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Linking Young Minds Together
      Volume 6 | Issue 02 | January 15, 2012 |


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Students working part-time at popular eateries is more on the rise in Dhaka.


Promiti Prova Chowdhury
Photos: Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo

Doing what you love, growing a sense of independence, learning professional skills and at the same time making money out of it -- what can be more desirable and beneficial for an undergrad student in this era of globalisation? Part-time job opportunities are something that was so rare to find in Bangladesh even ten years ago. Working as a 'private tutor' was the only option left for students. The scenario has changed a lot. Star Campus has made a list of five fields that has plenty of part-time opportunities where students can work, learn and have fun.

Fahmim Ferdous, a third year student of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (EEE) at American International University Bangladesh (AIUB) is a contributing news producer, news presenter, programme producer and radio jockey (RJ) at Radio Abc, a popular radio station in Bangladesh. One wonders how he manages the good number of responsibilities alongside studying such an academically intense subject! Optimistic Fahmim replies, “If you like what you are doing as a part time job, time management wouldn't be that hard. After all, 24 hours is a lot of time.” Studying Engineering basically because of his parents' wishes, Fahmim has always been keen about Journalism and wants to build up his career in this field using the expertise gathered from Radio Abc. Moreover he bears his tuition fees and contributes to the family expenses to the possible extent. The English news department of Radio Abc is mostly run by contributors. Eight more radio stations are coming into transmission very soon. Fahmim believes, “There will be a huge demand for part-timers and contributors. And at the end of the day if you have quality, if you know the job and you are good at it, then you don't have to look for an employer, an employer will find you.”

Fahmim Ferdoues
Dil Afroze

When you wander inside your favourite boutique, mesmerised by the aroma and beauty of fresh products, do you sometimes have the feeling of spending hours there, even if you are not buying anything? That is exactly what used to happen to Dil Afroze, a first year student of History at Eden College who is now a sales executive at Aarong, an exclusive lifestyle store run by Brac. Seeing a circular in newspaper she applied there a year ago and now working as a part-timer. From the experience gathered so far, she believes this can be an extremely satisfying job sector for students as the working shifts are set according to the their choices. “If there is an exam the authority always considers and the environment is very much homely and safe,” says Dil Afroze. She earns a handsome pocket money by working five hours daily and encourages other students to do the same, as it teaches ways of dealing customers and other social skills.

Part-time jobs help young people build self confidence and 'people' skills.

Mir Tamir Hossain, a sales executive at the Bashundhara City branch of Ecstasy, a trendy fashion house, is a first year student studying Management at New Model University. After completing his Higher Secondary exams, he joined Ecstasy as a sales executive as he was always fascinated with this particular brand. After doing classes in the morning he works in the evening shift at the store. He considers jobs at showrooms to be the best for students as there is no hassle outside the working hours. One can easily manage study alongside the job. Another sales executive of the same showroom, Diana Anamika Gomez is a second year student of Accounting at Siddeswari Degree College. She claims to have improved her communication skills a lot after working here for a year. “Such jobs can play a great role in solving the unemployment problem we face in the country today,” states Diana.

If you are creative enough and really have the guts to work heart and soul, then production houses can be your place to climb the ladder of success. A good example can be Ifrith Jena Miti, a third year student of Marketing at Dhaka Commerce College who joined Applebox two years ago and now is an assistant director there. Working as a reporter in 'Mukto Khobor' in her eighth grade she got interested to work in digital production. She joined Applebox in the Arts department where she has to work on costume designs, set designs, managing props etc.

Ifrith Jena Miti, Courtesy: Ifrith Jena Miti
Khadija Falguni, Courtesy: Khadija Falguni

“Sometimes it gets really hard to manage my studies and my family alongside the job. Shootings go on for days together outside Dhaka and at times I might even be on call at 3 am for a shoot! But the good part is that most of the work is project based, which is why I am aware of the schedule beforehand. Of course, in case of an important exam, I do take time off from work," explains Miti.

Miti finds herself a much more responsible and confident person now. She says that the practical experience gathered from a job can never be attained through institutional education only. “It is seen that some people get so indulged in the part-time jobs that they pay no heed to study, even some of them drop out. In the long run it is very harmful. One has to finish study in any case and alongside he has to maintain the job,” exclaims Miti.

Md Shahjalal
Md Srabon Chowdhury
Mir Tamir Hossain

Have you ever observed the servers while dining at the well known eateries, namely, Pizza Hut and Nandos? Majority of these smart, passionate servers who make up the comfortable environment of your favourite restaurants are students studying at different universities. Mahtab Khan Majlish, a second year student of Social Welfare at Asian University joined as a server at Pizza Hut two years ago after doing a four-month course on 'Pastry and Bakery' from Porjoton Corporation. Now he is a Buddy Trainer at the Service Section. Enjoying his work to the fullest he plans to build his career in Hotel Management. Naima Akhter has been working in the same restaurant as a server for three months. “I was an introvert, but working here has brought about a tremendous improvement in my communication skills. If I had done only private teaching, it would never have been possible,” clarifies Naima who is a second year student of Accounting at Eden College. She has some restrictions when it comes to choosing the night shifts. She also speaks about the stigma that still exists in society when it comes to female servers in restaurants, especially in'western' attire; it simply is not acceptable. But she has her family support and aims to become the manager of the restaurant one day. She is highly satisfied with the work hours (5/6 hours for the part-timers) and pay scale.

Diana Anamika Gomez  

Nowadays the restaurant owners are interested in recruiting undergrad part-timers more than ever. Mahmud Iqbal, Duty Manager of Nandos, Dhanmondi Branch asserts, “Most of our customers are foreigners. They want servers to be well spoken and well educated. So these students working here are up to the level. They are also provided with a one month training on menu, customer service, hygiene, history of Nandos, food production etc. We provide them certificates as well.” Md Shahjalal, second year student of Tourism and Hotel Management at IBAIS University, Barsha Shaha, third year student of Business Administration at United International University, Md Srabon Chowdhury, second year student of Marketing at Titumir College are some of the servers at Nandos.

Another section that is bustling with students nowadays is the news organisations. Khadija Falguni is a feature writer of two supplements at the daily Prothom Alo. She had a knack for writing ever since her school days. “When I first went to my editor I was asked whether I had written before for any paper or not. This field is mostly dependant on contributors. Sometimes I come up with ideas for writings, sometimes I get assignments. Whatever it is, every idea is shaped by mutual consulting. My network is also increasing day by day which is very important.” Khadija is a student of Accounting at Eden College in her second year. “I do not face any problem managing my studies alongside my job. I am a freelance contributor so I enjoy freedom utmost and my hunger for writing is also met. I might go for Chartered Accountancy in future but never will give up writing.” She says that whatever is the payment for part-time contributors is good enough for meeting up personal expenses.

Naima Akhter
Mahtab Khan Majlish

“Know Thyself”--university life is the ideal time to follow this rule of Socrates. It is apparent that these jovial minds are doing what they really love to do and in a way has broken barriers in society, where part time workers are still not taken seriously by the elders or are sometimes looked down upon because of the 'nature' of the job. We hope that young people today will think outside their comfort zones and build a society and economy based on hard work, passion and an urge to make the country a better place to live in.

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