MANAGEMENTSOFTSKILLS
LIBRARY & INFORMATION MANAGEMENT-GURU SPEAK-EXPERT ADVICE-I T A REMARKABLE CAREERPATH- MANAGEMENT MAKEOVER-HEAD START-BUCK THE TREND-

Knowledge power

 

 For all you passionate readers who rate the smell of books over every other scent in the world, making a library your world is definitely worth considering. If you hate it when a book isnt where it should be or are fond of cataloguing information so you know exactly where to find what, your skills are highly in demand. With a career in library and information management, you could influence research methods and scholars approach to information.

              Libraries are centre for knowledge of any sort, from history to fiction. They are used for research, reference and leisure with books, slides, videos and CDs on a variety of things. It is therefore absolutely necessary that all the information they hold is easily accessible and thats why library management is so essential.

              All the resource material is systematically catalogued and arranged by librarians who are basically information managers. The role of a librarian has changed from being a custodian of books to that of an expert on information. Just like everything else, libraries have also developed a lot over the years and how that the entire system is computerized; all information can be compiled electronically.

What do I have to do?

Librarians not only classify, catalogue and document information but also guide readers, researchers and teachers identify the material they are looking for. They have to keep abreast of current events and all news and decide how much of the librarys budget can be spent on all such subscriptions. When new material comes in, it must be catalogued and made available to library users. Librarians are also expected to deal with inquiries, some of which can take weeks of research. They usually depend on computers to do a regular search on literature and any online news services.

             The latest in information management is digital content where journals and books are available on the Internet and can be read by several people simultaneously. Library catalogues can now search all over the world.

             When the requested material is not in their own library, librarians try to arrange interlibrary loans while maintaining bibliographical databases.

             Some typical tasks include identifying, selecting, ordering and managing both hard and electronic copies of all the organizations information needs; classifying and storing information for easy access and retrieval; and answering enquiries from a client or institution. You would also be developing internal information resources and networks (knowledge management), and writing reports, publications and website content. The supervision and training of all information staff will also be part of your job.

What should I study?

 Professional training is necessary for a librarian or information manager because of the technical nature of the work and also because special qualifications are a prerequisite for promotion. The selection of candidates is based on merit and some institutions hold admission tests. For the bachelor in library and information science (BLISc) course, you should be a graduate in any discipline with at least 50% marks. For the masters in library and information science (MLISc), you should have a bachelor in library and information science.

            The syllabus for BLISc includes library and society, library management, library classification theory, library classification practice, library cataloguing theory and practice, reference and information sources as well as the basics of information technology. The syllabus for MLISc includes information, communication and society, information sources, systems and services, information processing and retrieval, management of library and information centre, and fundamentals of information communication technology.

What next?

Library and information managers are always in demand in a wide range of organizations including the central and local government, public libraries, the health service, and education, media, financial and legal sectors and NGOs.

              Trained library professionals can find work in information centre and cultural organizations. Those with entrepreneurial abilities can start libraries for children or even operate mobile libraries. Library professionals can also diversify into teaching library and information sciences, information services, information technology in research institutions, printing and publishing, editorial work and documentation.             

               Remuneration depends on your qualifications and the organization you join. A masters degree will get you a better job with a higher pay scale in research organizations like the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) or the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR). However, in order to join a college or university as a librarian, you need to pass the UGC NET.  

                

             Dr. Amrita Das  

          Director, Institute for Career Studies, 

Lucknow

 

 

THE ROLE OF A LIBRARIAN HAS CHANGED FROM BEING A CUSTODIAN OF BOOKS TO THAT OF AN EXPERT ON INFORMATION. THEY NOT ONLY CLASSIFY AND DOCUMENT INFORMATION BUT

ALSO GUIDE READERS, RESEARCHERS AND TEACHERS 

 

 

 

Buck the trend 

       

Burdwan University,

in partnership with Acclaris, a Calcutta-based software firm, has started a finishing school for students to prepare them for challenges at the workplace. “The outsourcing world is very dynamic and one has to be innovative to stay ahead of competition,” says Kalyan Kar, director of Acclaris. “Since this is knowledge-driven industry, we have attempted to focus on the human resource aspect,” says Kar.

           The finishing school was started to fulfill four goals — recruit the right people, recruit at the right time, retain the low cost advantage and retain the recruits for a long time. The Burdwan University Acclaris Knowledge Laboratory (BUAK LAB) serves these purposes by recruiting fresh postgraduates from the university with prior project training. The students are under contract to work for at least a year.

            Acclaris wanted to ensure that the training programme was not only in line with the companys business strategy but also innovative and futuristic. Acclaris had recruited some students from

Burdwan University in 2005 and, encouraged by the competence of the students, decided to forge a partnership with the university. Subsequently, the programme was started in June/July 2007.

            The centre of human resource development (CHRD) of

Burdwan University has been at the forefront of this partnership. Professor A. K. Mullick, vice-chancellor of

Burdwan University, says, “The motive behind the scheme was to serve the interest of postgraduates who would get into the KPO (knowledge process outsourcing) sector. We deemed it fit that there should be greater interaction between industry and academia and thus started the partnership with Acclaris.” 

Vital Statistics

 

WHAT IS IT?

A finishing school for students set up by Burdwan University in collaboration with Acclaris, a Calcutta—based software firm.

WHO’S THE BOSS?

Prof. A. K. Mullick, vice—chancellor of Burdwan University.

ARE THERE ANY SCHOLARSHIPS ON OFFER?

There are five scholarships, each worth Rs.2,000.

WHAT ARE THE PROSPECTS?

Students selected for the programme are offered jobs by Acclaris.

WHERE IS IT?  The University of Burdwan, Rajbati, Bardhaman—713104,

West Bengal. Phone: 342-2533913, 343—2533914.

Fax: 342-2530452

Email: pio@buruniv.ac.in

       

          We approached Acclaris with a proposal to recruit students from the university and received a positive response from them,” said Shantanu Ghosh, director of CHRD. The tie-up provides a job guarantee for students who pass

all stages of the training. The scheme has been praised by Debesh Das, the state IT minister, he said.

            The trainees spend two months at

Burdwan University and spend the final month working with Acclaris. After the third month, an examination is held and on passing it, an appointment letter is given to the students. The university charges Rs.2,000 for the two months training. There are five scholarships available from Acclaris, each worth

Rs.2,000 and students undergoing the training in

Calcutta are given a stipend of Rs.3,000.

           The scheme is open for postgraduate students from the universitys department of commerce and economics. The selection is based on an aptitude test and a personal interview conducted jointly by

Burdwan

University and Acclaris. There are fifteen seats in each course and the programme is in its third batch.

         Students are taught various skills, including the basics of BPO/KPO practices,” says Ranjan Sarkar, associate vice-president of human resources, Acclaris. Elementary mathematics, English speaking and writing skills, elementary statistics and specific software technologies are imparted to students and the syllabus and course content are framed by Burdwan University and Acclaris.

           The programme enables students to interact with different kinds of

people and not feel wayward or lost in job hunting efforts. “The scheme is of importance in the age of private tuitions and the marks oriented educational system,” says Shantanu Ghosh.

           Students are optimistic about the course. Sourav Mukherjee, a process associate at Acclaris and a trainee at the finishing school, feels the course serves the needs of the market and enables students to polish their skills.

         The course provides the right kind of exposure to commerce students who form the bedrock of any industry,” says Mukherjee. Biren Das, a trainee, says the course helps the students to enter the industry straight from an academic institution without work experience but with the required training. More universities should come forward for similar collaborative work,” says Das.

 

 

 

 

GURU SPEAK

I want an administrative job

 

Our in-house expert answers all your queries

I am a 24 year old graduate and working in a real estate company as a customer care executive. I have work experience of two and a half year. But

now I do not want to continue my job in marketing. Can I switch over to an administrative job? Should I increase my qualifications to be better equipped for it?

               --ROHINI

Yes it would be useful at this stage of your career to pick up some knowledge through an additional qualification. You can opt for any of the distance learning courses, if you do not feel like enrolling yourself in a regular MBA. However, my advice would be that you use this opportunity sincerely to increase your knowledge and do not treat it only as a qualification. It is not that you cannot do an administrative job without a qualification; it is only that the qualification will help you focus better

I have an experience of almost 10 yrs in sales and marketing and currently working as a manager. But I could not clear all the interviews that I faced recently. Could you pleas guide me in this regard?

                                                                                                                                       --POOJA BHATIA      

Most interviews are a mater of chemistry between the interviewer and the interview. Do not rush to open an interview. Take a few moments to establish eye contact with the panel, smile and wait for the panel to start. If they say something like Tell us about yourself,” try and describe yourself as a person and your qualities; say something beyond what they would have read in your bio-data. If you know something about the job or company tells them how you think you can fit in. Keep your answers short but complete.  

 

 

EXPERT ADVICE

Help! I want to do something creative

Author of The Penguin India Career Guide and The Essential Career Guide and Director, Careers Smart Pvt. Ltd. For appointments contact Careers Smart at 041828020/21 or careers smart@vsnl.net 

 

Usha Albuquerque

I am a Computer Engineering drop-out. I am deeply inclined towards literature, theatre and linguistics. I have been writing a series of poems, stories and articles since I was 15. I have also performed in plays during school, and won awards for choreography in college fests. I also have a keen interest in marketing and interacting with people. Essentially, I like anything creative. What are the options for me?

                               --ANONYMOUS

          It is obvious that you are a creative person with good communication skills. There are a number of careers you can pursue, particularly those

requiring communication and good inter-personal skills. You have several options which include mass communication, public relations, advertising, journalism, hospitality, travel, retail, marketing and event management. All

these areas require good communication skills, initiative and enterprise and strong inter-personal skills. Public relations and advertising are concerned with messages for marketing different products and services, and therefore require good creative skills, both in visualizing and communication. Courses are available at the graduate and postgraduate levels. Selection to most

programmes is through a test mainly of your language, general awareness and communication skills.

         There are also several jobs in the hospitality sector, which includes hotel management, catering, and travel related fields. Hotel management broadly includes the preparation and service of food, the front office which handles guests, and housekeeping. If you like people and have an outgoing personality, a sense of discipline and a capacity for hard work, you will enjoy hotelierling. Other careers could include the whole new world of customer services, working in a variety of fields such as telecom, banking, airlines, travel, retail and so on, handling customers of all kinds. This requires excellent communication skills and an outgoing service-oriented personality. Training for all these careers is offered at postgraduate level through diploma or certificate courses. The hotel management course is an undergraduate programme, although there are PG courses for training in specialized areas of work available as well. If you have been unable to complete graduation, then you may do graduation in any subject, and then take up a vocational course in the field of your interest, or start working (in a relevant area) right away, while doing graduation through correspondence.

I am a third-year Engineering (electronics and communication) student. I want to pursue higher studies in my branch of engineering, but am confused between GATE and GRE. Which option is better for me? What are the job prospects in each case?

                                                                               --RANVIR PAL                      

            You have not mentioned which study programme you wish to take up after graduation in electronics and communication engineering. The GATE or Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering is an all

India examination conducted by the six Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and the Indian Institute of Science,

Bangalore. It is required if you wish to pursue postgraduate programmes in engineering, technology, architecture, or pharmacy at any of the national level institutes in India. The GRE or the Graduate Record Exam is conducted for admission to all postgraduate programmes in the

US and elsewhere in the world. If you plan to pursue an M. Tech. in the

US, you would need to submit GRE scores for admission to every university you apply to. The choice of study in

India or the

US depends on your ability to get admission to your chosen institutes and

your financial status. As far as the job prospects are concerned, a postgraduate degree from a good institute, whether in

India or abroad, will add value to your career.       

         

 

 

Go for IT

 

Information technology has become such a part and parcel of our lives that it is difficult to ignore, says Dola Mitra

           If you ask Richa Dutta, a Class X student of a south Calcutta School, whether she plans to take up information technology after her final exams, the 17-year-old, who intends to study management, exclaims, Of course!” She says she doesnt know a single person in her age group who does not intend to take up IT in some form or the other.

        There is no way you can ignore IT in this day and age,” agrees her friend and fellow student, Rahul Tarafdar. “It doesnt matter whether you are eager to pursue a career in software or want to go into a seemingly unrelated field such as medicine, you would certainly like to have some knowledge of information technology, which is now all-encompassing,” he observes.

          Indeed. This is amply reflected in the mind-boggling number of IT-education institutes in the city. In fact, according to statistics, there are close to 80 large computer education centre and hundreds of smaller ones in 

Calcutta. And this number, if experts are to be believed, “is still growing”.

          So, how on earth do students such as Dutta and Tarafdar decide which

IT institutes to choose? Well, as far as they are concerned, “If you are just a little bit informed, you shouldnt have a problem deciding”. They say that they go by the reputation of an institute.

          Along with NIIT and CMC, a name that crops up in this category is Brainware, which is known for its pioneering work in the field of education,

web and multimedia that focus specifically on students IT needs.

          According to Subrata Biswas, marketing executive of

Brainware Computer Academy at Kankurgachis

Manicktala Main Road, points out, “Brainware was one of the first to recognize the need of IT literacy among school pass outs”.

          He says that Brainware has been imparting high-end IT-education at highly affordable prices for the last three decades. “It has also designed its courses exclusively for school students who have just taken their Class X exams”.

          The idea, he points out, is to make the study of information technology

— which could otherwise be fairly daunting — accessible and easy to grasp.     

          In IT circles the phrase used to describe such courses is student-friendly”. Perhaps it is this student--friendliness which makes Brainware a favourite among students. For instance, the centre at Manicktala, which

opened seven years ago, has at any given point as many as 500 students on its rolls, taught by a faculty of some 20 members.

          The total number of students who have passed out from this particular centre has so far been more than 3,000. And this is expected to shoot up in June when the institute plans to launch a series of degree courses. These include the following courses: bachelor of computer application (BBA), master of computer application (MCA), bachelor of business administration (BBA), master of business administration (MBA), Bachelor of Science in information technology (BSc IT) and Master of Science in information technology (MSc IT).

           A Brainware spokesperson says the courses have always been designed to address the needs of students, keeping in mind the changing demands of IT-knowledge as they go from one level of education to another.

           The courses for the beginners include the basic IT-literacy courses such as Brain Power. The teaching technique, said ex-student Neha Gupta, is fun and friendly”. She said the thrust of the course is to impart fundamental knowledge of information technology to students who are fresh out of school. Gupta, who is now an IT-management consultant, feels that once upon a time she was totally technologically—challenged”. But after going through this course she had gained, what she considers the perfect foundation on which I could build my future career in IT”.

           The IT-Smart course addresses students at the next level. Though it is designed for students with some knowledge of information technology, nevertheless it can also serve the needs of the beginner. The course helps students who intend to take up computer science Plus Two. Themultimedia magic course is the next level as it is more career-oriented and introduces the student to the world of designing and graphics.

           Brainware has troubleshooting courses such as PC-assembling and troubleshooting courses in which students are taught, among other things, the technicalities of computer assembling.

           So then, whether your IT-education need is in the area of software, hardware, networking, financial accounting, multimedia or BPO — all of which Brainware addresses — or whether your needs as a student are specific to your courses and career, no need to wrack your brains any longer about where to study. Try Brainware.          

      

               

MANAGEMENT MAKEOVER

 

       Fashion management is exactly what it sounds like — the management of everything fashionable. If youve always had a good eye for design and cant pass a store display without thinking to 10 ways to improve it, you might want to step backstage. As a professional in fashion management, you go behind the scenes and beyond to drive the industry. You set the trends and sell the goods, combining your ability to visualize concepts with a sound business sense. You also have to look the part. In the world of fashion, you have to present yourself with the same panache you promote in what you do.

         Floriane de Saint Pierre, a Paris-based headhunter whose clients include Gucci, says fashion managers are hard to find because the job is paradoxical.

If management is a science that can be taught and fashion is about culture, you need to have absorbed all the theory yet have totally surpassed it. Fashion management is about driving a brand with fast-changing products, yet it is also long-term artist management. Managers must be able to envision the big picture yet be obsessed with detail. They need to be rational, tenacious, decisive leaders, yet also passionate moderators and not egoists.”

        Fashion management has three aspects to it — design, production and marketing. Design depends on creativity while production and marketing are to do with management. “The creation of a dedicated cadre of fashion management professionals will serve to help designers, who will then be able to focus on the creative aspect of their work and leave the rest to the experts,” says designer Rohit Gandhi.

 

What do I have to do?

Fashion managers are very often the reason some brands sell more than others. They take certain brands or collections and make them stand out. Its not just an attractive logo or a good commercial that helps but the most popular brands are the ones that stick with the look that sells and make sure the look is consistently better that the rest, and thats what a fashion manager needs to achieve. They develop suitable production and manufacture strategies and know all they can about sourcing, purchasing, colour trends and fabric technology. Professionals in this field focus on the four Ms — marketing, merchandising, manufacturing and management, especially when dealing with apparel.

              Fashion marketing blends advertising, design and business administration as well as a solid understanding of fashion to take a new clothing line and get it the attention it needs to be successful. It means conducting advertising campaigns that target specific consumer groups and appeal to them, always keeping in mind whats in and whats not. Fashion marketers are the ones with the savvy ideas, the connectors between the designers and the public.

              A large part of their job is to do with public relations and organizing conferences or seminars to make sure everyone in the industrys on board and the public is clued in too. A merchandiser has to understand the requirements of the customer and come up with samples tailored to each individual style or need.

What should I study?

You should be a graduate of any stream from a recognized university. For admission at NIFT you should have a degree or diploma in accessory or fashion design from NIFT.

            The programme focuses on change and innovation management, IT, integrated marketing, winning strategies, e-business, export supply chain management and retail technologies. You will learn about research methods, the dynamics of the fashion business, market awareness, consumer trends and design influence.

            Studying fashion management equips you to handle both the export markets as well as the domestic. Students analyze and test garments in a textile lab, create private-label fashion lines on storyboards, examine and choose the most effective and efficient manufacturing processes, and assess essential marketing and merchandising principles.

What next?  

The prospects in fashion management are encouraging. You may choose to be product managers, merchandisers, sellers or manager in charge of marketing, communication, manufacturing, sourcing, import and export for the clothing industry. You could just as easily start managing your own clothes line.

            You can work in major department stores, clothing companies and footwear, jewellery or furniture retailers. Graduates are employed by apparel manufacture, designers, wholesalers, importers and many of the major independent retailers.

            Students with a master in fashion management could expect and average salary offer of Rs.3.42 lakh per annum. Indian and international fashion brands, merchandising majors and top retail companies have shown interest in taking in fashion management students at entry and mid-level management positions.

           Dr Amrita Das 

            Director, Institute for

         Career studies, Lucknow

             FASHION MANAGEMENT IS ABOUT DRIVING A BRAND WITH FASTCHANGING PRODUCTS, YET IT IS ALSO LONGTERM ARTIST MANAGEMENT. MANAGERS MUST BE ABLE TO ENVISION THE BIG PICTURE YET BE OBSESSED WITH DETAIL

HEAD START

The say on pay

 

Executives express concern over CEO compensations, says a global survey. The issue will not affect Indian MNCS as long as the “going is good” 

 

Amidst recent calls for fair pay, more than one-third of executive (34%) expressed at least some concern regarding their CEOs compensation, according to the latest Executive Quiz from Korn/Ferry International (NYSE:KFY), a premier global provider of talent management solutions.

              In addition to this, four out of five executives (80%) indicated that shareholders should have at least some say on pay for their companys executives. Shareholders today are witnessing an ongoing disparity between rising CEO compensations and declining share prices.

            The tumultuous economic environment highlights the challenges with getting pay for performance right,” said Russell Miller, Managing Director of Korn/Ferrys Executive Compensation Advisors. The business community continues to focus on aligning pay and performance, and companies are having mixed success against this objective.”

              When asked if they felt their CEOs compensation directly reflects company performance, more than half (55%) the respondents indicated that it did not reflect or was only somewhat reflective of the organizations results. Another 42% said their CEOs compensation was in line with company performance.

              Respondents from more than 50 countries, representing a wide spectrum of industries and functional areas, participated in the Executive Quiz in March 2008. However, when asked if the trend was applicable to the Indian scenario too, Deepak Gupta, Korn/Ferrys Managing Director in

India, told HT Power Jobs that it was different for MNCS in

India.

              If one were to look at the Indian context, the owners and promoters themselves head most Indian companies, so the issue of questioning their pay did not arise. But, in case of MNCS operating in India, where CEO

compensation has closed in on global standards the salary structure at the top would not be questioned as long as the going is good.”

            As long as Indian MNCS perform well and the business is able to sustain high compensation levels, no one will question. But, if a slowdown occurred, profitability was low, the company did not perform well and share prices were down, criticism would seep in. Performance would become increasingly scrutinized in a tougher economic environment,” Gupta added.              

 

 

   

 

 

WRITE IT RIGHT 

A WORKSHOP HELPS STUDENTS PUT THEIR BEST FOOT FORWARD WITH A CV. PLUS, AN ANGRY BAND OF BOYS AND LOVE TALK

        Literally translated, ‘curriculum vitae means the story or the course of ones life. The CV is your bargaining chip in the job market. Every professional, young and old, but especially young, needs a CV to do its job as best it can.

            To that end, British Council held a CV-writing workshop recently to train students and young professionals on show to craft a good CV and suggest other steps that would enable them to enter the job market with focus and clarity.

            The session stressed on soft-skills training — researching a prospective employer framing a career statement, drafting a covering letter, customizing a CV to be relevant to each job and analyzing yourself to see exactly what kind of a role is suitable for you in the first place.

          It is a problem with younger people who are just getting into jobs that they often dont have the inputs required or adequate soft skills for the job market,” said Leslie DGama, facilitator for the event and head of central training division, ILFS Education and Technology.

            An interesting fact that emerged was that bio-data, CV and resume are not interchangeable terms. A bio-data carries basic info like name, date of birth and other such facts and figures whereas the CV represents the work experience in some detail and is usually a comprehensive account of all the important projects undertaken. A resume, on the other hand, is what is most commonly used and is a combination of a bio-data and a CV in a concise and crisp manner.

           There are various styles of writing a CV — from a chronological style (suitable for freshers) to an experience-based format which combines work experience with skills (mid-level) and a skill-based style (for senior experienced professionals with an established reputation in the job market).

        Every last word that goes into your CV is significant and all of it should be put into the perspective of the job. So even if your hobby is stamp collecting, it should be used to stress your organizational capabilities,” stressed DGama.

 

Tips on how to craft a CV:

 

  1. Follow a logical sequence so that the reader doesnt have to keep turning pages to trace your career.
  2. Use a clear font and formatting style.
  3. Update your CV regularly.
  4. Never use one generic CV. Customise it for the kind of work you want to do.
  5. The length of the CV will vary depending upon your experience and point of entry into the job market. Thus a fresher should have a compact and brief CV (about a page and a half), with details of internships or important positions held that outline ones leadership qualities. Someone in the mid-level or senior management should have a longer and more comprehensive CV (about five-six pages).
  6. Never send a photocopy of your CV. Always circulate original prints.
  7. Every CV should have a job statement that outlines and matches the skills and aspirations of the job seeker with the position applied for.     
Reference

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