To build a real marketable profile, you need to focus on what you change in your present and hence your future and not your past. The objective of this write-up is to give you a realistic idea of building a strong profile and help you chart out your future course of action. So do not get deflated but start looking at the ways below to improve your profile.
Take up certification courses aligned to your career aspirations:
Suppose you are an engineer and you want to get into finance, you have to show what steps you have already taken towards your goal.
A lot of engineers who are dead serious about getting into Finance take up the CFA exams, the US equivalent of the CA. It is reported that in IIM-C, the mecca in India as far as Finance is concerned, about 70% of students clear at least Level 1 (out of 3) of the CFA – which is neither an easy nor a cheap exam to prepare for and take. But if you are really, really serious you need to take it up. Other options for those keen on pursuing Finance are taking up NSE certification.
A great option for those looking at any specialization be it Marketing, Finance, Analytics or Operations are the certification courses from premier international schools such as Wharton on Coursera. Choose your courses by specialization and ensure that you choose top-rung Ed-tech options.
You can also really benefit by taking up a few courses especially in Marketing and Analytics since they will give you an introduction to the world of business as well as ammunition for the PI.
Take up positions of responsibility:
This is one thing that you should really go after in the next semester. Do not limit to publishing a paper as part of a symposium or organizing a symposium. There are loads of committees and clubs on campus, you need to get into at least two of them, actively organize things/events as part of the committee/club and ensure that you have a certificate for the same.
Take up social impact activities:
Watch-out for opportunities and become an active contributor to societal initiatives in your institution or city. You can also sign up to do volunteering work for an NGO working in the field of your interest — education, health care, environment etc.
One specific thing that you can look at is applying to and joining student organizations or take part in their initiatives.
Take part in contests, events and cultural festivals:
If you are not interested in organizing then take part in inter-college events based on your interest be it — case study contests, b-plan contests, singing, dancing, acting, sports whatever you are passionate about. The idea is that you should come across as someone who does more than just going to college and coming back.
Take an interest in Entrepreneurship Activities:
A lot of people keep saying that they want to become entrepreneurs some years down the line when asked about career plans or Why MBA. But mostly the line is similar to — any they lived happily ever; nobody knows how we are expected to take it at face-value. So show some interest and become a part of the E-Activities in your college.
Take your interests to the next level:
Take whatever interest you have and explore it seriously. If you like languages, then take up learning a language and clear at least a level. If you like outdoor activities such as trekking or cycling join a Trekking Club. If you have always wanted to train for a marathon, then train to at least do a fraction of it.
Take your public speaking skills seriously:
Those of you who want to really improve your communication skills with a view to doing well in the interviews should join any speakers’ forum or clubs — these are not training institute but clubs to improve your spoken English. Once you become a member you can also take up positions of responsibility which adds on to your holistic development.
Ask Yourself – Am I Doing More? Am I Standing Above the Crowd?
As aspiring management professionals, you need to display that you are capable of doing much more than others. You need to show that you do more than just go to college or attend sessions and sleep. You need to show that you are passionate about things apart from what is required. You need to show that you have the potential to perform on a much larger canvas.
So kick that pillow or OTT series and pick a few things which will add value and most importantly - get started!