“Active Priya,” yelled one lecturer, taking a few quick steps forward from the circle pumping her fists; “Energetic Vidya,” yelled another from the circle, with both her hands in a thumbs up sign and a wink. Priya and Vidya are two from a bunch of lecturers of MOP Vaishnav College who were asked to describe their own quality with an innovative gesture. It was to make a point that everyone has creativity and different abilities and therefore can find one’s own place in the corporate world.

The event was part of an exclusive workshop – Campus-to-Corporate - for teachers held at MOP Vaishnav College for Women in Chennai.

The workshop, designed and conducted by an HR training company, Training Sideways, was targeted at teachers to prepare their students for a smooth entry into the corporate world. The training programme was based on a Out of Syllabus, authored by V. Rajesh, an experienced retailer turned trainer.

K. Sunil Vishnu, Director of the HR outfit, (a division of the Evam Theatre group) says he partnered with Rajesh to use art-based methodologies such as music and theatre to translate the contents of the book, thereby offering an activity-based and highly experiential workshop to students – in this case, lecturers.

The book is aimed at addressing the issue of employability skills and provides a hands-on and practical guide to career planning and success. “As it is not part of most educational syllabuses and therefore never taught to anyone in colleges, I titled it such,” explained Rajesh.

“The workshop was great; it was hands on, unlike the learning we are used to. Learning here was physical and it sparked a lot of thought and introspection,” says Vidhya Padmanabhan, lecturer in the journalism department. “It was lively, cheerful and made us think about ourselves - our strengths and our success in terms of achievements,” said another participant, Manjula, a lecturer from the same department.

ravikumar.ramanujam@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on September 6, 2012)
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