Summer break is over and after doing intensive research based internships and online examinations, it’s time for the students at RICS SBE to restart classes for the third semester. A 2 day orientation session was held on July 10 and July 11, 2020 for MBA students of all streams. Now, that’s another thing that’s been affected by Covid 19! Normally the orientation session would have taken place on the campus but this year due to the pandemic, the event was organised online.
Senior Management and professors welcome back the students
The senior management of RICS SBE, the Associate Deans and senior members of the faculty welcomed back the students on their onward journey to obtain their degrees. They addressed them in live sessions online to give them some useful tips towards their career. Mark Powell, Executive Director RICS SBE joined the session from London and gave some invaluable advice to students about what key skills to develop for the future.
Associate Directors outline semester plan
Associate Directors of the MBA programmes in Construction Project Management, Real Estate and Urban Infrastructure and Construction Economics and Quantity Surveying gave an overview of the plans for the curriculum delivery of the 3rd semester. The academic calendar for this semester has been programmed from July 13, 2020 to November 2, 2020 and exams are scheduled to be held from November 7, 2020 to December 12, 2020.
They advised them to be disciplined and diligent in their studies and guided them on how to prepare their assignments and submit them on time. Students were urged to stay in touch with their mentors as it would help them with their personal as well as professional growth. They were also advised to be prudent about what they posted on social media as it would reflect their professional prowess.
To add some fun quotient to what could turn into a very mundane routine, students were encouraged to actively participate in activities organised by S.L.I.N.G. (Student Learning Innovation and Networking Group). Keeping in view the current situation of the pandemic, these activities will all be online.
Classes to be in online format for the present with access to virtual computer labs
In order to ensure the safety of the students and in accordance with UGC guidelines, classes will currently start in an online format. The situation will be reviewed periodically and as soon as it is deemed safe and the government allows it, classes will start face to face on campus.
A lot of work has been put in behind the scenes by the IT team and the faculty to improve the virtual classroom experience for students and make it as close as possible to a physical classroom. Online tools and technical resources have also been augmented to make the live virtual sessions more interesting and interactive. RICS SBE has made significant investments in very high configuration technology to convert the physical computer lab to a virtual lab that can be accessed by students on their normal basic configuration laptops and PCs so that they can practice their course related software and tools from the safety of their homes.
Tips and Advice for Students
A common thread that ran through everybody’s address to the students was that there is no denying that we are going through a very difficult phase in our lives and we are already living a redefined normal and change is inevitable in future as well. As Ashwani Awasthi, MD, RICS SBE said, “In our childhood we’ve learnt about the survival of the fittest but in the current world I would say that that it is survival of the quickest, how quick you are to respond to the changes is most important at this point of time”.
Adaptability and flexibility will be key skills to inculcate for the future as employers will be looking for multi skilled individuals who can turn their hand at various things. Mark Powell, Executive Director RICS SBE says “Embrace change, be flexible, do whatever you can to develop your own flexible skills because these are the sort of things that employers are looking for. When it comes to placements, be open. Your first job on graduating will not be your last. You will do many different roles from the time you graduate to the time you retire. Your first job is just a stepping stone in your journey through life”.
The world is moving towards digitalisation and looking for IT solutions to most operational issues. Students were advised to get comfortable with technology as this will be the main driver for practically all sectors. Familiarity and adeptness at using software tools and technology would be a major differentiator during placements and would determine their future professional growth.
In a long drawn crisis like the one brought on by Covid 19, it is easy to fall prey to negativity and foresee doom and gloom ahead. However, that is not going to happen. The world has lived through many different types of crisis before and it has always emerged stronger and better than before. History shows that each crisis is a harbinger of opportunities and the onus to make the most of these opportunities is totally on us. Therefore, use this time well to enhance and hone your skills so that you can ride the crest of the upward wave of the economy because what goes down, bounces back up. All the best for the new semester!
About RICS SBE:
RICS School of Built Environment (RICS SBE), Amity University is an industry led academic institution which delivers specialized undergraduate and postgraduate programs to students ambitious to work in real estate, construction and infrastructure sector. It also aids as a hub for research and development of technical proficiency in built environment.