Thursday, February 11, 2010

Rubbing shoulders with college goers, for a change

Its been a long time since I had been to a college! My M Pharma in pharmacology was completed way back in 1992 - it was a full time course. My PGDMM was from IGNOU (an open university) through distance learning while working (part time learning). So I had not experienced any college life for a long long time until...

I duck any requests for giving a talk at colleges as it stresses my work life. However, this timeround, Dr. Arshia, Prof. and HOD of Dept. of Quality, Krupanidhi College of Pharmacy, Carmellaram, Bangalore was inviting me to give a talk on pharma marketing to the outgoing students of M Pharma and B Pharma. After 6 months of dilly dallying I gave in ...

Actually, Dr. Arshia was my junior - when I was
in M Pharma I think she was in 1st or 2nd B Pharma. She was a very hard working student fully focussed on studies, research ... so naturally she has progressed a lot in life having completed M Pharma and Ph D. I also observed she is very committed towards student development. Today it is nice to see her professional growth, achievements, and marvelous commitment to her occupation.

So I sort of gave in to her request and gave a talk to the student community at the College where she works.

In my talk I started out by saying that there is a lot of difference between working life and student life. The major difference, I said, is that we lose a lot of protection. At college we get a lot of protection:

parents provide us with financial protection and guidance (by the way in India, parents support children till they are 'settled' that means till he is up to may be even 22 years of age or beyond that)

teachers guide students to help students achieve their goals.

In professional life - all these protection mechanisms disappear, parents want us to be self reliant and support them, the organization to which we belong starts using us as a human resource to achieve company objectives (career development is not the primary focus of commercial organizations). So this will be a very important change to absorb.

The other points I stressed on: College education is focussed on syllabus oriented learning. However, in professional life a well rounded personality with the ability to learn new things (adaptability) is required. Furthermore, college education does not stress on communication competency. This is however of paramount importance in professional life.

This was followed by a brief on the Indian pharma market, which students are not normally exposed to. For eg., the no. of companies in India, the top 10 pharma companies in India, the top 10 pharma brands in India (WHEN I TOLD THEM THAT COREX IS THE TOPMOST PHARMA BRAND IN INDIA, THERE WERE GASPS OF SHOCK AND SURPRISE!). ...

All in all, it was an interesting experience for me. Dr. Arshia appreciated and thanked me and my employers for my participation. I am glad to have represented my company very well, as per her observation.

There were pleasant surprises - some of the teachers at Govt. College of Pharmacy, Bangalore where I had done my M Pharma were there as contract teachers (after retirement). In fact, one of my teachers Mr. K T Basavanna (who teaches statistics) was there throughout my talk, and he gave me a small souvenir too (on behalf of the college). I took it with all happiness from my teacher of M Pharma years...

In the above photo, Mr. Basavanna gifted me (I am wearing a blazer) with a souvenir of remembrance

When I remarked to Mr. Basavanna that he has hardly changed in appearance he smiled and said: "Yes there is no significant difference"!


The above blogpost was slightly different from the routine, I will be back with my regular type of blogposts, please do scroll down and read all other posts ...

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