Recently I had an opportunity to visit Delhi Public School where I had to give a session on career opportunities after 10+2. While I generally give sessions only to graduate and postgraduate level students, this time I decided to go – since Bareilly is my hometown and I thought interacting with 10+2 students will be fun. Indeed fun it was – the children were full of enthusiasm, questions and a lot smarter then I actually presumed. Just to make sure that the presentation doesn’t becomes serious and remained interactive I started my session with the reference of Pokemon and entire class was smiling and giggling. I asked the class – why do you think I am talking about Pokemons in a career opportunities session and the answers really surprised me. Children actually know the point I was trying to make. They said – ‘In the game pokemon, we have to collect powerful cards and have to fight with the pokemons of others and emerge as a winner’. I was awestruck by the smartness of the answers these kids provided and felt that possibly I was naïve to assume that kids are not capable of understanding the importance of career opportunities session. My learning was – don’t assume things by just looking at them.
Here are the career pokemons I talked about to the class:
Pokemons is a short form for Pocket Monster a role-playing game involving cards, Nintendo Game Boy and TV Cartoons. The cards have pictures of different Pokemon on them, more than 150 so far. The Pokemon are supposed to be "monsters" that have special powers and share the world with humans. The idea of the game is to have the children learn how to collect as many Pokemon as possible, train them, and use them against other people's Pokemon by invoking the various abilities of each Pokemon creature. Likewise, Career Pokemons are the skills that we need to collect, train and learn to use to succeed against the pokemon of others.
There are four basic types of cards:
Basic Pokemon cards: which depict creatures that fight for you against other people's Pokemon. Likewise, we all are born with some basic skills sets. We need to identify them and hone them to defeat the Career Pokemons of others and emerge as a winner.
Evolution cards: depict Pokemon that are able to evolve into more powerful creatures. As a child we all evolve by learning by doing and reflecting on our experiences. Evolution cards help us become better individuals.
Energy cards: are united with other cards to give the Pokemon more energy needed in carrying out the trainer's orders. We all demonstrate very high level of energy when we do something we are very passionate about. For example – a kid who loves playing cricket will never be tired of playing it and will demonstrate highest levels of energy and passion while playing cricket. However the same child while doing something, which he/she doesn’t likes, will demosntrate very little interest or lack of energy. So energy cards are about identifying our areas of interest and then developing those cards further to succeed in life.
Trainer cards: are cards used for training and used only once. These cards are like our classes – each class will happen only once. You can use it, improve yourself and then move forward in life. If we don’t use them they lapse and thus our Pokemon doesn’t learn anything new to improve itself against others.
As I talked to kids about these Career Pokemons, their facial expression was loud and clear - I had slowly made them a pitch about various career opportunities, and they were now wondering which pokemon cards should they start developing and when.
Overall it was a session full of fun, learning and energy and the key takeaways for the students were: an overview of different career opportunities they have after 10+2, basic eligibility criteria for respective opportunities, challenges that they are likely to face in pursuing the career of their choice and whom to seek for help.
A special thanks to Akash, Founder ‘Revolution For Change’ for organizing this wonderful session and to DPS Bareilly for supporting it.