Why does ragging exist in our universities? Answers and confessions

Cover art: Nasif Chowdhury

Over the years, ragging has become a tradition in Bangladeshi universities. Behind the facade of welcoming the new students, ragging is a notorious practice where the seniors get an excuse to harass their junior counterparts and often target them to satiate their own sadistic pleasures. For decades, ragging has been discussed and debated, but while we all have been looking for solutions, there is little effort to figure out why it is even being practised in universities to this day.

It is yet to be understood that ragging is not merely a socio-legal problem, it has a certain psychological basis too.

Just like how every crime has some sort of motive, a bully, too, has something to accomplish through the act of ragging.

Let’s take a look at some of the psychological reasons behind ragging and bullying in universities.

A sense of authority

Most bullies seem to constantly fail to establish control over their own lives. So, when they get a freshman or a junior at their command, they nurture a sense of authority that boosts their morale and put them on a high. This is more like an alternative way for them to somehow fill that huge void in their lives.

“I loved being on the campus all day because they would do anything to be on good terms with me. I’d rather stay there all day than go home, things weren’t that easy back home.”

– Anonymous

A ticket into the influential crowd

Often bullies live under the misconception that ragging is a fashion statement these days and that it can help them get into the ‘influential crowd’ in their universities.

Peer pressure

It is also true that not all the seniors involved with ragging do it because they enjoy doing it, or even do it at their own will. What they really want is to not feel left out as they see their friends and batchmates indulge in ragging their juniors. So, due to the fear of isolation, they end up joining the herd in the act.

Means of retaliation

Seniors who have a previous history of getting ragged often rag their juniors as a means of revenge for what they had to go through.

“I was not someone who liked ragging juniors. It’s just that, having gotten ragged as a junior myself. It sometimes felt like a need to give my juniors a subtle taste of what I had to go through. I regret it though”

-Anonymous

The satisfaction of sadistic pleasures

Many bullies in universities see ragging as an opportunity to satiate their sadistic pleasures. People with twisted minds who find pleasure in seeing others suffer, they exist. The reasons can include issues like bad childhood memories, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), bad parenting etc.

No matter what psychology works behind this behaviour, ragging is not okay and there is nothing that can justify this awful act. However, it’s important to identify the reasons for an issue in order to fix it from the core.

Debating for development: UNFPA Bangladesh Youth Dialogue

From November 12-14, 2019, the Government of Kenya, the Government of Denmark, and UNFPA are convening the Nairobi Summit, a high-level conference to advance the implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action. The conference will offer an inclusive platform, bringing together governments, UN agencies, civil society, private sector organisations, women’s groups and youth networks to discuss and agree on actions to accelerate the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action.

On September 6, 2019, UNFPA Bangladesh in collaboration with Bangladesh Debating Council (BDC) and Independent University, Bangladesh Debating club (IUBDC) launched a two-day debate tournament at the premises of Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB).

The tournament was organised with an objective to engage the youth, where the participants from universities – both public and private – can engage in an extensive discussion on how the realisation of the ICPD Agenda is intrinsic to sustainable economic growth for Bangladesh.

Their voices echoed through the debates on a range of topics that are close to UNFPA’s agenda. The ideas and recommendations of the participants will be presented to the stakeholders of national and international development to the Summit.

The debate tournament addressed real-world issues and brought out the voice of the youth on problems like disseminating messages on specific ICPD themes: sexual reproductive health and rights, maternal health, prevent violence against women and child marriage. To empower and involve them to disseminate these issue-based messages to their peers and to bring the attention of policymakers about the needs of youth-based SRHR services: prevention of child marriage, maternal mortality and violence against women. To build awareness among adolescents and youth about the opportunities and challenges associated with them.

To mark the Summit, 16 teams from reputed public and private universities from Dhaka, Rajshahi, Khulna, Sylhet and Chattogram were invited to participate in this competition, along with 22 most reputed judges in the debate circuit. The teams had four preliminary rounds of debate that were carried out on September 6. All the teams faced off against each other where the top four teams at the end of the preliminary rounds qualified for the finals held on September 7, 2019.

The championship went to Independent University, Bangladesh Debate Club (IUBDC) with the runners-up award going to IBA, University of Dhaka.

The debates were followed by a youth-centric plenary session opened by Dr Asa Torkelsson, Representative of UNFPA whose opening remarks echoed the vision of the UNFPA.

“UNFPA has been working with and for young people since our inception. Our partnerships with young people are, and must always be, based on their active and meaningful participation. In order to achieve the ICPD Agenda from 25 years ago, we need to take account of your experiences, concerns and stories to shape an inclusive future for you, who will also help us achieve the SDGs.”

She said

The speech was followed by a presentation on the topic by UNFPA Deputy Representative, Eiko Narita. Following that Sakib Bin Rashid, Instructor at 10 Minute School, Ashreen Mridha, Bangladesh Women’s National Basketball Team Player, and Umama Zillur, Founder of Kotha, led an interactive session covering youth leadership, women empowerment and sexual violence.

“On behalf of the entire English debating community of Bangladesh I am honoured that the UNFPA entrusted us to help crowdsource important ideas to be taken into consideration at Nairobi, this validates that the time the youth spend behind researching and generating discourse on these crucial ideas do indeed matter and has encouraged us all to keep the discourse going so that our ideas and voices can play a role in the ever changing global landscape.”

Said Fardeen Ameen, the Chair of Bangladesh Debating Council

Abandoned WWII airbase to turn into Bangladesh’s first Aeronautical and Aviation University

With help from voice-voters in Parliament, a bill was proposed on February 19th titled, ‘Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University Bill, 2019’. The bill passed successfully on February 25th. So, the first Aeronautical and Aviation University is now located at an airport in Lalmonirhart that has been abandoned since World War II! A fitting homage!

There will be an aircraft manufacturing factory. According to the Minister of Social Welfare, Nuruzzaman Ahmed, the Government may also establish an aircraft and maintenance repair factory. Traders in Lalomonirhat believe that reusing the abandoned airport will contribute to the academic and economic development of the country.

Source: Daily Star

The university will have both undergraduate and postgraduate levels for their students. He further noted, “Initially, the university plans to have seven faculties, four departments, four institutes.”

Furthermore, the Vice-Chancellor of the University will be a member of the Air Force. As per constitutional law, Bangladesh Air Force Academy, Flying Instructor School, Flight Safety Institute Command and Staff Training Institute, Aeronautical Institute and Officers Training Institute will all be affiliated with the university.

Top Business Competitions in Bangladesh and everything you need to know

If you are a university student in Bangladesh, Business Competitions are not new terms to you. There’s a chance you know about most of them, there’s a higher chance you might have participated in a few of them. Why you should take part in one, is a discussion for another time. But for now, here’s everything you need to know about the most prestigious competitions in Bangladesh and how you need to prepare for them.

1.Battle of Minds by BAT

Battle of Minds, organised by British American Tobacco is one of the most prestigious and most rewarding business competitions in the country. Every year BAT holds Battle of Minds where university students who are in their final years get to participate for the highest glory. You face off the bests of the bests in the field and upon winning, you get a head start towards a rewarding career path.

Rounds: 4 (Online Exam-Focus Group Discussion-Business Pitch-Case Solving)

Team Members: 4

Awards: A Crest and a headstart in the recruitment process.

2. Bizmaestros by Unilever

Similar to BOM, Bizmaestros is arranged every year by another one of the corporate giants, Unilever. It has challenges and rewards similar to BOM and the competitions themselves are often competitors to each other. However, winning Bizmaestros also lands you a trip abroad to Unilever Future Leaders League, where you compete against international teams.

Rounds: 3 (Online Submission-Practical Marketing-Practical Marketing)

Team Members: 3

Awards: Certification along with a trip to Unilever Future Leaders League.

3. Telenor Youth Summit

The last one in the trio of Corporate giant competitions is the Telenor Youth Summit. Unlike previous ones, TYS accepts individual submissions. And as you can guess, the challenge is tougher, obviously. Subsequently, the reward is also higher. A trip to Norway sounds magical, doesn’t it?

Rounds: 3 (Idea Submission-Screening Round-Final Presentation)

Team Members: Individual submission

Awards: Trip to Norway.

4. Brandwitz by IBACC

Brandwitz is one of the most prominent students run business competitions in the country on University level. Organised by IBACC (IBA Communications Club), every year, Brandwitz sees the best minds of the country battling each other for a prize money of BDT 2,50,000. But the money is a minor factor here. You’ll be benefited most from the experience, the certification and the networking that you make.

Rounds: 4 (Case Solving-Product Branding-Practical Marketing-Idea Branding)

Team Members: 4

Awards: BDT 2,50,000.

5. CreAdive by BUP BCC

Creadive is another of the students run business competitions in the country organised by BUP BCC. The competition offers a unique approach to its rounds where it engages participants in direct ATL and BTL campaigns, requiring them to actually take part in fieldwork. The experience is certainly one of a kind.

Rounds: 4 (Case Solving, ATL Campaign, BTL Campaign, Product Branding)

Team Members: 4

Awards: BDT 3,00,000.

5 things you should know before chasing the ‘University Life’

From middle school till high school we get to hear one common phrase from our elders. “Study now, in order to ‘chill’ when you head for University”.

The idea of becoming ‘free’ from multiple disciplinary academics is such a fantasy to all ‘to-be’ freshmen that they believe the prank that society plays on them. Most of us have faced the harsh reality, and have our ways of coping with it. But for those who haven’t applied for University or will be heading for it, here are the things you should know before you dwell into a journey of ‘adulthood’.

1. The Battle to get into a Public University

Right after you finish A levels or HSC, comes the most difficult competition of it all. It often leads to a nationwide swirl every year over the opportunity to get admitted to a public university. While it is an amazing opportunity that you earn for yourself, it is also important to realize that not getting into one, does not necessarily mean that you do not have it in you to be a smart student.

Public universities are not golden gooses and it certainly isn’t the end of the road.

Read more: Where the real pride of Dhaka University lies

There are multiple Universities all across the country which offers you a certificate and scholarships you deserve. So, try not to break down, because you need to save up some energy to deal with quite a lot of adult problems ahead.

2. Choose your major wisely

By now, you should know what you love to do, and even if you don’t, that is also okay. However, try to choose a major or a department you want to genuinely study in and want to enjoy learning.

Read more: Choosing the right foreign university

If you want to study engineering, good on you. But if you want to be a writer or an anthropologist and you end up taking Computer Science and Engineering because you are too afraid of what your relatives might say of you, do understand this, none of them will help you out at 3 am in the morning to finish your assignment which will be due in the next six hours. You deserve the best in the world and you have to learn to fight for it.

3. You need to be present

Whether it is an orientation or a discussion which helps you with understanding the curriculum of your University or your department in details, you need to be there. Once you do get acquainted with everything, right after your classes start, it might be tempting to miss classes since you have been such a goody two shoes all your school life.

You might think you ‘owe it to yourself’ but understand your priority first, then the luxury, my friend. Regular attendance in your classes will not only help you keep in track with quizzes and lectures but you might also be a friendly face to your professor which will help you in the long run. The idea of getting a good grade in your courses is to be present, no matter what!

4. There is nothing called ‘chill time’ in your prime time

Sadly, the idea of having the most independent and free time when you are studying in a University is a lie that parents feed us so that we study more when it is easy to control us.

Of course, when you are in a University, you get to meet new people, hang out more, take time for finding your passion for something you were always interested in such as a part-time job, travel with your friends etc.

Read more: Struggles of an English major in Bangladesh

But it all becomes difficult to handle when you try to adjust all this while you are trying to graduate. This leads up to late night study hours, overeating, anxiety and that is where you really need to unleash the energy we told you to hold onto.

It might be tricky, but it’s not impossible to experience the best of everything with little time management hacks. All in all, enjoy your time but do not let yourself drift away.

Read more: Perils of Graduation

5. Treat yourself!

While you go through the freshmen, sophomore and senior phases of the years you are in the University, you will realize that not all friendships last, not everyone you like will love you back, that society has constructions you wish you knew before, that there are these crowds who call themselves “boro bhais” and they are of no use to you and that is okay.

Read more: 5 Bangladeshi platforms where you can pitch your startup

With all the hardships you may think you have to face, there is also a beam of light which will get you through it all. You need to sleep well, eat healthy, make healthy relationships with people and they do not have to be a handful. Most importantly treat yourself after every accomplishment or failure you may face in life because before anyone else you need to learn to love yourself.

Here’s to figuring out adulthood and much more!

Struggles of an English major in Bangladesh

Being an art major in this country is never ideal. People may appreciate literature and art but most of them don’t see the point of studying it. As a literature major myself, I constantly hear people saying the same things when they find out what I study.

“So you want to be a teacher?

I understand why it may seem like the obvious choice to people. But not all English majors want a career in teaching. There are other jobs that we can excel at as well.

“Your syllabus looks so fun. I wish I had that”

Yes, we read interesting novels, plays, stories, and poems. It’s not always fun and games when you will have to go through millions of other texts/explanations to just understand a 14 lines sonnet. Trust me it’s way more complicated than it looks. Because we have to critically analyze every bit of a text and later come up with our own opinions. Also, need to justify our opinions with the help of a gazillion critics. This often takes the fun out of the actual piece.

“How is your BCS preparation going? Try to get in the foreign sector.”

I don’t think in the last three years I have ever uttered the word BSC. Still, I don’t know why people keep asking me if I have taken any preparation for it. I mean come on people there are other ways to get a job even for public university students.

“How will reading poems help you get a job?”

If one asks what the point of poetry is, ask them what is the point of life even? Sorry to break your bubble but reading poetry will definitely give me jobs. Why? Because a person who constantly reads poetry develops better analytical skill. Which is a crucial skill to have in one’s work life.

In this complicated economy, it seems useless to study something related to art or literature.

“You can always work in a bank”

Thanks to all the uncles, aunts, random well-wishers for saying that. I appreciate your concern. But no I don’t want to work in a bank. I didn’t spend the last four years learning about Austen, Shakespeare, Wordsworth etc just to count numbers and handle people’s transactions (no offense to anyone working in banks). 

“Do an MBA after your undergrad”

Yes, because why not? My four years of undergrad was such a waste. So let’s just waste another two years doing an MBA and everything will be just fine. If a person actually wants to pursue that then it’s different. But please stop advising students who actually want to stick to their fields.

People still having these remarks makes it evident that we don’t take art majors seriously. In this complicated economy, it seems useless to study something related to art or literature. People forget to look at the fact that art portray our everyday life and it’s crucial to have a better understanding of it.

Where the real pride of Dhaka University lies

Cover art by: Helena Lyzu

The Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dhaka is in the limelight for some time now. This is because of his controversial speech in the orientation program of the freshmen students of Dhaka University. With major pronunciation mistakes, he stated that “You cannot find a cup of tea along with a piece of chap, singara, and samusa for only Tk 10 anywhere in the world.”

I believe that there are many other areas in which Dhaka University can be proud of other than this astounding achievement.

The alumni of this 97 years old university have taken the name University of Dhaka to a new height from time to time.

So, here is a list of ten Dhaka University Alumni who have played role in securing the justified pride of Dhaka University.

Humayun Ahmed

Humayun Ahmed. This name is a source of all kinds of emotions to thousands of people. He is still the most popular Bangladeshi writer and it can be easily predicted that he will remain so in the upcoming years. Humayun Ahmed is the author of Nondito Noroke and many other highly praised literary works. He received Bangla Academy Award in 1981 and received six Bangladesh National Film Awards later on. His famous TV series Kotaho Keu Nei was highly popular among the Bangladeshis. The popularity can be measured through the protest that happened in Bangladesh due to the death of the central character. He is certainly a pride of Dhaka University.

Zahir Raihan

The legendary Bangladeshi novelist, filmmaker and writer went missing on 30 January 1972. Jahir Raihan was a warrior with a camera. Even today we see footage from his documentary Stop Genocide every time there is news about the liberation war of Bangladesh. Our film industry has very few classics and some of those belong to this brilliant filmmaker. When asked about Zahir Raihan, Dhaka University Film Society member Mahmudul Hasan replied in one word, “Phenomenon”. This Ekushey Padak winner studied at Dhaka University. 

Munier Choudhury

This Bangladeshi educationist, playwright and literary critic completed his Masters’ from the University of Dhaka in 1947. We all have read or seen the drama Kabar at some point in our lives. This symbolic drama was created by Munier Chowdhury. He received Bangla Academy literary award in 1962.

Dr. Muhammad Yunus

The first ever Bangladeshi Nobel Peace Prize winner also studied at the University of Dhaka. His work against poverty is appreciated worldwide. He has a long list of awards and achievements. If all these things don’t make him the pride of any institution, then I don’t know what will. 

Satyendra Nath Bose

No, this famous physicist didn’t study at the University of Dhaka, but he was appointed as a teacher in the Physics department in 1921. He wrote his paper on quantum radiation from here. This paper is now considered as the base of quantum statistics throughout the world. I guess this is enough for him to enter the list of Pride of DU.

Humayun Azad

Many consider him the second most contributing person to Bangla Literature after Dr. Muhammad Shahidullah. His thesis paper titled as Pronominalizing in Bengali (1983) gained much fame. His literary works are also noteworthy. Although he generated much controversy through his feminist viewed books, his contribution to Bengali cannot be denied. He is also considered as a role model to many for his bravery. He studied and taught in the University of Dhaka and was awarded Bangla Academy Literary Award.

Leela Roy

Ever asked the question, who was the first woman to study at the University of Dhaka? Here is your answer.

She was also elected as the member of the assembly in 1946. Leela Roy is considered as the feminist idol of this sub-continent. She was politically involved in a time when women were considered as only housewives. She placed herself well into this list.

Abdul Matin Chowdhury

This ex-VC of Dhaka University has also placed himself on this list. Even during the Pakistani era, prof. Chowdhury was appointed as the chief scientist of Ministry of Defense. He was also in the committee for Nobel prize in physics. In 1974, prof. Matin became the first Bose professor.

Buddhadeva Bose or Buddhadeb Bosu

This Padma Bhushan awardee studied literature at the University of Dhaka. Many know him for his poetry, but he was a versatile writer who traveled almost every arena of literature. He is considered as the most impactful poets of modern Bangla poetry. He is one of the most reputed writers in Bengali Literature and he is certainly a pride of the University of Dhaka.

Shahabuddin Ahmed

The only painter in this list. He studied at the Dhaka Art College which is now the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka. He was awarded Chevalier De L’ordre Des Arts Et Des Lettres (Knight in the Order of Fine Arts and Humanities) by the Ministry of Cultural Affair and Communication of France in 2014. His paintings are displayed in many prestigious museums across the whole world. He was also awarded Shadhinata Padak in 2000.

Hon’ble Mention

It was too tough to sort out 10 Alumni of the University of Dhaka, who can be a pride to the university. I won’t be able to sleep at night if I don’t put one more name here. So, the Hon’ble mention goes to:

Tareque Masud

This honorable filmmaker got his fame for his amazingly portrayed films. He was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize for his film Matir Moyna (The Clay Bird). This film was the first film of Bangladesh to compete in the Academy Awards. He completed his masters’ degree in History from the University of Dhaka.

Even though I am not a student at the University of Dhaka, the speech of the Hon’ble VC hurt me. I am pretty sure that it would’ve hurt them as well.  The University of Dhaka has many things to be proud of and the food is not one of those. Give respect where respect is due. Thank you.

Choosing the right foreign university

So you’re all determined that you’re going abroad for higher studies now but have you picked the right university yet? With hundreds of educational institutions to choose from, picking the right one may seem like a monumental task when you first begin your search.

The best way to start your search is by making a shortlist of all the institutions that you might want to consider. Then you can start narrowing down the list of potential institutions by weighing up each institution according to certain factors that are important to you. Here’s a list of some key considerations that will help you find the right fit.

Field of study:

Choosing the right foreign university 3

What would you like to study? What are you passionate about? It’s important that you pick the field of study at first. Remember that it has to be something you want to study and pursue in your career life. It’s alright; it doesn’t have to be a specific decision right away as you can find various courses under your favorite subject. For instance, if you like Science, with a bit of research, you can find a wide range of subjects that universities around the world are offering like Astrophysics, Biophysics, Biochemistry etc. Once you pick out your favorites, you can simply find out which universities are offering the courses you listed down.

“I started by picking my preferred courses first and it made my life easier!”

Said Ishrat, a first-year Biotechnology student at the Technical University of Munich, Germany.

Location:

Choosing the right foreign university 6

Now, that you know what you want to study, and you have a list of the hundreds of universities offering the courses, it’s time to filter out the ones situated in the locations that fit your criteria. Yes, you do need to set your criteria for the location in order to narrow down the list of the universities. We often think that we can adjust once we get somewhere but it’s not entirely true if you’re going for studies.

“There will be so much going on already, like dealing with the never-ending nerve-racking paperwork, the new lifestyle and you need to make friends too! What if you can’t tolerate the weather and get sick?”

Noshin, a Computer Science student at Texas University, Arlington told us

So, if the location does not play well for you, you will be in trouble.

You can pick your desired locations on the basis of factors like climates, cost of living, lifestyle etc. For instance, in the U.S., the Southern region is known for its humid summers and mild winters with a low cost of living whereas the Western region is known for its geographically diverse area, it’s very mild and damp climates to very hot ones and the slightly higher cost of living than the Southern area and so on. Once you pick the zone for you, you can then choose among Urban, Suburban and Rural settings that differ in population, accessibility, environment and cost of living.

Tuition fees and scholarships:

Choosing the right foreign university 1

Now, that you have the list of universities located in your preferred settings, it’s time to sort out the ones that match your budget and need. Don’t get overwhelmed with the numbers because universities around the world provide a number of scholarships to international students like you. Scholarships can vary; they could be based on your previous academic scores, test scores, achievements in extracurricular activities & sports, leadership activities etc. So, don’t forget to list down your achievements; you never know how something you did for fun could help you embark on a life-changing journey towards a future you always dreamed of.

“I remember how the really high tuition fees made me think I could never afford it, but I still pushed myself and with just a bit more research, I found out I was already eligible for a scholarship because of my test scores!”

Mou, a Human Resource Management student at Monash University, Malaysia told us

So, it is essential to check the university websites and make the most out of the information provided. If needed, you can also contact the representatives from the admission offices of the universities. They will be more than happy to help you out.

University ranking:

Choosing the right foreign university 2

Pick the universities that have a better ranking because they are there for a reason”

Said Dyuti, a Computer Science student at Auckland University, New Zealand.

Better universities not only have better facilities, on-campus part-time jobs, and assistantships that match you, they also have a better environment and will add more value to your career.

If you think you are an extraordinary applicant and your previous achievements can really light up your college application, these criteria should be the first one to consider for you. Although top-ranked universities might charge higher tuition fees, yet they give away a huge amount of scholarships every year to talented and charismatic students.

Other things to consider:

Choosing the right foreign university

Other than the basic criteria, there are things you cannot possibly avoid like the type of on-campus living facilities, diversity of the students attaining degrees from the universities, on-campus job facilities etc. The importance of these factors depends on your preference and way of living. All these information are usually available at the university or college websites. However, if not, you will always find the contact information of the college representative who is there to answer your queries anytime.

Finding the right fit for you can be really nerve-racking and time-consuming but you need to trust yourself and make the most of the time spent on the research with a clear direction.

Talk to people who have been there and learn from their mistakes. Remember to always keep your research game strong to stay updated.

Good luck!

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!