Ace’s placement initiative seeks to connect new graduates with institutions on the lookout for talented candidates.
Though management colleges are producing graduates every year, there remains a large human resource gap in the job market. Banks, business houses as well as development agencies are constantly on the lookout for suitable candidates, while recent graduates are in search of employment. As a means of bridging the gap between the two parties, colleges in the Kathmandu Valley have started to make an effort to link them through job placement cells and career fairs.
Ace Institute of Management initiated the ‘Internship and Career Placement Cell’ in 2005 to facilitate the placement of its graduates at different business houses. According to Sameena Shrestha, director of Internship and Career Placement, the placement cell is an opportunity through which the students can link up with different business houses in the job market just after their graduation. Since the platform is vital for graduates, the college oragnises the placement programme in the last trimester for students pursuing a Master’s Degree. Before the placement programme, students are taught and mentored through workshops and different mentorship programmes. The career placement is done either through an internship or an interview during the ‘Career and Placement’ programme.
How It Works
The placement cell provides a wide range of opportunities to graduates and guides them along a career path of their choosing. Students gain a lot of understanding from their interactions with individuals from the corporate sector. There is a mentorship session of around one to two hours where students can share their problems.
“For career guidance, only one or two designated people are not enough. It requires a session from representatives of different business houses to share knowledge about different subject matters, skills and experiences related to life and reality,” shares Shrestha. The cell conducts career guidance class periodically and directly interacts with the students regularly from the end of 4th trimester, before they start their internships. For this, the college invites professionals from different walks of life to guide students. However, the counseling for the graduating students starts from the 1st trimester. Additionally, the students also benefit from direct interaction sessions with alumni as well as students who have experienced the internship process. Students carry out internships for business exposure before placement i.e. in the fifth trimester.
Workshop and Career Placement
To prepare students for the challenges of the job market, the placement cell at Ace has been organising ‘Career Week and Placement’ workshops. Workshops on career building are always followed by a placement event. Shrestha shares, “We have been organising this event once a year. We are planning to organise the event twice a year in the coming days because two batches are passing out in a year.”
To enhance the quality of the workshops, the college invites people from different companies who familiarise students on the importance of soft skills, networking and communication skills. For instance, Barkathunnisha ABM, founder and principal consultant at Elevated Consultancy and Training, Singapore, conducted a three-day workshop, ‘Graduate School Career and Placement Week’ in September 2019.
Role of Career Workshop and Placement
The placement cell conducts a career planning workshop for students to orient them on the job market, to build their confidence and to prepare them to take on job opportunities. “A week of workshop is very important to the students because they are not used to attending formal interviews for jobs,” mentions Shrestha, adding, “Of course, they are familiar with the formal interview process in terms of higher education, but that interview is different from a job interview.”
During the ‘Career Week Workshop,’ students learn how to attend interviews, how to deal with questions, how to write a curriculum vitae and so on. Besides, the students are also taught about certain interview soft-skills - dress code, behaviour, and the linguistic aspect. The trainers in the workshop share real-life scenarios with students, including how to present oneself on social media. This can prove beneficial to students as these days, it is not uncommon for companies to scan the social media pages of potential candidates before the interview.
Win-Win Situation for All
Sitting through umpteen interviews is a tedious task for graduates. And for business houses, finding deserving and suitable candidates for vacant positions is a time-consuming process. The placement cell is an opportunity that links students, business houses as well as educational institutions.
For students, it is easier to apply and to get interviews with different organisations as they are pre-informed about the vacancy and are prepared to attend the interview. Similarly, business houses can select suitable employees from a pool of skilled candidates in a relatively short time. They can either directly select the employees or shortlist the candidate for the second round of interviews.
Likewise, educational institutions also benefit from this process. “We can know whether the things we are teaching to students fit the companies or not. If our students get hired, it will be a good thing for us because it will be our testimony to our plan of providing a whole package to the students is working,” shares Shrestha, adding, “Placement cell is a win-win situation for everyone.”
Collaboration for Placement
Ace Institute of Management has tied up with a large number of companies for the internship and placement programme, according to Shrestha. Both national and international institutions such as Sipradi Trading Pvt Ltd, MAW Enterprises, Hulas, Global IME, Dabur Nepal, Coca-Cola, GTZ, Unilever, F1 Soft, NCC Bank, OYO and Chaudhary Group are some of the participants of the placement programme. “We invite companies who are keen to recruit candidates. So, we invite companies which are announcing vacancies. Therefore, we cannot say that the same companies visit for an interview in every event.” A total of 32 companies attended the two-day event during the last edition of the placement programme.
The placement cell offers a platform for companies to announce vacancies to graduating students. The companies follow their own selection process and policies to hire the candidate. Asmita Pradhan, Senior HR Executive Department of CG Holdings, says, “Since most of the candidates here are freshers, we always look at how knowledgeable and enthusiastic they are for a particular position. We examine their zeal on how much they are willing to put their theoretical study into practice. We do screening here and hire them step-wise according to our company’s policy.” The company also hires students for internships as well in different positions such as finance, sales, and marketing.
According to Shrestha, generally, around 70 students participate in the placement programme. She shares, “We have 60 graduating students in the morning batch but we also have students studying Master’s programmes during evenings where most are already working except few.”
Aside from recent graduates, the placement cell at Ace Institute of Management also looks to help Master’s students who are already engaged in some organisation but aspire for new opportunities. The college is also organising job placement event for undergraduates.