When the student is ready the teacher will appearHanif Kanjer
At Rustomjee Business School, we strongly believe that management education is not just about academic learning, but about discovering yourself, and carving your niche. Most young adults are at a cross-road, and often confused about the path to take. What adds to the confusion is misguided advice by well-meaning adults, both friends and family.
I have heard umpteen number of times young men in the age group of 23 to 25 years reverting on job opportunities with statements such as “My father is saying this job is not good”, or “My friend is saying the salary is too low”, or “My mother wants me to specialise in finance”.
It is sad to see young management graduates making important career decisions based on such unqualified advice. By this we don’t mean to undermine the opinion of parents, and well-meaning friends, but it is important to realise and accept that instead of making blanket statements such as these, wouldn’t it be more prudent in helping the young adult discover these things for himself/herself? Whatever happened to the philosophy of “learning by one’s mistakes”.
We don’t mean to tell young adults to rebel against the family, but it is important for family to be supportive in allowing these young adults to make a few mistakes, as long as such mistakes are not life-threatening.
I tell students by all means listen to your mother’s advice of specialising in finance, if your mother has a good understanding of the career opportunities in this field, the skills-required to succeed in this space, and a good assessment of your strengths and weaknesses to be able to perform well in this field. Parents who don’t have any clue about a particular field, or even a clear assessment of their child’s strength should definitely not be giving career advice to their children. They would be better off if they could direct their student to someone who works in that sector, as well as someone who has a good assessment of their child’s strengths and weaknesses.
This is where I believe college professors, particularly at business schools, can play a crucial role in helping young adults make important career-related decisions.
As management school professors we are entrusted with a huge responsibility of helping students build their futures. So, we play diverse roles beyond classroom teaching – right from chaperoning young adults on their industrial tours/visits and boot camps, to being relationship counsellors, and career counsellors.
The challenge lies in the fact that ‘the one-shoe-fits-all’ approach doesn’t work in a business school scenario. Each student is different, in terms of aptitude, interest, and sincerity. However, there is often one common thread across all these student interactions, and that is the desire to do well in life coupled with the insecurities about the future.
As mentors, Rustomjee Business School faculty members are willing to spend time individually with students, whether preparing for a job interview, or preparing for competitive entrance exams, or even helping students hone their presentation and communication skills.
In fact, I can proudly state that you are unlikely to find any college in India that helps students even after they have graduated with their MBA qualification. We have students who come back to us one or two years after graduation, seeking guidance on post-MBA further studies, professional certification programs or even career-related advice. Our alumnus, Meet Bhatt, who completed his MMS degree with us in 2013, approached us with his interest in pursuing the international CFA program. Since in our MMS program, we do incorporate the CFA Level 1 syllabus in subjects such as economics, financial accounting, and international finance, we were confident of being able to help Meet Bhatt. He has now completed CFA Level 1, and CFA Level 2 qualification, with tutorial support from RBS faculty members, and is currently preparing for the CFA Level 3 certification exams, without any fees charged to him. Similarly, Parin Parikh, and Pranay Desai are two alumni who have connected with us with regards to career-related advice on job switch opportunities they received two years after MMS studies. More recently, Sagar Nagda, of the Batch of 2017 has ventured into a financial advisory entrepreneurship venture, and he credits the learning in the finance program at Rustomjee Business School with the impetus to give him the confidence to start on his own. In fact, he has recruited 5 summer interns from our campus this year, and this completes the circle of giving back to the Alma-mater.
At Rustomjee Business School, we build futures by building long-lasting friendships. Our alumni come back to take guest lectures on campus, to teach a full course, to conduct summer internship vivas, and as recruiters to provide job opportunities to current students.
The Rustomjee Circle of Giving has grown bigger and wider. That’s why we say, When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
Prof. Dr. Hanif Kanjer, PhD (Finance), MBA (Strategy), BE (Production)
Founder-Director, Rustomjee Business School
Founder-Director, Rustomjee Cambridge International School
Adjunct Faculty, S P Jain Global School of Management
Founder-consulting director, S P Jain Global School of Management