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3 May, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 2 May, 2018 11:41:11 PM

Career Counselling

Sheikh Iraj
Career Counselling

Nowadays, career counselling has become quite popular among university students. In our country, there are 40 public universities and 97 private universities, according to the website of University Grants Commission of Bangladesh. Interestingly enough, most of the top private universities have career counselling centres, whereas the public universities have career-oriented clubs. Now, the function of both career centres and clubs are more or less the same. They help students to choose their careers, organise job fairs, work with students on skill development, such as presentation, CV writing, internship, etc. Besides all that, they also help students to select the right courses, as there are many choices.  

This week, Y&I spoke with some students and university authorities associated with career counselling. They talked about the importance of career counselling and how students, as well as employers, benefit from it.

Farhana Zahir, director of Career Placement Centre of North South University, said: “Our main activity is to help the students with their careers by connecting them to different industries. We help more than 500 students with their internships every semester. We inform our students about the importance of extracurricular activities, as to how important they are in order to get better job offers. Last November, we organised a career fair and we received good response. Sixty companies participated in the fair and hired many students. This year, we are going to organise a career fair in July. Sometimes, companies conduct on-campus interviews and hire students. We organise group discussions regularly and new students come to join in every day. Every faculty has a teacher who plays the role of a mentor, and he or she advises students about academic careers and which courses to choose.”

M Shahinur Ahmed, 22, a student of Rajshahi University and a member of the university’s career club, informed this reporter: “Our club started its journey in 2013. Our main function is to help our students find good internship opportunities. We organise mock interviews, and help students with CV (curriculum vitae) assessment. Every month, we organise a seminar where we invite people who can motivate the youth through their speeches. Every year, we organise career and job fairs. We invite other educational institutions that offer graduation and post-graduation courses to participate in the seminar and fairs. There are 186 members in our club; and in the last job fair we organised, 126 students were offered internships and many of them got jobs as well.”

Liaza Lamyea, 21, a student of American International University Bangladesh (AIUB), is a regular member of IEEE Club. “AIUB does not have a career counselling centre. However, there is a student counselling centre. We have a course titled ‘business communication’ where students are taught to write CVs properly, English spelling, public speaking, and different types of presentation skills. The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Club helps students with internships and student exchange programmes. We also help our fellow students with selecting courses.”  

Some career-oriented organisations of Jahangirnagar University (JU) are providing appropriate career guidelines and instructions to students, besides raising awareness on careers in different fields. Jahangirnagar University Career Club (JUCC) is the leading organisation that is working on creating skilled human resources. The club arranges various training programmes, including CV-making workshops, IT-related workshops, language workshops, management and other job preparation events. In addition, they help connect students with job-providers through organising a job fair every year. Besides, Jahangirnagar University Science Club (JUSC) gives information to students on foreign scholarships, while Finance Entrepreneurship in Business (FEB) provides ideas, knowledge and links to having a successful career in business. While talking to Y&I, leaders of the organisations stressed on development of skills to have a successful career.

Saidul Kabir, president of JUCC, said: “We want to raise awareness among the students about developing skills in different fields. That is why we try to organise training programmes as much as possible. There is no alternative way to have a successful career without skills.”

Meanwhile, Student Welfare and Counselling Centre at the university organises various programmes for students who lack motivation and encourages them to build up successful careers. Rasheda Akhter, a professor and director of the centre said: “Under-motivated students always suffer from frustrations. We sometimes organise special programmes for them to help them.”

Abu Taher Khan, director of Career Development Centre at Daffodil International University, said: “The basic role of any career counsellor is to motivate the students to read more and prepare them for the practical world, so they can think for themselves and choose what is best for them when it comes to having a career. We don’t just motivate students to apply for good jobs; we also inspire them to become entrepreneurs as well. We tell our students not to wait for job advertisements. We encourage them to drop their CVs in the sector they want to work in. Recently, we organised a pharmacy expo where 20 pharmaceutical companies participated and hired a number of our students on the spot. We are going to organise a big job fair in October. For this fair, besides our own students, we are thinking of inviting students from other universities.”

“I was born in 1956 and I completed my graduation from Dhaka University. Back then, there was nothing like the career counselling centres we have today. We would get the best counselling from our teachers. If our teachers felt the need to give us any sort of advice or counselling, they would ask us to see them at home or visit their office. I worked as a government employee for a long time, and for the past few years I have been working here. Today, I realise how important career counselling is. There is no course that can practically teach anyone to become a career counsellor. It is the person’s maturity, experience and the ability to motivate students all the time that makes a good career counsellor,” Khan added.

Halima Akter, 23, is the president of Dhaka University Career Club. “We organise workshops, seminars and various other events that are career related. We help our fellow students with CV writing and advise them on improving different skills sets. We also assist our members with photography and finding internships. We also give counselling to students. There are 80 committee members and 1,500 general members in our club. We have good connections with different industries. Whenever companies ask for interns or offer a job, we sort out the CVs that are the best matches for the position. Also, when there is more than one job offer, we upload the offers onto our Facebook page, named Dhaka University Career Club,” Akter said.

“Due to some internal problems, we were not able to organise any job fairs at our university in the last four years. But we are planning a job fair this July. At the fair, students from other universities would also be able to participate; it will be open to all. Anyone would be able to register for the fair through our Facebook page,” she added.     

Abu Rasel, director of Career Services Office at University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) informed Y&I via email: “ULAB Career Services Office (CSO) insists on maximising students’ opportunities with their comprehensive career-related programmes and a network of professionals. The primary mission of CSO is to facilitate students become completely marketable by strategising a career map, which runs parallel to their academic endeavours. Therefore, we equip students with the knowledge, skills, and competencies required to become an effective leader. ULAB CSO coordinates the full internship programme for all students. That includes internship placement, management of supervision, organising orientation, report writing seminars, etc. CSO also offers limited job placement to all students, we maintain a good relationship with top organisations and other corporate bodies of the country.”

“Every semester, CSO offers specialised hands-on soft skill development workshops on career planning, leadership, motivation, CV and cover letter writing, interviews, communications skills, etc. We organise central events, where representatives of national and international organisations, overseas study specialists, banks, corporate trainers and recruiters from businesses visit and talk about job prospects. Through industry tours, students get to visit different organisations and learn about work life and environment,” Rasel added.  

Chittagong University Student Counselling Centre has no activities at present, though it has all kinds of facilities. According to the centre’s ordinance, it is supposed to help the students by providing information about different international scholarships and higher education, recommend impoverished students for internal scholarships and provide financial aid, arrange different types of games and events for developing students’ potentials, give advice to depressed students, and arrange reception for freshers and farewell programmes. Right now, they have no activities regarding student internships.  Students at the university alleged that the centre had no visual activities. Most of the time, they do not find the director, Ahmod Salah Uddin, who is supposed to advise them, at his office. When this correspondent tried to contact the director, his mobile phone was found switched off. 

Plabon Tarique of Jahangirnagar University and M Habibulla Masum of Chittagong University contributed to this report.

Photos: Courtesy



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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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