Interview with Dr. N. Venkata Sastry, Director, Career Centre, SRM Institute of Science & Technology.

SRM has a placement policy with which a student can acquire at least 7 offers.

One of the most important departments in any university or reputed college is the placement cell or career guidance centre. It plays a crucial role in helping students secure their dream jobs and is considered an essential department. The staff develops a comprehensive, developmental program for students, providing them valuable resources, training, and opportunities to join suitable companies to kickstart their careers. A vital role is played by the director of the centre. SRM Institute of Science & Technology has been fortunate to have the dynamic and forward-thinking Dr. N. Venkata Sastry, Director of the Career Centre, SRM Institute of Science & Technology. In an interaction with our editor, he highlights the numerous functions of the department and the difference it makes.

Global Features in an interview with Dr. N. Venkata Sastry, Director of the Career Centre, SRM Institute of Science & Technology

What is the main role of your career guidance and placement cell?

At SRM, we call it the “Career Centre.” Our Career Centre is the focal point of career development for the students of the university. The Career Centre at SRM Institute of Science and Technology plays a vital role in making SRM a favored destination for many national and international organizations to recruit fresh talent nurtured at the Institute. The Career Centre facilitates the placements of SRM’s College of Engineering & Technology, College of Management, College of Science & Humanities, College of Medical & Health Sciences, College of Law, College of Agriculture Sciences, College of Architecture, and Hotel Management.

There are three major areas that we concentrate on:

1. Helping the budding and young minds of SRM to build interpersonal skills, industry-related skills in emerging technologies by establishing Centres of Excellence, higher education, and entrepreneurship aspirations.

2. Conducting Campus Recruitment Programmes.

3. Serving as a one-stop destination for all external and internal entities and stakeholders for all career-related initiatives.

Apart from these, there is continuous institute-industry interaction, pre-joining learning initiatives, and participation in industrial exhibitions, fairs, and seminars to promote useful interaction with industries. Alumni activities are also some of the initiatives of the Placement Office. The excellent infrastructure of the Career Centre facilitates activities like pre-placement talks, written tests, group discussions, and interviews as per the requirements of the recruiting organizations.

Any particular training assistance that you would like to highlight?

We have recently formed a team called the Academic Interface Program which focuses on skill-based demands, training students on current industry skills. The Performance Insights Dashboard provides students with role-based requirements of specific companies. Additionally, we solicit, review, and work on technical feedback from recruiting employers.

Which are the major companies that come to your campus?

We have an array of top players from each sector. Here are some of the hundreds of companies visiting SRM:

1. IT Companies: TCS, Cognizant, Accenture, Wipro, Capgemini, Infosys, LTIMindtree

2. Product Companies: Google, Adobe, Atlassian, Oracle, Freshworks

3. Analytics: MuSigma, Quantiphi Analytics, Tiger Analytics, Latentview Analytics

4. BFSI: Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, JP Morgan, BNY Mellon, Natwest

5. Core: Maruti Suzuki, Ford, Renault Nissan, Anand Group, Murugappa Group, Bajaj Auto, Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, JK Tyres, CEAT

6. Banking: Federal Bank, Axis Bank, IDBI Bank, City Union Bank, IndusInd Bank

7. Manufacturing: Wheels India, Havells India, Nestle, Exide

8. Pharma: AstraZeneca, Roche, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Cipla

What about international placements?

We have been actively conducting international placements since our inception. Companies recruit students for overseas locations across various disciplines, from Agricultural Sciences to Core Engineering, drawing from a diverse pool of companies.

How does your cell help students enhance their employability?

The Career Centre encompasses the Placement Office, the Academic Interfacing Program (aimed at bringing in the latest and emerging technology skills bridging the gap between academics and the dynamic industry), and the Career Development Centre.

The Career Development Centre helps to identify the interests and capabilities of students in relation to their career goals and academic progression. Students are encouraged to pursue their passion. Intensive coaching and training are provided in personality development and in shaping their leadership qualities.

The Placement Office, besides placement and training, holds workshops, events like hackathons and quizzes, conferences, talks by experts, internships, and industrial visits to enable students to be up-to-date with contemporary trends and be ‘Market Ready’ by the time of graduation.

SRM Institute of Science and Technology full view

With newer trends, what qualities do employers look for in students nowadays?

In today’s dynamic job market, employers often look for a combination of technical skills, soft skills, and personal attributes in students. Some of the newer trends and qualities that employers commonly seek include:

1. Adaptability and Resilience

2. Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving

3. Digital Literacy

4. Emotional Intelligence

5. Communication Skills

6. Industry-Specific Knowledge and Specializations

How large and useful is your alumni network?

SRM has an active and engaged alumni network which significantly enhances the effectiveness of a placement office by providing valuable resources, support, and opportunities for current students and recent graduates as they transition into the workforce. We have at least 50+ of our alumni at CEO levels in some of the top MNCs in the world.

How do you go about inviting industry personnel periodically to enrich the knowledge base of students?

We at SRM Career Centre engage and connect with our industry patrons over and beyond campus recruitments by inviting them for tech talks, hackathons, panel discussions, centers of excellence, labs, faculty development programs, student development programs, management development programs, industry visits, etc.

When does the SRM campus recruitment season begin?

That’s where we score. We have an evergreen season, i.e., we invite and bring in companies throughout the year.

Can one student accept more than one offer?

SRM has a placement policy with which a student can acquire at least seven offers. Seven offers. That’s exceptionally great.

SRM Institute of Science and Technology full view
Students and life at SRM Institute of Science and Technology

On a personal front, what made you enter the academia field?

My forte is sales, marketing, and related administration of non-formal education programs that value-add the formal curriculum of young minds. It was by accident on a bright January morning in the year 2000, I was asked to help the campus placement team, and suddenly I found a natural fit for my skills. I am here today, blessed to have great mentors and well-wishers who helped me excel and achieve success. Today, I work with the hopes and aspirations of 6000+ graduates year after year.

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