Nothing is constant and change is mandatory
- strictly business
May 28, 2018-Pawan Pokharel began his corporate journey as a banker in 2008. After a short stint in banking, Pokharel joined the manufacturing and trading sector with various organisations. While pursuing his MBA degree from Presidential Business School, he also ventured into the education sector. Since 2011, he has been working at various schools and colleges affiliated with national and international universities in Kathmandu. Pokharel is currently the CEO of Naya-Aayam Multi-Disciplinary Institute (NAMI) College, which is affiliated to the University of Northampton and offers both technical and management courses. In this interview with the Post’s Alisha Sijapati, he talks about bringing Nepali education on par with the international standards and gives his top tips for graduating students. Excerpts:
How would you assess the current status of business studies in Nepal?
Do you think it is moving closer to being on par with international standards?
It would be unfair to say that the Nepali colleges aren’t up to the mark; these days, most colleges are doing well for themselves—even if they are not at the level of some of the top universities around the world. They are all doing well because they understand the needs of the current market. The whole motive of us educationists is to provide world class education to students. These days, colleges have strong marketing strategies and HR, and they also provide rigorous training to teachers. Most of the colleges update their syllabus on a regular basis and offer smart teaching methodologies. Say at NAMI, apart from offering theoretical knowledge to our students, we also guide them towards practical experiences—internships for instance. As an educator, I think it’s crucial to change the syllabus and teaching methods with the way the world is changing. Nothing is constant and change is mandatory everywhere. Constant evolution is critical if Nepali institutions want to stay abreast with the best practices from around the world.
The culture of internships and working while studying is still evolving in Nepal. How do you value these in the overall development of a student, particularly a student of business studies?
Theoretical and practical knowledge must go hand in hand. Theoretical knowledge is not enough for a student to face the real world after graduation; you need to have some sort of practical knowledge that compliments what was learned in class. I believe that ‘Learning is by doing’ and if students adapt to this idea, it would spur them to adopt a practical approach to their studies. Theoretical knowledge is definitely important for real life but until and unless, you work outside, you don’t unearth your true potential and calibre. Also, working and studying simultaneously is harder than what meets the eye. You need to diligently devote your time at both your work place and your university. There is no shortcut to success.
Students entering the corporate world need more than just a degree. As an educator, what qualities do you think student should look to cultivate while still in school?
Education has to go beyond just academic grades. There is the term ASK—Attitude, Skill and Knowledge. I believe these three terms are the most useful and important things a student must always remember. First of all, to reach your goals and to be on top, you need to have the right attitude. If the attitude is right, you can reach anywhere in life. You cannot take things for granted, that’s a bad attitude. And with the number of students seeking out jobs increasing, you always need to be kind, empathetic and determined.
Second, you need to know the art of doing things. You need to be diligent and hardworking in order to acquire skills. If you are better skilled than others, there won’t be an issue when it comes to work. Lastly, the world is getting tougher day by day and you need to be on your toes constantly. It is mandatory that you upgrade your knowledge continuously. If you wait, you slip.
What advice do you have for fresh graduates seeking to enter the job market?
To enter the job market, needless to say, you need to be skilled and knowledgeable. But you also need to be confident and positive. You should never underestimate yourself. Also, you should maintain your integrity. You need to be honest and humble with a dash of humility and empathy. On top of everything else, you need to be hardworking and dedicated. Any smart, experienced person can spot a hardworking and a dedicated person. So, always put your feet on the ground. Also, a person with good communication skills is always needed—you need to know what, when and how to speak in the right time and the right place. Such employees are always appreciated. So, stay focused and everything will align itself.
Published: 28-05-2018 08:46
- Pawan Pokharel