How important is career counselling in today’s world?

Qrius interviews three students of EU Business School (EU) – Shanice Francis, Manjinder Singh, and Shais Shajahan – about the notable features of the career counselling services offered by EU Business School and their relevance across degrees.

In a fast paced world where employment opportunities are both lucrative and scarce, more and more universities have started providing “career services” to their students. Irrespective of the field in which the degree is being pursued or if the student requiring counselling/guidance is an undergraduate student or a postgraduate candidate, these services play an important role in providing students with the right direction and helping them identify the better opportunities. EU Business School, which has campuses in Geneva, Barcelona, Montreux, and Munich, provides such services to its students. Qrius talks to three of its students, Shanice Francis, Manjinder Singh, and Shais Shajahan, about the environment, the services, and the importance of these services in the present day and age.

Qrius: Hi Shanice! You completed your Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Management at EU Business School. Could you tell us something about the environment there? Both academic and general?

Shanice: Sitting in a classroom with colleagues that belong to different nationalities gave me an international outlook and helped me understand the way business works in different parts of the world. The group projects assigned to us throughout the various courses helped me build up my team leadership skills and understand the importance of time management.

The unique experience of meeting different business leaders, such as Dr. Seetharaman (CEO of Doha Bank), Lorenzo Stoll (Head of Western Switzerland at Swiss International Air Lines), Paul Jeremaes (Director of HP’s innovation Centers across Europe, Middle East and Africa) and so on, allowed me to build a network. The professors at EU served as a link between the classroom and the outside business world, since they also owned their private business or worked in the service industry. This helped understand the current on goings in the business world inside the classroom.

Qrius: You interned at Condè Nast India. Could you please tell us about your experience there?

Shanice: My internship with Conde Nast was for a period of 3 months and the department I was working for specifically was the photography section for Vogue Magazine. Although the field I was working in was completely different from the program I was studying, it helped me get a feel of the real work environment, be it meeting deadlines, coordinating with different departments, researching for photographs, helping with the setup of different events and so on.

Qrius: What exactly are the services that career counselling at EU Business School provides? Could you please tell us about the role of a career counsellor at EU Business School, while deciding to apply for internships?

Shanice: The career services at EU gave me a direction towards the field I choose for my career by assessing my strengths and weaknesses. Most importantly they also made me aware of the different job events taking place around Europe. One of these was the CINFO Job Fair that took place in Bern, Switzerland, where I got the chance to meet recruiters from different organizations including the Red Cross, United Nations, Cigna, Pepsi Co, World Bank and Helvitas. This fair gave me an insight into the job application and recruitment process. It also allowed me the understand the qualities that different jobs require when recruiting a person.

The EU online job portal also serves as a great source of information on the jobs available in the market. The one unique feature about this job portal is the reserved only section where companies have positions open first to EU students, before they make the job available in the market.

Qrius: Do you think career counselling plays as important a role during MBA as it does during early years of education?

Shanice: In my opinion, career counselling is important at every educational step, be it at a bachelor’s or master’s level. The guidance that you get from the career counselling service after completing your bachelor’s degree helps provide a direction to the career you choose. On the other hand, after completing an MBA degree, the career services provides you with options that help enhance your career. Change is something that most people prefer in their careers, and hence an MBA gives them the opportunity to find a new career path to follow and career services can definitely provide you with a new career opportunity.

Qrius: Hi, Manjinder! Could you please tell us a bit about yourself? Your Background?

Manjinder: I am from the northern part of India from the state called Punjab. I born and brought up in Amritsar. I finished school from Amritsar and then went to Pune for Bachelors in Commerce. Then worked for 10 months in Concentrix at Pune as customer service agent and then I came to Munich for Master in Science International Management. It’s been a year and a half now at EU Business School.

Qrius: Hi Shais! You completed your MS in Computer Science in 2013, after which you worked for three years. How did you decide on doing an MBA? Is it something that you always wanted to do, or is it something that you thought of while working?

Shais: I joined VIT University for MS in Software Engineering because I love computers and wanted to know more about the discipline. But, I also have a strong affinity towards organizing, managing and planning and I made sure it was applied in almost everything I did. My experience with Accenture was great as it was all about experiencing the corporate life and developing one’s technical skills. But coming from a business family, I knew that there was more to just being technically strong. I always wanted to pursue an MBA but always asked myself ‘Why MBA?’, for which I didn’t have an answer until I joined Younus Institute of Technology (an engineering college in my home town, Kerala). I was the Deputy Director and my work mostly involved structuring, time management, planning, decision making etc, which I loved! By now, MBA became my next goal as I was sure that it would change my perception about many aspects of life. With the support of my husband Jowhar Aboo Backer (who is currently my MBA classmate), my parents, friends and many other well wishers, here I am in EU Business School, pursuing an MBA in Design Management.

Qrius: How did you zero in on EU Business School? What were the factors that you considered before deciding?

Shais: I did my research. I know where EU Business School stands in the QS rankings and what it has to offer. My main aim was to get a decent MBA degree and was not particular that it had to be from one of the top notch schools. Some of the factors that were very important to me were:

a. Location – I wanted to move to Munich, preferably in the city due to its lifestyle and job opportunities.

b. English course – I had time constraints to learn German and then taking a course in German was very unlikely.

c. MBA degree from a reputable university – EU Business School’s tie up with Roehampton University was a great opportunity.

d. 1-year course – getting an MBA degree in one year is a big deal.

e. Hassle free – No GMAT if you have enough experience to join the business school (not the best thing for a business school to offer, but it was fine for me).

Qrius: Has it been challenging to adjust to academic schedules after working for three years?

Shais: Yes and No.

Yes, because the subjects were very new to me coming from a pure computer science background. I didn’t even know what Assets and Liabilities meant when I started the course.

No, because I always had a passion to study or better to say, ‘to learn’ something new. I was excited to know more about the other side of the world which I always wanted to explore. It did change the way I think and that made a huge difference to me.

Qrius: You are currently interning at Allianz. Could you please elaborate on your role there?

Shais: I am an intern at Allianz Technology. I was hired mainly to find a suitable technical solution for a Non-Profit Organization (based in Munich), that Allianz is supporting. This is more of an individual project which is currently in its final phase. I am also the PMO for another big project based in Canada, which involves more of coordinating, bringing the people together and ensure timeliness. Lastly, I often provide PMO support to another mobile application project.

Qrius: What exactly are the services that career counselling at EU Business School provides? Could you please tell us about the role of a career counsellor in EU Business School, while deciding to apply for internships?

Manjinder: They organize career seminars which provide important information required to apply for a particular job or internship. The career counsellors help to create a CV and a cover letter. They also help with a mock interview and provide some potential questions which can be asked. She provides information which is very useful for the interview.

Shais: They provide several good workshops and seminars at EU. It is important for a career counsellor to understand the capabilities of the students and suggest the career or companies suitable for them. They also need to ensure that their students have quality jobs/internship while still at EU. By providing more soft skill training, language and writing training and personality development training, EU career counsellors can achieve more results in terms of their students finding good jobs. Lastly, have a good tie up with some of the companies or start-ups so that it will be easier for students in terms of job placements later.

Qrius: Do you think career counselling plays as important a role during MBA as it does during early years of education?  

Manjinder: Yes, I think it plays a very important role during MBA because as a foreign student I don’t know about the employment laws. In career counselling, they provide all the information required in order to get employed and how we can use the laws to get benefits from our employer.    

Shais: Yes, it does. From personal experience, I did not know that Germany had its own style of resume. I was told and given proper guidance to restructure my entire Resume according to German standards by Ms Norma. Also, some of the key points that I picked up from one of the seminars helped me get noticed among the pool of thousands of applicants for the job I applied to.

For instance, it was said in one of the seminars that if the applicant ‘calls’ the hiring department with questions instead of emailing them, chances are that you will get noticed! I did just the same. Counselling provided for an MBA student should be tailor-made to fit the MBA standards, unlike the general career counselling.

This interview has been compiled in collaboration with EU Business School (EU). Established in 1973, EU is a triple-accredited international business school with campuses in Barcelona, Munich, Geneva, Montreux and Online.

Featured Image Credits: Pexels