5 unusual, visa-free destination for travelling Bangladeshis

Travelling has many benefits- it teaches you about other cultures, it helps declutter your mind, and it also gives you a clear idea about who you are.

In 2017, about 1.32 billion people travelled worldwide, and more and more people are taking an interest in it. However, for Bangladeshis, the formalities surrounding an international trip can often be daunting. For us getting a visa is fairly difficult. But does it mean your dream of travelling the world will remain a dream?

Many countries offer visa-free entry/ on arrival visas for Bangladeshis. So sometimes, all you need to do is pack a bag and get on a plane. And here are 5 countries that will gladly welcome you.

Read more: 5 Visa-free countries for Bangladeshis

Cambodia (On Arrival Visa)

Source: Unsplash

Cambodia is blessed with a vibrant culture and natural beauty. It is home to Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument ever built. The massive structure will take your breath away, but that is not all Cambodia has to offer. It has untouched beaches, historical sights, and ancient temples that will take you back in time. The visa process is very easy, and you can get an on-arrival visa at all the major airports like Phenom Penh and Siem Reap. All you need is passport-size photographs and a filled out form. And like a cherry on the top, Cambodia is not super expensive. So what are you waiting for? Hop on a plane!

Fiji (Visa-Free entry)

Source: Google

Despite being a breathtaking country with a warm, rich local culture, Fiji is often not on the radar of Bangladeshi travellers. It does not make sense- because Fiji offers visa-free entry for tourists, where you can stay up to 4 months! Fiji has over 300 islands and over 500 islets, making it the perfect destination for beach lovers. It also has a very interesting culture, delicious food and intriguing history. Did you know that cannibalism was widespread throughout the islands? Neither did we!

Kenya (On Arrival Visa)

Source: Google

Yes, we know that Kenya is not at the top of your bucket list. But it should be. Kenya is a leading safari destination in East Africa. It has a number of wildlife conservatories that you can visit, and they all boast the beauty of wildlife. Fun fact: The biggest five animals- rhinos, leopards, lions, buffalo, and elephants can all be found in Kenya. For travelling Bangladeshis, Kenya offers an on arrival visa. So pack your bag, and feast your eyes on how diverse the world is.

Madagascar (On Arrival Visa)

Source: Telegraph.co.uk

The name might remind you of the movie Madagascar, but real-life Madagascar is far more enthralling. There are only 17 countries in the world that are considered to be megadiverse, and Madagascar is one of them. This place is undoubtedly a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. You will get to see numerous types of lemurs, birds and chameleons. And no, there’s no lion or giraffes or hippos. From 500-year-old burial sites to labyrinths of limestones, Madagascar has a few well-known world heritage sites. But forget about all that. Visit Madagascar because it’s beautiful.

Bahamas (Visa-Free Entry)

Source: Lonely Planet

Does the idea of swimming with sharks intrigue you? If yes, then travelling to the Bahamas will be a great experience for you. With 700 islands and 2500 cays, the Bahamas will completely change your perspective of the underwater world. These subtropical beaches attract over five million tourists every year, and we see the appeal. They offer visa-free entry for Bangladeshis, so this might be the perfect place for you to explore!

Did we miss any of your favourite places? Don’t forget to let us know!

8 Tactics to help manage your insomnia

Sleep is an integral part of human life. The amount of sleep needed might vary from person to person, but most healthy adults need somewhere between 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. But sometimes, Hypnos refuses to bestow his blessings on us, and we end up with a condition called insomnia.

Merriam-webster defines insomnia as “prolonged and usually abnormal inability to get enough sleep”. The symptoms include difficulty falling/staying asleep, waking up early with an inability to fall asleep again, daytime sleepiness, tiredness and so on. But for someone to be diagnosed with insomnia, the symptoms have to be there for at least 3 nights per week over a course of at least four weeks. Anything less than that is easily manageable through some simple lifestyle changes. And here’s how you do it.

Can’t sleep? Here are 7 musicians/bands you could listen to.

Maintaining a sleep schedule

Yes, it sounds hard, especially when sleeping in is so blissful. But you need to train your body to sleep properly. So get up on a set time every day. Your sleep cycle will be back to normal in a matter of weeks.

No naps!

We know, naps help you through the long and hard workday. But if you want to fall asleep at night, then limit your naps. Push yourself through the day, and by night you will be tired enough to have a good night’s sleep.

Tire yourself out

Exercise regularly. Go on a hiking trip on the weekend. Walk to work, run in the morning. The idea is to make your body tired enough so that by the time you go to bed, there is nothing on your mind except for the sweet release of sleep. And then do it all again.

Manage your stress

Taking measures to manage your stress goes a long way in managing your sleep problems. Basic stress management strategies like deep breathing, yoga and aromatherapy will take away your troubles and you will sleep like a baby.

Take care of your body

No matter how cliche this sounds, your body actually is your temple. Take care of it. Cut down on nicotine, caffeine and alcohol. Eat balanced meals at regular intervals. Be careful of stimulants that might hamper your sleep cycle. Practising these techniques will surely help with your insomnia.

Get your anxiety under control

Human beings are prone to anxiety. It is a part of our survival instincts. But that does not mean you have to succumb to your worries without fail. Simply get done with your worrying before you go to bed. Your bed is for sleeping, and that is it. Set aside a few minutes to fret over your day, and get done with it. Don’t make phone calls in bed, do not eat in bed, don’t do anything in bed that is not related to sleeping, and you will see noticeable improvement in the quality of your sleep.

Set the mood

You are not designed to sleep in a room full of crying children. So before you go to sleep, set the environment. Make sure your bed is comfortable, the temperature is just right, and disturbances are minimum. Do not eat or drink anything right before bed to avoid going to the bathroom every half hour. If you have a pet that sleeps with you, consider moving it’s sleeping location so it does not accidentally wake you up during the night.

Consider seeing a therapist

If you have been doing all of these and still having trouble falling asleep at night, consider going to a therapist, Cognitive therapy works great for some people with insomnia, and it is worth a try.It will help you find proper information about sleep norms and set reasonable goals to solve your sleep problems among other things. So try that!

Not being able to sleep properly can take a toll on both your body and mind. So before the problem gets out of hand, take measures to solve it. And let us know if they work for you. Cheers!

7 musicians/bands you should be listening to right now

Music can be a wonderful escape from reality, and musicians are the mastermind behind them. But sometimes, some artists fail to get the attention that they deserve. Their lack of recognition breaks our heart, and so we have compiled a list of musicians you need to listen to right now.

Read more: Great Bangladeshi Bands that disappeared after their Debut Album

Mumford and sons

Ten years in the business. Talented musicians and notable awards. Despite all these, Mumford and Sons is severely underrated. They are probably not fishing for crowd approval, but they still deserve to be a nationwide sensation. So start with “Little lion man”, “The cave”, “I will wait” and “Hopeless wanderer.” We assure you, you will be astounded by their skills and talent.

Hippo campus

Hippo campus stands out with catchy beats, beautiful lyrics and their innovative music videos. This American indie rock band has been around since 2013 and consists of 4 primary members. Try listening to “Bashful creatures”. If you do not have time for an entire EP, try “Golden”. You will see what we are talking about.

I don’t know how but they found me

Just as the name suggests, this American music duo is not overwhelmingly popular. But they are creative. They made this list because of their diverse sound, unconventional lyrics and of course, imaginative music videos. And if we have to suggest ONE song, we request you to listen to “No one likes the opening band.” Those lyrics cut deep.

Vancouver sleep clinic

VSC came into attention only in 2017, through their single “Someone to stay”. However, they have been around far longer than that.  VSC stands out with their heart wrenching lyrics and soulful music- even though they might seem a little monotonous to some. Nonetheless, they do deserve the chance to stay on your playlist. So if you have the time and willingness to explore new music, listen to “Killing me to love you”, “Lung”, “Ayahuasca”.

Flower face

Now this is a band you definitely haven’t heard of. They don’t even have a Wikipedia page! But Flower Face deserves more recognition purely because of the music that they make. The melody is soothing; melancholic- the lyrics are simple. However, the writing talent shines through every simple word. They are perfect for those long, nostalgic nights when you can’t help reminisce the past. We recommend listening to “Angela”, “Cloud Factories”, “Raphael” “Where the ocean meets the sky”. Disclaimer- please do not listen if you are prone to crying a lot. We refuse to be responsible for your tears.

Fur

This UK based indie rock band will show you how the sixties would be like at present. They got picked up by our radar because of youtube algorithm, and we will be forever grateful for that! Listen to “If you know that I’m lonely”, “brother”, “Not enough” and you will know why we’re so obsessed with fur. Their somewhat comic videos will be a bonus.

Finneas

We all know Finneas, just not as him. This brilliant singer/songwriter is the older brother of current sensation Billie Eilish. He is the mastermind behind many of Billie’s acclaimed songs, including “Six feet under”, “I don’t wanna be you anymore” and “Bad guy”. However, Finneas himself is a brilliant artist, and you should listen to his original songs. We recommend listening to “break my heart again”, “I’m in love without you”, and “Life moves on”.

And there you have it, our list of musicians you must listen to. Give it a try, and let us know what you think about them!

With Sabira Mehrin of Wander Woman: Creating a community of independent women travelers

Like many patriarchal societies, girls need permission to do basic things in life– to stay out after dark, to get a job, to make their own career choices. In this context, there are still women who are pushing boundaries and venturing out on their own. One big change is that more woman are now travelling and seeking adventure.

Read more: These 4 apps will make traveling a lot easier

What is Wander Woman?

Among many things, Wander Woman is a travel company– by women, just for women. Wander Woman started out as a Facebook group but is growing into so much more. The group currently has 10,030 members.

Wander Woman comes with one sole purpose – bringing all women together in one platform to share the love for travelling around the world.

Travelers post their tips, ask for help to navigate blocks in their journey and share their stories. Solo travelers can also coordinate with each other, form groups for short trips based on common interests.

Read more: 5 countries you can travel to without a visa if you’re Bangladeshi

Who is Sabira Mehrin?

Sabira Mehrin is the founder of Wonder Woman. She is full of life and full of determination. She is trying to bring women together, help them travel and see the world, while creating a community of cool explorers that help each other.

She is also efficient. She has to figure out how to deal with her biggest challenge in administering a facebook group and keeping the group authentic. “I was very picky! I only wanted member with authentic profile, with legitimate work portfolios- and it was extremely hard to administer the group. So I made the best use of all my time- in traffics, and such.”

Why Wander Woman?

In a little more than 12 months, Sabira Mehrin has turned a small Facebook group into a full-fledged start-up. But what made her want to create this group in the first place?

“When I was a student in IBA, I used to participate in global business competitions and conferences. All of them were organized by big companies. So whenever I traveled, I never faced any kind of hassle in the process of purchasing tickets and all. All of these were done by the professionals.

But when I got into job and started planning a self-funded trip for myself for the first time, I realized I only knew few people who could give me the right kind of information. Also, while researching, I came across very few Bangladeshi travel bloggers. So I saw the lack of information, the discrimination, and saw that the issues were mostly for the women. And I thought, how can I create a platform that makes it easier for women to travel? And my best friend gave me the idea to start the group- just to assess the situation. I opened the group and added 200 people. And from there it started to grow, and it didn’t stop!”

Why do people trust Wander Woman?

There are a lot of factors at play when it comes to woman and travel- including safety, reliability and of course, trust issues. However, the closed nature of the group, the direct interactions and careful moderation has led to a thriving community with trust.

When we asked this question, Sabira exclaimed with genuine surprise, “I don’t know! They just do! I have spoken to so many parents about permissions and stuff, and they all seem to come around after talking to me! And I feel privileged to be blessed with this type of trust. So if anyone has trouble getting permission for solo trips, just show your parents our group! Let them see that it is safe, and we will do our best to give you the best experience possible!”

What’s next?

What’s not next is a typical, commercial agency. Sabira keeps that in mind as she finds partners to help her build the community. “When we first started out, a lot of travel agencies reached out to us. But I soon figured they were all being very commercial. We would prefer if we could find people who were more interested in building the community with us.

Sabira has big plans for Wander woman for 2019. “Wander woman got registered”, she said. “We want to make travelling more accessible to the students in near future. And I know that people believe that wander woman is a little too niche, but I refuse to compromise the quality of our packages. So we might not reach out to the the mass market just yet. Let’s see what happens!”

Read more: 5 tips for the solo traveller in Bangladesh

Tips for a solo traveller?

Sabira is an avid traveller. So when we asked her for tips she said, “Solo travelling is about two things- courage and planning. You don’t have to be fearful, necessarily, but you need to be cautious. So while some places are safer than others, you can still make the best of your situation by being smart. I have come across so many helpful people, help was coming from unexpected places whenever I was in a pinch. That was really surprising for me.”

Read more: 4 Bengali traveling myths that are completely wrong

So if you are a girl and you love travelling, do check out their group! Because there is something for everyone!

Planning a Date? Here are 10 things you could try

As bustling it is, Dhaka can be a dark and dreary place when you are trying to date someone. Planning a date here is almost impossible because of the lack of interesting activities. After all, just how long can you spend eating at various restaurants and listening to sub-par music? You have to start getting to know the person you are with at some point. And that doesn’t happen at restaurants.

Also read: 5 signs that says that your first date is going south

Lucky for you, we have come up with a list of activities that you can try out with your loved one. Hence, the next time you are planning a date, give these places a go.

Go play

You do not need your own “playroom” (yes, that was a 50 shades reference) to have fun. There are a number of places in Dhaka where you can try out games like bowling, shooting, pool or laser tag. These places are great to see your date in a competitive light. Check out The Ultimate Fun Factory, for example. Look up places that are easy on your schedule and wallet. After that you just need to go and have fun.

Clay station

The art of pottery has been around for thousands of years, and it will never go out of style. So if you want to spend some quality time with your beloved, try taking a package at Clay Station. They have a range of packages where you can make your own pottery, or you can simply pick one and colour it. This will be a new experience for both you and your date, and you will have a lasting souvenir.

Plan a study date!

Not everyone is into books. But everyone needs to study every once in a while. So if you have an upcoming exam, or you need you catch up on some work, do it together. Find a nice, quiet library where you can spend time together as well as being productive.

Take a class

Be it baking, dancing or yoga- taking a class together is a great way to bring out the best in both of you. By choosing to learn something together you get to see completely new sides of the person you are with. And that can be a very pleasant surprise. So do a little research and see what piques your interest.

Go to an open mic

There are a number of cafes in Dhaka that arrange open mic nights regularly. Go check these events out. Every once in a while, lose yourself in a cup of coffee and interesting performances. These are surely going to entertain you.

Go see Puran Dhaka

Puran Dhaka is a place shrouded in history, mystery and culture. It has beautiful places you can explore, delicious food you can taste, and enigmatic alleys that will give you a feeling of adventure. So take a day off and just roam around Puran Dhaka. You will love it.

Go to festivals

Dhaka has a number of festivals going on throughout the year. Make a list of festivals you want to attend- from Sakrain to lit fest to folk fest. Then just enjoy your time.

Gulshan avenue window shopping

Just roam around Gulshan Avenue and check out the extravagant shopping places. You don’t have to buy anything, just look around and have fun.

Art galleries

Art galleries in Dhaka hold exhibitions throughout the year. Spend some time in this exhibitions and indulge yourself in the mystery of art.

Volunteering

This is a particularly decent way to get to know the person you are dating. Do they care about the society? Are they willing to give back to the community? Do they have basic empathy for humans and animals alike? Knowing the answers to these questions are especially important if you are thinking of a commitment. Ask around for volunteering opportunities, and see what clicks.

A word of advice- dating will always be hard. Put as much effort as you can to spice it up. This will make the challenges of dealing with another human being much more bearable.

Good luck, and have fun! 

Do art and depression go hand in hand?

What is the image that comes to your mind when you think of an artist? Let me guess- constantly smoking, brooding over a blank canvas, contemplating every stroke of their brush and jumping up at the slightest distractions. It also makes you wonder what sort of demons they are battling on the inside to be so fitful and anxious. And if every artist you know is not in the right state of their mind, then it must tell us something, right?

It does feel like there is a connection

Kurt Cobain, the lead vocalist of Nirvana, committed suicide on April 5th, 1994, has become a prominent icon of art and depression correlation.
Kurt Cobain, the lead vocalist of Nirvana, committed suicide on April 5th, 1994.

We, as a society, romanticize mental illness. We believe that people who battle depression, bipolar disorders and schizophrenia must be so strong. Examples like Kurt Cobain, Vincent Van Gogh, Sylvia Plath, Earnest Hemmingway and Virginia Woolf only feeds into these hypotheses. There have also been studies that show a link between creativity and mental illness. For example, one study in England, conducted by the national office of statistics, found that people working in the arts industry were four times more likely to kill themselves. Another study conducted in 2013 said that authors were more prone to severe mental disorders like depression, bipolar syndrome, schizophrenia, substance abuse and many more.

Is that the whole story, though? Do arts and mental illness really go hand in hand?

Well, it might seem so, but all these studies are inconclusive.

Correlation or Coincidence?

Do art and depression go hand in hand?

A lot of external factors can come into play when it comes to a person’s mental health. There can be past traumas, genetic links, or simply a fact of a disruptive lifestyle. None of these factors can make a person more creative than s/he already is. But it seems that only the people struggling with mental issues are thriving as artists. Believing that is not completely on us, because like I said, we tend to romanticize mental issues. But according to numerous psychologists, claiming that only depressed, anxious people are more creative will be an overkill. True, art is a way of dealing with whatever hardships life throws at you. Sometimes, people who are trying to deal with all of their emotions tend to get mentally sick. They express those struggles through words, music and brush strokes.

However, there are a large number of artists who are just as creative, just as famous and they do not have any sort of apparent mental struggles. In fact, the latter might be more in number. Having a mental health issue isn’t a necessity for an artist. Sometimes it just works as a catalyst.

Call a spade a spade

Do art and depression go hand in hand?

Bottom line, the next time you see someone torturing themselves and giving excuses like “it’s for my art”, drag their behind to a shrink. There can be a deeply rooted identity crisis within these people. There is a possibility that they keep themselves miserable just because they do not know who they would be without this part of themselves.

Read more: 5 places in Dhaka to get counselling help.

Whatever the case is, these people are capable of living a healthy life filled with both joy and sadness. They don’t have to be depressed for the sake of art. Tell them that. Help them heal. And someday, they will thank you for it.

Why unrequited love is not as bad as it seems

There is a very simple reason why there are countless songs and stories about unrequited love. In 1960, Everly Brothers recorded a song that captured the essence on love in two simple words- love hurts. When that love is not reciprocated, it hurts even worse. But even though falling in love with someone who does not share your emotions might seem bleak, it still is not as bad as it seems. And here’s why.

You learn to handle rejections.

Let’s face it- getting rejected by someone can be devastating. You might feel as if you are not worthy of anything because this one person did not reciprocate your feelings. But life itself is full of rejections- and things seldom go as planned. So even though at first it hurts, you will eventually come to terms with the fact that not everyone will love you, and that is okay. Something better will come find you in time.

You are forced to be a better person.

The most common way to get over an unrequited love is to dive into hobbies and activities. So you will spend a lot of time reading, writing, listening to music and watching movies. You will spend more time with the people who do value you, and you will actively try to find new hobbies to keep yourself distracted. All of these cumulatively make you a better person. At the very least, it helps you see how much better you can be as a person.

Why Unrequited Love is not as Bad as it Seems 1

Read more: https://hifipublic.com/en/2018/11/06/the-ultimate-breakup-playlist-for-the-broken-hearted/

Unrequited love makes you more cautious

No one likes hurting. No one likes feeling inadequate. So every time you get rejected by someone you fell in love with, you become a little more cautious so that you do not have to go through the same pain again. And in a way this defense mechanism is good, because you learn to distinguish between people who are worth your time, and people who are not.

You get more comfortable in your own skin

As sad it might sound, you are stuck with yourself. Wherever you go, whatever you do, you will always have to take yourself with you. And so it is extremely important to know who you are and be comfortable with that. We are not just talking about your body, or personality- we are talking about the whole package. So what someone didn’t feel the same way about you as you did for them? You are what you are, and that is enough. Let enough time pass by, and you will start seeing the truth yourself.

Eventually, you become more confident.

Yes, it sounds very counter-intuitive. Someone rejected you- this realization does not work wonders for your self-esteem. But if you ride it out, you will know what you can survive, and that gives you a sense of self that no one can take away from you. Remember, a wise man once said- “You are very powerful, provided you know how powerful you are.” Do not ever forget that.

Even the darkest of times can bring a ray of light in your life if you let it. So do not be so hard on yourself.

This, too, shall pass my friend. Stay strong.

Perils of Graduation

Do you remember your first day at school? Do you remember all the unfamiliar faces, the wave of anxiety at every step, trying not to cry and crying anyway? If you do, you’ll know that all those “First day at school” paragraphs were nothing but blatant lies. Even if you don’t, you can imagine how scary that must be for a little child of 3 or 4 years of age, right?

If anything is scarier than that, it is the day you graduate. For the months leading up to your graduation, you will feel the same tension, same uncertainty, and of course, the same fear. And these are the reasons why.

1. You are suddenly an adult

It is easy to keep the real life at an arm’s length when you are a student. You are dependent on your parents, you do not feel the urgency to get a real job. You’re stressing over your grades, you’re hanging out with your friends- that is all your life consists of. But the second you graduate, you start to notice the little things. You start to notice that your father gets a little too tired. You see that your mother isn’t as lively as she used to be. As hard as it is to accept- you realize that your parents ARE getting old, and it’s time for you to take on the responsibilities. And you, who needed permission to stay out past 7 PM just a few days ago, are suddenly left to deal with this enormous truth all by yourself.

2. You have no idea what to do

Here’s the thing- getting a job is hard. It is a lot harder when you don’t exactly know what you want to do. For most of us, we get our degrees in a certain field, and then we realize that working in that field might just be impossible. So, all on a sudden, you don’t know where you want to see yourself in 5 years of time. This is the reason why a lot of fresh graduates grab onto the first job opportunity that they come across, and after 20 years you have an adult who is unhappy with what they have achieved so far.

3. You are expected to have it all figured out.

Perils of Graduation 2

When you graduate, everyone else seems to know what you should do with your life, except for you. So you’re done with studies? Get ready for BCS, get ready to get married, get ready to “settle down”. You will be constantly reminded that your life should fit into this socially acceptable mold of success- and being different is not an option. Even if you try to be different, you will be weighed down with the guilt of not fitting in. And at some point you will just turn into another brick in the wall.


The years went by preternatural speed. I had thought I had enough time to figure things out by the time I graduate. But truth is I haven’t figured anything out yet. I feel like I’m not any wiser than when I was a freshman.I still don’t know where I’m going with my life

Alisha Amin, An Economics Graduate from Dhaka University

4. You drift apart from your friends.

Perils of Graduation 1

Everybody gets busy with their own lives after graduation. It might sound crude, but your friends will not have as much time for you once you all get out of university. It is nobody’s fault- it is simply hard to maintain a social life when you’re working from 9 to 5 every day. So from meeting once a week, you will go to meeting once every two weeks, then a month- and before you realize you stop hanging out altogether. And the sheer weight of this realization is enough to throw you off guard, isn’t it?

5. The uncertainty is excruciating.

Up until this point, you have had a clear vision of where you are heading next. But when you graduate, you will realize that you no longer have that vision- and accepting that you are utterly lost will be excruciating. Not knowing if you are cut out for this dog-eat-dog world will take a toll on you. But you will get used to it.

The hardest part of being a graduate is not the uncertainty, nor the responsibilities. It’s the epiphany that you are a grown up now. And unlike when you were 4, you cannot just run from it and hide behind your mother. You have to take every hit, and breaking down under the pressure is not an option anymore. If that is not scary, what is?

But we have scared you enough. Don’t let us get to your head and thrive. We wish you all the best for this upcoming stage of your life. Cheers!

Why you need to participate in business competitions

If you are a university student, you are familiar with the influx of business competition photos on your homepage every winter. Sometimes they make you feel severely unaccomplished, other times they simply annoy you with the showcase of corporate grandeur- but they are unavoidable. They are even more inescapable if you are friends with business school students. But no matter how you much you dislike those photos, admit that they do make you curious. Why do all these people keep participating in these competitions? They are stressful, and not everyone go home with the prize money- why do they still do it?

Well, here’s why they do it, and why you should too- despite your academic background.

  1. Learning to apply your skills to solve actual problems

As students, we learn a lot of theoretical tools to solve real life problems. Unfortunately, for most us that is the extent of our skills. Attending these competitions helps you realize where you can apply your textbook knowledge, why they are important, and what you should focus on in your work life. This is something you cannot learn in a classroom, and business competitions often provide you with the proper learning environment.

  1. Hands on Experience

While solving these business cases, you need to come up with real, sustainable business solutions to everyday problems. You need to make budgets, talk to professionals, and come up with compelling pitches for potential investors. All these tasks help you prepare for your actual job life.

  1. Networking

While having powerful uncles might not help get you a job at the reputed MNCs, having a wide network definitely can. Business competitions help you get this network. While meeting students from other universities is important, it’s more important to meet with potential employers and map what they want in graduates. Attending these competitions will provide you with opportunities to do just that.

  1. For better communication skills

Having “introvert pride” is a beautiful thing. But it doesn’t help you get far in your life. As unfortunate it is, this world is designed for extroverts, and you have to play by their rules. But the good news is, you can learn the art of speaking to anyone, anywhere with sufficient practice, and business competitions provide you with the perfect platform.

  1. Teamwork!

Working in teams can be very excruciating. But it is a skill that will be indispensable in your professional life. Companies always look for people who can function in a team, and participating in these competitions will give you valuable insights about how to lead a team that is about to fall apart under pressure.

  1. Meeting employers

Potential employers roam the business competitions, looking for smart, talented people that can add value to their company. So if you can set yourself apart in these competitions, there is a possibility that you will graduate with job offers. Isn’t that a decent incentive?

  1. Getting familiar with design trends

The business sector is going under immense renovations. Traditional marketing tactics do not work with people anymore. So you need to know how to grab your customers’ attention, and to do that you need to know how the sector is evolving. Getting involved in the business competitions give you the opportunity to get familiar with the latest design trends, and you can gain a competitive edge over your peers!

  1. Acquiring technical skills that actually matter

Just knowing how to browse the internet does not cut it anymore. To be a valuable employee, you need to have complete knowledge of software like Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher and Word. Knowing software like R and Stata would be a bonus, but having complete control over MS Office is a must. If you start competing, you will be forced to learn these basics- which will definitely add value to your professional life.

  1. Wins matter!

Business competitions are not a piece of cake. They are not very easy to win. But what if you do end up winning a few, after all? Of course, you get a decent amount of money as a prize. But the importance of these wins goes beyond the monetary value. They add a lot of value to your job application. And you need to set yourself apart from the crowd. So while you have clear incentives for participation, the incentives for winning are even more important.

  1. Most importantly, they are fun!

Admit it- University is stressful. To survive, you need to find solace in something. Not to mention, the sense of accomplishment after a successful competition is indescribable. So why not have fun while actually learning?

So these were our top reasons why you should participate in business competitions. Did we convince you? Don’t forget to let us know!

Cheers!

New to the job search? How to ace interviews

Adulting is hard. You have to look after yourself, pay your own bills, and do all the things that your parents have been unconditionally providing you with over the years. To do all that, you need money. And to get the money you need a job. To get a job, you need to be good at doing an interview.

We all know that getting a well-paying, decent job is getting tougher by the day. You don’t know what the employers look for. So every time you get a call for an interview, you start sweating like a pig. Also, you get tiny anxiety attacks and you mess it up. This is standard procedure for a regular, fresh graduate. But luckily, there are a few tips that might save you. And here they are.

1. Be ready for the basic questions.

In every interview that I faced, they always asked me a fundamental question- “Tell us about yourself.” If you think about it, it is a really hard question to answer, and it is enough to throw you off balance. So be ready for it. Before your interview, take a few days to come up with a humble, yet flattering answer. Remember, the first impression is the best impression. So ask around seniors who have faced a ton of interviews, and make a list of questions that you know you will be asked. The rest is simple- come up with witty, smart answers for those.

2. Be aware of your surroundings.

Every office has its own vibe. GP’s corporate headquarter and Go Zayaan’s corporate headquarter will not have the same feel. So keep your eyes and ears open. Try to understand that the people you are surrounded with. Are they all very formal? Or are they laughing and having fun while they work? Try to assess the mood and mirror that. It shows your adaptability, and it is a crucial skill that every employer looks for.

3. Be careful with the dress code.

Speaking of first impressions, you have 7 seconds to make them decide if they actually want to consider you for the job. So dress accordingly. Make sure that your dress is clean and pressed properly. Pay attention to your shoes. If you are a girl, tone down on the makeup. Make sure that the employers know how serious you are about this interview.

4. Be confident.

Your posture says a lot about you. So straighten your back, and maintain eye contact with your interviewer. If you’re too nervous, focus on the gap of their eyebrows. They won’t be able to tell the difference. Square your shoulders, smile, have a strong handshake. Just show them that you are up for a challenge.

5. Turn your weakness into strengths.

The man might be a supervillain, but he’s also a canny businessman

Interviewers will often ask you about your strengths and weaknesses. Be very careful about how you phrase the answer. While answering the weakness part, say “I am cautious” instead of “I have trust issues.” Say “I am too determined to see the end of something” instead of “I am stubborn”. Moot point, place yourself in the best light possible and make sure to phrase it positively. You are a smart person, my friend. You get the idea. Now implement it.

6. Do not talk about money.

In interviews, it is common practice to ask salary expectations. Never utter a number when it comes to that part. We all know that you are not fooling anyone, but your attitude should be of someone who is willing to work for free if it means that they can learn something. Industry and willingness to learn while disregarding the monetary return is a rare combination. Be that rare gem, and success will follow.

7. ALWAYS have a question.

At the end of each interview, your interviewer will ask you “Do you have a question for us?” Have a question ready for that part. The question should be regarding the company. It shows that you really are interested in working for that particular place, and you have done your research. It also shows that you keep tabs on what is going on with that particular company. So you never know, this one segment could be the “make it or break it” part of your interview.

I am not giving you the guarantee that you will get the job if you follow these tips. But you will definitely stand out from the crowd, and sometimes that is all that matters. So go get it, champ! I hope you nail it!

Cheers.