“Find what you are passionate about and put your all in making a career out of that interest. You can be pleasantly surprised by where it will take you.”
Priyamvada Agarwal, a Certified Trainer by British Council, ETS (Education Testing Systems, USA) & Pearson Group for IELTS – Academic & General Module; TOEFL & PTE respectively. Having competency in the field of Career Counselling & Teaching, being the areas of expertise as the Grammar of English, Soft skills, Personality development, Communication skills &Business English.
Vivek: Please brief us about your Educational background.
Priyamvada Agarwal: After completing my Bachelors of Arts under University of Calcutta, I took specialized course on Special Education & Career Counseling from UK. I am also a certified trainer for IELTS and Counselor for Education UK by the British Council, for TOEFL by ETS – official developer of TOEFL and for PTE by Pearson.
Vivek: What has your time as a Career Counsellor meant to you personally and why?
Priyamvada Agarwal: It’s been an extensively learning process for the last 7 years assisting teenagers and youth in building their career with proper informed information. I have counseled for over 5000 students coming from various academic and class backgrounds across India.
These years have given raised my knowledge by many bars and also gives me immense joy and happiness to see these students moving towards their goal and excelling in their career with a smile and passion.
The smile of these students is far beyond the monetary compensation which satisfies me from the heart.
Vivek: How did you get into Career Counselling? What interested you into Career Counselling?
Priyamvada Agarwal: Honestly I never thought of this profession, in came to me in the most amazing manner. During the last year of my college through a family friend got involved in a financial literacy project as the coordinator. Eventually turned a trainer also. During that time line of 9 months, interacted with many different age groups of students and senior, who considered me there mentor and shared their dreams, aspirations and some their dissatisfaction towards their career as they lacked right career advice.
After the project got over, Mr. Rajesh Dalmia (Founder of Mandar Learning) in Kolkata approached me to join his academy and take forward the counseling & training position which opened my pathway and the positive response received boosted my confidence.
Have a question regarding your career ?
Vivek: Which tools do you use for guiding careers?
Priyamvada Agarwal: I have divided my counseling session into 3 segments – 1st segment is interaction solely with the student where I try to understand his/her mindset, dream, passion, strength and weakness. 2nd segment is interaction with the parents, to understand their mindset, financials, and worries. Last segment is an amalgamated meeting in the presence of the student and his/her parents which is done after the notes made during both individual sessions are studied well to draw out a conclusion keeping in mind that the bridge between the parents and the student is there.
Vivek: Why do you think it’s important for students and parents to undergo Career Counselling together?
Priyamvada Agarwal: In India, it is still the culture that parents play the most vital role in their child’s life taking decision especially career. Keeping in mind the current scenario, it is very important as a career counselor to build a bridge and make understand both the student and parent the pros and cons of the situation and solution.
Vivek: What are the top 3-5 skills you should have to become an effective Career Counsellor?
- Good Communication Skills – To be able to hear well; understand well and then say the viewpoint well.
- Build Rapport – to make the student comfortable so that he/she has the ease to say their matter in the most relaxing manner without any fear.
- Remain updated – To keep oneself updated by reading and observing the latest happening around.
Vivek: What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Career Counselling industry?
- First major advice is that please define your role well, you are going to be a career advisor/counselor/mentor not a future prediction guru.
- Second advice, have the patience to listen and let the student talk his/her heart out first and then analyze the matter and give advice don’t just assume. Every student is different from the other.
- Third advice, please study and gain knowledge before you speak or suggest, just don’t talk for the sake of it, someone’s career and future is at stake.
- Fourth advice, don’t impose your thoughts, ideas or decisions on the student, make them understand your view point and let them take their own decision.
Vivek: There are many new career options that have come up over the last decade which was not heard of before, how do you stay updated on the latest trends in Career?
Priyamvada Agarwal: Technology has advanced by leaps and bound in the last few years, so keeping myself updated is not very difficult. I read blogs, articles on a regular basis; and attend educational conferences, seminars and events.
Vivek: Which are the Career Information resources (i.e. newsletters/ blogs/ websites/ apps) you visit regularly?
Priyamvada Agarwal: There are more than 2000 publications yearly on education in form of blogs, articles, columns and books. Keeping informed through them is the best way.
Vivek: Share the names of 3 people you respect when it comes to Career Counselling?
- Pragya Rashmi
- Shivani Manchanda
- Ayush Bansal
Vivek: Would you like to share few words/suggestions about the work we are doing at CareerGuide?
Priyamvada Agarwal: CareerGuide is doing a wonderfully amazing job by giving a platform for assisting student in making informed career choices keeping in mind their passion, dream and situation. Commendable growth of the organization
Have a question regarding your career ?