By the time I completed my engineering in Information Technology from Delhi University, I was sure that I wanted to go for a postgrad degree. Having done my research and after gaining an understanding of what suited me best, I chose to go for human resource (HR) management course in the UK for my Master’s degree.
Why I chose the UK
So, I went on to pursue a Masters in HR Management for Middlesex University in the UK. There were a couple of reasons why the UK became my top choice for pursuing higher education. First, since I was opting for HR, I wanted to get a qualification from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), which is specific to the UK and is the recognised professional standard for HR specialists. I wanted to go for a course that involved interactive and case study based learning and which aided professional development right from the get go.
The other reason for me to choose the UK was availability of one-year programmes across several universities. As an engineering student I had already spent an extra year in graduation compared to students in most other vocations. I was very conscious of this fact and wanted to go for a program that would allow me to join the job market sooner and which would prove to be cost effective due to its relatively shorter duration.
Why higher education in the UK stands out
My experience as a student in the UK was just amazing. Coming from India and understanding English as a language really helped me blend in and understand the people and the culture better. The faculty really support the students and make them feel welcome. As mentors, they also provide guidance and positive encouragement, helping students find a place in the community and settle in comfortably.
Universities in the UK offer an exceptional learning experience with great structure to the course curriculum and proven pedagogy. The universities also allow students to work up to twenty hours a week. Getting this kind of an opportunity to gain exposure while studying is important. It really adds to your personal growth and imparts life skills. Besides this, students get ample time off for breaks, which allows foreign students to visit home or travel across Europe.
How my education equipped me for work
My time in the UK entirely changed me as a person with exposure to a multicultural environment. With a classroom full of students of different nationalities, I absorbed new cultures and ideologies. When we used to get group assignments, it always fascinated me how each student in the group would interpret the same task differently and then come up with a unique plan of action.
So, while I did gain the necessary educational qualifications, I had set out to achieve, at the end of it all, I gained something worth a lot more – ‘perspective’.
I was able to apply all that I learned in the UK to my work when I started in an HR profile after coming back to India. My learnings from the UK enabled me to go beyond the job description connect better with the candidates, find out their motivations and where they came from. I was able to match my clients with the right talent. This ability had a significant impact on my career and allowed me to ascend into senior roles at the firm.
Soon, I also started a work portal for women globally called ‘FemmeHire’ as a mentee at the Cherie Blair Foundation, London. The intent behind this venture was to enable women professionals to find and secure jobs in profiles that suit their needs and abilities during any given phase in life based on their changing priorities.
Currently, I work as the Director of Talent Acquisition for a US based company called the Mothership Corporation, which provides recruitment infrastructure to its clients and helps in hiring diverse and niche quality talent.
As a student at a university in the UK you get the chance of gaining amazing life experience by working at the same time. The exposure you get really opens up your world and I would advise anyone searching for a programme abroad to consider the UK.
More About Karishma Daswani
Karishma developed a 3-part global career portal to enhance Gender Diversity in hiring. 1) FemmeHire Jobs – A database of flexible work options and a collection of CVs to hire the ladies. 2) FemmeHire Shop – An online shop to sell products created by underprivileged women to help support their livelihood. Products were certified by Ministry of Textiles / CE mark / Handloom mark of India. 3) FemmeHire Blog – Wrote 150+ work articles. Interviewed women featuring them as ‘Femme of the Month’. Judged contests like ‘Mrs HomeMaker India’ and ‘Ms Wheelchair India’ presenting FemmeHire as the online partner. Karishma got mentored at the Cherie Blair Foundation for women, London and featured on their website for exemplary work and was invited to meet Mrs Cherie Blair and Ms Kathryn Blair in New Delhi. She also adjudged 2nd Runner-Up by the British Council for the Entrepreneurial category in India at the Study UK Alumni Awards.