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 to assuage your doubts.

I have finished my B.Com and am currently working in a Big Four firm. However, my interests lie in sports management and allied areas. Can you guide me as to which are good institutes overseas where I can pursue courses in this field, preferably as a postgraduate degree. Also, what are the prerequisites for applying? – S. Sharath

Dear Sharath,

Seems like you are trapped in a desk-job strategising and number crunching whilst you seem to enjoy action, the outdoors perhaps and massive adrenaline rushes. There are many reputed courses available overseas as a masters programme in this field. To mention a few — AISTS Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Sports Administration, Switzerland; MS Management des Organisations de Sport (MOS), France; MBA Media, Entertainment and Sports Management, University of Virginia, USA; MBA Sport Marketing, U.K; MA Physical Education and Recreation, Canada; M.Sc Sports Industry Management, France; Master Sports Science, Malaysia; Executive Master in Marketing and Sports Management, Portugal; Master in Economics and Business Administration — Sports and Event Management, Denmark and so on. You will need to shortlist the course of your choice and passion, and then research the universities that offer it, world over. Write in to their admission officer (email links will available on the universities website) and seek their advise on course fee, application criteria and process.

I was keen to join the military and tried hard for the last five years to clear the psychometric assessment, but in vain. Now I am 27, unemployed, but want to become an IPS officer. However, I have doubts about clearing the exam and in the eventuality that I do not clear the exam, what do I do next? What should be my Plan B be? I am interested in policing, intelligence, and related fields. – Kartik V

Hi Kartik,

It is rather unfortunate that you have landed at these confusing crossroads. What is your basic education in? How come you never picked up a job postgraduation/master’s? Ideally, try and get a job to find a foothold and stay afloat (even if temporary) till you figure out ways and means of reaching your goal. As you are aware, joining the Army, IPS is a diligent, rigorous, strict procedure, with specified processes at each step of the recruitment. There are no shortcuts and you will need to reappear and take the UPSC exam again. You do know that you are eligible for the same. Identify and introspect on what is not working in your current preparation plan. Sign up to a coaching centre that can help you and give it your best shot. Also, work on your physical strength and endurance as that will help you stay strong and alert.

I am 25 years old and from a rural background. I worked in a government bank for three years and later quit, as I wanted to prepare for my UPSC. I am not worried about success or failure. But, the problem I am facing is that I failed to develop my communication, presentation and vocabulary skills. And comparatively, I have less courage because of my rural background and family set up. I feel that these are basic skills without which one cannot prosper even in other fields. How do I nurture these skills and be more courageous? – Pio Jeyaraj

Dear Pio,

I compliment and congratulate you on your courage to send this question and for being so brutally honest. These values are slowly dying in today’s superficial world. Be proud of who and what you are. Your rural background, your family may define you but they certainly do not limit you. Many extraordinary, super achievers and great men and women from our history, had very humble beginnings and yet, made their lives a testimony for us. Breathe easy in your own skin and do not let anyone intimidate you and make you feel any less. Yes, it is all about packaging today — communication, presentation, vocabulary all are very essential and rightly put by you, they are ‘skill sets’ that can be learnt and picked up to enhance your overall personality, at any time. Please find some schools or centres of repute to brush up on these skills and prepare hard. Believe and trust in yourself.

I have completed my B.Tech in Information Technology and have a one year experience in the IT sector and three years experience in the banking sector. I am 27 and want to change my job role. Which would be better — doing an executive MBA or a regular MBA? Please help. – Divyah Shruthi

Dear Divyah,

What do you enjoy is something that you haven’t mentioned. What would you want to change your current role to? With your work experience, you are certainly better suited for an executive MBA. The basic difference between this and a traditional MBA (full-time, part-time, one or two year programme) is that of job status and programme structure. Identify the details of that once you shortlist your choice of institute. An EMBA has a very intensive course schedule making it rather tough for the student to maintain a job. Meet up and speak with some of the Alma mater to get a realistic perspective of what to expect once you make it through the entrance.

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 counsellor and a trainer. She will answer questions sent to The subject line should be: ‘Off the edge’

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