Are you a college student, and confused about your career options? We launch a new series that profiles students with part-time jobs. Not only do they earn some pocket money, they also pick up key skills that come to good use when they begin their careers. The most important advantage is they often stumble upon careers that are more suited to their personalities than the ones they have chosen.
This week, we profile 18-year old Nikita Aggrawal, who wants to make it big in the corporate world. Why did she take up a part-time job? What skills has she picked up? How does she manage to keep a balance between work and study? We asked the dynamic collegian for details.
College: Symbiosis Society's College of Arts and Commerce, Pune
Currently studying: Second year, BA
Company: The Indian Express
Designation/Job profile: Nikita works as readers' relation representative with The Indian Express. Her job is to interact with people and inform them about the newspaper. She collects feedback from those who read other newspapers on why they prefer them and records their suggestions to help improve The Indian Express and make it more reader-friendly. She also promotes her newspaper by highlighting its features and convincing readers to switch to it.
Salary per month: Rs 3,000
The beginning: A fond reader of The Indian Express, Nikita chanced upon an advertisement in the paper for sales executives. She decided to give it as shot as the job did not require a specific qualification. She was short-listed after the interview and a test on communication skills and, post selection, underwent an orientation session to learn about the company, product and nature of her work.
Studies-work balance: Nikita juggles her studies and work effectively, most of the time. However, once in a while, it gets a bit hectic when each demands more time and commitment than usual. She is learning to cope with targets in both spheres though, and believes this will help her in future.
Time management mantra: Her job demands three hours of commitment per day. She works in the evenings from 5 pm to 8 pm. Her college occupies the morning slot -- 7.30 am to 11.30 am. She can devote the rest of the day to other activities.
Managing exams: Nikita can take leave during exams. That is a concession the company provides for its student employees in order not to hamper their academic progress. Student employees are permitted to take leave as per their discretion, provided they give prior notice of one week.
Skill-sets picked up: Nikita has improved oral communication, as her job requires her to interact with a lot of people. She has learnt how to be more tactful. Convincing a customer to change his habit of a particular newspaper and adopt a new one is a challenging task. Her job requires her to develop a good personal rapport with people, which has also enhanced her public relations skills.
Family: Nikita's parents feel the experience and exposure has brought about a certain level of maturity in their daughter.
Future plans: Nikita believes her current job will help her future endeavours; she plans to do an MBA, with a specialisation in marketing. She thinks the skills she has acquired will give her an edge over her colleagues, post her MBA.
Nikita's tips for students: Do not restrict yourself to studies alone. Go in for something that helps you realise your potential and talent. It is practicable learning and makes you independent in every possible way.
Are you a student with a part-time job? Share your tips and experiences