Upskilling in Corona Times: A Shout-out to all MBA Students

Most MBA programmes in India require students to do a summer internship, at the end of their first year, for around 6 to 8 weeks. These internships could typically begin in the month of April or May. With the lockdown on account of Corona virus and the huge economic downturn, most companies are either deferring the internships or cancelling them. This might adversely impact students, since most firms offer full-time positions, including PPO’s, based on internships.

But as they say: In every adversity, there is opportunity. The recent home quarantine gives every MBA student a very valuable asset: Time. Time to introspect, learn, upskill and reskill in order to stay relevant in the job market even after this pandemic is over. Utilizing this opportunity would be crucial in determining your prospects later during your final placements.

Having been working members of the placement committee committed to liaison with companies and getting student placed, we completely understand and empathise with the plight of students who have had their internships/job offers deferred or cancelled on account of the pandemic.

We, at 4titude Consulting have identified the following as crucial pillars for excellence in every MBA students’ aspiration towards a dream job; namely academics, work experience, internship, live project, corporate competitions, certification and freelance work. This lockdown period gives you the amazing opportunity to strengthen at least four of these pillars. And we will tell you how.

We propose the following ways to strengthen your profile to help you get your dream job after these turbulent times:

1. Online live projects/internships:

Even though some of you may have had your internships cancelled or deferred by months, we believe that this is the time to hustle for getting work in the form of online live projects. And let’s be clear: This is about unpaid work. Let us not hope for any monetary rewards for the work we do in these trying times as most companies may not be able to pay. This could mean:

  • Scouting for online projects/internships

  • Connecting with startup/MSME founders on LinkedIn for work

  • Subscribing to internship portals like Internshala and job postings on LinkedIn

  • Reaching out to your alumni network

One of the highly valued skills in today’s times is taking initiative. A live project/internship on your resume in a challenging time like this could be perceived as an excellent initiative in your final placement interviews. It will show that you are unfettered by adversity and can take initiative when the tide is not in your favour.

In case you are lucky, and you get a chance to intern in the company you were placed with on campus, you have the benefit of dual internship! Another bonus point for your CV and better prospects for your final placement.

2. Competitions

Many companies are coming up with online hackathons/quizzes/competitions to engage students during these lockdown times. Please be on the lookout for such opportunities, as they are one of the best ways to land up with PPO/PPI offers.

3. Online Courses/Certifications

The hectic MBA curriculum leaves us with little time to take up online courses and upskill ourselves. Therefore, this is an ideal time for latching onto MOOC’s/digital learning platforms. Some of you might have got clarity on the specialization that you want to pursue, while some of you might be clueless! Do not worry. In case you are in the former group, you can build depth in your subject of interest. In case you are in the latter group, you can explore and experiment with multiple courses to see which course interests you. Again, online courses/certifications will differentiate you from the crowd during your final placements. Apart from being a great CV point that can help you clear the initial shortlist that most companies come out with during campus drives, they give you varied perspectives that you can leverage during interviews.

4. Freelance work

We believe that if you have a skillset such as content writing, designing posters, website designing, editing, UX-UI designing etc., now is the time to leverage those skills and put them to use. For freelancing, apart from your core skillset, need to have strong networking skills to get clients for whom you can work. You must also work on your sales and negotiation, time management, communication and business development skills. Free-lancing skills on your resume tell the recruiter that you have an entrepreneurial bent of mind, which most companies value today.

Over the next course of articles, we will tell you exactly how you can leverage each of the above pillars to build a solid profile that secures your chances of getting your dream job after MBA.

Please feel free to share your thoughts on the article in the comments section below.

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