During the CareeReady programme, the students are taken on 3 exposure visits. There have been visits to banks, malls, retail shops, schools, training institutes and most recently, to the Make in India festival. While these may seem like an unrelated group of places, the objectives of the each visit is the same no matter where we go.
One component of CareeReady is that the students gain career awareness. This can range from learning about the specific qualifications needed to enter a certain career, what experience is needed, what commitments need to be made for certain careers, and simply gaining knowledge about the wide range of careers that are open to them. Careers in travel and tourism, banking (not just accountancy!), retail, and many more, are unknown to some of our students. The range of job options available in just one sector can similarly be new to some of our students. The exposure visits give our students on-the-ground experience in different sectors. At a recent visit to The Courtyard, a pre-school, the students were given the opportunity to sit-in on different classes and see just how much energy you need to be a pre-school teacher! During most visits, the students are given a presentation about the sector and what is needed to enter it. At one visit to HDFC bank, the students were delighted and surprised at the huge variety of jobs in the bank, and were given detailed advice on how best to kick-start a career in the banking sector. Similarly, students interested in pursuing vocational training were inspired by the visit to Don Bosco. They were told about the different courses at Don Bosco, and the career options available after one finishes vocational training. The most recent visit, Make in India, was a little different, a little special. The students went to an event rather than a place of work, but the things they learnt were similar. They saw the wide range of goods that are made in India, the number of different sectors that all operate in their country and their city. The exposure visits really emphasise the fact that there is such a huge range of jobs that each student will be able to be passionately, productively and positively engaged in a career or vocation of their choice.
There is one final element of the exposure visits that I would like to talk about: the confidence it gives our students. Some of our students have not left their communities before the exposure visit. And so what the exposure visit does is take them out of their comfort zones. Not too much, though! Their trainer is with them every step of the way, helping their confidence in navigating the city, in interacting with new people and in exploring a new space. These visits help to prepare the students for the commuting they may have to do, the independence they have to gain and in general, the tricky world of work that they will enter.