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Exams Postponed, Internships Revoked: COVID-19 Hit Students Badly

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The coronavirus crisis has undoubtedly disarrayed the entire world. While we’re preparing to battle its impact on various sectors, especially on the economic front, there’s one section that hasn’t really managed to grab the attention of policymakers – the students. With the entrance exams, admission process and the results delayed and placement offers getting revoked, this unprecedented crisis has pushed a major chunk of students into uncertainty regarding their careers. Students are anxious and doubtful about the upcoming academic year.

We spoke to a few students to understand the problems they are facing.

Admission Process Delayed, What Next?

Being an MBA aspirant and having written CAT 19, I know how it feels when even after burning the midnight oil, you don’t have anything in your hand. NEET, JEE, CAT, are some of the major national entrance examinations in India. Lakhs of students start preparing for these exams, one or two years before to stay ahead of their competitors. But the COVID-19 has nearly ruined the aspirations of these students. Not only NEET and JEE have been postponed until further notice, but ICS Board Examinations too have been postponed indefinitely.

As far as CAT is considered, a few IIMs and other major B-Schools are yet to complete their admission process. “Everything was going well. I had appeared for the interview process of IIM Kozhikode and IIMs that come under the common admission process (CAP). My IIM Lucknow and Indore interviews were yet to be conducted and this crisis knocked on our door. While IIM Indore is conducting online interviews, we do not have an idea about the Written Ability Test (WAT) which carries weightage in the final selection. All this is nothing more than a jolt,” says Somya Jaiswal, MBA aspirant and a 2019 BSc graduate from Kanpur.

Also Read: Entrepreneurship post COVID-19: What will it look like? Agile or Struggle?

Uncertainty In Job Offers And Internships

Not only are the admission processes getting delayed, but even the job offers and internships are either getting revoked or postponed indefinitely. Since no one knows how long this crisis is going to last, several companies who hired students from the placement drive are now uncertain about continuing the offers. “Being in the first year of MBA, I’m seeing students searching for internships online as their internships are either getting cancelled or postponed. Even when I’m offered a work from the home internship, I doubt I’ll be able to get a gist of the corporate culture. This crisis might end sooner or later, but it will leave indelible marks on our future,” says Gowri Khanna, an MBA student from a prestigious B school in India.

“I left my job since I was selected at a prestigious B school and I thought that I’ll have to join by June. However, now as the condition is worsening, I doubt that the academic session will even start. The worst part is, even if it starts, I don’t think our batch will be able to grab good internships owing to the ongoing global economic uncertainty. Now I do not even have a job and since layoffs are already taking place, I don’t think I’ll be even able to grab one,” says Mahima Kushwaha, an ex-employee at a technology giant.

Also Read: Students To Take Global Exams Like TOEFL And GRE From Home

International Education Programmes

Sarika Dwivedi is an MBA student who went to France as a part of her International Management Development Programme. However, she had to return to India as the world started grappling with the coronavirus. Some of her friends are still stuck there, as they failed to board the last flight to India.

The total fees for this programme was 28 lakhs, for which I had to apply for a loan. Now, when I had an opportunity to earn, coronavirus hit the world.

“It was a terrifying scenario. People were running to malls to collect things of necessities, and we were stuck at the airport to return to India. Our check-in was done but we were not allowed to board the flight. The Indian embassy had to then intervene and we finally reached India. We were tested for the virus at the airport, and were allowed to go home. However, our career, which was all set to bloom after April, since we would’ve joined the internships, has been paused. The total fees for this programme was 28 lakhs, for which I had to apply for a loan. Now, when I had an opportunity to earn, coronavirus hit the world. Now, we won’t be returning to France. The second year of our programme is scheduled in Gurgaon. I really do not have an idea how things will unfold, what’ll happen to my career and how will I repay the loan,” says Sarika.

Also Read: Why Internships Are An Important Part Of College Life

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