The country’s premier architecture and planning school — CEPT University — will be wooing district collectors and urban development authorities from the state to its campus to garner placements for their students.
Looking at the dismal economy, officials from the newly anointed ‘placement cell’ at the Centre for Environment, Planning & Technology (CEPT) are pulling out all the stops and holding an “orientation session” for prospective employers to ensure that the 400 undergraduate and post-graduate students looking at placements this year find jobs.
“There are a few planning firms in the country, while many corporations and local civic bodies also need to understand the process of internship and how they can fit our students into their system. On February 20, we plan to invite all the Mayors and district collectors of Gujarat to the CEPT campus,” said Suresh Patel, Director of Career & Alumni Services at CEPT University.
CEPT will also be inviting officials from city development authorities from at least 14 district councils from major cities of Gujarat like Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Surat, among others to the campus and expose them to the role of planners, urban designers and architects in building and managing settlements.
“Considering the economy is under duress, it will be tough for these graduates to find employment. This way, we are opening avenues of employment. Many urban development authorities also look at experienced candidates whereas we need them to look at freshers and take advantage of the fact that they can mold them in the beginning of their careers as well,” Patel added.
The institute has all the reasons to press the panic button as the number of companies, which visited CEPT University last year, stood at 21. While the placement season has been extended from November 2013 to March 2014, the officials have approached around 400 odd companies of which they expect an estimated 40 to make it for campus placement in coming weeks.
Apart from orienting industry and government bodies, the college has also started a portal that carries all information about the graduating batch, including a student’s CV, personal profile and portfolio of the work done by the student. Each company on expressing interest is given an id and password by the ‘placement cell’, through which it can shortlist students ahead of its visit to the campus. Companies like Godrej, Crisitl, Atkins Global, GIFT city, Total Environment, Godrej Properties have already visited the campus recently and have made around 6 to 7 offers in each of the five faculties on campus.
The university’s rich alumni base is another channel which is also being tapped by the placement cell. “During the monsoon semester that is in August-September; we plan to organise alumni meets in all the major cities of India and thereby also meet with the local industry. Our local alumni will have a major part to play as we go to all major cities of India to meet local industry. We have also written to all our alumni in India and abroad about how the economy is on a downturn and our sector is the first to be hit. They have a moral responsibility to see how these graduates would be employed. We are currently in the process of firming up our alumni associations in all the five faculties, creating alumni identity cards for them, so that they can actively engage with their alma mater,” added Patel.
“Social media is another way in which we are reaching out, as we have some online forums where our alumni can sound us out about job openings and job referrals. For instance, we have a few Facebook page that acts as a forum between the alumni and graduates for jobs,” said Shailna Wadhwa, a student placement coordinator for the Faculty of Planning.