Two young women with engineering degrees were interviewed by a multinational software firm, but the one who got picked had average grades and wasn’t a gold medalist at the University level. The other candidate had topped her batch and had consistently got excellent grades through the semesters. She was rejected because of her poor communication skills.
There are thousands of professionals churned out by colleges every year, not just engineers but in several other fields. But of these, how many are really employable? And, on how many students can organizations invest in extensive training to bridge the gap between college and corporate?
For this very reason, executive finishing schools have become very popular today. An executive finishing school is an institute that offers to “polish” a person’s skills and train them to deal with situations they may encounter at in the corporate world.
The training that is provided seeks to complement their education and in a sense “groom” them to be more confident and walk with their heads held high.
Etiquette training for women is not a new concept. It has been observed right from the time women (especially in Britain and other European countries) taught their daughters how they should hold their heads when they dance and how not to cross their legs when they sat at a party.
Today, there are finishing schools to give an all round training in personal etiquette, dress sense, fine dining and communication skills. Apart from this, lessons in the art of conversation, making friends and influencing people are not uncommon.
“I was overwhelmed when I came to the software hub Bangalore and everyone around me spoke flawless English. Obviously, my programming skills were not going to be enough to survive!” says Kavita a software professional who works for a multinational firm in Bangalore.
Kavita studied at an engineering college in Madurai and she was recruited to work in Bangalore. While her technical skills were exceptional, she needed to work on her soft skills to be able to fit into the environment at work.
Dale Carnegie India is a training company which seeks to emphasize ” practical principles and processes by designing programs that offer people the knowledge, skills and practices they need to add value to the business. Connecting proven solutions with real-world challenges, Dale Carnegie Training is recognized internationally as the leader in bringing out the best in people.
Dale Carnegie India is headquartered at Mumbai and has branches at Delhi, Bangalore and Pune. Students are given tips about various things including addressing people by their first names and asking questions instead of giving orders. Women are encouraged to initiate handshakes, to show confidence.
While knowledge and college education have given women opportunities in the corporate sector like never before, in several cases, there are gaps in areas such as communication skills, and etiquette that need to be bridged. This is addressed by finishing schools that aim at making the woman confident and ready to take on the world.
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