This team is just 1 year old. Till last year, guidance and support to Arts students was provided in informal way and on case to case basis. However, a need was felt to have more concrete and systematic approach towards career goal setting of arts students. To facilitate the arts students, their respective mentors/Karyakarta Palaks (KPs), preparing them for various entrance exams of the professional courses, Arts Career Guidance team was formally announced in June 2020.

For the Academic year 20-21, there were 19 students studying various subject like Economics, Political Science, Sociology, history etc…at various locations like Pune, Thane, Borivali, Shahapur etc. This team is led by Ms. Aditi Pandit.

As we all know, Academic Year 20-21 was a challenging year due to Covid Pandemic situation, online schooling etc. Amidst all these challenges, we decided to focus on 3 key areas: ALPS goal setting of the students, introduction of various professional courses to our arts students and enhancing their soft skills. Across VSM, ALPS Goal setting is a key for all career guidance teams. This is relatively new concept adopted by VSM for their students. Hence, we first prepared a template for these Academic, Learning, Personality and Social goals just as a guidance for mentors and their palyas. Then we had one to one discussion with most of our students and their KPs regarding the goals set by them, difficulties faced by them, if any. As a career guidance team, our focus is to ensure the ALPS Goals set by the student also needs to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound. These interactions helped to get more clarity regarding each student goals and aspirations.

In order to empower our students to choose apt career options for themselves, first they need to be aware about various career options available for them, various courses available in the respective fields & the entrance exams for these courses.

In view of this, we conducted few sessions like:

  1. Career in Development Sector by Mr Raju Kendre of Eklavya Academy
  2. Mr Vaibhav Sonone and Ms Snehal Tanpure conducted a session on various courses available at Azim Premji University
  3. Mr Vaibhav Pandit held a sessionn on various career opportunitues for Law Graduates.
  4. A session on various Fellowship like SBI YouTube Fellowship, Gandhiyan Fellowship etc by our KP Meena Tai Ghokhale.

It is not mere an activity to hold a session. But, we also encourage our TY students to prepare for the entrance exams of TISS, Azim Premji university by equipping them with the resource materials like past question papers, special exercises for reasoning ability etc. and most of them appeared for the various exams.

Preparing for entrance exams is one part, however, any job requires number of soft skills. To enhance the soft skills of our students, we held some sessions, lectures by outside experts. One session was held on CV building by Ms Dipali Sirpotdar while another session on Self SWOT analysis was conducted Ms Medhavinee Namjoshi.

Apart from these lectures, various student activities like session on Book Review, CV writing, presenting the key details on the career options chosen by them etc are conducted to encourage the various skills possessed by the students. In the entire process, we came across many challenges like ensuring students’ active participation, their regular attendance for these activities etc… but if there are no challenges, there are no learnings.

Going ahead, we are planning to explore various options like giving responsibilities to the students to organise the programme, conducting the entire programme by themselves etc to have meaningful active participation by the students.

Our future plans for Academic year FY 2021-2022 are: we would like to further simplify the process of ALPS Goal setting by further detailing the goals under each category.

English – spoken, written and grammar – is observed to be a common challenge for most of our students. So, we are planning to prepare systematic step by step worksheet based English Grammar module for our students. Similar way, the worksheets for Logical reasoning, and quantitative aptitude is to be made available for our students to prepare them well for various entrance exams.

Just to sum up, we will strive hard to deliver on our plans so that our arts students can have flying careers.