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Ground beneath your feet

Q: What do customer agents do in an airline? Are the entry level requirements stiff?

Mridula John

A: Airline customer service agents ensure that passengers board and baggage is put on board the correct aircraft safely. They are also called passenger service agents or check-in assistants.

An airline customer service agent’s work would include dealing with passenger enquiries about flight departures and arrivals, checking passengers in, allocating seat numbers, issuing boarding passes and luggage labels, weighing baggage and taking any excess charges. Escorting passengers to and from aircraft and taking care of people with special access needs as well as unaccompanied children also falls within the ambit of an agent’s job profile.

 

What’s in a name?

Q: I study in a modest college in the US and stay close to a relative’s place to save on expenses. People say that going to such a college is pointless. Is it so? I’m confused.

Aniruddha Ghosh

A: Just because someone goes to a snooty private college doesn’t mean that the person is any more educated. There are a whole lot of students who went to really small colleges or state universities who are now doing incredibly well. At the same time, there are some who went to places like Stanford and Harvard and ended up as first-rate losers.

How well you perform in college is more important than where you go. Attending an Ivy League college doesn’t guarantee success in life. Besides, once you have your foot in the door in whatever profession you choose, where you went to study ceases to matter.

 

When you want to be a global leader

Q: I am working as a manager in a construction firm in Kuwait, but at times I feel that I’ve not been able to progress because I don’t have an MBA. Can you please tell me about the executive management programme at IIM-A?

F. N. Misra

A: The one-year postgraduate diploma in management for executives or PGPX at IIM-A is aimed at experienced executives who wish to acquire formal education in management to be ready for leadership. The programme has a general management focus, with an emphasis on managing across borders and cultures in the private corporate sector.

For starters, you need a good GMAT score. However, CAT scores are not considered. Needless to say, you need a good academic record and a clear idea of why you want to pursue the programme at IIM-A. Leadership potential and six to seven years of supervisory / managerial work experience for graduates and five to six years for postgraduates are desirable. PhD / MPhil are evaluated on a case by case basis. You should be at least 27 years of age at the time of joining.

You should possess a consistently good academic record. All candidates, whether sponsored or otherwise, must go through the PGPX admission process.

While there is no reservation for people working outside India, the programme seeks an international mix of participants. There are approximately 140 seats in this fully residential programme. There is no entrance test for PGPX.

As the focus is on management in general, specialisation is not offered. However, a wide selection of elective courses (including marketing, finance, supply chain management) are offered.

The PGPX can be considered equivalent to the one-year management programmes offered by INSEAD (France) and ISB (Hyderabad).

The programme has a compulsory five-week International Immersion component. All participants go abroad for a week of academic study and four weeks of project work to prepare for challenging assignments anywhere in the world. The application form and submission are both free, but the fee for the PGPX (2008-09) is a hefty Rs 14 lakh (including tuition, boarding and lodging and travel to and from the host country for the International Immersion segment).

Application forms will be available online on www.iimahd. ernet.in in early April 2008. The last date for submission of application forms is August 10, 2008.


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