CIR organizes professional training for those aspiring to do higher studies in India or abroad. CIR nurtures entrepreneurship development through Amrita Centre for Entrepreneurship (ACE). CIR also provides expert guidance to students beyond the regular academic curriculum. It empowers students with important life skills and practical domain skills.
CIR functions in eight key areas: Career Counselling, Career Competency Development, Higher Learning Initiatives, Corporate Relations, Entrepreneurship Development, Marketing Communication, Corporate Training and Placements. The CIR Directorate has its vital presence in all the campuses, replicating the form and function of the main centre, with necessary modifications to meet the varying nature of the programmes offered. An important aspect of Career Counselling is the personalised mentoring of students. Under this, mentors are assigned and career planning guidance is provided for each student in a structured manner and individual records are maintained. Students are guided in forming clear and well defined goals through self-awareness (by performing SWOC analysis), job market information, goal setting, decision-making and job opportunity identification.
The Career Competency Development function focuses on imparting life skills for the personality development of students, with necessary emphasis on verbal and communication skills, soft skills, aptitude and reasoning abilities, along with technical core-competency skills. To get a real-life experience, students are taken through mock interviews and group discussions with internal and external experts on the panel. Frequent tests are administered simulating corporate testing processes in intensity, variety and content, so that there are no surprises when the students actually face the placement process. CIR conducts pre-placement technical training during summer vacation prior to the beginning of the recruitment process and company-specific training prior to the visits of the companies for recruitment. The efficacy of this approach has been borne out by the placement records and subsequent feedback from employers.
Higher learning initiatives include helping students in the preparation of competitive examinations for higher learning such as GATE, GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, CAT, etc., as some students wish to pursue higher studies, usually in the fields of engineering or management. Foreign language classes in Spanish and German are also conducted for the benefit of those students who plan to pursue their higher studies or career abroad.
The Corporate Relations vertical of CIR focuses on building and maintaining excellent rapport with the top management of various organisations and industries to forge collaborative industry-academia alliances. It initiates Memoranda of Understanding with major companies, research agencies and institutions to secure funded projects, bring in latest technology and bring about improvement in facilities. This wing facilitates visits by senior industry leaders for interaction with faculty and students; it organises guest lectures, seminars and webinars by industry stalwarts, thereby exposing students and faculty members to industry best-practices and developments in technology. Sponsorships from industry for technical events like conferences, seminars, symposia and workshops are secured through strategic relationships. It seeks the help of companies to spare working products/prototypes for academic demonstration purposes and facilitates implant training, industry visits, summer and final semester internship across all disciplines and campuses. This wing also encourages industry and corporate entities to offer consultancy and sponsored research in consonance with the expertise available in the university. It promotes Management / Executive Development Programmes for the Corporate, solicits support from reputed companies each year for the Corporate Action Plan with respect to engineering, management and other disciplines. It also initiates appropriate measures to support Heads of Placement of Engineering, Management and other schools, to improve the quality and range of placements that match the aspiration levels of students and enhance the image of the university.
To help budding CEOs who aspire to start their own enterprises, Amrita Centre for Entrepreneurship (ACE) was founded on 27 June 2011. ACE aims to develop and promote an entrepreneurial mindset among students. The ACE charter as envisioned by the Director, CIR, is to provide an eco-system that will kindle, nurture and support the innate desires and ideas lying dormant in the individual and create avenues to fructify those ideas into meaningful enterprises. In line with this, a separate library, laboratory and workshop facility have been set up for converting ideas into prototype models and for further development, resulting in commercialization of product or service offering. The E-club has around 990 members comprising students and alumni. It conducts Entrepreneurship Awareness Camps (EACs), Faculty Development Programmes (FDPs) on Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurship Development Programmes (EDPs) under the Department of Science and Technology (DST)’s National Implementing and Monitoring Agency for Training (NIMAT) project routed through Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), Ahmedabad. Due to the rich corporate and entrepreneurial experience of the faculty on board, ACE provides mentorship to its members. Other key activities include seminars, guest lectures, workshops, technical projects, quizzes, business plan contests, sessions by alumni entrepreneurs and industry visits. It brings in first generation entrepreneurs to share their success stories. ACE has also successfully participated in a pilot programme on Breakthrough Innovation by University of California, Berkeley extension centre along with Intel partner, FICE.
Another area of significant importance is Marketing Communication. This wing promotes university activities and creates visibility for brand Amrita in print and electronic media through regular write-ups like event reports, features etc. In addition, this vertical prepares advertisements and advertorials for various programmes for the entire university and for numerous vacancies. This arm is also responsible for creating brochures and other collaterals; managing print, electronic and digital marketing campaigns; publicizing technical events like Anokha and Pragati; as well as coordinating for participation in rankings and surveys.
One of the areas that has emerged as an integral part of corporate relations in the recent past is the area of Corporate Training and Consulting. Several technical consulting initiatives have been facilitated by the Corporate Training sub-division of CIR along with various departments. Other areas are management consulting and corporate training for leadership interventions, change management consulting, training workshops, and so on. This wing is best equipped to provide both behavioral and management consultation services to various organisations.
Excellent placements have been the natural reward for all eligible students at Amrita. The Placement arm covers all major domains in the university - Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Business and Social Work. There is a focus on domain-specific placement. Apart from assistance in providing summer placements and internship, pre-placement training and guidance is given to students via mentoring, mock tests, mock GDs and mock interviews. The standing and visibility of the university and the quality of alumni have prompted past recruiters to vie with each other for early slots in recruitment. Concerted efforts have been made by the Placement team to give ample opportunities to students from core engineering branches to find careers in relevant industries. Almost all the major players in the national scene and several global corporations regularly visit Amrita to meet their talent needs. A partial list of recruiters at Amrita is enough to speak volumes about the strength of the Placement process.