So! You have a student loan, do you?

So many kids – aged 23-26 today have a serious problem on their hands -they have a degree which is not bankable, they have a loan taken to get that degree, and they have no place to stay in a Metro!

Vow! Welcome to the American lifestyle. Kids who have left their houses to go to a ‘City’ to get a degree – quite likely an MBA are wondering what to do.

The actual scenario may be a little different, but it is somewhat like this:

Here is a boy or girl from a not very well off family who has been conned into doing an MBA with a huge bank loan. Now that the results are out and there is no job…what does one do?

Well here are some tips which I thought would be useful:

1. Go get a job, any job: Amazing how people can sit at home and twiddle their thumbs WAITING to see what to do in life! Man that is NOT DONE. Go get a job, any job. If you think an MBA degree should get you a Rs. 500,000 job at the least, get real. I have seen MBAs working on a starting salary of Rs. 6500 (year 2009) and are not badly off for it!

2. Stop thinking sales job should not be done: There is a huge set of MBA students who have unfortunately got into a mindset that sales jobs are bad. Sales guys get in the moolah – so get real guys, selling is not so bad after all. If you ever want to be a CEO, go and learn how to sell. Other tasks can be outsourced, but if you have a product, YOU NEED to be passionate about it. Learn selling skills is PARAMOUNT, especially if you plan to be on your own.

3. Try to defer your student loans: Just check out the possibility of deferring your student loan repayment. The bank may agree to charge you interest for the deferred period, but at least the day to day tension is postponed. If your parent has given the guarantee, keep them informed.

4. Ensure that your vehicle insurance, medical insurance and life insurance payments are up to date! These are the easiest of payments to skip, and tempting too. Do not delay or neglect to pay – if you break your leg you still need life insurance, do you not? If you die, you do not want your parent to pay off the student loan, do you?

5. Keep your chin up: Learn to laugh about what is happening in your life. I am sure that this is easier said than done. I recently heard of a client whose daughter was in coma for 9 days. Would not have been easy, but he was holding his chin up. So remember, tough times do not last, tough people do.

6. Move back to your Dad’s house: If you have moved from your town to a city to study or take up a job, seriously reconsider moving back. It is all right to come to town for interviews instead of incurring rent. This is really a tough call – it is a mix between wanting to be where the action is and saving some money. Tough call kids, but you have to take the call.

7. Join groups – alumni, HR groups, – just any group to keep in touch with the corporate world. All colleges need such groups which meet – accounting, finance, just about anything. There is some chance of meeting a potential employer!

8. Some small companies will happily let you work for free! Well if they offer you Rs. 5000 per month, do not get into a ‘I am a MBA…’ kind of aggressive mode. Just take it. Yesterday heard of a kid who moved from Rs. 5k a month in a production house (media companies are perhaps the worst exploiters!) in the year 2007 to freelancing today at a price of Rs. 80,000 a month – yes on an assignment basis! It pays to have a worn out sole and time in the sun.

9. Learn some skills: Public speaking, dramatics, excel, power-point, basics of business finance, sales marketing, written communication – all are useful skills. See what you can learn for free, and what you can learn for a pittance. Learn everything that you think is transferable…all this can add up.

10. Be clean: Say no to drugs, tobacco, alcohol – all these have a terrible way of catching up in your corporate life later on. Be clean, be clean, be clean, need one say more. No drunken driving, no getting into trouble for anything at all.

11. If you rely just on job websites for a job, you are doomed! Be on job sites, be on networking sites, be on facebook, be on LinkedIn, just connect, call, meet and get a job. If you still cannot get a job (be honest to yourself, not to me) there is something seriously wrong with your attempt.

A 8% growth economy creates enough jobs. You will find yours surely, best of luck kids.

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  1. Nicely written. In the current state of unemployment everywhere (all around the world, irrespective of the age!), it is really important to have a great attitude, skill and bit of luck!

  2. and inspite of this,many people want govt to subsidize higher education. a college degree is not for everybody and neither are all college degrees useful except to the teaching staff.
    we will be doomed if we have a sallie mae equivalent here guaranteeing student loans.we are already treadin that way -govt will soon insure subprime mortgages (or loans made to the poor for houses they cant afford). nothing but aa baill mujhe maar

  3. Another excellent piece, Subra. Fundamental things in life are being blatantly ignored by kids nowadays and they are swayed into wanting to be in the top 0.5 to 1% of their peers especially wrt a headstart in their career. Similarly, living in a new city and incurring expenditure that is avoidable, is another important issue. These chaps will come down heavily on such a thing and try to immediately bring out an excel sheet arguing that the cost differential is not much. These children certainly need to know that life is not lived as per projections on an excel sheet and certainly not through IRRs.

  4. An eyeopener for many of them who still feel getting degrees would fetch them a high salaried job. This would indeed be an inspiring mail for all of them going through hardships of the mentioned cases.

  5. Well said!The above article simply defines two different ways to see the things.I’m a 2011 passed out and working in an institute from past 5 months.Though i’m not upto the expected career as i thought in my btech,so i thought of quitting the job.Considering the fact in real world i’m far far better than those who were still in dreams not putting efforts to get a job .but those above points made me realize and made me to continue as success dosen’t comes without effort and hardwork!

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