20 June, 2021

What Next? A Pragmatic Chat

A little dose of clarity as a professor counsels class 12 students on university and careers

Future Tense
Most students have no idea what they want to do—­delaying a decision may help
Photograph by Tribhuvan Tiwari
What Next? A Pragmatic Chat

The atmosphere in the room was heavy with expectation. Four young students—two boys and two girls—each of them from class 12, and each looking more lost than the other. Life after school loomed in front of them, and it was not a happy thought. Simply because, like most students in their age group, they were utterly confused about what to do next.

Along with these students came two worried-looking parents. And they were all in this room to meet a professor, someone who had spent several years working in the industry and had since moved to his current academic position at a premier B-School. Would he be able to bring some order into their thinking? The students as well as their parents were desperate, and willing to give him a chance. And so the questions came in thick and fast. Starting with the first one, “Sir, I have been advised to take up engineering because of the number of opportunities available after this. And money. But I’m not really keen on it. What should I do?”

The professor smiled. He had seen many, many students over the...

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