Now let’s check out what can you do to utilise your drop year effectively:
Internships are a great way to learn and gain work experience while you’re preparing. And with the rise in remote work, you can intern at companies remotely.
Internships not only beef up your resume but also help you gain real-world experience. If you’re a student, think of internships as mini-projects, you’re doing these projects to learn plus explore different fields.
Here are some pointers around internships:
A. If you can, do multiple internships in different fields to explore what career path works best for you. Fields like marketing, sales, digital marketing, operations, finance etc.
B. Do not commit to 6 month-long internships because if the internship doesn’t turn out to be good if you’ll get stuck. Better to go for 2-3 month-long internships.
C. If you have done plenty of internships in your undergrad then maybe skip internships and try other things.
D. Some MBA colleges might not give your work experience weightage if it’s an internship but don’t worry, your goal is to learn and anyway this experience will go on your resume-boosting your overall application.
E. To get internships to try platforms like Internshala and Let’s Intern to get started.
- Starting a venture or freelancing:
Apart from working for someone you can start your own venture. Now I don’t mean go and build a start-up full time if you’re planning to give CAT soon. But start something small- it could be a blog, a YouTube channel or just try to sell some product or service.
If you have skills that companies need you can just freelance. Here are some pointers around starting up & freelancing:
A. Don’t take up more than you can chew. The last thing you want is to get overwhelmed with work which hampers your CAT prep.
B. Don’t think about making money. Focus on learning first. Money will get taken care of once you get into a good MBA college.
C. In freelancing you can easily work as a designer, writer, coder, social media manager etc. for companies here in India and even abroad.
D. To find freelancing work try platforms like Fiverr, Upwork and Pepper Content.
- Online Courses:
The education system in India has gone through a major transformation in the last 5 years. Now you can learn any skill from product design, digital marketing to even skills like gardening, making pottery, film making all online.
Here are some pointers around online courses:
A. Not all online courses are the same. There are MOOCs like EdX, Coursera and there are in-depth courses which have a high level of instructor support like UpGrad, InsideIIM, Kraftshala, Great Learning and many more.
B. In-depth advanced courses are generally not free plus demand a good time commitment.
C. If you’re interested in marketing don’t just spend 6-8 months on marketing courses. The goal is to explore right now so try courses from all fields which interests you.
To help you further here are a few more detailed guides:
- What to do if you don’t get into a good MBA college?
- Top In-Demand Careers in 2022 That Don’t Require an MBA
Suggested Online Courses
In case you’re planning to take up online courses, here are some suggestions:
- Data Analytics with Power BI
- Certificate Program in Digital Marketing – In association with Hindustan Unilever
I hope this article gave you some pointers on what you can do in your drop year to improve your application and build new skills. Also remember the most important thing is your CAT preparation, if you feel all these activities can/will impact your preparation then do opt-out. If you liked the article do drop a like and share your thoughts/suggestions in the comment section below. If you want to connect, you can reach out to me on LinkedIn.
All the best!