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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Counsellor - 14



Which way 

I am a final year student pursuing MSc in biotech. I am confused whether to pursue PhD or some professional qualification like an MBA. Can you tell me something about research prospects? 
Chandra Babu

There are vast opportunities in biotech particularly for those who have specialised in areas like clinical research and manufacturing, field testing of GM crops, regulatory affairs such as IPR and biosafety, consultancy for business planning and global collaborations. The need for trained manpower in biotech has increased as the industry has grown 35% in the last four years. While there is sufficient number of people in the industry with MSc in biotech, more quality PhDs are required. 


   India needs biotech schools with state-of-the art facilities to produce biotech professionals for the industry. India can become a global R &D hub if incentives are provided for research on a longterm basis. The country's future growth would mainly depend on innovation and ability to bring new technology from overseas. 


   Our scientific pool of qualified researchers and the largest number of U S Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) approved plants outside the US, would help also us grab a large chunk of the $ 100 billion contract manufacturing and research pie which is expected to grow manifold in the coming decade. So if a career in research interests you, you have little to worry. 

At Crossroads 

I have been working in a bank for the last four years and wish to pursue an MBA but I can’t go away from my family. Should I opt for an MBA through distance learning mode? 

I should think not. A good MBA degree coupled with a great time with the family is drawing midcareer professionals to bring their families along to B-school campuses. Increasingly, experienced married executives who want to pursue an MBA are taking their families to campus so they don't miss out on spending quality time together. An evolved support system across B-schools is encouraging them to take this decision. From fully furnished housing facilities, convenience stores, recreation centres to play area for kids, B-schools are offering all these. 


   The new concept has been introduced by the premier Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad and is soon catching up with others. Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) and IIM-C also plan to provide similar facilities. ISB has 118 families staying on campus while 67 students out of 72 from IIMA's PGPX 2008 batch (residential programme for experienced professionals) were staying en famille and 16 out of 42 students from IIM-C' PGPX course this year had their spouse and kids staying with them. Don't worry; you will be allotted a fully furnished studio apartment. And when the kid comes along, there are daycare facilities with a special play area for toddlers and young kids. ISB charges an extra Rs 90,000 for such facilities. 
   In case, the B-school does not have family accommodation, you can always take up a flat near the campus, after requesting for special permission to do so. I doubt if any Bschool would object to that. 

Looking ahead 

What is the cost of acquiring a Seibel administration certification and how can I get it? Do I need to attend a training programme organised by Oracle or can I do it by myself ? If I can’t clear it in the fiirst attempt, will I get a second one?




You'll need to do ORACLE Siebel 7.7 essentials course + siebel 8.0 case study course to be able to take the certification test. You can't do it by yourself, you'll have to take the coaching from Oracle University and this can be pretty expensive. I think $195 is just the exam fee and a whopping $2625 is the training fee.You can get the exact prices on the Oracle/Siebel website or on 


   As far as the number of attempts is concerned,you can try as many times as you want, but you'll have to wait for a period of 14 days between the tests.

I am keen to work with the International Labour Organisation (ILO). How can I get an assignment? KL Satish Thakur

Since you have not mentioned your present qualifications or field of work, let me give you a general picture. 
   The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is a UN body. Its primary aim is to promote opportunities for men and women to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. 


   India is one of the founding members of the ILO and has been a permanent member of its governing body since 1922. The ILO recruits in the general services category and professional services category. 


   The general services category is concerned with three major occupational groups viz. administration related support work, technical support work and manual trades and other support work. The basic requirement is a good knowledge of the prevailing labour issues and laws, nationally as well as internationally. At the national level, applicants must preferably have local expertise/experience in a labour organisation e.g. lawyers specialising in labour issues, social scientists and people associated with labour organisations. 


   Professional services category deals with the theoretical or practical aspects of fields such as finance and accounts, law, education, social science, economics, business and administration , managerial and other technical specialisations. Most of these require substantial academic preparation, normally at the advanced university level. 


   The ILO also conducts an internship programme for undergraduate and postgraduate students (involved in a specialised field related to ILO's work) where they can complete their studies by acquiring practical knowledge and a better understanding of ILO policies and programmes. Interns are assigned either to the ILO Headquarters or its field offices. 


   For ILO's associate expert programme, you must have a Bachelor's or Master's or an equivalent technical qualification along with some years of work experience. The typical age limit is 32 years. The assignment varies from two to five years depending upon the policy and financial possibilities of the donor. 


   The ILO essentially looks for candidates with multi-disciplinary knowledge about various labour issues; an awareness of international developments; and a 'can-do' and acceptable personality. For further information log on to:  


American dreams 

I am keen to get into University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the US. My class X preboard marks were not too good but I worked hard to improve my performance in the board exams. If I score well in class XII, will I have a good chance of getting into UCLA? Also, which subjects would you you recommend if I want to study genetics? 
Durwasa Singh

The University of California's general catalogue states two principles on which entrance requirements are based.They are:The best guarantee of success is high quality of scholarship (academic performance) in previous work.


Study of certain specific subjects will give a student both a good preparation for studying at the University and reasonable freedom of choice of a major field of study. In your case it would be biology. 


Undergraduate applicants must possess what is considered a ‘satisfactory’ SAT score as determined by the University. 
If you are going to be a geneticist, take biology, physics, chemistry as well as math in class XI and XII. Although it's often believed that bio-sciences don't require any mathematical ability, this simply isn't true. Also remember, that most people's career choices change several times before they finally opt for specialisation at the postgraduate level, so keep an open mind.



Sunil Sharma


Dil Se Desi Group


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