Q&A for YOU
Q I passed Class XII in 2014 and appeared for the engineering entrance exams this year but could not qualify JEE-MAINS. I am very keen on becoming a pilot. Would it be possible even if I have a BTech degree in a stream other than aviation? If so, how should I proceed?
To be a pilot, you don't need to be an engineer in any field. You just need 50 per cent marks in Class XII to work towards getting a commercial pilot's licence (CPL). You could complete the CPL as a stand-alone qualification. However, since the airline industry is not recession-proof, it may be sensible to get an additional skill set or qualification. Depending upon your Plus Two marks, you could explore the different types of courses you could take up along with the CPL. A Directorate General of Civil Aviation-approved aircraft maintenance course could be an option as could be completing the AMIE through the Institution of Engineers. Even a BSc or BBA could give you a back-up option.
Q I am 18. I am going to join a course in either electrical or mechanical engineering. However, my dream is to work as a host in television channels, such as Discovery, History TV and Travel & Living Channel. How do I prepare for it?
While studying engineering, you'll have plenty of opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities. If the college brings out a magazine, join the editorial team and try writing articles. This will help you get an insight into how to develop and research a story. You should also try exploring the hinterland as a back-packer during summer vacations. You can try budget weekend tours too. Consider creating a travel, photo or video blog to share your travel experience. Since travel shows scout for interesting perspective or first-hand experiences, your contribution may have takers. Also, participate in activities that involve public speaking, for instance, try your hand at emceeing your college events. Writing scripts, researching concepts, offering innovative insight, facing the camera with ease, charming the audiences, and so on, are skills you could develop while studying.
If you try your hand at these activities while in college, it will be is a safe way of checking whether you are really cut out for these jobs. If you decide that you would like to pursue a career in media, you could also consider doing a Masters in Broadcast Journalism or an internship in a TV channel. If you fail to get into these areas, consider specialising in sound engineering or audio engineering. This will help you work in a media related industry yet you can continue to be an engineer.
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Q I have completed an MCom degree and been working in a company for the past five years as an accountant. I am terribly bored with my job. I would like to pursue a career as a soft skills trainer. I have a penchant for teaching. How should I go about it?
A soft skills trainer needs to have excellent communication skills, patience, self-confidence, humour and the ability to think on one's feet, as well as be able to market oneself. Before you leave your current job, however, conduct a small research project to find out who your clients will be and what their needs are. My suggestion would be to first develop the curriculum for the various training modules you would like to conduct in future. Since you have been an accountant, you can develop courses especially designed for accountants.
Also, instead of quitting your current job, the smart thing to do would be to volunteer with your company. You can conduct a trial session for your colleagues and get their feedback. You could also intern under a human resources professional who has undergone soft skills training. Of course, once you are sure about a career change, you could also consider doing a Master's degree or diploma in human resources management. Depending upon your financial responsibilities and risk-taking ability, I would urge you to take one step at a time.