Just within a few months of its inception, St Francis College, Bengaluru launched a one-of-its-kind internship program for its first-year students, to give them an opportunity to be a part of the professional environment during their course.
The real-world experience in the form of access to professionals and work environment immensely contributes to the learning of students.
This trailblazing initiative is sure to catapult St Francis College's position as a thought leader among institutions. Since academia and industry are two important pillars of our economy, robust collaboration between the two will enable growth in the education system and produce an employment-ready workforce.
Situated in the heart of Bengaluru, in the vibrant neighbourhood of Koramangala, St Francis College established by the Franciscan Brothers, is committed to molding the younger generation into high-profile professionals.
The state-of-the-art campus offers the finest resources and amenities for the holistic learning and development of the students.
"It was my vision to address the employability issue that students currently face across India. Through our internship program, we are among the first colleges in the country to bridge the industry-academia gap. We have given all 400 of our students from across India a big boost, to be more confident as well as enhance their readiness for the corporate world. Our first semester students are now better prepared to understand the nuances of the corporate world and interpret the business scenario", said Brother Sayimon, Director, St Francis College.
"At a time when India is grappling with the lack of the skilled workforce, it is encouraging to see how St Francis College is grooming candidates with hands-on exposure. I congratulate the institution for taking up the task to bridge the industry-academia gap. This internship program is sure to serve as a model to be emulated across other universities as well. Initiatives such as this will be key to realizing our government's vision to drive employment", said Prof Japhet, Vice-Chancellor, Bengaluru Central University.
Over 105 leading compes across various spheres of business and NGOs descended at the campus at a unique interactive event to offer internships to students.
All 400 students were assigned projects based on their interests, the nature of work and location. The top recruiters included the Bengaluru Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Decathlon, VLCC, Zivame, Tripvillas, Ingo Electric, Eat Raja, Datacor Informatics; I am Here App, JBrown, Life VR, Integro, Nightingales Medical Trust, Little Sisters of the Poor, Dream India Network and many more.
While the minimum period for the internship was 15 days, the maximum extended up to six months. The students could continue to work post 3 PM on weekdays and weekends.
Through the internship program, the students gained first-hand exposure to various corporate functions including communication, business development, social media marketing, financial literacy, data entry, website development, interacting with clients in India and overseas, outreach and much more.
"We wanted to address the employability issue right from the start. Our courses have been designed keeping in mind the future of work. We also wanted our students to understand and experience work culture, so that they have the right perspective on the academic front and see its implementation right through. As a thought leader in the industry, my plan is to bridge industry and academia. One way was to change the 'stereotype' of a fresher. Now our students have industry experience right from the first semester, over and above gaining exposure through guest lecturers, panel discussions, industrial tours, and project reports. By the time they graduate with a degree in their hand, the students will have already had commendable work experience across 6 compes/sectors in their resume", said Sameera Fernandes, Dean, St Francis College, who has over 19 years experience in the corporate world and international affairs.
The internship program has given students at St Francis College, the opportunity to use their years on campus to explore various sectors/industries and then choose their 'career of choice' once they graduate.
It also ensures that the younger generation enjoys their work and pursues their passion. The students are key contributors to the workplace and also bring about change in the work culture.
St Francis College also takes pride in introducing new courses to expand the horizons of students. An aviation course affiliated to IATA Canada is in the pipeline, which will give students an option to pursue alternate careers after pilot and cabin crew training.
An interior design course that would give students professional exposure through internships and enlightening lectures by visiting faculty is also in the offing.
The college is also committed to mold students to be socially responsible. Students from St Francis College recently participated in Polio Eradication Drive in association with Rotary International, WHO, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to increase their social consciousness.
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( With inputs from ANI )