Career Counseling Begins at Home

    – Sabin Bikram Pant


Education begins at home, a common phrase that we have been hearing since our childhood. But now the time has come to modify this phrase, Career Counseling also begins at home.

In one of the surveys carried out in USA recently, a question was asked “What are their greatest regrets in life. Good number of people responded as “I wish I would’ve followed my dreams when I was in my late teens and deciding what I wanted to take in University. Had I made the decision to believe in myself — my talents, my passions, and my dreams; my life would be very different today”. The moral of the story is; career counseling is the very important part of a child’s life and it needs to begin at home.

So now the problem is – how do we ensure that our child is on right path in terms of their career? In other words, do their area of interest really represent their attitude, value, and behavior? For example, one of the issues that we regularly face when a student comes to us and asks, should I take marketing or finance as a major in my BBA/MBA?  Our child may ask the same question to us. They may also ask us should I take Science or Commerce after completing +2 exams. What will be our answer? The answer that we will give may shape their future right or wrong – their future is at stake. So how do we respond to them? We have a tendency that we take these questions very lightly and answer casually. This is the first mistake we make.

The fact is child’s career decision, or lack thereof, can impact not only the child but the parents as well. While peers largely influence our children on matters such as music or dress, research indicates that overall, parents are still the most significant influencing factor when it comes to a child’s career decision. It’s important to have career discussions with our children. Followings are few tips which may help us to understand the interest and behavior of our child.

Try to understand the behavior, value and interest of your children.

Let me explain with an example. When students come to me and ask should I take marketing as a major or finance, I respond with a set of questions; who are you? Do you like to interact with people? Do you feel awkward while taking to group of friends and families during a classroom or social gathering? Do you like to play with the numbers? Which section of news paper do you like most? Is it money or economic sections or general section? How often you participated in extra / co circular activates? Do you like to work in a team or alone? The reasons for asking these questions are very simple. Because based on their response, we can fairly make an educated guess about the personality of a person. If they feel awkward while taking group of people, they may be not good at marketing. This is just an example and may not necessarily be true all the time. But what really matters is to observe our child’s changing behavior, value and interest over the period of time.

It is extremely important to note that, our child’s interest and behavior changes over the period time. During the school days, they may be very shy person but now they may be comfortable talking to people. Similarly, it is common to see that they have different career goal in different phase of their life. For example, during their teens, they may want to be a doctor or an engineer but now at 16, they may want to be an entrepreneur. By the time they reach 20, they have completely different career goal. Do not discourage them from dreaming of what they want to be in the future. Let them explore, in fact encourage them to explore so that they themselves figure out what they actually want. However, make sure to help them in the process and don’t just sit out on the other side of the fence. Most importantly, when you help them in the process, make sure to have complete understanding of your child’s changing behavior, value and interest.

Try to be open minded

There is a chance that you may have always wanted your child to own your own business or may have beliefs that since I am lawyer my son/ daughter also needs to be a lawyer.  Understand that values (i.e., what an individual determines to be important) are critical determinants of career satisfaction and career longevity. We need to help our children explore what is important to him or her, and changes in the values. Importantly we need to be prepared for the possibility of a conflict of values between us and our child. A difference in values can be a learning experience for both parents and the child. As tough as it sometimes is, we need to try to be open minded and listen rather than judge. Research shows that most of the time children listen very seriously to an open minded parents rather than imposing parents.

Do not compare

The number one mistake parents do is to compare between our child, his or her siblings and friends and even yourself. The statement “when I was your age…” will likely undermine your child’s feelings and experiences. I have seen lots of students who get frustrated due to this very reason. Making comparisons doesn’t help our child to understand his or her experiences nor does it necessarily provide him/her with an opportunity to learn more about themselves or possible career options. It can be great for us to share your experiences with our child, but let him/her develop and learn from their own experiences too.

Stay updated

How updated are we in terms of job market? Do we know what the trend is in job market? When we teach students, we want to make sure that whatever concept and practices that we are teaching must be relevant for at least coming five to ten years. We are trying to prepare our students for future based on past trends. Therefore, if we are well into our own career or haven’t experienced a recent career shift, we may not have noticed some of the trends affecting our child’s career development. It’s important that our child make career decisions based on current and future trends, and not the past trends.

Encourage them to participate in the Extra Curricular Activities and Volunteer Work

Job market and doing business is not easy toady as it used to be. In the past we had only few options available and it was not as highly competitive as it is today. Therefore, getting university degree, is of course a necessary condition but not sufficient condition. My experience as a Coordinator of Placement Cell in Kathmandu University School of Management and experience from my corporate experience, companies give high value for those who have good attitude and other soft skills. Hence, apart from good university degree, companies are looking at people who possess good soft. Soft skills refer to personalities, attributes, qualities and personal behavior of individuals. Good university degree may help our child to bring them at interview table but to get selected from interview; they must have some soft skills. Schools and university teach lots of concepts and theories to our child but there are few things that our child needs to learn apart from course books. These are known as soft skills. Some soft skills can be learnt from the regular studies in the classrooms, but there are, definitely many things they need to learn from outside their classrooms. Allowing our child to participate in the extra circular activates and volunteer works will help them to increase their skills of working in a team, ability to work under pressure, increase communication skills, problem-solving skills and most importantly it raises their self esteem, Many times, our child feel that they are worthless or there is nothing that they are good at. Involvement in extra circular activities will help them discover themselves and eventually it will help to increase their positive attitude. These skills will not only make them stand out of the crowd but also help them while they choose their career

Finally: Listen, Listen and Listen 

We must recognize that fact that each person is unique, so it stands to reason that our child’s career development will similarly be unique. As a parent, we always have the best of intentions when it comes to our child and his or her career decisions. It’s important to recognize that our child may have their own definitions of success and happiness. Therefore, my suggestion is; be an active listener. The listening process involves five stages: receiving, understanding, evaluating, remembering, and responding. We have a tendency to take things easily when it comes to our child’s opinion because they are our child and we always think that we know better than them. Therefore, most of the time, we directly jump to the last part i.e. responding without understanding and evaluating, I have a experience that students frequently visits to me say that their parents do not listen to them and it is frustrating. Therefore, we must listen and listen very actively even though we know that you may have some reservations on his/her opinion. Active listening gives very positive signals to our child and it will be easy for you to explain him/her about the pros and cons of his/her opinion. If we are active listener, the good thing is, most of the time, our child also listen to us.

Career decision making is a dynamic process; it is subjected to chance and isn’t only about making one choice. As a parent and as a teacher, we are well positioned to be one of the strongest allies and one of the greatest career decision making supports in our child’s / student’s life. Therefore, as a parent and a teacher, let us be a very active listener at the same time, be curious, be understanding, and most of all, be patient.

Meditation on Aging

– Narayan Niroula

The term aging imprints the wrinkled face of humans in my mind. They could be parents, relatives, neighbors, teachers or anybody. Human understanding has it that only elderly people can be aging; therefore, an impression of older ones comes into mind. Does aging denote getting weaker nearing death or culminating experience of life ? A harsh reality is that aging comes along with birth. To mean aging, we need to understand the entire course of life; either your life or someone else(Moody, 2006).

The book Evolutionary Biology of Aging  offers aging definition as continuous decline of fitness due to internal physiological deterioration(Ross, 1994). Physical shrink and loss of life is inevitable. Palpability of life degrades as a person grows older. What about the other side of the story ? If humans take aging as distancing from last year’s age to future age, they create a aloofness. The more distancing, the more the gap widens. Is the gap a difference in behavior and values? If so, “we have to deal with paradoxes such as absence of gap in major values but presence of gap in minor values”(Troll, 1972, p.348).

Aging is subjective terminology in social science and objective term for biological science. Biologically speaking, aging can best be understood as detuning during the first part of adulthood due to gradual decline of internal forces of natural selection and when such declines stop, aging ultimately ceases(Rose et al., 2012). Stopping aging denotes end of life. Socially speaking,

there is thus no scientific justification for assuming that each and every type of physiological deterioration that has been associated with aging must continue without remit throughout late adult life.This realization leads to another fundamental change in our thinking about “the process of aging”: it is not actually     a physiological process, in and of itself(Rose et al., 2012, p.1).

Chalise(2019) wrote “aging is classified as biological aging, psychological aging, social aging, chronological aging and functional aging”(p.8).  Generational consciousness has become more advanced than before to describe aging. Aging has been considered to evaluate by more physiological and biological evidence. It becomes important to look into aging from a more sociopsycho perspective. Aging is a psychological phenomena when “I” plays an important role to trick you as an older or a younger person.

Getting older is aging as society understands it. Aging has been understood this way because that is the observation of the society. From behavior and value’s point of view, the older generation can not do much further. Aging creates a divide between older and newer generations. I do not perceive it as an issue as the term is coined to explain the difference between demography, workplace culture, and attitude, usage of language and technical knowledge and skill.

To me, change in consciousness is aging, regardless of the age. A child can transition to adulthood by a higher level of consciousness. It is the consciousness that brings aging early or later. As a matter of fact, aging is an element of the system we are already corporated in.“In sum , the trend in birth rate, death rate and the flow of cohorts all contribute to population aging, what makes matters complicated is that all three trend can happen simultaneously”(Moody, Prologue xxiii).

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young”(Henry Ford’s Quote). Hormonal change sourcing from  knowledgeable activities keeps one mentally fit. You need to be childlike to learn more from your surroundings.(Osho discourse, Child’s sensory organs are open without social clothes of hypocrisy. It is upto the person who wants to stay older or younger. Aging is a relative understanding of psychic structure in association with the universe. I would like to bring eagle rebirth story here by AECT president to his employee:

The eagle has the longest life span among birds. In its 40s, the eagle’s long and flexible talons can no longer grab prey and their long and sharp beaks become bent. Their old-aged and heavy wings (due to thick feathers) become stuck to their chest making it difficult to fly. At this point, eagles are left with two options: die or go through a painful process of change that lasts 150 days. The change process requires that the eagle fly to a mountain top, build a nest, and proceed to knock its beak against a rock until it is gone. The eagle uses the rocks to destroy their useless talons and then waits for them to grow back. Emaciated now, when the talons have grown back, the eagle starts plucking the matted feathers from its chest and wings. THEN, after five long months, the eagle takes flight in a rebirth and lives for 30 more years!(Persichetti, 2016).

Imagine, if the eagle admits the end of life in 40 years and does nothing. Psychological aging appears to be more important than physiological one  in Eagles’ case. Empirical life of humans provides a deeper understanding  of aging. Does the experience of life not bring many other things together with it?

Closing eyes please remember your childhood, open your eyes and look in the mirror. Is that you who were born so and so years ago? Activity Theory of aging believes that aged citizens become more happier in social interaction and successful aging takes place(Havighurst,1961). Aging is the entire course of life to recollect into a short package. It helps to comprehend the phenomena in life. Aging is a feeling in tranquility. Human recollects his/her past about the long course of life and smiles at herself/himself if success has been obtained, disappointing otherwise.

Experience from aging people can be better spoken in front of people than in writing. It takes gestures and body language to share with. Younger generation learns by aged ones. Aging makes a history the younger better learn from. It is the aging that constitutes lifetime consequences ; the matter of successful aging or unsuccessful is upto the social activity of the person. Aging collects  randomly existing events of life. Humans may not care about the existence of randomness(Taleb, 2005). Finally, aging is acceptance of existence.


  • Chalise, Hom Nath. (2019). Aging: Basic Concept. American Journal of Biomedical Science & Research. 1. 10.34297/AJBSR.2019.01.000503.
  • Havighurst RJ (1961) Successful aging. Gerontologist.
  • Moody, H. R. (2006). Aging: Concepts and controversies. Pine Forge Press.
  • Persichitte, K.A. Rebirth. TechTrends 60, 304 (2016).
  • Rose, M., Flatt, T., Graves Jr, J. L., Greer, L. F., Martinez, D. E., Matos, M., … & Shahrestani, P. (2012). What is aging?. Frontiers in genetics, 3, 134.
  • Rose, M. R. (1994). Evolutionary biology of aging. Oxford University Press on Demand.
  • Taleb, N. (2005). Fooled by randomness: The hidden role of chance in life and in the markets (Vol. 1). Random House Incorporated.
  • Troll, L. E. (1972). Is parent-child conflict what we mean by the generation gap. The Family Coordinator, 21(3), 347-349.

जीवनको विश्वविद्यालयकी कर्मठ अम्बिका थापा

– दामोदर घिमिरे

कुनै जमाना यस्तो थियो जागीर भन्ने वित्तिकै सरकारी अनि धनि हुनको लागि धानको भकारीको अतिरिक्त जग्गा जमिन र गोठभरी गाइवस्तु हुनु पर्दथ्यो । हाम्रो सामाजिक परिवेश अनि जीन्दगीका भोगाईहरु प्रत्येक मानव, जात धर्म र भौगोलिक वनावट तथा रीतिरिवाज अनुसार फरक हुनु स्वभाविकै हो । परम्परागत सोच विचार र प्रविधीको बदलामा आधुनिक शिप, ज्ञान र उत्पादनले स्थान लिएको तपाई हामी सवैले देख्दै अनि भोग्दै आइरहेका छौं । विश्व भुमण्डलीकरण भनौ वा समयको परिवर्तनले अहिलेको समयमा धनि हुन अन्नपात गाईगोरु वा खेतीपाती होइन की कुन विषय वा क्षेत्रमा दक्षता हासिल गरेको अनि के के काम गर्न आउ‘छ ? भनेर मापन गर्न थालिएको छ ।
हाम्रो समाजमा कोहि साधारण औषधोपचार, शिक्षा र रोजगार नपाईरहेका छन भने नेताहरु विदेशको महंगो उपचार तथा उत्पादन र शिक्षाको नाममा अरवौं खर्च गरिरहेका छन । एकै घरका ५÷७ जना छोराछोरी मध्ये कोहि पढ्नमा तीक्ष्ण हुन्छन त कोहि वाद्यवादन र व्यवसायमा अव्बल ठहरिन्छन भने कत्तिले अबसर पाएर पनि त्यसको उचित उपयोग गर्दैनन भने केहिले सानो अवसरमा पनि ठुलो उपलव्धि हासिल गरिरहेका हुन्छन । यस लेखमा काभे्रको धुलिखेलमा जन्मिएर आफ्नो क्षमताले भ्याएसम्मको संघर्ष गर्देै आफु, आफ्नो परिवार र समाजको विकासमा कर्मको माध्यमवाट उदाहरणीय बन्न सफल अम्विका थापाका वारेमा केहि जानकारी दिन लागिएको छ।

वि.स.२०३६ श्रावण २९ गते पिता हरिशरण र माता शकुन्तला थापाका २ छोरी र २ छोरामध्य जेठी छोरीको रुपमा काभे्र जिल्लाको धुलिखेल ७ मा जन्मनु भएकी अम्विका थापाको राशिचाही चाही वृष रहेछ । २०४२ सालमा घरनजिकैको श्रीखण्डपुर मा.वि., कक्षा १ मा भर्ना भएर शिक्षारम्म गर्नुभएकी थापाले सोहि स्कुलवाट २०५३ सालमा एस एल सी उतीर्ण गरेको पाइयो।

हिङ्ग नभएपनि हिङ्ग वाधेको टालो भनिएजस्तै राष्ट्रिय स्तरको नेता नभएपनि स्थानीय समाजसेवीको रुपमा परिचित वुवाको नाम र आमाको कठिन परिश्रमका कारण अम्विकाको वाल्यजीवन सुखमय वितेको रहेछ । एस एल सी परिक्षा दिएसंगै सिलाईवुनाई र वुट्टाभर्ने शिप सिकेर र गाँउघरका आमा,दिदी बहिनि हरुलाई प्रौढ शिक्षा समेत पढाएकी र गाँउघरका दिदी बहिनीहरुलाई अफ्ठ्यारो पर्दा उचित रायसल्लाह दिएर सहयोग पुराउदै भविष्यको रेखाकोर्ने जमर्को गर्नुभएकी अम्विकाले २०५६ साल भाद्रवाट काठमाडौं विश्वविद्यालयको केन्द्रीय कार्यालय, टेफिोन अपे्रटरको रुपमा काम शुरु भएछ।

वि.स.२०६३ बैशाख २९ गते भक्तपुरको पलासे निवासी जनक खड्कासंग मागि विवाह भएकी थापाले घर र अफिसको कामका अतिरिक्त काभे्र वहुमुखी क्याम्पस बनेपावाट २०६५ सालमा वि.कम उतीर्ण गर्न सफल हुनुभएछ ।
तनमन वचन र कर्मले तोकिएका जिम्वेवारी पुरा गरेकै कारण सेवारम्भ गरेको १८ महिनामै स्थायी सेवामा प्रवेश गरेकी थापाले टेलिफोन अपे्रटरको रुपमा १० वर्ष र २०६७ सालवाट वि.स.२०७७ सम्म रजिष्ट्रार तथा उपकुलपतिको कार्यालय, कार्यालय सहायकको रुपमा सेवारत हुनुहु न्छ।

तपाइले विश्वविद्यालयवाट २० वर्षको सेवा अवधिमा के पाउनु भयो भनेर सोधिएको प्रश्नमा ः कामगरेपछी पारिश्रमिक पाउनु त स्वभाविकै हो त्यसको अतिरिक्त मुख्यताया राम्रो संस्थागत संस्कार अन्तराष्ट्रिय स्तरमा कहलिएका व्यत्तित्वहरु संग काम गर्ने अवसर र विभिन्न संघसंस्थाका प्रमुखहरुसंगको चिनाजानी तथा कार्यगत सम्वन्ध वढाउँन पाएकोमा थापालाई गौरब लागेको पाइयो । नियमित, मासिक वा वार्षिक रुपमा तोकेरै कुनै वालवालिका वा संघसंस्थालाई सहयोग नगरेता पनि थापाले खानलाउन नपाएका, सडकमा वास भएकालाई एकल तथा साथिहरुसंग मिलेर वेलावेलामा खाद्यान्न तथा कपडा र कम्वल वाडेर सामाजिम कार्य गरेको पाइयो । २०७२ सालको भुक्पमा समेत थापाले ४÷५ जना साथीसंग मिलेर पाँचखाल खरेलथोक काभे्रका ३०÷३२ घरका दनुवारलाई राहत वितरण गरिएको रहेछ।

खानेमुखलाई जुगाले छेक्दैन अनि विवाह गर्न उमेरले रोक्दैन भनिएझैं अफिसको जिम्वेवारी सफलता पुर्वक वहन गर्दै २ जना छोराछोरीकी आमा सासुसुराकी एक्ली वुहारी भएरपनि ४१ वर्षको उमेरमा एम वि एस , अन्तिम वर्षको परिक्षा तयारीमा जुट्न जोकोहिले प्रयाशनै गर्देन । आफ्ना आमा वुवाको अतिरिक्त धुलिखेलका नगरपिता बेलप्रसाद श्रेष्ठ र छिमेकी यज्ञप्रसाद थपलियालाई आफ्नो प्रेरणाका स्रोत मान्ने थापाले काठमाडौं विश्वविद्यालयका संस्थापक उपकुलपति डा. सुरेशराज शर्मा सहित डा.रामकण्ठ माकजु श्रेष्ठ, रजिष्ट्रारहरू डा. भद्रमान तुलाधर, भोला थापा र सुवोध शर्मासंग २ देखि ६ वर्षसम्म असिष्टेण्ट बनेर काम गरेको अनुभव छ।

वि.स.२०६२ सालमा भारतको व्याङ्गलोर, पटना, जगन्नाथपुरी, रामेश्वरम, चेन्नाई पुटपर्ती, मिनाक्षी, कर्णाटक आदि सहरको तिर्थाटन गरेकी थापालाई २०७४ सालमा अफिसवाट १५ दिने चिनको ग्वांजाव, वेइजिङ्ग, सिजाजोन,गे्रटवाल सहित हानवान विश्वविद्यालय र कन्फ्युसियसको जन्मस्थान घुम्ने, हेर्ने मौका मिलेको रहेछ । स्कुल एवं कलेजमा अध्ययनरत रहँदा विभिन्न खेलकुद, दौड प्रतियोगिता, कविता तथा वतृत्वकलामा भाग लिएकी थापाले वि.स.२०६० सालमा शिक्षा मन्त्रालयवाट समेत शिक्षा पुरस्कार प्राप्त गरेको पाइयो।

सहकुल ढकाल र लक्ष्मी पोखे्रललाई टेलिफोन अपे्रटिङ्ग सम्वन्धि, सुप्रिया जोशि, निर्मला अधिकारीलाई सेके्रटेरियल तथा सरु मानन्धर लगाइतलाई कार्यालय व्यवस्थापन एवं पत्राचार सम्वन्धिको काम सिकाएकी थापालाई विश्वविद्यालयकै उपकुलपति, डा.रामकण्ठ माकजू, डा.भद्रमान तुलाधर, भोला थापा, हेमराज काफ्ले र महेन्द्रकुमार निरौलावाट काम गर्ने तौरतरिकाहरु सिक्ने अवसर मिलेछ । संघर्षमय उकाली ओलीको यात्रालाई जीबन ठानेकी थापाले आफ्ना वुवाको स्वार्गारोहण भएको दिनलाई दुःख र विश्वविद्यालयमा जागिर खान थालेको पहिलो दिनलाई सुखको दिन ठानेको पाइयो ।
उज्यालकोमा पुग्नु छ भने अध्याराको यात्रा तय गर्नुपर्छ भनिएजस्तै टेलिफोन अपे्रटरजस्तो ड्युटी समयमा १÷२ मिनेट पनि कार्यस्थान छाड्न नमिल्ने, आजकालको जस्तो मोवायल वा इमेल नभएको समयमा देश तथा विदेशका सयौं व्यत्तिहरुसंग भाका र भाषा मिलाएर कुरागर्ने अम्विकाको वोलीवचन र कार्यशैली प्रशंसनीय रहेको थियो र अहिले पनि उत्तिकै छ भनेर उपकुलपतिको कार्यालयमा ३ वर्ष र २०७४ वाट स्कुल अफ आर्टसको असिष्टेण्ट प्रोफेसर पदमा अध्यापनरत सुदर्शन दाहालले वताउनु भएको छ।

माझिले खोला तारेका यात्री २÷४ वर्षमा त्यहिवाटो फर्कदा कत्तिले विर्सेलान त कत्तिले सम्झेर वोलाउँलान त्यो यात्रीमा भर पर्नेकुरा भएजस्तै सिलौटो र लोहोराको विचमा पिसिएर मिचिएर उपभोत्ताको लागि स्वादिष्ट अचार वा मसला बनिएजस्तै कार्यालय प्रमुख र आगन्तुक विचको सेतुका रुपमा रहने सेके्रटरीको कामकाज र चार्टर एकाउण्टेण्टको अध्ययन उस्तैउस्तै हुन भन्दा फरक नपर्ला । आफ्नो अनुरोध र प्रयासवाट हालसम्म विभिन्न तह र निकायमा ५÷७ जनालाई छात्रवृत्ति र २÷४ जनालाई पुर्ण तथा आंशिक रोजगारीको पहल गर्नुभएकी थापाले ४÷५ पटक रक्तान गर्नुभएको रहेछ ।
निश्कर्षमा के भन्न सकिन्छ भने कुनैपनि मानिसले दत्तचित्तले लागिप–र्यो भने जस्तासुकै कठिन कार्य पनि गर्न सक्छ । बुवाआमा मैले पालेको छु भनेर वा पाल्नुपरो भनेर टाढिने वा जीउनी ताक्ने अहिलेको जमानामा विवाह अगाडी आफ्ना २ जना भाई र १ वहिनीको शिक्षादिक्षा आर्जनका लागि यथेष्ट लागनी र रोजगारको पहलमा समेत काध थापेका कारण अहिले आफ्ना भाइवहिनीहरु शिक्षा, स्वास्त्थ्य र इन्जिनियरिङ्गका क्षेत्रमा अव्वल बनेको देख्नपाउँदा थापाको मन गौरवान्वित हुदोरहेछे । हात्ति र हात्तिछाप चप्पल उस्तैउस्तै हुन भनिएपनि यथार्थमा उस्तै हुदैनन । जङ्गलको सिंहलाई खोरमा थुन्छु भन्न जति सजिलो छ त्यसलाई समात्न वा उशको उदेश्य वमोजम आवश्यक्ता पुरागर्दै राम र रावण अनि मानव कथित दानवविचको समन्वय गराउँन जोकोहिको भाति पुग्दैन । व्यक्ति ठुलो पदले होइन कर्मले वन्दछ भन्ने उक्तीको नमुना अम्विका थापाको आँट र कार्यशैलीवाट हामिले धेरै कुराहरु सिक्नुपर्ने देखिन्छ ।

Alumni on Board

Welcome to the August 2020 Issue of the Forum for Interdisciplinary Discourse !

In a bid to feature relatively less noticed or unheard voices, we reached out to the University’s alumni this time. As a result, we have had five people on board. Mr. Anuroop Manandhar (Biotechnology) and Ms. Rubeena Mahato (Media Studies) represent the graduates of the first batches of the programs launched first time in Nepal. Dr. Uttam Budhathoki, Ms. Roshee Lamichhane Bhusal, and Dr. Nirish Vaidya, alumni of Pharmacy, Management and Medical Sciences, respectively, are currently the faculties in the University.  This makes it an Alumni Special Issue, and grasps visible diversity of subjects.

However, readers may discern broad themes of mentoring and growth represented here or there.

We have also added two other categories from this issue: “Know Thy Mentor” and “From the University of Life.” For the first, we will feature at least one passionate teacher/mentor. The second will have at least one non-teaching staff who has served the University for an extended period of time. In a sense, these columns will introduce those who choose to work and thrive silently and celebrate their achievements with utmost optimism no matter how big or small the achievements are.

List of Posts in this issue:

  1. Anuroop Manandhar: “The Prices and Rewards of Being Early”
  2. Rubeena Mahato: “We Didn’t Do So Bad, After All”
  3. Anusha Gyawali, Shephalika Dhakal and Saugat Bastola: “Meet Thy Mentor: Dr. Uttam Budhathoki”
  4. Roshee Lamichhane: “What It Means to Be an Assistant Professor”
  5. Nirish Vaidya: “Myths and Realities behind ‘Whole Body Check-up”
  6. Niraj Poudyal: “On Mentors”
  7. दामोदर घिमिरेः “जीवनको विश्वविद्यालयका कर्मयोगी तेजबहादुर पुरी”

We invite constructive feedback for our works and, yes, valuable write-ups for the future issues. Happy reading!

The Prices and Rewards of Being Early

– Anuroop Manandhar

I still remember the time, fall of 2003, when all the first-year students were gathered in the ground in front of KU Library and given a moral boosting talk to kick-start the undergraduate program.  This happened a long time ago, yet in my mind it somehow does not seem so distant.

When Dr. Hem Raj Kafle asked me to write a piece on the ‘prices and rewards of being early’, with reflections of the experiences I had as a first batch biotech graduate, it took me back to those days. Amidst those memories, I became nostalgic thinking of my first year English Communication Skills classes taught by Dr. Kafle. It was one of the best 4 credits (2 credits in 1st and 2nd semester) courses of the undergraduate program where I was taught to relay stories and I am forever grateful for that.

I along with 47 others graduated from Kathmandu University (KU) in the fall of 2007 with the degree of B. Tech in Biotechnology. This was the first-ever batch of Biotech graduates, not just from KU, but the entire nation. When I recall those times, I believe all 48 of us had similar experiences. There was the excitement of being a graduate, but also there was fear of uncertainty and the lack of clear vision and direction.

Biotechnology is a very broad term used to describe any study where one uses some sort of technology (e.g. genetic manipulation) on biological objects (microbes, plants, animals) to get a product. It can be applied in various fields including medicine, food-tech, agriculture and dairy industries. After graduation, the first major obstacle was that this subject itself required introduction in Nepal. Not many were aware of the subject and, to my dismay, there are still very few places in Nepal that offer opportunity to work in this field.

No wonder, there was a lot of confusion and anxiety among my batch mates. Nonetheless, like every river that finds its way, the students opted for higher degree programs to pave their paths for future. Within two years, 90 percent of my batch mates joined masters/ PhD programs abroad, many funded by scholarships.  As a result, I see many of my friends working in big pharma companies or academic labs trying to find answers to nature’s complex problems.  That undergraduate degree in KU did open up a lot of doors for personal rewards and it would not have been the case if KU had not started a biotechnology degree.

But what about those who do not wish to study abroad, or cannot afford to do so? The lack of employment opportunities in Nepal has been difficult both personally and professionally. Such situation compels graduates to find their destiny in foreign lands. And since each year many graduates leave the country, the growth of biotech sector in Nepal has been slow. Unfortunately, the story repeats; the experience is similar for every new batch.

I have listened to the former Vice Chancellor of KU, Dr. Suresh Raj Sharma, speaking in different forums why the University started biotechnology degree. In his own words, “Nepal had missed many technological revolutions in the past, hence for the nation to remain ready for biotechnology revolution, it needs qualified biotech scientists.” This was definitely a visionary step, many colleges and universities since have started their biotech programs in the country. It also makes good business sense to take risk of starting new programs as it can attract more students. He as the leader did succeed in that.

I am one of those very few biotech graduates who are currently working in Nepal. I run an agro-biotech company called ‘Ficus Biotech,’ which produces healthy saplings from plant tissue culture technology. I have co-founded this company with other biotechnology graduates, one being my undergraduate batch-mate. We provide products and services that were not previously available in Nepal. There are some other companies/research institutes run by KU biotech graduates. In a way, starting a biotechnology program at KU has contributed in some or the other ways to the development of the nation, and in many ways in the development of the researchers/entrepreneurs like us.

However, for the development of any industry, we need a favorable eco-system.  It is important that companies are run by qualified individuals. Competent individuals are essential at each node of the value chain. Products development must be research-based, which is only possible if companies are run by individuals with aptitude and background in research.  Unfortunately, many of the product and service providers in Nepal today do not have knowledge, nor do they have interest in gaining any. For them it is more about the numbers in balance sheet. It is because of the lack of competent individuals that the technology is not developing and when such products are needed, they are imported in high price. The current pandemic has shown how shallow the talent pool of biomedical scientists is in the country, at least in places where they could make some difference.

The fact is, the first batch of students do face a lot of challenges as the future direction is always murky. It becomes difficult to understand the repercussions of the decisions we take and the career path trajectory it leads to. Nonetheless, there are rewards in the form of bringing innovations to your work, to present yourself as an entrepreneur, to bring the change that others only dream of – the reward of creating avenues for those uncertain young fellows who are looking for some light in their paths ahead.

We Didn’t Do So Bad After All

– Rubeena Mahato

It seems like a lifetime ago when I first came to Kathmandu University to inquire about a new program that was being offered by its Department of Languages and Mass Communication. The advertisement for Bachelor in Media Studies, which was published in a national daily a few days ago, was intriguing enough for me to give up other academic plans I had at the moment and take the long bus ride to Dhulikhel. It was difficult in those days for those inclined towards a liberal arts or social sciences education to find the right program if they didn’t want to go abroad for higher studies. As someone who did not have a specific career plan but a vague idea of what I might enjoy studying for the next four years of my life, the program’s broad, well-rounded curriculum of History, Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Rhetoric and Media felt like a good fit and I took the plunge. In the years since, I have graduated from the program, worked as a journalist, pursued further studies in Public Policy and International Politics, switched to a different line of work and seen my classmates go through their own ups and downs as they went on to build illustrative careers in their chosen fields.

Looking back, I am struck by what an interesting and intrepid bunch of people made that first batch: the students of course, but also the founding department members who convinced a university mostly geared towards STEM programs to see the value in offering a liberal arts education. In a university of science and engineering students, here we were, signing up for a non-STEM and therefore financially less rewarding program, that too at a time of significant political and economic turmoil, hopeful that we will carve a niche for ourselves. There was a great deal of shared idealism, passion and camaraderie in the class, especially among those of us determined to pursue journalism.

As the first batch, naturally, there was also a lot of uncertainty about the future and also some dissatisfactions with the curriculum and its structure and lack of resources. I, for one, distinctly remember not feeling happy about having to take multiple programming and statistics classes, and complaining about it to professors even though I later came to enjoy learning and using those skills at my work. Some of us were not satisfied with the more theoretical nature of the curriculum and wanted more hours devoted into practical work and skills training. But, despite these initial problems, it helped that the general environment in the department was friendly and accommodative and we knew our inputs into the courses and instructors would be well-received. When the students demanded some of the classes to be shifted to Kathmandu, so that we could more easily pursue jobs and internships, the department swiftly set out to make those arrangements. Later, a media lab was also set up equipped with computers, cameras and recorders, which finally made us feel like rookie reporters.

Having come from a rather hierarchical and instruction-heavy educational system, it was refreshing to be able to interact with our professors in an open manner. But I don’t suppose it could have been any other way in a class where students aspired for a liberal education in every sense of the word!

There is now a greater awareness about the importance of having solid social sciences programs in university education that are grounded in theory and research. But even up until our time, the theoretical nature of Media Studies generated some unease among the students. Even as we became fairly clear that this is not intended to be a journalism degree but rather a course of critical media theory and allied disciplines, perhaps job market pressures and student expectations made it such that the research component of the degree came to be less emphasized upon and the skills component became predominant. With the program now in its fifteenth year, perhaps the University could do better in terms of pushing similar other courses that are perhaps more theory and research-oriented.

Something else I distinctly remember and must mention here is the genuine concern we felt for our well-being and future from most of our professors and visiting faculties. They really wanted us to thrive and succeed as the graduating members of their first class. And for all the uncertainties, fears and doubts surrounding those first few years, I think we didn’t do so bad after all!

[The author is currently based in the US working as a development consultant for UNICEF]




Meet Thy Mentor: Dr. Uttam Budhathoki

A Conversation with Anusha Gyawali, Shephalika Dhakal and Saugat Bastola



How was your journey as a student? 

My residence was on the outskirts of Kirtipur. At that time, there was no school around my home. So, I had to go to the market area for my schooling. I completed my education up to grade seven from Bagh Bhairabh Secondary School in Naya Bazar, Kirtipur. I appeared for the SLC exam from Laboratory School, Kirtipur. After that, I did my ISc in St. Xavier’s College, Maitighar, and the rest until PhD in Kathmandu University. After that, for six months, I was at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, for my post-doctoral degree.

I was among the top 3 students throughout the years in my school. However, I don’t call myself a bright kid in my school because I don’t think I did as much as I could have.

Is there something you wish you knew when you started college?

When I went to St. Xavier’s College for ISc, I felt a huge transition. There were strict rules and regulations. A significant challenge for me was to manage time. They had a rule where students were only allowed to enter until 9 AM. Anyone who happened to arrive after 9 was sent to the principal’s office and given a late slip. Time was never an issue in my school as it was relatively nearer and I used to go by bicycle. Time came as a burden to me in the college. Since I had to travel far and had to use a local bus, I was often late. So, later, I had to rent a room and stay in Kupondole alone  to manage time.

That’s one thing that I wish I did something about.

Another thing is, I couldn’t score well at the beginning of my I.Sc. One of the reasons might be because I was in a challenging environment. Most of the students from the so-called ‘top 10 rank’  in SLC were there competing with me. Moreover, I had typhoid during the exams. Because of all these, I didn’t score well. And that is one of the things I wish I could change.

Do you consider any of your teachers your mentors? Could you share one memorable experience with that person? 

One of them is Professor B.S. Rao. He was the Head of the Department of Pharmacy until 2004. There was a lot of crisis in the department at the time. All the teachers had resigned due to problems in remuneration. At such a time, he worked with everything he had, brought teachers from India, and kept the Department from collapsing. He is one of the reasons the Department is at the state that it is today. I learned a lot from him, not only as a teacher but also his skills in management and how he handled all the pressure.

Another person that I consider to be one of my mentors is Prof. Dr. Panna Thapa. He taught me in my Masters. He guided me through every essential aspect of my research, and I am very thankful I had him as my mentor.

The third person I consider a vital mentor is Professor Ellaiah Poluri from Andhra University, one of my PhD. supervisors. If I didn’t have his supervision, it wouldn’t be possible for me to complete my PhD. I went to  Andhra University, Visakhapatnam with my thesis. I was staying in a hotel on the first day. But he invited me to stay at his own home. It turns out, he used to let all his PhD. students stay there. He devoted a lot of time and effort, which groomed my thesis entirely.

Professor Stephen Wolfi at Heidelberg University is another person whom I consider an essential mentor. I  got the Erasmus Mundus scholarship for my post-doc, but I wasn’t sure where to go. I wrote him an email, and he called me there. I didn’t have much experience here in the lab, even if I had done PhD because the lab setup wasn’t up to the mark at that time. So, he assigned a person just to guide me with the lab works.

These four people are the ones who I absolutely cannot forget to mention. I believe that there is still a lot to learn, and I will hopefully have more people who will guide me. But so far, these people have played important roles in guiding me through my learning experiences.

What/Who inspired you to become a better version of yourself? In what ways he or she has helped you?

My father is the one who I consider my idol. He was a person who was very keen to learn. By profession, he was a cook. Although he didn’t have formal education, he learned the English language and took training to become the chief cook in the American Embassy, for First Secretary. He struggled a lot, and maybe that’s the reason he always said that he would spend everything on our education.

He had the pain of not being able to get formal education. He went through a lot, and had big dreams for us. That was always his sole focus. His teachings have always stuck with me. I still remember, he always told me not to waste time roaming around. He said that if I studied well, I would go around the world. I recall this every time I go abroad, which is, as he correctly predicted, a lot.

Could you tell us about any incident that led you to choose a specific direction in life? Were there any mentors involved in the decision-making process?

By the fourth year of my Bachelor’s degree, I was sure I wanted to be a teacher. In the fourth year,  two teachers were responsible for all of our subjects! I was very interested in teaching, too. I used to finish studying and help my friends study even during exams. I had expressed this intention to the Department as well. I was in National Healthcare Pvt Ltd, Birgunj, for my internship. That is when I got a call from the Department asking me to come to teach.

I hadn’t even finished my Bachelor’s degree, and I was already offered a job from 3 different companies. That’s how much shortage of human resources there was in pharmacy. I could’ve easily enter the industry. But I knew what I wanted, so I came back to the University, through a terrible storm and traffic on the way due to which I barely even made it on time for my interview and joined immediately.


How was your journey as a teacher and how did your passion for teaching change over time?

I and Rajani Shakya, who is currently the Head of the Department of Pharmacy, joined the Department together as Teaching Assistant back in 2000. In the beginning, we were not allowed to teach. Rather Rao sir gave us the task of calculating chemical stock and setting up the lab. After that, we started working as lab assistants. Maybe eventually Rao sir saw potential on us, maybe it was because of the human resource crisis in the Department, we were given classes.

I worked and taught as a Teaching Assistant for about 3 years. Then I became a Lecturer and eventually an Assistant Professor. I worked as an Assistant Professor for about 11 years and was finally promoted to Associate Professor.

During these years, I started to enjoy teaching. The most memorable part and the hardest times of the journey were during my Master’s and PhD. I was a full-time teacher then. During my PhD, I and my colleagues used to give lectures from 9 to 4. After 4, we worked on our research and projects around 2 to 3 in the morning, slept for a bit, and went for the class again at 9 in the morning. These were pretty tough times.

I still recall the time when my abstract was accepted for a conference in India. I had to collect data for the presentation. Since research culture was not a thing in Nepal — we still haven’t developed such culture — I had to work through the night in the lab alone. The next morning I designed a poster in PowerPoint and went to Putalisadak and got the banner printed and left for India immediately.

There are many incidences like these. There was a lot of struggle and tough times. The way to reach where I am was not easy. In between, I started to like and enjoy the profession.

How do you treat your students? How do you assess which students require the most attention?

Having taught for 20 years, I can easily assess the students that are weak in class, and the students that require my attention. My lectures are also focused on such students. I constantly check whether students are attentive in my classes. Recently, I have given them an assignment that cannot be solved just by the content of the slides. I have explained the assignment in my class. Just before this interview, I received a call from a student. He complained he could not find any hints in the slide.

The lectures I give involve concepts of mathematical modeling. In the online classes, I have been teaching using a touch pen. I know the students are having problems understanding the classes. I am continuously raising this issue in the Department. The talented students can learn themselves if resources are available. But for weak students, I know my lectures haven’t been effective.

Having experienced the problems regarding time management myself, I am very strict on students’ punctuality. I don’t allow them to enter the class after the allocated time. This is also because students entering in between the lecture distract the class and might deviate me from the content I was delivering. There are some instances when I have even sent students out of the class. I believe that students must understand that there are specific behaviors that will not be tolerated in class. Like every other teacher,  I also watch every student in the class that I am teaching. If they show behaviors that are not acceptable to me, I will give them a penalty. Excusing such activities means encouraging students to amplify those actions. It is best to put a stop to it early.

Apart from the classes, how often do you stay in touch with the students?

Other than in the class, I love interacting with the students, knowing their perspectives, and helping them in their problems. I am the coordinator of the departmental student club. Even during the pandemic, I am frequently organizing online meetings to stay in touch with the students.

I usually spend maximum time with the students of Bachelor’s and Master’s involved in the projects. Because I had faced difficulties while conducting research, I know the problems they will face. As I have said before, research culture is still to develop in Nepal. Students are not given additional training and workshops. We do not have enough facilities as well. So, as a supervisor, I and my other colleagues have to find a way to deal with these problems.

When supervising these students, I target that at least one article each from Bachelor’s and Master’s gets published.

In twenty years of your professional career, you have taught many students. Could you share with us some of your experiences when you have felt proud of the students you mentored?

There are many incidences where I have felt proud of my students. I recall an incident when I went to Australia with my wife for her PhD. My students found out that I was arriving there. They assisted me in finding accommodation and setting up the room. Well, I don’t mean I was proud because they helped me but because I knew that they were studying at a university in Australia. It makes me happy when I find my students wherever I go. If they know I am coming to the place where they currently live, they reach out to me. This gives me immense pleasure.

Some of my former students are faculties in the Pharmacy Department of KU, some are studying abroad and some are even involved in multinational companies. So, whenever our products achieve something great, it is natural we become proud of them.

What is the best part of mentoring? Have you ever been called a mentor?

Well, some people have openly called me their mentor and others have hinted that I was their mentor. I have learned about it indirectly from their parents or relatives. Some students even comment that “If it had not been for Uttam sir, I would not have been this apt in these subjects”.

I constantly collect anonymous feedback. I get some ideas about how students receive me from there as well. I also get negative feedback now and then; some of them are academic and others personal. The personal comments maybe because of some harsh decisions I have taken. I even had to disqualify  students from taking the end semester examinations due to their repeated negligence about their attendance after repeated warnings.

Apart from this harsh decision, there are many events I reminisce. Once when I was returning from India, I got stuck in Mahendranagar due to traffic disturbance. There was a diploma college in which I got an opportunity to take a class. One of the students of that class later joined for a Master’s in a college at Kathmandu. He remembered me from that one class I took way back and expressed his gratitude. It was a very emotional moment for me.


Besides studies, do you have something you wish you had done differently?

Besides studies, I can predict easily where the students feel trouble in doing their research and projects. I feel that I could not learn enough even during my PhD. But I got to visit different places. When I was in Australia for about six months, I got a chance to contribute to The University of Tasmania as a Casual Academic Officer (CAO). My work was to supervise MPharm students in their dissertation. I came to realize what things were lacking for learning here in our country.

Technological advancement has reached a peak.  But here we are still following traditional ways of performing any research. If given knowledge and access to different software, it will reduce time and direct the performance productively. As a CAO, I was given access to that software where I could learn and now I can train my students. New techniques in any work increase the productivity of the work. So, proper training needs to be provided to students by detecting their problems and providing them with noble solutions. I believe if anybody is assigned to do the work in the traditional manner, it is going to be a sloth’s race.

Why are our data not published but rejected? It’s because of the lack of reliability in ‘Quality of work’. No matter how much effort one gives to the work, the final product always depends on the quality of setup that we have. Because of the lack of setup, we lack quality and hence failure in replication done by renowned journals. So far from the experiences that I learned during my international exposure, I feel that I am not being able to bring most of my learning into practice because of the lack of setup and facilities. If I could bring at least some of the things that I saw and learned during my learning phases, it would mean a lot.

In your point of view, what might be the attributes to become a mentor?

I consider experience one of the important attributes besides knowledge. Furthermore, resources are equally important for good mentoring. In my opinion, “Mentoring is a two-way process”.  The mentee needs to be equally enthusiastic as the mentor.

How does the work environment affect mentorship?

The academic environment surely does affect mentorship. As I already mentioned that resources and their mobilization create a certain type of environment. For instance, in a team, if some people are working very vibrantly for any research-based activities, it automatically creates an environment for other members to actively participate at the same pace. But in absence of the research environment, it is likely for all of the members to get less engaged in their works. Besides, other factors such as health play an important role. I consider myself very lucky to be able to survive after the stroke because, in most of the cases similar to mine,  people go to a coma,  or even lose their ability to speak. Sometimes here at Kathmandu University, sometimes I suffer because of my health issues. I have a project to handle but I am not capable of working by going into the lab because I am not independent fully. But it has never been the matter that got me into depression. At least I am able to perform my personal activities by myself and go to the places wherever I want if I get any support. Even in this condition, I have attended two international conferences as a speaker; one in India and another in Bangladesh. I feel very grateful for whatever I have done so far. So yes! Health has obviously a greater impact as well.

Mentors don’t necessarily have to be parents, or coaches. What is your point of view in the statement? Can anyone be a mentor?

Yes, anybody can. There was my roommate when I was studying B Pharm, who has now established an industry of his own. As I am only engaged in teaching, I do not have enough knowledge for practical implications for any problems. So, while I design any projects, I communicate with him frequently for better practical knowledge on the problems and what industries are looking for. I am generating ideas from him considering him a mentor. Hence, anyone can be a mentor. It is not a matter of compulsion whether the mentor needs to be a coach or a teacher or any of the family members.

Do you want to share anything from your experience throughout the journey of mentoring and being mentored?

When I look back at my life and the struggles I had, I realize that I worked with loyalty and with no greater expectations. My motto is: “Let’s move on the cycle of life, anything that is to come will surely come!” Most people pre-plan each and every activity and their consequences for the future and move accordingly. If they could not meet their plans, they get frustrated. But this thing never came to me. Satisfaction is the greatest achievement.  So, without having greater expectations, if one focuses on the work, they will certainly succeed and this will ultimately result in satisfaction.

[Dr. Budhathoki is Associate Professor at Dept. of Pharmacy. Anusha, Shephalika and Saugat are pursuing BBIS in School of Management.]

What It Means to Be an Assistant Professor

– Roshee Lamichhane

Among several seemingly innocuous and off-beat questions and a few unexpected ones that were shot at me in my one-hour interview for the position of Assistant Professor last year in July 2019, there was one that really made me reflect: “What made you join the University?”

Well, for me, as someone who had prematurely left behind the corporate corridors, this question was important for at least one reason: to understand myself better. Lesser it may be, but the three years of corporate tenure at Chaudhary Group and earlier in Hyderabad, and exposure before switching over to academia in the budding years of my career were replete with wide and varied opportunities.

When I left a corporate job to pursue a noble career like teaching, there was certainly a reason behind it. Simply, I took a pause and reflected as to why I should in the first place make that decision and move. I was never afraid of experimenting something new. I know life gets boring when I decide to stay within the limits of what I already know. I wanted to be hopeful, optimistic even under pressure. Subsequently, I stayed firm and rooted to my decision till date. Today, I am able to be at peace with myself.

Despite the fact that jobs in the corporate sector are highly demanding in nature, prospects- and growth-wise, it has more potential than teaching in a school, like many would perceive. When I had taken such a decision to join teaching by leaving the corporate world, I had definitely some vision of myself and also the new profession. When I got into the teaching profession, during the initial days, I was confident that my immediate future would definitely get better. Today, I am getting a good work-life balance in teaching. When I was satisfied with the way the things started unfolding in academics, then teaching needed me more than the corporate world. It is an indisputable fact that one draws more satisfaction where one feels needed. Mine was a good selection—choosing a noble profession. Greed for the corporate sector would have distracted me from pursuing my M. Phil and going on to complete my Doctorate.

Fortunately, in the initial stage itself, I could decide early and clearly as to why I should join academics in general, and get associated with a University in particular. For ‘young and talented individuals,’ I heard everywhere, there couldn’t be a better pedestal and seat of teaching and learning than Kathmandu University, which is undoubtedly one of the most reputed and prestigious Universities in Nepal. So, I decided to join the ‘young and talented’.

Of course, I never lost much time before deciding to join KU SOM as a Lecturer five years ago. Moreover, I had total clarity that I needed to complete my M Phil before taking the steady path to pursue my PhD. I am pretty confident now that being in the tenured role should ensure a smooth and steady path to Professorship as well. In hindsight, I feel exulted for having made the right decision and taken the right path in the most productive years of my life and early stages of my budding career.

Joining and working as a Lecturer in a contract role was not an easy ride, but proved to be a roller coaster in my case. At the lowest rung in the academic hierarchy, there is much to learn and so much more to offer to the University despite one’s limited knowledge and exposure. Most of the expectations from my role initially were service-related such as taking minutes of meeting, or doing the administrative part of organizing events, or working as an emcee (because you are the youngest in the team, and most often a female is expected to don on this role!)

Putting on several caps and assuming several roles that get assigned, almost on an impromptu basis, has a huge plus. It does build the individual’s confidence. On the flip side, superiors/bosses continue to place demands to perform the very same perennially just because you proved yourself to be efficient by living up to their expectations. As the saying goes, “there is always a premium on efficiency”. The individual concerned ends up paying a huge opportunity cost. Initial phases of an academician’s career always come with a rider: be prepared to sacrifice a major portion of your prime and productive time while assuming the twin roles of teaching and research along with the service component of the job.

Despite having been promoted to the post of Assistant Professor in the ladder, I am required to manage the service role as an academician but with greater focus primarily on research and teaching. Doing meaningful research, writing cases rooted into and having a bearing on local contexts, writing on various media, speaking on various platforms within one’s domain should have precedence over other regular activities. Engaging in sponsored research and scouting for consulting projects should be another priority. After all, to mature as a well-rounded academic professional, engaging oneself simultaneously with multiple tasks becomes a necessary thing. More importantly, progressing to the next stage in the ladder becomes facile if you make doing PhD only your ultimate priority and pursuit.

Having successfully faced the challenge of joining a solemn profession and becoming a life-long academician, I am totally aware that my role now as Assistant Professor has widened. That would definitely entail undertaking meaningful initiatives such as partnership and cooperation with various Universities across the world. As a Placement Cell coordinator, managing internships and final placements to the MBA and BBA graduates is equally paramount. Among several other parameters that define the overall image of a B-School, the importance of the placement records need not be exaggerated. The next item in my professional agenda, now, would be to widen the reach and network of my Placement Cell and our alumni network across seven other Schools that come under KU thereby facilitating the potential graduates and prospective recruits in obtaining the job of their choice officially through formal channels. Besides my role as Faculty Associate at Enterprise and Management Development Program (EMDP), I aim and aspire to bring in more nationally recognized consulting projects thereby becoming a steady revenue earner for the University as well.

What I feel and believe is, when a human being matures as a teacher, new experiences bring him/her new sensitivities and flexibility. Teaching profession is for all those who are eager to make a difference and cause a positive impact on learners in particular and society in general! It is for people who were inspired by their own teachers earlier in their education and want to remember them for an entire lifetime, long after school is over. Hence, my earnest request to graduating management students, especially the young females, is to seriously consider and take up teaching as a career option.

To end with a power quote by John Dewey: “Education is a lifetime process with no true beginning or ending.  Education consists of experience, environment, socialization and communication. Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”

[The author is associated with School of Management, Kathmandu University.]

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