As a cross cultural trainer I have spent significant number of years of my career training and coaching executives, business leaders and expatriates who relocate to India for long term and short term work assignments. Simultaneously I have worked with students – management studies, students of Economics, Liberal Arts and social work, training them to work with people from other cultures. When I travel and work with diverse cultures and age group, I can’t help but see the similarities and differences. Students are keen to get a professional degree and enter the job market. Some have entered universities because it is the “given” course of progression in life. They often choose the stream of studies that are popular (everyone does it) or parent’s dream or the one that will eventually fetch a big fat pay check. When the choice is not made on logical, rational basis, the student engagement and commitment for learning becomes the first casualty.
Having made the choice, the students need to live it to its fullest. “There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person.”\ My dear students,
Becoming responsible, accountable and self driven are the signs of maturity.
Identify the people who inspire you, and find out what makes them tick. Then emulate their good traits in your personal, scholastic, and professional life.
Work in teams as much as you can. Whether it's working on a project, participating in a sport, or representing your college, get involved with situation that requires a team effort to produce great results. Throughout your career, you can be sure you'll work in teams, and the skills you develop in college will help prepare you to lead teams when you graduate.
Take a business class. As an engineer, it's not enough for you to be technically proficient; you need to know core business process and practices.. If you're going to be a leader, you need to understand people management, read organization charts, know how to negotiate contracts, and be familiar with the myriad other functions that every top manager needs to know. Otherwise, you won't understand what to do when an accountant, lawyer, or middle manager gets in the way.
Take design and other humanities classes. There's a wide world out there beyond problem sets, laboratories, and theory. Take a design course so you'll learn to represent ideas graphically. Take a literature course to develop your knowledge and appreciation of the classic books, which will help you write and communicate more effectively. Important thing is to learn to appreciate the life as a whole.
As Bill Gates says, life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time; Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
Wish you a rewarding career path ahead.