Better compete with yourself
Learn to deal with comparisons and not let them get the better of you
I am a Class 10 student. I am very interested in astronomy which I wish to pursue as my career. My percentage is 85-90%. Which stream should I opt for in Class 11? What professional qualifications are required and what are the job opportunities in this field?
—Krithika Astronomy is the science of the heavenly bodies in the sky and their patterns. It is one of the oldest sciences and now involves the use of very sophisticated methods of detecting and interpreting information on planets, stars and galaxies and their relative motions. For the study of astronomy, you need to take physics and maths in Class11 and Class 12. A high level of intelligence, mathematical ability, research skill and computer proficiency are some of the personal qualities required for a career in space sciences/research.
To get into fields related to astronomy, astrophysics or space science, you can follow any of two routes. You can take up BSc in physics or maths and then MSc and PhD in astronomy, astrophysics or space sciences. Alternatively, you can do a BE/BTech in aeronautical or aerospace engineering followed by an MTech and PhD in aerospace engineering or a related field.
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER, www.iiser.ernet.in) now offers an integrated BSc/MSc programmes in different fields of science with scholarships to budding young scientists. The programme is designed as a balanced blend of core science and interdisciplinary topics, to serve as a launch pad for research and doctoral studies in cutting-edge areas in science and technology. The admission is based on an entrance test and interview. The admission notification is expected during January/February every year.
Alternatively, after finishing your degree in physics, you could take up an MSc and research leading to PhD which enables one to become an astronomer/astrophysicist or a scientist/research officer, etc in the field of space research.
Astronomy and astrophysics are taught as special MSc programmes in the
physics or mathe-
Competition can be a great motivator. It can move you to go that extra mile and do that much better. But things start to go wrong when beating somebody becomes your only goal. At every step along the way, you will be compared, whether with fellow students or siblings. Competitions and comparisons are a part of every student’s life, but as a student, you have to learn to deal with these comparisons and not let them get the better of you.
Whether you ‘win’ or ‘lose,’ if you lose sight of what really matters, it is only going to distract you away from your growth. No matter how well you do, letting your success get to your head can be disastrous. It takes you away from the things that really matter, and your complacency might even hamper your performance the next time around. And at the same time, when you look at the performance of another person as your benchmark, you are bound to be disappointed at some point. Irrespective of how well you do, at some point or the other you are bound to come across
—Vinay An investment banker helps a client to utilise and increase its funds, by doing a thorough study of the market trends, risk involved in investments and the prevalent economic conditions. An investment banker provides a wide range of services including endorsing securities, trading of stock and bond, facilitating mergers and acquisitions, maintaining broker-dealer operations and providing financial guidance regarding pricing of securities, issuing and placement of stocks. The job requires detailed research and understanding of the money markets prior to any investment. Investment banking is one of the most popular careers among the youth of India, since it is a money-spinning job that provides opportunities to grow. However, not everyone can become an investment banker. You need to have the right abilities and aptitude to be successful in this job. You must have strong analytical and mathematical skills, be comfortable with numbers and have a tolerance for taking risks. someone who is a shade better than you. And when a comparison is done, how you deal with it could define who you are and what you will become. Her is some advice
with yourself: Do not judge yourself by how others have performed. Set your own targets and raise the bar for yourself.
yourself: You cannot be the best in every sphere. Identify your strengths so that you can reach your full potential. At the same time, be aware of your weaknesses and work
towards overcoming them.
not bother about what others think: Students often tend to worry about what others would think of them. Do not get swayed by what others think. Know your priorities and do the best that you can.
on the effort, not the result: When you compare yourself with others, you end up focusing on the outcome. Instead of getting distracted in such comparisons, focus on putting in your best effort.
from your peers: There is a great deal to learn from your peers. Rather than focusing on one-upmanship, try to pick up on the positives of your peers and imbibe them in your life.
each other’s success: Do not let another student’s success put you off. Be happy for someone who does well.
Send your queries at firstname.lastname@example.org or to Career Counselling, HT
Education, 1st floor, HT House, 18-20, KG Marg, New
Delhi-110001 The columnist is director of Careers Smart, and author of the Penguin India Career Guides Vol 1 and 2. Ph: 011-40552321