some of the recommendations he received on LinkedIn and my heart swelled in pride. Considered as a good task master and team player, his peers and managers hold a remarkably high opinion of Satyaveer. According to them, he comes with a very infectious sort of energy; always warm and outwardly sociable, he gets along with people very easily. He is good at making new connections and is the live wire of every conversation.

He is still in touch with his faculty, Dr Radhika Madan and Dr Sujata Shahi, presently the Vice-Chancellor of IILM University. He has had positive interactions with them in the past and due to these, he has retained the connect with his Alma mater. Dr Radhika had in fact taught him and still considers him as one of her brightest students taught till date. She has seen Satyaveer grow in his career path over the years. A very vigorous person with a clear vision, she feels that he knows how to co-ordinate assignments and the workforce he deals with. She has found him to be a very dedicated and committed person who strives to achieve his goals with full commitment and sincerity. His positive approach to all his challenges is what differentiates him from other students.

In the past twelve years of graduating from IILM, he has earned the reputation of an enterprise leader with an excellent track record of contributions that streamline operations, invigorate businesses, heighten productivity and develop business strategies.

alumni-SatyaveerHe visits IILM Gurugram once in two months – either as an industry speaker to share his insights with the present batches, or as a jury member for a campus event – contributing in every possible way. He has also recommended several students for taking admissions in MBA, the flagship programme of IILM University Gurugram. One of the most connected alumni to his alma mater, he takes out time from his busy schedule whenever IILM requires his presence.

He is currently residing in the corporate hub of Gurugram with his parents, wife Abha and a three – year old son Arkin. On being asked, how did his stay at IILM impact his career, he proudly said, “Whatever I am is all because of IILM.”

Is taking a Drop Year in 2020 a good career strategy? – IILM’s Advice for Students

While the whole world is battling Corona, there are many students who have their own battles to wage. This is especially those who have appeared for Class XII exams and they may be worried for their future. A few exams of CBSE students are still pending. The results are yet to come. It is a critical year for them, given their decisions to take admissions in graduation. Some of them were aspiring to go abroad. Now all their dreams seem to be at a standstill.

Well, dear students and their equally concerned parents – The government regulations are no way indicating a pause in education – they have stated in their recent guidelines to delay starting the academic year, but it will begin. You have all options open as you would have earlier. The only thing that has changed now is a shift in the day of commencement of the session. So the question of dropping a year should not occur in your mind.

On dropping a year, one or all of these may happen-
– Your drop year will stay on your CV for the rest of your life. It may affect your candidature for selection, as recruiters are looking for all possible reasons to reject the applicants. You may not even qualify for the selection process, as in several global multinational corporations, a drop in the year is one of the reasons for not shortlisting the profile of the candidate.
– You may be the only one in your class or peer group to sit at home exploring options for the subsequent year- it generally leads to a dip in the motivation level and its not easy to sustain yourself during this time. The morale goes down and depression sinks in.
– You tend to lose confidence in your abilities to start afresh.
– It will also give the impression to any third person that you are not at all adaptable in nature – you do not have the strength to fight it out and brave the circumstances.
– Most importantly, you are still not sure that you will get what you are seeking.

We have all spent more than a month at home, and we do not know till when this will continue. Do not elongate this stay even further – believe me it is going get tougher
by the day. We have already had enough of negativity since the spread of the pandemic – let us not increase the problems in our lives. Make an informed decision about the course you want to enroll in – there are abundant prospects for you. All educational institutions, particularly the private ones are functioning online, and Universities like IILM are all prepared to welcome students in the new session whenever it starts. We are equipped to conduct both online and offline classes. Our faculty are developing innovative pedagogies to make the class more engaging. We have been ensuring that there is no academic loss for the existing students and the learning did not stop a single day during this lockdown period. We have finished our course syllabus for the semester, have conducted Club activities, we have done mentoring sessions, we have guided students for dissertation, we have conducted guest sessions for the subjects we are teaching and we are ready to conduct the exams. We have given ample opportunities for students to intern from home, and
almost all our students have their WFH summer internships in place. As faculty, we are working hard to respond to the situation to the best of our capabilities.

If you were aspiring for a foreign degree, as of now, you should take admission in an Indian Institution for now, and perhaps go abroad for your post-graduation. By that time, you will become aware of your career interests and you will be mature enough to take care of yourself. These next two years will be trying times, and your adamant desire to go to foreign shores may end up being an obstacle for your successful career. Things will certainly become normal – but how soon none of us know. When International borders and travel will open, it is unknown. And how soon they will start accepting applicants and student candidatures for admissions is also not clear.

But what is known for sure is that our career path has to be charted by us alone. Dropping a year has never been a good strategy. And in a world of uncertainty, it is a strict no-no. Based on my experience of two decades, I can only say that think positive, explore available options and get a stress-free life for yourself. Let these turbulent times not affect your careers.

Authored By
Dr Sona Vikas (Associate Professor – HR & OB)

The Student Teacher Relationship at IILM University

The bond I share with my students is an incredibly special one. This is a relationship which continues for life and, IILM University has given us teachers this flexibility to not only interact with our students inside the classroom but also outside.

At IILM University, this is a relationship of respect, love and trust. The foundation of this relationship gets laid on day one when a student takes admission. It gets nurtured during the tenure of the student, continuing even after the completion of their program. The teacher is a mentor, a friend, philosopher and guide in the true spirit. The students have long conversations with their teacher – whether it is in a professional area or an academic concern or connecting on a personal level or just generally talking on any topic under the sun. There is seamless communication between the teachers and their students. At IILM University, teachers not only guide them to make informed choices about their careers, but also motivate them to bring out their true potential. They give them feedback so that they improve themselves. The teachers enhance their confidence levels so that they are prepared to face the challenging corporate world. Most importantly, they spend time with their teachers at IILM University. This relationship transcends the boundaries of formalities and the teacher acts as a mentor for the students.

At IILM University, we understand that students are at the cusp of an important juncture in their life, and they need the support of their teachers to hand-hold them in order to take judicious career decisions. IILM ensures that they have a smooth transition from being happy-go-lucky students to sincere and serious corporate professionals. The role of a teacher in shaping the life of the students at IILM is far more critical and serious business than anywhere else. At an age when most of the students are unable to take professional guidance from their parents, the teachers act as an anchor in their lives, giving them the direction they are seeking.

IILM encourages its students to come out of their comfort zones. As teachers, we persuade them to take challenging tasks and set tough goals for themselves. In the process, they emerge as winners, because they also learn the art of accepting failure and moving on in life, even if they are not successful.

On my part, I feel, it is this bond with the students that completes me as a teacher. It does not matter what time they call or send a message on WhatsApp. It is my commitment to them that they will get a response at the earliest, if not immediate. I do not believe in scolding them. In fact, I do not remember shouting at any of them ever. But it certainly does not imply that I accept whatever they do and say. It also does not mean that I am a lenient teacher. Throughout these 13 years in academics, students have always listened to me and complied to what I would have said. The students of my first teaching batch of 2007 still get back to me for help and guidance. And the reason for it is only one – I treat them as adults and very gracefully put across my point. I do not hurt them, nor do I say anything that I would regret later. I do not believe in taunting them, nor do I ever expose their weaknesses in front of others. I have never embarrassed them by sharing their personal experiences to other colleagues or students.

I conduct myself in such a way, that it gives them the confidence that they can connect with me and take my help any time they want to. This attitude has never let me down. It has made students connect with me, even if I would not have taught them in class. And not surprisingly, I am in touch with all the student batches that I have taught in these years, in some way or the other. I attribute this to the mutual love and respect that exists in my student-teacher relationship. I believe that if we want our students to become good human beings, we must treat them as one.

After Boards how to choose an Institution of Higher Education

Choosing an institution of higher education may seem like a daunting task to some. After all, it is what decides the direction of one’s career. All those years at school lead to this very critical decision. A lot is at stake. The life ahead is based on this single decision. But it will not be tough, if the students make the decision prudently. Based on my experience in higher education, I have identified a few important factors which if kept in mind while making this choice, will make the task easier for parents and students.

Firstly, one needs to see the legacy of the Institution. It adds to the credibility and tell us about the trust parents would have had on this University all these past years. It should add value to the degree for the student.

Secondly, the quality of education offered is of utmost importance. The same can be gauged through two ways – faculty and curriculum. The faculty make a great impact on the delivery and learning in the classroom. There must be adequate number of qualified (PhD) and experienced full-time faculty, who are passionate about teaching. A globally bench-marked programme curriculum ensures that the student fits in world-class organizations. If the institution offers global exposure and a cross-cultural environment, it is an added advantage.

Thirdly, there should be proper student mentoring. Most of the students feel lost, or directionless when they enter a campus after class XII. The hand-holding given during school seems to be missing, as a result leading to students being dis-oriented. There are only a handful of institutions who have the process of attaching a dedicated faculty mentor to each student in their campus. For the parents, this is a great initiative to keep a track of their ward’s progress.

Fourthly, a strong industry interface with ample placement and internship opportunities should be present. One’s career after college depends majorly on these. Internship support by the Institution goes a long way in helping students to make their future career choices. Also, many students opt to take up employment after their graduation to get experience before pursuing higher education.

Lastly, some more important factors should be considered for convenience and to enhance the experience, like the location of the Institution. It should ideally be near the corporate hub of a metropolitan city offering plenty of exposure, opportunities, live projects and most importantly, reducing travel snarls. The infrastructure and facilities provided by the institution enhances the experience. The campus life through events, clubs and societies should enable holistic development of the students.

By keeping all these factors in mind, one can choose the right institution of higher education for the perfect experience of learning and development after school.

Why MBA at IILM University?

If you ask any aspirant why he or she wants to pursue MBA, the prompt response that comes is “package.” While it is fair to give the millennials credit for this response, they must stop for a moment and introspect as to what value they bring to the organization to aspire that “package”. As a faculty who sees the students sit for various processes year after year, I know for sure that MBA is not about package – it is not about a student’s ROI, it is more about their employability. While they aspire for the money from day 1 of their job, their returns to the organization begin only after a few months of training. And that too if they have the skill-sets required to do their jobs well. The responsibility of the MBA institution is to offer an exciting learning environment to the students, so that they become employable. The students in turn must make the most of the opportunities and exposure their institution offers them during their two-year tenure.

Flagship program
MBA is the flagship program of School of Management at IILM University Gurugram. Students have the options of both functional and sectoral specializations. Through internationally benchmarked curriculum with regular inputs from the industry experts, students at IILM study contemporary courses. These include Intentional Networking, Emotional Intelligence, Critical Thinking, Digital Innovation and Transformation. Online Certifications from institutions of repute are embedded in the curriculum. In each module, a guest expert is invited to share practical, organizational insights whereby beautifully adding to the concepts and theories done in class. We offer students international exposure through exchange programs and study tours abroad, thus giving them an edge over their counterparts.

Giving practical exposure
There is emphasis not only on academic and technical skills, but also the soft skills and life skills. Most of us faculty have PhD and a combination of academic plus corporate experience that contributes to a wonderful learning environment in the classroom. Our focus is on experiential learning with the help of latest tools and techniques using case studies, role plays, videos, field visits, projects, management games, classroom exercises etc. Using innovative pedagogy and emerging technologies, we strive towards a predominantly robust academic delivery to make the education process stimulative, interactive, reflective and creative. As a faculty, I have personally learnt a lot and progressed academically while delivering lectures to the post-graduate students.

Industry Connect
Strong industry linkages are a forte of IILM which facilitate excellent placement and internship opportunities. IILM boasts of highly successful alumni who are now working at very senior positions in multinational corporations. All students are given an opportunity to work on live projects that hone their reasoning and analytical skills.

Mentoring
Each student is assigned a faculty mentor who is involved in giving direction, guiding and ensuring personal and professional development. I am involved in mentoring the students and preparing them to take up meaningful roles in organizations. This increases my connect with them and helps establish a life-long relationship with my students. And that is why many of them start giving importance to their future “job role” over “package” at the time of campus placements.

Almost all events on campus are driven by the students, which enhances their organizing skills and improves their team skills. It gives them an opportunity to be independent in decision making and resource management. Campus life at IILM contributes to their holistic development and enables them to come out of their comfort zone, making them shed their inhibitions. I feel all these factors combine to increase the employability quotient of IILM students. They are groomed to be responsible professionals, ready to take on the challenges in organizations. MBA at IILM is a unique experience, and having seen it myself, I can surely vouch for the same.