With changing times, the role of education and likewise educational institutions have also evolved. No longer are universities only about degrees but also about learning how to face the challenges of the real world. We are slowly coming out of the age where the fanciest degree got the best job and are gradually advancing towards an age that demands experience and expertise. With this emerging trend, the need to incorporate a work-integrated learning program into the curriculum is being felt more. Nowadays, more and more universities are joining hands with companies to facilitate such programs and offer students a platform to execute what they learn.
It is undeniably true that the world begins outside the four walls of the classroom, and one cannot learn skills needed to survive out there confined within these walls nor from textbooks. In India, there are some courses that have made it mandatory to gain work experience and take up internships that would teach the skills required to function properly in a business setting. Such internships help an individual grow through activities and assignments, no matter how big or small.
Gaining work experience can only prove advantageous, and it is not an assumption but rather a fact that experience in a work setting allows an individual to execute skills learned in class through textbooks. As they say, one cannot take an idea as successful or unsuccessful unless it sees the light of the day. Likewise, classes and assignments cannot be said to be helpful until they find their practical relevance and help create socially functional individuals.
We all love our life as students, as it is said to be one of the most fun and carefree phases of life— when we are away from the burden of responsibilities and when our only concern is scoring marks and securing ranks. Perhaps, it is this sort of unaccountability that makes us lose sight of our responsibilities and somewhat makes us irresponsible, sometimes even unknowingly. But when one gets into a workplace, they begin understanding the importance of every decision they make and how it can affect their results. They understand the responsibility that comes with the power of decision-making.
There is a lot of prejudice regarding taking up jobs while studying, especially in India, where parents think that anything you do apart from studying is just a waste of time. But what they fail to understand is that learning exists in various forms, and learning by experience is one of them. Through experience, we learn more than we could ever learn from textbooks. They fail to see that the first step towards making a decision as important as choosing a career path requires a proper understanding of what one aspires to do. This is something that cannot be achieved through discussion, advice, or suggestions but only by experience. Unless one gets out there and gets their hands a little dirty, they won’t ever be able to know if that’s what they want or if it’s not meant for them.
But this is for those who are still trying to explore what they want to do with their life and want to explore new things— things that they might have overlooked. But for those with a certain goal, and a will to prosper in that particular area, work experience can help make the path towards it much easier. Needless to say, a little experience on one’s resume increases their chance of getting selected for a job. It also broadens their perspective and thought processes, instills confidence, develops problem-solving skills, makes them aware of the challenges they might face at the workplace, and prepares them to face challenges fearlessly.
Written by: Rituparna