“It feels really good when problems of students are solved and they are clear of what they want to do in their career life” -Ms Deepti Khandekar
We took an interview of Ms Deepti Khandekar, an experienced career counsellor based in Pune, Maharshtra. She has a cross functional experience in different streams that include academics, human resource and career guidance. She has also written several informative books. She has impacted lives of thousands of students and helped them to take right career routes in the fields of engineering, MBA and related streams. She also advises students on correct studying techniques and scholarships. She has conducted several seminars and workshops in different schools to advise students. She is currently working as a freelance career counsellor while working full time with an IT firm. Her passion to guide all the students to take up the right career path has attracted her to provide career counselling to many students free of cost as well.
Author of “Entry to Entrance” and an MBA in HR, an exceptional concoction of experience!
Ms Deepti has an exclusive experience and academic qualifications that make her fit for guiding students. She is an MBA in HR which she has done from Pune University. She is currently working as an HR executive in an IT firm. Apart from that she has been guiding students since a long time which has made her fit for the role. Her experience and passion helps students to understand the real scope of a career option while also getting an insight to the industrial outlook of the option. She has authored a book ‘Entry to Entrance’ which is regarding various entrance examinations in the field of engineering, medical, hotel management, pharmacy and fashion designing.
“Career Counselling is my passion and I love helping students.”
Her journey to being a career counsellor is drawn out of her passion. When she was in college, she used to guide under privileged children on what route to take according to their talents and skills. She used to guide 9th and 10th class students. Later on, it became a profession for her. Now she holds career seminars on study techniques, career counselling, study options and job roles. When asked what career counselling means to her personally, she cheerfully said “This has been a great journey so far. It feels really good when problems of students are solved and they are clear of what they want to do in their career life”.
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Technology helps a lot to reach the students located at inaccessible regions!
To provide right guidance to the students, she uses a mixture of tools and techniques. Her most effective way is that of personal counselling where 1:1 and group sessions are given based on the type of query. If there is a group of students having same set of queries, she holds an open discussion for them. Along with that, she believes skype is a good medium to reach students who are in inaccessible areas. Use of technology helps her to reach the students which otherwise could not contact her. In addition to that, she is an active supporter of career reports that are provided by CareerGuide.com. She has used these reports as a supporting medium to guide her students in an accurate way.
“Parents need to come along with the students for career counselling to gain maximum benefit of the session.”
We asked her what are the challenges she has seen in her job of career counsellor. She has an opinion that for a student, time period of class 9-12 is the most crucial for his career. Decisions taken during this period can either make or mar their lives. The challenge comes when the student is unable to take the right decision about their career at this age. He is generally busy with his studies. In addition, parents are unable to become the right supporting pillar to the children due to their lack of awareness and also sometimes due to their busy timings. At this time, it is necessary that both the students and their parents come together and discuss their expectations. There is need that parents understand what their child wants to do and what he is capable to do. Without clarity of expectations, it is really difficult to make a right career choice.
“A career counsellor needs to be an active listener, neutral, empathetic and a good communicator.”
She also adds that being career counsellor is far different from being a right and good career counsellor. Only having information of different career options can’t bring out a good career counsellor. Such a person needs to a very active listener. Listening lets the counsellor understand the dreams and passion of a student. Also, he needs to be neutral towards different professions. A career counsellor should not guide a student based upon his own prejudice, rather he should guide the appropriate scope of different fields to the student so that student can take sound decisions. Further, according to her, a career counsellor should have empathy and be able to maintain an effective communication with the student and parents. Finally, she added that, a person can’t be a career counsellor if he does not have enthusiasm to help the students.
“It is highly important to read a lot to keep up with the happenings taking place in the industry.”
She realises that there have been many advancements in markets and this has resulted in emergence of several career options which were not available earlier. Every year, some of the career options get developed and there is always a need for a career counsellor to keep up with all the updates. She personally believes that reading has helped her to know about all the new career options. Also, there are other ways such as attending seminars which are organised by various institutes. These seminars are highly informative and tell about the new developments taking place in education industry. Further, remaining in contact with people from different industries has helped her to remain updated. One of the platform for connecting to different people is LinkedIn.
There are some people who has inspired her in her journey of helping students through career counselling. She has received many lessons from Mr Pramod Lele who is a highly active social worker. Mr Kiran Jog has also been an inspiration to her. He has been in career counselling industry for more than 15 years. Also, Dr Nilesh Gokhale who has been director of Management Institute has encouraged her to help more and more students in taking up the right career choice. Apart from this, she thinks that CareerGuide has done a great job in removing field barriers and geographical constraints in providing career counselling to the students across the country.
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