“Career Counselling is a process that helps students & parents know and understand personal strengths, interests, and area of improvement”
– Dr. Apurva Kumar Pandya
Dr. Apurva Kumar Pandya (Apurva) is PhD in psychology. He is passionate about Guidance and Counselling for career change and professional development. His vision is very simple: inspire, empower and transform lives of people. He speaks about his career and career counselling in an interview with Amarjeet.
Amarjeet Sharma (AS): Please brief us about your Educational background.
Apurva: I did MA in Clinical Psychology from the Department of Psychology in 2005 while PhD from the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in 2015. I have been practising counselling since 2005. I have completed a certificate course on HIV/AIDS Counselling and Psychosocial Interventions from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai in 2006. I have visited the Department of Sociomedical Science, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University of New York in 2010 and the University of Alberta, Edonton, Canada in 2012 as an Early Career Scholar.
AS: What has your time as a Career Counsellor meant to you personally and why?
Apurva: As a psychologist, I believe, career counselling is a process that helps students & parents know and understand personal strengths, interests, and area of improvement; it discusses suitable career options based on psychometric assessments, empower them to take an informed career decision and prepare career plan. The focus of career counselling is generally on psychometric assessment, career exploration, personal career development plan, career change, and guidance on improving academic or professional effectiveness. Career counselling is a scientific way to help career aspirants to take appropriate career decisions.
AS: How did you get into Career Counselling? What interested you into Career Counselling?
Apurva: During my initiate work, many students used to informally approach me to seek career guidance. Students shared their confusion, frustrations and inability to deal with exam stress, pressure to study well and soft skills for career advancement. I realized that students don’t get professional help and ultimately it leads to stress, frustration, and disinterest in the study or a job. With the realization of pressing needs of career counselling, I have started focusing my counselling practice around career concerns of youth, including young professionals. Career guidance & counselling is crucial intervention to help students and young professionals to set goals, plan and enhance career.
AS: Which tools do you use for guiding careers?
Apurva: I use solution focused approach for career selection, job change, professional skill development and career planning. I emphasize the use of standard career assessments for understanding individual aptitude, interest and personality traits.
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AS: Why do you think it’s important for students and parents to undergo Career Counselling together?
Apurva: I believe students and parents both require to be part of the career counselling process at different point of time. Parents play a crucial role in the student’s career choice and academic performance. Parents need to play a role as a guide and support the child to realize his/her potential. Parents need to create conducive environment for child where child can study without pressure, identify his or her dream career, and facilitate process for exploring different career alternatives. Parental support is most important psychosocial support for any student.
AS: What are the top 3-5 skills you should have to become an effective Career Counsellor?
- Listening skills
- Analytic skills
- Skills to provide constructive feedback
- Mentoring skills
- Passion for helping students and parents
AS: What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Career Counselling industry?
Apurva: I would suggest four critical areas, other than professional qualification and training, to build a career as a career counsellor:
- Cultivate fair understanding about dynamic education system of various countries, different career options and resources
- Learn different career assessment tools, its reliability & validity, analysis, report preparation and constructive feedback on the report
- Learn solution focused approach to facilitate counseling process
- Skills to prepare career plan based on career assessment
AS: Which are the Career Information resources (i.e. newsletters/ blogs/ websites/ apps) you visit regularly?
Apurva: There are many new career options that have come up over the last decade. I stay updated with the new trend through newspapers like education times , employment news; educational journals like journal of career assessment, journal of career development, career development quarterly etc., and some websites like better India, UGC, http://www.successcds.net, http://www.jivacareer.org etc.
AS: Share the names of 3 people you respect when it comes to Career Counselling?
- G Arulmani
- Anuradha Bakshi
- Pervin Malhotra
AS: Would you like to share few words/suggestions about the work we are doing at CareerGuide?
Apurva: CareerGuide is a unique platform for parents and students. I really appreciate the efforts of Surabhi Dewra and her team to make career guidance more accessible to parents and students.
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