College Checklist

A College Planning Guide Part-2

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Continuing from our earlier post, we look at some of the other factors that make transition from high-school to college beneficial and easy for the young aspirants.

Enhance your profile

Colleges are more likely to look for a student who has strengths beyond the academics. An all-rounder will always have an edge in comparison to their academically oriented counterparts. Strengthen the talents that you already have, whether it is playing an instrument like the guitar or drums, pursuing football as a hobby or even cooking in your free time. Every certificate or news of these co- or extra-curricular activities you mention can be very helpful in getting you those extra points why applying for a college/university, especially if you are applying abroad.

Colleges appreciate innovative and passionate students, so try to convince them you are motivated to achieve your dreams and targets. You can use the summer break after your Grade 10 exams as the ideal time to pursue your field of interest – for instance, if you want to be a teacher, teach young children, who cannot afford to go to school, in your locality. This will give you a valuable experience of teaching as well as become a brownie point in your résumé. If you aspire to be an architect, brush up your artwork, make sample drawings, and get them evaluated from professionals.

Shortlist Your Preferred Colleges

You should shortlist the colleges you want to apply to well in advance by the end of 11thgrade. There are innumerable ‘matchmaking’ websites for colleges, such as Global Educates, that help you in finding a college based on various criteria like – your financial status and location preferences. You can do some online research on these colleges, send enquiries, and talk to former students to see if these colleges meet your requirements.

Application Process

The application process can be very taxing on the student but an important process nevertheless.

 Tips for Filling an Application Form:

  • Be original, formal, and polite and stick to the character or word limit.
  • List your recent achievements, starting with the most recent.
  • If asked for a ‘personal statement’, use it to tell the college why YOU are the one they need to choose among all applicants. Show how you fit into the college culture and its requirements.
  • Read all the sections of an application form thoroughly and understand what information is needed.

Prepare for the Change

 Although admission in a college of your choice can be quite thrilling, the fun and the hard work are just the beginning. The academic life in a college is quite different from the one you might have witnessed until now. It is true that college is a time for having fun and widening your social circle but for the serious achiever, it is also a time to excel in their field. In the midst of all the socio-cultural activities, do not forget that college is also a place to learn new things and build on your concepts. In most colleges, the lecturer or professor will not make you stand outside the classroom for incomplete assignments and bad behavior; rather they will be friendlier than those who taught you in school. Essentially, this means that you are responsible for your own academic results.


Getting the most out of College

 YES, college is so much more than just academics – cultural events, student club activities, and parties. The best way to increase your social circle is through participation in everything that college has to offer, while balancing out your work load. You will never again have the same opportunities offered in college at any point in life. You will be in a position of enviable stability, once you have checked all the boxes in this checklist. Enjoy this phase of your life, as you will never be as carefree again.

A career in Law

Law has been one of the most popular career choices for a long time. The best thing about law is that anybody who has the passion for it can study law. Earlier students could only specialize in either criminal or civil laws. But now students can choose to specialize in many more options offered like a legal journalist, legal analyst, judge, government lawyer to name a few.

A degree in law opens new opportunities and allows you to practice either as a lawyer in the courts and even several administrative services, legal services etc. You not only learn a new language when you study law abroad but your knowledge and understanding of more than one legal system will boost your chances at an international job market.

Students can opt for a 5 year law course after completing their 12th class or they can choose for a 3 year law course after graduation in any discipline. The 5 year course is a better option for students who want to take law as a profession. In India LLB course is also regulated by the Bar Council of India who is responsible to set the rules and regulations involving law practices. Indian Constitution is termed as a lawyer’s paradise.

You can choose to study from the best law schools like National Law University– Jodhpur, Faculty of Law- University of Delhi, National Law School of India University– Bangalore amongst a few. If you want to focus on human rights law or international criminal law it is a good option to study law abroad. Countries like USA, Australia, Germany, Spain, Canada and United Kingdom also offers some of the best law programs for students.

Harvard University in USA will always remain one of the best universities for law in the world. They offer full time Masters Programs in Law concentrating on Corporate Law and Governance, Taxation, Human rights and International Finance. Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economia, Spain is regarded to be one of the best law schools in Spain. It offers LL.M. programs in International Sports Law, International Law etc and also a Masters in international Legal Practice. In the United Kingdom, the best universities and colleges offering law courses are Oxford University, Cambridge University amongst a few.

First you need to decide the country and then you need to choose the law school you want to pursue your degree from. When you specialize in a particular field of study it boost your career prospects and ensures that you are in demand once you complete your degree. In India, graduates in law can also expect better job opportunities in India with the increase in foreign law firms. You can also choose to work with a senior lawyer for experience in different specializations including telecom law, corporate or labor.

Students who complete their law graduation abroad receive attractive job offers in India after completing their course. Plethora of options awaits a law graduate; especially in India students can clear the exams conducted by Public Service Commission and can become a judge. They can also hope to become a Public Prosecutor and serve in different government ministries and departments.  Practical training in court enhances your job prospects and opens options to work as a legal advisor in many organizations. A career in law requires patience, hard work and a lot of dedication.

Why not an Entrepreneur?

entrepreneurship

Ashwin Mahesh, an entrepreneur and director of “Lithium” – an electric cab service – aims to make his company one of the leading cab service providers to the employees of technology and outsourcing companies located in Bangalore. Lithium, apart from being India’s first electric cab service, also has a host of “cloud connected” safety buttons and other revolutionary features like internet connectivity. This is just one of the many stories of people leaving their lucrative jobs and beginning their own ventures.

Many believe entrepreneurship emerges automatically and one has to be god gifted to be a successful entrepreneur, but the truth is far from it. For starters, you need – a visionary idea and a little capital to begin with, followed by persistent commitment and risk taking capability. An enterprise does not arise from vacuum, rather it is based on concrete ideas and plans called – entrepreneurial environment.

The entrepreneurial growth is rather spontaneous and depends on various factors like economic environment, political scenario, and government policies. In colonial times, several detrimental schemes and roadblocks in forms of, for instance “License Raj” in India; contributed to lesser number of entrepreneurs. However, the current scenario is quite different and a surge in the number of entrepreneurs is a perfect example of it. Over the years, an increase has been reported in the number of entrepreneurs, with more graduates from IITs and IIMs going on to launch their own companies and carving a niche for themselves.

Skill set of an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs, by default are considered to be innovators – people with a plethora of ideas and strong sense of business. Apart from being a strong leader, an entrepreneur also has to be a team player, as the success of every business is dependent upon the work put in by a team. Name any successful entrepreneurial story and you will always find a team of hard working characters behind it. Such people are always able to effectively convert any new idea or invention into a successful revolution. An entrepreneur, also has to be a considerable amount of risk taker. Careers, financial security, and prestige are always at risk while launching a new business. The biggest drawback, if I was to name one, is the uncertainty every new business model brings in, but the key is to keep believing in the vision and the product.

Factors affecting Entrepreneurial Growth

Entrepreneurship has to be developed over a period of time by putting in considerable amount of effort and time. Some helpful conditions are also required for the success of the entrepreneurial growth. For example, a business cannot succeed in a receding economy rather it requires a boosting economy and favorable policies for it to actually succeed. The various parameters affecting the entrepreneurial growth are:

Economic System

An economy with higher per capita income, abundant resources – both natural and artificial, and a population with high income and assets, will always produce more successful entrepreneurs. The relationship between economy and entrepreneurship is bi-directional, which is in contrast to popular belief that only a business model depends on the economy. The truth is, it is equally important for an economy to have successful “new businesses” for it to be counted actually a progressive economy, where social and domestic growth play an important role in setting up of new model.

Labour

The growth of entrepreneurship drastically depends upon the quality and quantity of labour. Positive labour laws, a well-defined wage structure, and support from the local authorities is paramount to the success of every new business model. Availability of skilled labour will always attract new leaders to setup their visionary ideas in a country. The production capacities of a company are directly proportional to division of labour and economy.


Entrepreneurs are the key drivers of tomorrow’s innovations and integral to creating a booming economy. Innovative educational tools, informative channels, and positive work environment are prerequisite for any business idea to succeed. Motivating and promoting such models will always lead to a prosperous economy which in turn can drive the growth rate of the country

PhDs: Beyond Academia

As the highest attainable education qualification, the Doctor of Philosophy, typically abbreviated as PhD, is a unique and academically demanding qualification: unique since it connects education with innovation and scientific research; and demanding because it requires a number of years of dedicated research that adds to the ever-increasing database of scientific evidence. A PhD award results from a candidate having and successfully demonstrating both an in-depth understanding of his, or her, detailed research area and a strong command of research techniques; additionally, it recognises the doctorate holder’s admittance into academic circles.

Recently, there has been a worldwide rise in the number of awarded PhDs, mostly resulting from successfully implemented policy proposals from the higher education as well as the science and research sectors. The expansion of PhD programmes in the form of bursaries, grants, and other scholarship funding opportunities have aided in attracting more students. For those interested in teaching, PhDs are mandatory for those undertaking lectureship positions in certain universities but countries with a desire to be seen as leaders in scientific and research areas – such as Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland, for instance – have expanded the availability of funding as well as collaborated with both private and public research facilities and think tanks. In those three countries, the graduation rates – comparing all levels of education – are the highest but steady increases in rates are being made by Slovakia, Greece, Denmark, Norway, and Ireland, in decreasing order.

Apart from an undoubted formation of new research evidence and increasing a country’s research output, the growing number of PhDs also helps in the wider social context. In a decade of economic uncertainty and imposed austerity, the academic system and its associated employment opportunities are not expanding at the same rate as the number of PhD holders; the offering of more opportunities at post-doctoral level within academia is not for the ambitious. In the face of large doctorate holders and limited job prospects, doctorate holders instead need to maximise the skills they have acquired to make themselves employable. PhDs no longer equip doctoral candidates just for a typical livelihood in research but enables them to join research facilities in private organisations, public administrations, and professional/non-research jobs in businesses and non-profit organisations. This does not suggest that PhD holders struggle to find employment – on average, over 90% of them gain employment compared to approximately 85% of those with Bachelors and Masters degrees – but doctoral holders should consider a career beyond the confines of university doors as both societies and organisations appreciate and, in turn, benefit from very skilled employees with excellent research abilities. Those applying for PhD programmes will do well to consider future employment possibilities beyond the academic world.

Creative Writing Programmes

America’s Top Creative Writing Programmes

The creative writing MFA is getting increasingly popular among students who are looking for a more lucrative creative writing course at a Master’s level. USA is one country that offers many creative writing programs popular across the globe. Entry into these courses is quite difficult, especially if you apply for merit-based scholarships. Let’s take a look at top 5 creative writing programmes in the USA.

 

  1. University of Iowa

 This university offers one of the most well known creative writing programmes in America. Also known as “Iowa Writers’ Workshop”, the programme comes with an illustrious list of alumni including Philip Roth, Kurt Vonnegut, and Robert Penn Warren. Their journal “The Iowa Review” is one of the foremost literary magazines in the world. Iowa itself is a city imbued with a rich and varied literary heritage and a buzzing literary scene.

 

  1. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

 The creative writing courses at the university of Michigan have a specific focus on fiction and poetry. The Zell Visiting Writers series is hosted by the university. It is a succession of readings by established names in the field of literature. Students get to interact with and learn from eminent American and international writers.

 

  1. New York University

 This is one of the most famous creative writing programmes. It is known for its progressive teaching which supports avant-garde art forms and encourages out of the box thinking. The location is also a great attraction. New York has a buzzing art and cultural scene and future writers will get lot of chances to explore the literary world and meet interesting people.

 

  1. University of Virginia

 Their prestigious creative writing MFA is quite hard to get into. The university hosts two of the top literary magazines in the country: “Meridian” and “Virginia Literary Review”. They offer their many opportunities to students to get a practical experience with editing and publishing. Moreover, the prestigious faculty and the long list of noted alumni are the ultra selling points of the university.

 

  1. Emory University

 Located in Atlanta, this university is known for its undergraduate and post graduate writing programmes. They follow a workshop-intensive structure and focus on critical theory and analysis. Covering all types of writing from non-fiction and poetry to screenplay writing and play writing, they also offer competitive fellowships for students who want to pursue a post graduate creative writing course.

 

Top engineering coaching centres

Hottest Undergraduate Courses in India

The right course can make all the difference in a student’s life, but making that choice is even tougher. They have to figure out their interests, their abilities and have a fair idea of where they wish to see themselves in a decade or so. The following undergraduate courses are currently the most popular professional courses that are available in India:

 

Engineering Courses

A perennial favourite, engineering undergraduate courses aim to develop individuals that are prepared to handle the growing needs of the country and the world. Engineers need to have a sharp and creative mind with exceptional mathematical skills. They also need to have a fair understanding of how to properly utilize manpower.

Business Management

The course for the business minded. Students have to have an ability to build a strong network through social media, how to proper utilize the internet and have a strong presence as well as the ability to make a great expression.

Animation

Animation has seen a boom in the recent years thanks to the meteoric rise of the entertainment industry. Animators need an exceptionally creative mind and visualization as well as great computer skills.

Fine Art

These undergraduate courses aim to expand the already creative side of students of opt for this course by offering a variety of outlets for their creativity. This includes painting, sculpture, photography and so forth.

Medical Courses

Medical Courses are always lucrative and popular as skilled doctors and surgeons are always in demand in private and government hospitals or they could always open their own private clinic.

This is just a small part of the most popular courses out there. Of course, students should always listen to their heart when it comes to deciding their course and choose one that most appeals to their skills and interests.

 

Hotel Management Courses

Hotel Management Courses

Hotel Management is a profession that has been gaining popularity since the 1980s. In the recent years, the demand for hotel management courses has increased tremendously. More students are opting for career in this field. Therefore, the time is apt that we provide you a list of top hotel management courses adopted by various students and which help them to boost their profile. Evert effort has been made to prepare a comprehensive list, however, in no way this is the complete student profile and we encourage that you visit the individual websites of all the college to be ascertain of all the final needs. Hotel Management courses teach the students a wide option of subjects such as:

 

1. Computer Software Applications

2. Food Production Studies

3. Food Production Operations

4. Rooms Divisions Operations, Front Office and Housekeeping

5. Intercultural Management

6. Business Communication

7. Accounting Management

8. Facilities Management

9. Business Organization Principles

10. Food Service Studies

11. Food Service Operations

12. Beverage and Bar

13. Service

 

Off Campus

During the third term and fourth term, students will go for internships where they have to spend at least a 1000 hours in the industry in order to learn the ins and outs. Following are the Hotel Management Courses, which a student will study during their internship.

Back to the Campus

The fifth and sixth terms, students will learn:

1. Academic writing and research skills

2. Principals of Marketing

3. Rooms Division Management

4. Operational Management and Cost Control

5. Managerial Accounting

6. Macroeconomics

7. Business and Hospitality Law

8. Organizational Behavior and Human Resources

9. Hotel Management Simulations

 

Specializations

These are elective classes that can be taken after meeting the requirements of the other courses. Students can specialize in:

1. Event Management

2. International Resort and Day Spa Management

3. Wine Studies

Ultimately, it boils down to individual choices and career options that a person deems fight for themselves. We would like to wish you good luck and hope you choose a career profile, which boosts your prospects and ensures your holistic growth as an individual.

Gap Year

Advantages of a Gap Year

The concept of taking a gap year is still pretty unheard of in India as we’re all trained to know exactly what we want to do with our lives by age 5 and, if that doesn’t happen, we’re conveniently compartmentalized in schools according to ‘streams’ of study and can choose our career options on the basis of the subjects we get. While the pressure to have all the answers before you’re an adult is still pretty prevalent, the plethora of options available today make it hard to pick out a career option that is the most suitable. This is where the gap year comes in. Here are some reasons why a gap year might just be the best thing you do for yourself:

 

You’ve got time to think about your strengths.

You aptitude and the way you think matter much more than your academic strengths when you’re working. To be honest, your boss won’t care about the 90% you got in your boards or the college project you really aced as much as how well you can think on your feet and what you bring to the table.

By taking a gap year, you can figure out what you’re really good at. Take the time to polish your talents by taking classes that can compliment them. For instance, if your notebooks are filled with more doodles than actual notes, perhaps you should look into a short graphic design course to see if this is something you’ll want to pursue. Similarly, you can spend the time learning new things that, even if you don’t end up pursuing them, can come in handy later in life.

 

You’ve got time to think about your options.

Once you’ve figured out all the things you’re good at, it’s time to also see how these talents branch out in terms of a career. With newer strides being made in technology every day, colleges are branching out their courses to meet the needs of students from all walks of life. Creative as well as technical courses can now be applied in various fields.

By taking a gap year, you can figure out the number of options you have, the kinds of colleges in the country and abroad that offer the courses you’re interested in and also figure out the kinds of tests you need to give before applying to them.

 

You’re a year older and wiser.

Hopefully, by taking a gap year, you’ll have enough time to get to know yourself a little better and grow as an individual. This will help you make well informed decisions about the future and will also help you stick to the decisions you’ve made (if you’ve done ample research, that is).

Taking a gap year can easily be one of the best things you do for yourself if you are unsure about what career to pursue and the colleges you want to apply to.