Q: I completed graduation in electrical engineering in 2006 and have about two years’ experience in the manufacturing industry. I am pursuing a masters in business administration from the Sikkim Manipal University. Which specialisation should I take? Partha Bandyopadhyay
A: Your specialisation would depend on your area of interest. Since you are an engineer, you can specialise in operations, if that is available as an option in your university. Otherwise, based on your personality and interest you can choose from finance, marketing or human resources. Information systems can also be an option if you are interested in computers.
Q: I have around five years’ experience in recruitment consulting. I completed postgraduate diploma in human resources (HR) and have been working as a deputy manager in a multinational company. I had switched to corporate HR for a short stint and then again returned to consultancy. Am I doing the right thing?
A:If you like to work as a consultant then so be it. It is your career and you should work in the field you think most suits your education qualification, experience and personality. If you think that recruitment consultancy is a place where you would thrive and grow, go for it.
Q:I am 27 years old and have around three years’ experience in placement consultancies. I completed a masters in English and enrolled for a diploma in human resources (HR) from the Institute of Chartered Financial Accountant of India. I want to change my job profile and work as a trainee / junior HR manager but have been receiving job offers relating to consultancy. Do you think my qualification and experience are not suitable for the position of an HR trainee? If that is the case, then should I continue working as a placement consultant?
A: You will receive offers for trainee positions in HR after completing your diploma. So, please wait till you complete your diploma and then try again. Meanwhile, continue working in the recruitment field and, if possible, take up some administrative jobs to enhance your profile.
Q: I am a 44-year-old B.A. (hons) graduate and have around 14 years’ experience in administrative matters like provident fund, employee state insurance and taxes. Now, I want to work independently. How can I go about it? I had applied to several organisations over the last seven months but have not received any call from any of them. How can I get a better job at my age? Will it be a good idea to pay consultancy firms to display my CV on job sites?
A:Your age will not be a problem if you are looking for a job commensurate with your experience and qualification. It would be a good idea to work as a consultant and offer your expertise to various organisations. Since the services you mentioned are required for a short period, many corporate houses would prefer to employ a consultant for the job. Recruitment consultants of repute generally do not charge any money from candidates, they charge fees only from their clients. Hence, you do not need to pay a recruitment consultant for displaying your CV on job sites.
Q:I graduated in commerce in 2001. I am pursuing MBA with specialisation in marketing. I have been working in marketing for four years. I want to work in export-import or logistics where I can do business in future. How do I go about it?
A: If you have a plan to open your own business in a particular industry, then it would be prudent to work in that field for a couple of years, gain some experience and then start your business.
Q:I am a 25-year-old commerce graduate and hold a PGDM from All India Management Association with specialisation in finance. I have been working with a reputed insurance company as a business development executive for a year now but I don’t want to stay in this profession for too long. What can I do in order to better my prospects?
A: Insurance is an upcoming industry and offers a lot of opportunities. I am unable to understand why you want to opt out of it. In case you are looking for a change, you can think about working in financial institutions or in the finance department of any industry.
Q:I did a postgraduate diploma in business administration (PGDBA) with specialisation in HR from Symbiosis through correspondence and appeared for my final semester in February. I also have one and a half years of work experience as a recruitment consultant in a consultancy firm. However, I am keen on becoming a soft skills / behavioural trainer. Could you suggest some courses and name a few organisations where I could learn to conduct training programmes?
A: To become a soft skills trainer, you would need practice. For that you have to conduct real training programmes. If you get associated with any organisation, you would get the opportunity after a certain point of time, but not immediately. If you want to take up further studies on the subject, you can do courses from several institutions such as ISTD and ISABS.
Q: I am pursuing my masters in English through correspondence from a UGC recognised university. I have also been working as an executive recruiter in a consultancy firm for a month. I am eager to shift to HR. However, I don’t want to spend two years on a degree course but I am keen on a one-year diploma instead. Would my present experience count in future?
A: If you want to pursue a career in HR, you need to do a full-time MBA course. Otherwise, you could opt for a distance learning course along with your present job. If you search the Net or scan the newspapers you would come across several institutes offering these courses for example UGC, IGNOU and ICFAI. Your present experience as a recruiter would count if you opt for a job in the recruitment section of an organisation.
Q:I graduated with honours in commerce from Burdwan University. I have five years of experience of working as a shop manager (retail sales) on the floor of a small retail firm. I also pursued a one-year diploma course in web-centric curriculum from NIIT. Then I did a one-year postgraduate diploma in retail management from NIBM through correspondence. A couple of months ago, I also completed SAP (SD) from Futuresoft ManManagement. I am interested in SAP and want to get into this field. Please advise whether an MBA degree is a must for it.
A: An MBA degree is not necessary to become a SAP professional. You only need to be a SAP certified consultant. If you like to get into the process mapping side of SAP or any other ERP, then a masters in business administration degree would be of help.
From your question I could see that you have done a lot of things one after the other. I hope you have taken a long hard look at your capabilities and interests and chosen the right career path. If not, please do so before jumping into another profession.
Q:I am a 22-year-old commerce graduate. I have got around five years of experience in retail. I work for a Spanish retail company as a customer service executive. I would like to know whether it would be wise for me to give up my job and go for a full-time MBA.
A: Doing a full-time MBA from a reputed institute would be definitely beneficial for you. If you can do an MBA from a reputed institute, your two-year gap will not be an issue with your prospective employers.
Q:I have been working in an international business process outsourcing (BPO) company for the last one-and-a-half years. I have two-and-a-half years of work experience in the BPO sector. I was promoted to a middle management position in my company five months ago. But I have now been offered a position in the human resources department as an executive with a marginal increase in my salary. My job profile is that of a job consultant. The difference is that I have to work as an agent of a direct hiring partner at a reputed multinational company. Will this new position benefit me in the long run?
Are there any part-time courses in HR that I can pursue? If I want to go back to the BPO sector in future, will my previous experience be counted?
A: The two job profiles are different and you have to take a conscious decision about your career prospects. It will be difficult to go back to the BPO sector as most organisations may not accept the move.
There is a demand for people with human resources background in the IT / ITES and insurance sectors. You can take the plunge if you like the job profile. You don’t need to do any HR course. You will learn on the job, but it is helpful to have some basic traits like communication skill and the ability to convince people. .
Q:I completed graduation in electronics and instrumentation engineering in 2005. I have two years’ work experience. I have worked for a year in the power sector and another in the pharmaceutical industry. I am not happy with my work and see no future in the pharmaceutical industry. Since I am not fluent in English, I face a lot of problems in office as well as during interviews. Is there any course which can improve my job prospects?
A: I think you have identified your weakness and should work on that first, since you will face problems in other spheres of your life if you are not able to express yourself. You should first get yourself enrolled in a spoken English course. These courses are typically part-time and hence you can pursue them. You have spent too little time in your job to really understand its prospects.
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