Do you feel uncertain of a career option? Do you lack the freedom to choose a subject that you really want to pursue? Do you always feel low on self-confidence? Are you constantly doubting yourself? A Q&A column by Nandini Raman, practising counsellor and trainer, to assuage your doubts.

I am a civil engineer with two years’ work experience in a construction industry from Dubai. Of late, I have developed an interest in MBA and I am preparing for CAT 2018. Meanwhile, I am also searching for a job as I quit my previous one a few months back. What kind of job should I apply for till my MBA, so that it will boost my career post-MBA? Also, I am more interested in pursuing an MBA from India (possibly the IIMs), but can you tell me if a foreign MBA will have greater value than an Indian MBA? — Karthik Narayanan

Attwmpting the CAT is indeed a smart move Getting into a premier institute (IIMs, XLRI) is not easy task at all. I am not sure if you should join an organisation as yet, since I feel you could use this time for your preparation to crack the entrance exam. Joining another company now will perhaps distract you from your preparation. Of course, the weightage of an MBA from Harvard Business School, The Wharton School, and so on, is way superior to that of one from India.

Starting with my class X exams, I have 9.8 CGPA and have been among the top five students in my district. In the class XII board exam, I scored 97.5% and was an all-India rank holder in the CBSE board exam, also scoring 97 in English (the all-India highest). I completed my graduation in B.Com (Hons.) in finance from Banaras Hindu University with 82%, in 2017. During my B.Com, I pursued chartered accountancy and completed its foundation in the first attempt. However, I was not able to pass the intermediate despite three attempts. So, I quit CA and opted for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP). I have completed all the modules except the final one. But, sometimes, I am apprehensive about the course’s prospects. Also, I get anxious when I think of whether quitting CA was a wrong decision as I am an only child from a middle-class family.Apart from this, I am an MBA aspirant who did not score well in CAT 2017, and I am planning to attempt the exam again. As I have always been a topper since childhood, I fear that any drop in my career would affect my future. Please help me get rid of my fear and confusion. — Yash Bhartia

You have had such a brilliant academic track record that you should be so proud of yourself. However, I get the feeling that you are a perfectionist and don’t seem to settle for anything but the best. It is good to put your best foot forward, but it can be a double-edged sword and you can burn out with the stress of topping the course.

I understand your angst and disappointment at being unable to complete CA, but be rest assured that CFP is also a great course. You still have time to do it, should your heart be in it. Please work on a cost-benefit analysis on both courses and see what shows up. Also, if you choose one, please accept it wholeheartedly and make your peace with it, so that there is no regret in not having done the other.

I am in class XII and would like to opt for higher studies in mathematics. I am attending IIT JEE entrance classes too. What are the B.Tech courses with math as a main subject, which have high scope ? — Gayathri T. Vinod

Good luck for your IIT JEE. B.Tech in Mathematics. Computing is a good course. Also, check out Chennai Mathematical Institute ( It offers many wonderful undergraduate courses in math.

I scored 92.6% in my ICSE class X board exams. In classes XI and XII, I opted for commerce with math. In Class XII, I juggled my board exams and CLAT. I failed miserably in both. I have scored 75% in the ISC boards and 68 in CLAT. I know that if I repeat CLAT next year, I will get into the top NLUs. But my parents are sceptical of me repeating the exam because they think I will lose a year. I might get admitted into some private college, but I want to know if sacrificing a year is worth the NLUs —Annet Paulson

If your heart is in doing Law, then go for it. Your parents’ apprehension comes from the fact that they are doubtful about how will you keep yourself busy, if you take a gap year. Use the time sensibly and work on specific skill sets that will help you with your law course. Losing a year in the entirety on your life is not a big deal. However, if you don’t use it to learn, train or work on specific things that will help you in the future, it seems futile. Identify how can you use this time productively.

Disclaimer: This column is not a substitute for long-term therapy. It is merely a guiding voice. Some issues may need medical intervention.

The author is a practising consellor and a trainer.She will answer questions sent to

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