Monday, 15 January 2018

Importance of Counselling and Guidance in Choosing a Career

Mrs Sharma’s phone was ringing in the next room and she called out to her daughter Shalini to bring her the phone as she was busy talking to the carpenter who was doing some sundry wood work in the guest room. She was expecting some guests in a few weeks and she wanted to add a couple of night stands and a small shelf to the room. The phone continued to ring and finally her maid Lakshmi fetched her the phone but by then it had stopped ringing. “This is the problem with Shalini nowadays, she is just not attentive to anything we say...not focused and constantly on her mobile with her friends”.  She read on the caller ID that it was from her brother in Bangalore and called right back to be informed excitedly that her nephew had cracked the entrance exam to study B.Tech in a reputed college. Well next year it would be Shalini’s turn to choose a career path and Mrs Sharma was concerned about what it would be? Numerous rounds of family discussions had happened but without any concrete conclusion excepting for the fact that it would definitely not be Engineering or Science. Shalini felt that she had no orientation toward science subjects. She had had to work really hard at them in school because they were compulsory subjects. She felt that she was more artistically inclined, had loved many of the subjects in the arts stream, achieved rather decent marks in exams and was really talented in many creative areas. But she was still very indecisive about what she should take up. Once it was this and the next it was that, a week later it was something very different. Mrs Sharma did not want to push her daughter into anything, she wanted Shalini to decide for herself and be happy with her decision because it was something she would pursue and invest her time in for the rest of her life.  She decided to follow the same route that her brother had suggested i.e. to put Shalini in an environment which would enable her to decide.

Mrs. Sharma browsed through the website of Good Shepherd Finishing School on recommendation of a close friend whose daughter too had faced similar dilemma and had greatly benefitted from being a part of one of the programs that the school offered. She studied in detail the different programs on offer and the topics and activities covered under each with excellent photographic evidence. She liked what she saw, especially the different competitive events where the learners had the opportunity to excel and earn merit certificates in addition to the certificate for the program in which they enrolled. She shared her research with her husband and suggested that they should put Shalini in the Good Shepherd Finishing School for a six-week program during the summer vacation following her Board Exams as she awaited the results. It would allow Shalini to attempt learning different and new skills and decide what she liked best and what gave her the thrill, the high and perhaps lead to a decision on her choice of a career path. If still undecided, she would at least come back as a well-groomed, confident and poised young lady.

And true to the school’s promise, a few months later, when Shalini returned after completing the six-week program at the Finishing School, her eyes were shining with happiness and confidence. She had liked the place, the program, the facilitators and mentors and most of all she had loved the facilities and infrastructure and the world of ideas and options it had opened up for her. She now wanted to attend the 9 months’ program which would allow her to learn and practice more of the skills that held her interest and help her explore further her own interests and abilities. She had already decided that she would do a bachelor’s program in fashion design followed by a master’s program in fashion business. She was now well informed on the best possible Universities where she could do these formal degree programs and the kind of career options that would be available to her. She was immensely grateful to the school for opening up this world of possibilities to her.

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