On day one, the Sacred Heart College unveiled Diksha 2019, the induction training programme, for the first year BBA students at Melesius Hall. Diksha is a Sanskrit word for initiation. The word DI means intellect and KSHA means horizon. The idea behind this is that when the disciple is initiated by the guru, the mind of the guru and the mind of the student becomes one. Then the mind is transcended and the journey becomes one of the heart. This resonates with the motto of our college COR RECTUM INQUIRIT SCIENTIAM – A righteous heart seeks after wisdom.
Our respected principal, Fr. Prasant Palackappillil, inaugurated the programme.
The first day saw active participation by the parents of the students, who were as eager as their wards to learn about the nuances of the course. Fr. Principal urged students to work hard and seize all opportunities to learn something new every day. He extolled them to blossom into students of great calibre, about whom the institution could be proud of.
Dr. Jayaseelan, the Academic Head for Marketing, Leadership & Innovation at iNurture, Bangalore, chaired the next two sessions. He introduced the course and explained the dynamic nature of the world of business and how important it was to keep updating one’s skills and knowledge. He also stressed that it was the student’s duty to establish clear goals and set expectations that focus on the most critical priorities and outcomes. These goals range from the philosophical (shaping a vision of high standards and academic success for all students) to the strategic and the tactical. Students were briefed about innovative learning ideas, where books were not involved. He talked about compulsory internships, which would give students practical knowledge about the industry. He also discussed the importance of focus for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Dr. Jayaseelan asked students to write about their expectations from the course and further divided them into teams based on their interests.
The post-lunch session saw students engaged in an engrossing management game. They were divided into five groups and asked to build an information chart based on the FMCG, Banking, Hospitality, and Consumer Durables industries. The four groups, BAAN, TEAM 7, BBA ROCKERZ, and DAMN, did an impeccable job with their creativity and cooperation. Students came up with excellent charts detailing the various industries and their logos. The teams further evaluated each other’s work. Team BAAN and Team DAMN secured the second and first places respectively.
The parents were delighted with the programme as it helped them get a glimpse of what their wards could aspire to be. They believed that the programme would gear their children into a positive frame of mind and ensure success and dedication in their academic and co-curricular activities. They were also appreciative of the dedication of the management and the faculty of BBA for organising the orientation programme.
Moving into the second day of training and induction, the session was headed by Mrs. Preethy Jain, the National head of IT placements in iNurture. A management professional, motivational trainer and a maverick salesperson, she has over 15 years of experience in placements, counselling, institutional sales, and motivational activities. Ms. Jain started the session with a game of Chinese Whispers. Through this game, she subtly brought out the importance of communication and how easily it was to get swayed by improper messages.
Students were then asked to talk about themselves for one minute. They were later assessed on their communication skills and body language and taught the importance of how to market themselves before a panel of interviewers.
Ms. Jain then took a presentation on Future of Work where she stressed on how work, the workforce, and workplace were in a state of flux. The current workplace was being redefined from traditional formats to newer methods of outsourcing through independent contractors, gig workers, work at home, and crowdsourcing. She extolled the importance of focus in career. She gave students guidance on choosing companies for their internships and future assignments.
The session was extremely illuminating and moved from the presentation ‘Future of Work’ to encompass a lot of useful arenas. With her vast experience in recruitment, Ms. Jain was able to give the aspiring young managers a glimpse into the world of employment they would eventually step into.
The afternoon session was manned by Dr. Jeevan Kumar Patibandla, a certified IELTS and Business English Trainer. He has conducted numerous workshops on soft skills, grammar, and nuances of language. He gave students a proper understanding of how to behave during an interview for a job or an internship.
Mr. Patibandla introduced students to the term ‘BEAT’, which meant Body Language, Emotions, Awareness, and Thinking of Thoughts. He elaborated on the above-mentioned sections of evaluation during an interview through fun activities and made it an extremely interactive session. Students understood the concept of conducting themselves through their body language and demeanour for a successful career.
Day three of the orientation was held at Hadrian Hall. The session started with an ice breaker piloted by the second year students. It was an interactive session where students were arranged according to their birthdates into groups of two. They had to find out interesting facts (habits, hobbies, etc.) about each other and then add one cooked-up story to the list. The pair then had to introduce their partner and ask the audience to guess the untrue statement.
The second session was a panel discussion on “Cross-Functional Teams or Cross-Functional Skills, which is more effective?”
The session was helmed by four panellists,
Mr. Mathew spearheaded the discussion by emphasizing that cross-functional teamwork was vital to solving specific problems of an organization. At the same time, cross-functional skills can sometimes be lacking in certain professions. He gave the example of a chef who could be excellent in the kitchen but could be lacking public relations skills.
Mrs. Menon was of the belief that cross-functional skills meant a good level of expertise in multiple areas, but it was absolutely necessary that every skill should be married to communication skills.
Ms. Junoe emphasized that it was necessary to be a jack of all trades in today’s world. She also highlighted the importance of interpersonal skills. Cross-functional teams worked best for bigger organisations, then again, there would always be the question of ego in certain cases since specialists can sometimes have the ‘I know best’ attitude. This, she believed, was extremely detrimental to the organization as a whole.
Ms. Cherian reminisced about her entrepreneurial journey and recounted as glamourous as the word ‘start-up’ was, it was all about a lot of begging and pleading – from customers to investors. She emphasized that entrepreneurs should be cross-skilled to keep expenses down but when they need expertise they should call upon an expert in the domain.
Mr. Arangath personally emphasized that he was uniquely qualified to speak because he had been an entrepreneur all his life. He had, to his credit, a lot of business ventures which had gone bust. But he viewed all this as a learning experience since it honed his business expertise and attitude all along. He believed the most essential skill that a business student in the marketing and media realm needed was understanding data. Communication was also important, especially listening skills.
Ms. Juneo interjected by telling students about the importance of reading newspapers. She stated that it was important to read news about industry verticals.
Ms. Cherian then emphasized the importance of body language. She believed that with just 5 minutes to prove oneself before a panel of interviewers it was important to be able to project powerful body language. She then recounted an incident of a young man who, with his sheer confidence, was able to bag the job of a forex cashier with zero experience. She went on to say how, through hard work, he had worked his way up the industry and was now among the top executives.
Mrs. Menon emphasized teamwork, interpersonal skills, and a good attitude were extremely important in today’s world. She reiterated that it was necessary to be well-versed in English since language skills could get any professional ahead in his career.
The discussion came to an end on this note and the students embarked on a fruitful interaction with the panellists. Ms. Cherian was asked about her experience as a woman entrepreneur. She inspired the students to view failures as stepping stones to success. Mr. Arangath told them to follow their dreams without thinking about the opinion of others. He said that most successful people came from the most backward circumstances because they had nothing to lose.
The students thoroughly enjoyed the panel discussion. The second-year students, who were in charge of the ice breaker session, expressed that discussions like this should be organized for them as well.
The afternoon session witnessed students participating in a talent show. The show consisted of music, theatre, art, and dance all put together in a 10- to 12-minute skit with 3 to 5 minutes’ setup time. The skit was based on an Indian state (picked through a chit system by each group). Teams used a storyline that glorified the allocated state in the best possible way using its history, culture, music, cuisine, language, dressing styles, lifestyle, beliefs, etc.
The team of Tamil Nadu and Goa were adjudged as the first and second prize winners. They were given cash prizes of INR 1000 and INR 500 respectively.
The induction training session came to an end with a formal meeting where students shared their feedback, with Dr. Jayaseelan of iNurture, on the sessions. They also interacted with Mrs. Asha Fenn who was also present during the meeting.