Battle of Minds provides students with first hand exposure to the corporate world.
Bridging the Gap through Candid Interaction
Abdul Hannan Chowdhury
Every year Battle of Minds comes to our campus. It generates a lot of hype among our students as they regard the Battle of Minds platform very highly. On an average, 250 to 300 students attend the Battle of Minds campus roadshows and seminars arranged by British American Tobacco (BAT) Bangladesh every year. Many more are reached through campus activations and branding which is done under the banner of Battle of Minds.
A graduating student, who has worked hard for four years to obtain a degree, has a lot of expectations from the company he wants to join. Naturally, they also have a lot of questions and queries. When a company visits the campus, it provides an opportunity for the students to know the company better and gives them a platform to ask questions and seek clarity about what to expect from the company when they choose to become a part of it. When Battle of Minds comes to campus, it gives the students a platform where they can interact with senior managers of BAT Bangladesh. Many myths about employment opportunities and recruitment processes are broken and the students get the real picture. The presenters talk about the background of the company, its guiding principles and values on how fresh graduates can fit in to their business. Through such sessions, students also obtain clarity about recruitment process, which positions to apply for and how to apply. These are valuable lessons for a fresh graduate who is just beginning to think about the job market, and in which field to build his future career in. Such first-hand exposure to corporates is very limited and I believe that the Battle of Minds model sets a standard on how student engagements should be done in a manner that it adds value to each individual student. Even if they do not join British American Tobacco Bangladesh, I have seen many of my graduates reminiscing about Battle of Minds with outmost reverence.
The campus sessions are only the first step. The students are then taken through a rigorous process of selection and the top students are selected from the applicants. I appreciate how my students are groomed and shaped for their future corporate careers. Apart from classroom sessions, professional business managers can impart valuable knowledge about real challenges out there in the corporate world. This is the bit of experience that my students cherish and value in the long run.
The framework of Battle of Minds is designed in a manner that every participant will gain valuable learning and development experiences as they go through each level of the competition. In the application round, aspiring participants need to build their individual profiles. Before throwing the challenges to the teams, they are taken through a grooming session that imparts various skill improvement lessons and team building mantras.
At each level of the Battle of Minds competition, the teams are exposed to new and complex challenges in which they need to work together to be able to solve the problems critically. After tackling with various changing environments, thinking out-of-the-box and compiling the best possible solution, the teams have to test the feasibility of their proposals and defend it to a panel of experienced judges. In front of a large audience where respected faculty members, fellow students, senior BAT managers and other esteemed guests are present, it can sometimes be a nerve wracking experience. After a round of questioning, only the best team can win.
Throughout the journey, there is only one thing that is for certain that, a student will gain an experience that they will bank on as they embark on the journey to build successful careers. From teamwork, efficient time and resource management, adaptability to selling the output, a participant gains a vista of skills from the Battle of Minds experience.
(The author is the Dean, School of Business, North South University.)
DID YOU KNOW?
Fashion Designer and Business Executive, Ralph Lauren was born Ralph Lifschitz in the Bronx, New York on October 14, 1939 (he turns 73 today!). Lauren attended the Salanter Academy Jewish Day School followed by MTA (now known as the Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy), before eventually graduating from DeWitt Clinton High School in 1957. In MTA Lauren was known by his classmates for selling ties to his fellow students. In a moment of spontaneity, when asked what he wanted to do in his Clinton yearbook he stated under his picture that he wanted to be a millionaire. At the age of 16, Ralph's brother George Poitras (who was his guardian) changed their last name to Lauren to avoid the unfortunate obscenity reference Lipshitz has in English. Apparently Ralph was teased about it in school. He went to Baruch College where he studied business, although he dropped out after two years. From 1962 to 1964 he served in the United States Army. He did not attend fashion school, but worked for Brooks Brothers as a salesman. In 1967, with the financial backing of Manhattan clothing manufacturer Norman Hilton, Lauren opened a necktie store where he also sold ties of his own design, under the label "Polo.” He later received the rights to use the trademark Polo from Brooks Brothers!
Information Source: Internet