Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Student Mentoring - T.V.N.Lakshmi Manasa

Rao worked in an engineering college as a faculty member for some period. He taught management subjects for engineering students. Management subjects are added to engineering curriculum as the engineers need to know about basic jargon about management so that they get along well with management jargon at the corporate world.

He had passion for teaching and spent most of the time with students even outside the class and even after the college working hours. He counseled and guided several students on campus placements. He also mentored many students. One day, a student by name, T.V.N.Lakshmi Manasa came to faculty room where Rao used to sit along with other colleagues. She expressed her willingness to become a successful soft skills trainer. Manasa wanted Rao to mentor as latter used to conduct freelance training related to campus recruitment for students and other training programs to corporate.

It is a case of student mentoring. Mentoring students is more challenging than mentoring others. Students are sensitive and externally they appear to be casual and jovial but at heart they are very sensitive. And mentoring students requires lot of patience and perseverance. In addition, it is necessary to know about students’ psychology.

Rao was very happy to hear Manasa’s urge to become a trainer. Rao enquired whether she was bold in facing the people public. And also posed series of questions related to her communication capabilities, confidence, courage to face huge audience and her other academic activities. After getting positive responses from her, he began the mentoring process. Rao recognized that Manasa had the gift of the gab. She had mesmerizing voice but had problems with grammar. Rao felt that she looked for career support.

Rao advised Manasa to read books related to various types of training methodologies and also to observe various video cassettes of global speakers and trainers. Rao told to observe keenly the body language of the speakers as well as the verbal language and voice modulation whenever she talked with others.

Manasa began observing all people from communication perspective such as style, accent, and phonetics. She practiced regularly at home along with family members and friends. Gradually she started hitting the podium at the college by taking active part into conferences, seminars and debates. All these things have brought out abundant improvement. And finally, she evolved as a soft skills trainer.

Regularly Rao provided her feedback by observing her speaking style, accent, body language. He provided her confidence and encouragement to grow as a trainer. During the period he constantly motivated her to build confidence to face the audience. He advised her about the areas to be improved. It took around six months to improve herself and evolve as a soft skills trainer.

Here, it is a case of student mentoring where a student’s ambition of becoming a soft skills trainer has been handled carefully. For Rao, it was a great satisfaction to mentor an ambitious student. He also learnt many things from Manasa such as the latest developments that were taking place in training and development.

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