Two expert professionals with a quarter century of work experience in their respective niches synergised, and an idea bloomed. Changing a world is not easy, but it’s achievable if it’s a small change; all it takes is competency entwined with passion and an aptitude to bring the change. Here’s a story of two corporate leaders, viz., Vandana Saxena and Amitabh Srivastava, who joined hands about bringing a change through learning and development at campus and the corporate.
Amitabh is renowned globally for his networking skills and interpersonal abilities. On the other hand, Vandana is an HR Professional, Soft Skills Trainer by discipline and writer by passion. While Amitabh’s credentials comprise robust marketing and branding strategies, Vandana’s creativity curates and develop tailor-made learning programs for various segments of learners. Amitabh, being more commercially inclined, and Vandana, being more creative, realised the potential of their combination and decided to kickstart their association.
The idea was born when they analysed their professional journeys and identified numerous unaddressed needs and obstacles that hindered their day-to-day work while working in the corporate world. Both wished that someone could address those impediments and helped them as they struggled. They observed that these gaps were not only an obstacle to their professional progress but also to achieving the organisational goals. Hence, they resolved to address these issues from the grassroots to the higher corporate ladder and fill the gaps.
The focus was primarily on establishing the fundamentals that often lacked in the education sector. While the corporate world is far from the theory taught in campuses, the students are caught by a surprise the moment they land in the corporate world. Most beginners often lack skills like Communication, Time Management, Stress Management, Corporate Writing, Interview Skills, Negotiation Skills, etc. While these are called soft skills but are essential skills to kickstart one’s career.
Unfortunately, these fresh hires face significant challenges since the corporate world assesses their performance on delivery rather than learning or exams. There is indeed a gap that’s meant to be bridged; the only way is mentoring and coaching. Hence, the duo chose to bring the change through various ‘Campus to Corporate’ Workshops. The workshops include varied skills, right from Resume Writing Skills to Interview skills and all the soft skills mentioned above, to better equip fresh graduates to skyrocket their careers.
While the Learning and Development industry is booming, their approach has also evolved and is usually centred on the requirements of the learners. Vandana states, “No two learners can be the same, but the learning still can be the same. The idea is to help them learn what they can implement immediately; they have read enough books.” Hence the pedagogy includes fun activities like ball games and musical chairs, group discussions, storytelling, role plays, and deep briefing to impart significant life lessons that can be implemented immediately and can be retained for life. Their pedagogy is a lot beyond classroom lectures and PowerPoint presentations.
It’s not only the campus where knowledge is imparted. Beyond the campus, there are special workshops curated for first-time managers and thought leaders too. These training programs vary from Team Management to Leadership skills and Interview Skills to hire the right talent. While the audience here is already experienced, they are usually reluctant to accept that there is still a scope for learning. However, Amitabh says, “Learning never ends; I have never said no to learning and perhaps that’s one reason I grew beyond my expectations.” The workshops they curate for such leaders are usually tailored to their challenges and industry-specific requirements.
Apart from Campus and Managers, there are workshops like Content Writing and Creative Writing for everyone who wants to reinvent themselves and begin something new. Their writing workshops get an overwhelming response in the era of Chat GPT and AI Tools. As mentors, they never negate the use of artificial intelligence but focus on teaching the correct and constructive use of technology. According to Vandana, “AI cannot replace writers but writers using AI can replace those who are not using it.”
More than 2000 workshops have been delivered so far, and over 70000 people are benefitted from their learning programs. Vandana and Amitabh not only monetised their expertise but ensured to address the gaps from campus to corporate and within the corporates to ensure the personal development of every working professional. While empowering the qualified with skills, they are unknowingly contributing to society by adding skills to knowledge.
Official Website:- https://vandanaspen.com