Creating pathways for passion-driven careers
“Stepping into the 21st century where corporate demand lies in specialisation today, education is also moving towards this direction. In order to continue moving ahead, it is important for the education system to listen to the wishes of its children” was the sentiment voiced by Mr. Bharat Pande – Deputy Education Officer, MCGM Secondary School Department at an event jointly hosted by MCGM and Antarang Foundation – a career guidance and counselling NGO based in Mumbai.
Antarang Foundation works with low-income youth to build their capacity to discover and pursue a career built on their passion, interests and skills. It provides career counselling interventions for children in high schools and an intensive training and career linkage intervention for young adults.
They held an event ‘Taking a chance on Young India’ on 29th September 2018 for MCGM schools from Ward D and E. The event was attended by 188 students along with headmasters and teachers from 13 secondary schools. In attendance was also Ms. Maneesha Chaddha, Head CSR of J. P. Morgan and Mr. Vishal Khanna, Vice President Process Engineering, J.P Morgan.
The opening address by Mr. Pande highlighted the outcomes of the joint efforts taken by Antarang Foundation and MCGM to provide the CareerAware program in 2017-18 in 206 secondary schools covering more than 12,500 students. Furthermore, he urged the Beat Officers to plan well ahead in 2018-19 so that no student is missed out from the benefits of the career guidance program at their school. Mr. Pande ended his address by urging students to make the most of understanding their interests and seek career guidance to achieve their aspirations.
Pratik Sunkar, Program Operations from Antarang Foundation then took to stage to share his own career journey and pathway through which he ventured into social work. Students were urged to share their career aspirations and their decision making for the same. Many students felt that family and friends played a large role in this process. Pratik emphasised that career guidance involves self-awareness, career awareness and career planning while highlighting the key objectives of the CareerAware program which was to recommend the best-fit career to students.
The program’s impact from the previous year showed that 94% students had a better understanding of themselves, 78% had clarity in their career plan and 89% showed intent to continuing schooling till at least 18 years of age.
Students in the audience who had already completed the 5 days CareerAware program were able to clearly articulate their career aspirations and how these new learnings will build their future.
The primary purpose of the gathering was to provide exposure to the Banking and Finance sector. Giving insights into this key industry, was Mr. Vishal Khanna, Vice President Process Engineering, J.P Morgan. Comparing it to the heart pumping blood to the body, he spoke of the economy running the country. Vishal engaged the students through active questioning and by simplifying the complexities of the industry. He cleared myths related to stock market and mutual funds, sharing scope of career options as well as the skills required to be successful in this career. The entry level roles that Banking and Finance industry has to offer as well the technology-related roles captured the interest of the students. To the all-important question, “How many of you are interested in building your future in the Banking and Finance sector?”, almost 30% students present at the event excitedly raised their hands.
The school teachers and headmasters that accompanied students for this event were engaged throughout and resonated the importance of career guidance with 87.5% of them ‘Strongly Agreeing’ when asked if career guidance should be a part of the school curriculum. 100% of them strongly agreed that career guidance should be provided for students between Grade 8 and Grade 10.
This is the first event of the year between Antarang Foundation and MCGM, and a fantastic starting point for many such career-based events for students to pursue their interests and interact with industry-experts.