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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hospitality Management program in Scotland

Scottish colleges launch Indian initiative


SCOTLAND'S Colleges International (SCI) has announced its first Indian initiative with the launch of its Higher National Diploma in Hospitality Management (HND) programme. 
   Christina Potter, principal, Dundee College; Rob Chell, international director, Perth College; and Ian Patrick, project head, Perth College were in India recently to launch the HND programme. 
   SCI, a consortium of colleges across Scotland, is a nodal body providing access to member colleges in order to maximise provisions of high quality services delivered internationally. The consortium, a Scotland government-approved group of further and higher education institutions, has over 50 colleges as its partners. 
   On India as its new destination, Chell said that despite the potential of the hospitality industry and India's educated workforce, there was still "a skill gap that needs to be narrowed." He said: "Through this programme, as well as future ventures, we hope to produce students with internationally recognised certification who are employable anywhere in the world." SCI has tied up with Avalon Academy to offer the programme. 
   The HND programme is an 18-month post class XII diploma programme, wherein students would complete the theory part in India and then travel to Scotland and complete the practical part in association with Adam Smith College, Telford College or Dundee College. Apart from the class XII passing certificate, the candidates will also have to undergo a written test and personal interview. 
   Preeti Malik, head, Avlon, added: "Through this initiative, not only would Indian students get an international qualification, they would obtain the two-year work permit in Scotland and gain international work experience as well." Only four colleges of SCI are involved in this year's pilot run, admissions for which are currently underway. Perth College will not accept applicants this year, while the remaining three would enrol 15 students each. However, from 2009, the programme would be offered to 500 students. 
   Speaking about SCI's long-term vision, Chell said: "In keeping with Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown's vision, we are looking at long-term sustainable relationships with international partners." Further, on the 'issue' of offering international programmes in India, Malik said: "Since we are not offering any degree or postgraduate diploma, we are not violating any of the All India Council for Technical Education's (AICTE) norms."


   Sunil Sharma


Dil Se Desi Group


Multiple Intelligences

Spotting Calibre


The gifted child in a classroom, who is often ignored, needs to be identified and nurtured to hone his/her talent.


VISUALISE this: A mathematics class in progress and the teacher explaining the concept of length and breadth. When it comes to describing a 'point,' which has neither, a student raises his hand from the last bench arguing that it has both, but just a miniscule of it. The entire class is in splits but the teacher is left with a big question, as the child made sense. 
   Similarly, a question is thrown to the class to measure the rate of evaporation of a swimming pool if everyday it evaporates at a constant rate. And there comes an unexpected question — what if it rains? 
   Most teachers encounter loads of such questions everyday and often ignore them, as their job is to finish the syllabi. As a result, these children are often neglected. Few teachers would also describe such students as those with 'behavioural problems.' This is the biggest myth, feels Usha Pandit, an educational consultant, Mindsprings. She explains: "These children are the gifted children, who are not easily identified in a class and hence, often get ignored." 
   Pandit, who specialises in curriculum development in gifted education, shares: "Under the learning curve, the two neglected ends in a classroom include students with learning difficulties (LD) and the other - the gifted ones. Those with LD are easily identified as their behaviours are frank whereas the gifted ones are mostly the quiet lot and hence, often get neglected." 
   Susan Baum, author, Multiple Intelligences in the Elementary Classroom: A Teachers Toolkit and director of International Center for Talent Development, US, suggests that it is important to nurture the needs of gifted students. She gives J S Renzulli's model for identifying giftedness in a child. 
   Renzulli, in his book, The Schoolwide Enrichment Model said: "Research has consistently shown that people who have achieved recognition because of their unique accomplishments and creative contributions possess a relatively well defined set of three interlocking clusters of traits. No single cluster "makes giftedness." Rather, it is the interaction among the three clusters that research has shown to be the necessary ingredient for creative or productive accomplishment. Other factors that seem to impact gifted behaviour are personality and environment." 
   According to Baum, it is not always that gifted students display their abilities. Teachers and schools need to continuously provide circumstances to get all these abilities together. 


In a regular classroom, the teacher teaches to the average and uses left over energy and time to deal with the remedial. Therefore, the bright end of the spectrum is generally neglected or undernourished mainly because they are not as visible or volatile as the handicapped at the other end of the learning curve. 
   Most teachers and even counselors have a common perception that a gifted child is a one who is a 'genius.' So when it comes to sending students for a mathematics quiz, for instance, the names that come to a teacher's mind would be of the first three toppers in maths in a class. And the child who solves the question first and solves it right, even without following the steps that the teacher and class is following, is often ignored. 
   "This kind of a child (called an intuitive learner) might not even know as to how he arrived at the solution and yet have it answered right, but the teacher would never acknowledge or appreciate, rather ask him to follow the rote methods, so such an attitude might kill a child's creativity forever and hit his confidence badly, so much so, that he never raises his hand in the class again" says Pandit. 
   Veena Dhyani, counsellor, Cambridge School, Noida, says: "These children are usually labeled by teachers as the 'disturbing elements' of a class." Talking about some common traits, she says: "They are restless and want something creative every time. They would finish their work much ahead of their peers and when their work is over, they interrupt the class." 
   Says Shreshtha Madhwal, teacher, CRPF Public School: "These students have very high IQ levels and hence, they won't really listen to a teacher as they know most concepts already, in fact, they might even add to what is being taught." Also, most teachers are quite 'insensitive' towards these students because of time constraints, she adds. 
   Most teachers also feel that because of the high teacher student ratio in a classroom, it is difficult to pay attention to each and every child. As a result, these students get neglected. The need therefore is, as Pandit puts it, "to identify and nurture their talents." 


Giftedness is a special need, says Pandit. "If these children are neglected, many of them will become under achievers, antisocial or even self-destructive. More importantly, it is deprivation of the child's right to a happy and fulfilled childhood and future. Just as we cater to the lower end of the spectrum by differentiated programmes, we must respond to the need of the upper end by making sure that they do not lose their way." 
   She recommends: "First and foremost, identify the gifted child in your class, which is not easy. They may vary from mildly-gifted, moderately, exceptionally, profoundly to even dysfunctionally gifted.” 
   Gifted children can be excellent peertutors, says Dhyani. In addition, she says: "Teachers can prepare worksheets to keep them involved." Similarly, Madhwal says: "If there are two or three such children in a class, they should be grouped together and given a task which is above average as these children are very restless and enjoy challenges." 
   Pandit sums up: "Accept children as what they are. A teacher has a major role to shape up the child, so the next time you come across such a child in your classroom, nurture his abilities." 


• Thinking, imagination, learning, leadership 

• Potential to perform in at least the top 5% area(s) of ability 

• Fluent, deep and unconventional thinker 

• Better at handling abstract and complex ideas 

• Often teach themselves skills 

• Curiosity is boundless 

• Sophisticated sense of humour 

• Spirited in expressing their opinions 

• Ask interesting or difficult or unexpected questions 

• Skeptical, critical, evaluative and quick to spot inconsistencies 






   Sunil Sharma


Dil Se Desi Group


Course in Publishing Studies




   The Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies (OICPS) at Oxford Brookes University, UK, is one of the leading centres for publishing education in the world, with a reputation for innovation and excellence in teaching and research. "Publishing is one of today's leading creative industries, and at OICPS we cover a broad range of the industry to include books, magazines, journals and digital publishing," says Adrian Bullock, director of international development at the centre. 
   The centre has the longest record of degree-level publishing education in the UK, and is one of the largest departments in Europe. Says Bullock: "The fact that our programmes continue to attract students from all over the world in increasing numbers is an indication of the value students attach to what we do and how we do it. And the fact that all our graduates are able to find good jobs is an indication of the confidence the international publishing industry has in what we produce." 
   He adds: "Our courses provide a challenging and intellectually exciting combination of the academic, practical, and professional, which makes it possible to study publishing from a business as well as a cultural and historical perspective. Our graduates can be found throughout the world in all sectors of book, magazine and digital publishing, as editors, project managers, designers, rights managers and marketers." 
   According to Bullock, the centre is international in what it teaches and the way it teaches it. The faculty has been part of the publishing industry, working in trade, educational, and academic publishing. Besides, the centre's location also offers many benefits. For example, the city is home to the operations of many global publishing companies, including Oxford University Press, Pearson and Macmillan. Oxford Brookes is also the permanent home of the Booker Prize Archive. 
   "Apart from the fact that Oxford is a lovely place to live in, OICPS would be my first and only recommendation to students looking for publishing programmes because of the course structure and the teaching standards," says Ankit Vij, who went to OICPS in 2005 to pursue a BA (honours) in publishing. He elaborates: "My father runs a publishing company and I always knew that it was the field I would love to be a part of. After some research, I realised that the course at Brookes was the only one that focussed completely on publishing, while others focussed on different topics such as printing, etc." The other reason for choosing Brookes, says Vij, was the faculty. "I knew that I would understand the concept of publishing better from people who have actually spent time in this industry." 
   On the other hand, Deepthi Talwar had worked with a publishing consultancy in Bangalore and was looking for exposure to international publishing. "There were a few of places I applied to and I liked the programme offered by OICPS best," says Talwar, who completed her MA in publishing in 2003. She points out that the number of courses offered by Brookes has considerably increased since she studied there. "When I was there (2002-2003), only the MA in publishing was offered." 
   Today, the centre offers publishing programmes at both the graduate and postgraduate level. At the Bachelor's level students can either opt for single honours or combined honours programme. The latter allows students to study publishing as a joint degree with a variety of subjects including English, film, and modern languages. Further, the centre offers PhD and MPhil supervision in history and culture of publishing and contemporary publishing in domestic and international contexts. 
   Elaborating on how Indian students fare, Bullock says: "Our Indian students have developed an enviable reputation as high achievers, adapting quickly and confidently to the demands of studying a challenging subject abroad, and in English. Their main aim is to develop their skills so that they can go back to India and use them in the rapidly expanding publishing industry there." Similarly, Talwar elaborates: "The publishing industry in India has grown at an incredible pace in the last couple of years. But, at OICPS, I was given exposure to an industry that had already seen that growth many years back. So, one can learn a lot from their marketing, commissioning and production strategies." 
   Highlighting the opportunities available, Vij comments: "Once you define the gap in the market, publishing is quite profitable. Bloomsbury, for example, was a small time publisher before the Harry Potter script came their way. And considering, today, J K Rowling makes 30 pounds a minute, imagine what the publishing company makes."






   Sunil Sharma


Dil Se Desi Group


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Opportunities in Automation

Automation offers endless opportunities'





What is automation and what kind opportunities does it offer?

Automation is a wide field. The automation industry addresses design, development, production, and application of devices and systems that sense, measure, and control industrial processes and manufacturing operations. This includes domains of basic continuous control; discrete, sequencing and manufacturing control; advanced control; reliability, safety and electrical controls; related software development; and integration, deployment and maintenance. 
   Going by the increasing size of the industry, the job opportunities for automation engineers in India as well as abroad is huge. Moreover, since not many technical institutes cover automation engineering, the industry offers lucrative opportunities to multiple engineering disciplines like chemical, mechanical, instrumentation, electrical, electronics and software engineering.

Is this sector also facing a manpower crisis?

The automation industry is growing annually at a rate of around 6-8% globally, whereas in countries like India and China the growth rates exceed 30%. The five-year forecast is also showing healthy trends and the industry would require more technical graduates — both from engineering colleges and polytechnics — to join the industry. 
   Since the ’90s, the industry has been losing its shine, as the skilled workforce started moving towards the IT sector. One of the causes, perhaps, is the working condition — in the automation industry an engineer has to be in the workshop. The second aspect is the compensation package, which remains a deterrent even today. However, in this industry you can experience the real-life implementation of what you learnt in engineering.

What are the available career opportunities?

The impact of automation and control systems is seen everywhere around us. Automation systems are found in automobiles, medical instrumentation, petrochemical plants, refineries, commercial and military jets, robotic manufacturing systems, precision missile systems, chemical plants and life saving drug plants, among others. At the core of every process plant are automation systems that work in the background. The career opportunities this sector offer for today's youngsters are diverse and numerous. Opportunities exist for engineers in instrumentation, process control, automation, modelling, analysis, design and implementation.

Any major challenges for this sector?

Automation and control systems engineering is a fascinating field that offers endless possibilities. The primary challenge is to attract bright students to join the industry. Here, I would advise young technocrats to look at long-term growth prospects. The current trend of looking at shortterm goals needs to change if one wants to succeed in this field.

What is AIA’s role in the academic circle?

AIA comprises over 50 major corporates in the automation sector. According to a McKenzie report last year, only 25% of our engineering graduates are ready for deployment. And the industry is equally responsible for this, as the industryacademia interaction has not been adequate. 
Besides, the syllabus in most engineering colleges is outdated and the industry needs to intervene. AIA is trying to bridge this gap through various campus connect activities. We would also like to see the establishment of quality diploma schools in the country that offer good technical training.


   Sunil Sharma


Dil Se Desi Group


Feedback for Effective Teaching

Feedback to facilitate




AKANKSHA, the description of the rainy day is beautiful. You have tried making a poem and the drawing also explains your idea very well. You can try using some more rhyming words. 
   Varun, I really liked the way you have recorded your observations. Your drawings are elaborate and you seem to have paid much attention to the minute details. It would be a nice idea if you try writing your observations in a list form next time. How about observing a banana leaf ? 
   Imagine yourself as a child who receives this feedback on the task given as opposed to a regular ‘good’ or ‘needs improvement’ feedback by the teacher. 
   Feedback is one of the most powerful tools that a teacher can employ to facilitate learning in a classroom. It can be used for a variety of purposes — to assess the learning outcomes, to motivate a child’s indigenous style of expression, to challenge his/her thinking and to suggest alternatives. Feedback is as important as the need for learning in a child -centered classroom. But we often tend to undermine its role. At times feedback is not provided in the right manner, which results in a loss of learning situations. 


• Making it comprehensive:

Feedback should be both on the process and the product of learning. It is important to appreciate the efforts and unique style of a child. It also needs to provide a description of the expected learning outcomes and help the child to assess his/her learning 

• The immediacy factor: 

Feedback should be given immediately after a task is finished so that it can be implemented. It is also important for feedback to be simple and hence comprehensible by the child. 

• Keeping it simple: 

Make feedback clear, specific and complete. Using words like ‘you can improve,’ ‘well-written’ should be refrained from as it creates ambiguity and bewilderment. Children get confused as to what he/she should improve or what was good 

• Involving the child: 

Effective verbal feedback entails attentive listening by the teacher and other children. In most cases it is seen that the classroom discourse remains closed with the teacher wielding power to initiate questions and also evaluate the responses as ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’ Efforts should be aligned to make learning a two-way approach wherein a child initiates questions and other children offer perspectives. In such a classroom there is a shift from the conventional unidirectional flow of information. What emanates instead is an inquiry-centered approach 

• Accommodating response time: 

Also to help children probe the subject matter, it is important for a teacher to give adequate waiting time for students to respond. Often teachers ask closed questions like ‘When is Gandhi Jayanti celebrated?’ ‘What was he popularly known as?’ Hardly do we come across questions that challenge thinking, help children gather evidences or express opinions. To facilitate thinking the same theme can be dealt by asking probing questions like, ‘Do you think Gandhiji was right in breaking the salt law? How do you know about Gandhiji?’ Such questions give scope for subjective interpretations. In other words an effort should be made to break away from the tradition of asking rhetorical questions 

• Making it accrue to accomplishment: 

A teacher needs to vary the feedback according to a child’s level of accomplishment. For example, if a child who has just begun to write receives a punitive feedback telling that he or she needs to improve her spellings or check grammar use it can be de-motivating. It is important that the teacher provides constructive feedback highlighting the strengths of the written piece. A teacher should use feedback as a mechanism to enhance and not dismiss learning. Teacher’s expectations can be conveyed subtly and can be suggestive 

• Making it personal: 

Personalised feedback works wonders as compared to generic feedback. Addressing children by their names and highlighting their strengths increases the probability of desired outcomes. It motivates and empowers the child 

• Feedback should be authentic and not just praise devoid of context: 

A teacher should be cautious of using negative injunctions like: ‘Don't write in upper case, poor, untidy work, incomplete.’ Such statements are power-centric, closed and may disconnect the child with the learning process. Efforts should be made to engage emotions of the child by making feedback dialogic and non-threatening 

• Setting the tone for mutual dialogue: 

It is imperative to set an equation for mutual feedback. Thus, a child can provide constructive feedback to his/her peers. He or she should be encouraged to express views on what an educator creates. Such practices help in making the child fearless and democratic while giving feedback. It also decentralises the power dynamics in the classroom 




   Sunil Sharma


Dil Se Desi Group


Life at IIM Calcutta

Welcome to life at IIM Calcutta




ITS 4am and I am still sitting with my group members trying to crack a case study contest by one of the premier consulting companies in the world. By the look of it, it seems it is going to be yet another of the numerous night-outs on campus. And yes, I do have a class at 8.30am, which I have to attend. Welcome to life at IIM Calcutta. 
   Like most journeys to the beautiful places in the world, my journey to IIMC couldn't have been more exciting. Ever since my cousin studied for his MBA, I always dreamt of studying at one of the IIMs. A desire probably motivated by what you hear about such as high pay packages for IIM grads. But once I learnt more about an MBA, it became obvious that the degree was much more than just money. 
   The company of some of the brightest minds in the country, professors who know answers to just about any question that you can think of, guest lectures by country's leading entrepreneurs and CEOs, sessions by the likes of film-maker Mani Ratnam, adguru Prahalad Kakkar, talks by commentator Harsha Bogle and more. 
   Being at one of the best institutes in the country is an enriching experience. What I have gained in the two years is difficult to capture in words. 


The most oft-asked question to most of us (IIM Grads) is there a sure shot formula to crack the CAT? A cursory look at the question papers for the last few years shows that the pattern of questions, number of questions, difficulty level of questions have been changing over the years. But one thing remains constant, the basics/fundamental aspects of the exam. Let us look at each of the sections: 

Verbal Ability: VA today has more emphasis on reading comprehension, where you are expected to understand the passage to answer the questions. Mere knowledge of vocabulary would not suffice. At the same time one must remember that you are judged relative to others, so more the number of questions you can solve accurately better you are placed. Reading speed plays a vital part in this. It is always advisable to start early with VA section as it is impossible to develop competence in the section in a short span of time. 

Quantitative Aptitude: 
Number systems and allied sections have traditionally been important concepts. I am a firm believer that one needs to have a decent level of mastery over all types of questions be it speed, time, distance or geometry. You can never be sure of the level of difficulty of questions of any section. 

Data Interpretation: Develop calculation speed. Knowledge of approximation techniques helps solving complex calculations. Understand that the CAT paper does not test your abilities to be a calculator; it tests your abilities to be a smart thinker, devising ways of simplifying calculations. I have always found the elimination of options an easier way to solve DI problems. 


Now that CAT is just round the corner, lots of candidates go through last-minute jitters. How should one make use of the last few days before the exam? My advice to such queries is to have faith on your preparation. Lots of candidates take mock CATs from one of the many coaching institutes. Go through old question papers to analyse mistakes. Try to find out if you missed out on some easy questions. 
   Do not drown yourself in a deluge of mock CATs. Some students try to solve one or more papers a day. It does not help. Understanding your weakness, brushing up on your concepts are things you should be concentrating on. Solving two to three papers a week is more than enough. 
   Most importantly, remain cool before the exam, meet your friends, go for a social gathering, and watch a movie. Trust your abilities. If you have worked hard, your efforts would be rewarded. 


Contrary to public perception, life at a B-school is not just cases, presentations, projects and quizzes. We all have our share of parties, midnight football matches, and floodlit cricket tournaments. The highlight of the annual cultural calendar is the three back-to-back events, which are organised during December-January. 
   Intaglio is the annual international B-school fest, which boasts of being the 1st ISO certified Bschool fest in India. Each year it attracts participation from the likes of Harvard, Wharton, London Business School and NUS among others. Carpediem, the annual cultural festival and Census, the experiential marketing festivals are the other major events on campus. 
   Apart from that, IIM Calcutta also has the annual IIMC-B meet and the famed IIMC-XL sports meet. Add to that some 15 odd clubs/interest groups on campus; there is not a single day which goes by without something or the other happening on campus. 
   The two years at IIM Calcutta have been a roller-coaster ride.




   Sunil Sharma


Dil Se Desi Group


Dance Therapy to Counter Stress






DANCE has been one of the most graceful mediums of self-expression since time immemorial. When this art form transcends beyond the platform of entertainment and relieves physical worries it evolves into therapy. 
   To this end, Shristi Centre of Performing Arts & Institute of Dance Therapy, Bangalore, has introduced a certificate course in dance therapy, which is the first of its kind in India. Subjects included in this course, of six months duration, include basics of classical and folk dance forms, music, anatomy and physiology and physiotherapy. A V Satyanarayana, its director, says: “Dance movements are used as a psychotherapeutic process. Since the body, mind and spirit are connected in dance it promotes the emotional and physical integration of a person.” 
   Explaining the need for dance therapy, he says: “Most of us, including students, hardly get any time for physical work-outs due to our busy schedules and consequently face problems like spondylities and others. Dance therapy can be an effective remedy here. It brings out the inner feelings of a person and helps develop a healthy personality.” 
   Dance therapy is a powerful means to counter stress as it integrates body, mind and emotions, feels Satyanarayana. He adds: “When emotions are invoked, it releases stress to a great extent. Dance therapy is beneficial for students as it increases their grasping power, concentration and decision-making skills and creates an awareness about time, sense and stage manners.” Speaking on the relevance of this therapy for students in the context of today's stress ridden scenario, he says: “Dance therapy should be introduced as a curriculum in schools and colleges, because dance keeps students mentally, emotionally and physically strong. A weak negative attitude and mental imbalance is what explains most of the suicide cases amongst students. And this is something which can be corrected through dance therapy.” He opines, “I strongly feel that it should be made a subject for undergraduate, postgraduate and even PhD studies.” 


It is the first time in India that an innovation of dance therapy based on Indian classical and folk dance forms is being used to control diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, depression, and obesity, claims Satyanarayana. “This therapy can also heal people with special needs, especially the autism hypo, hyper active and depressed people,” he adds. 
A dance therapist is of a special category and includes people who are already in the field of physical exercise — an aerobic-trainer, a yoga-master, a gym-trainer or even a swimming-master, to name a few. “He takes the participant to a different world of imagination, visualisation and emotion with appropriate and relevant soothing music and meaningful movements. In addition to having knowledge of dance forms and knowledge of using the techniques of dance movements and gestures as therapy, a dance therapist should be very careful about its do’s and dont’s,” he cautions. 
The demand for dance therapists in India is very skewed compared to western countries, even though our dance forms are very rich, graceful and vibrant, feels Satyanarayana. He adds: “I wish that the government, corporates and philanthropists come forward to help promote our traditional and rich art form as a therapy.”



For more,  



   Sunil Sharma


Dil Se Desi Group







THE MBA originated in North America in the 1920s as a two-year full-time programme and today all the top ranking US MBAs remain as two-year full-time programmes. However, when INSEAD introduced the first European MBA programme in the late 1950s it was the first of what was to become the European/UK norm for a 12-month full-time programme. There are exceptions and the most prominent are the London Business School and Manchester Business School in the UK and IESE Business School - University of Navarra in Spain. 
   “Australia adopted the MBA degree relatively early and introduced a number of MBA programmes throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. In most cases the North American two-year full-time model was adopted. Towards the late 1990s several Australian universities shortened their programme to the 12-month full-time version although the premium providers such as the AGSM, Melbourne Business School and Monash University have retained the two-year full-time model,” said Frederik Kotzé, senior media and marketing coordinator, Faculty of Business and Economics Monash University, Australia. 


However, apart from duration, MBA programmes have evolved considerably over the decades. Today there is a realisation that an MBA is more than providing knowledge about business management and there has been an increasing emphasis on the development of what is often incorrectly termed ‘soft skills.’ “The Monash MBA has been prominent in this area and over the last several years has been ranked as a world leader in this regard. The Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2007 MBA rankings placed the Monash MBA second in the world in the category ‘personal development and educational experience.’ Overall, the course was ranked 43 in the world, the highest ranked MBA in Australia, an improvement of six places from its 2006 position,” he added. 
   Tracing the change in the MBA degree, Kotzé said MBAs were developed to provide practising managers with an educational background to help prepare them for a senior management role. “Accordingly, MBA programmes are or should be broad-based, providing a breadth of knowledge of key business and management disciplines. However, in more recent years some MBA programmes have lost their way and have become essentially specialised Master’s degree programmes under another name (MBA). Others have targeted students who have little or no work experience which means that these MBAs are catering for students seeking junior level positions rather than senior management appointments.” 
   The objective of a good MBA programme is to provide aspiring senior managers with a breadth of knowledge across all the essential business disciplines such as accounting, finance, marketing, managing people and so forth. “To complement the broadbased nature of the MBA, several programmes provide an opportunity for students to pursue a specialisation in a particular field. For example, the Monash MBA provides students with an opportunity to pursue a professional track (a specialisation in a particular field of study) or to undertake a double degree combining the MBA with a specialist Master’s degree such as in accounting, applied finance, marketing, HRM, commercial law and health services management. 
   Also, according to Kotzé, there has been an increasing trend for MBA programmes to emphasise the importance of personal development, leadership, globalisation, sustainability, ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in their programmes. 


A good MBA and industry experience provide opportunities for students to either move up the ladder in existing firms, to change employers or industries and in many cases to change their career direction. “In Australia, the MBA is generally regarded to be important for middle to senior management positions. Candidates who are at this level and have completed a good MBA generally find good employment prospects,” added Kotzé. 
   For a new challenge in financial leadership, the Monash MBA has combined forces with the Master of Professional Accounting (MPA) to give professional business managers the necessary management and accounting skills to successfully lead the financial operations of an organisation. “The new MBA/MPA double degree provides strategic management education, specialist professional accounting knowledge, innovative skills development, external personal growth and enhanced career opportunities,” he said. 
   Viraj Perera, deputy commercial manager, Major Projects Victoria in Melbourne, says he chose Monash because it offers a double Master’s degrees - an MBA and a second Master’s degree in a chosen specialisation. Monash also offers the flexibility of linking the MBA to other fields such as engineering, applied finance, law and so on. 
   “In contrast to an MBA that had a set of pre-determined subjects. It gave me the comfort of having the option of furthering my existing engineering background, or choosing another area of specialisation. In the end, I did an MBA with a professional track in managerial finance. Secondly, I found that in the international market, people had a high level of awareness about Monash as compared with other Australian universities, and domestically, Monash is highly regarded. I’m sure that the reputation of Monash worked in my favour in securing this position,” added Perera.



   Sunil Sharma


Dil Se Desi Group