In the concluding part of our three-part interview with At First Page, career counsellors Dr. Anuradha Roy, Tina Bhanot, and Aparna Chaturvedi give us more pearls of wisdom on the process of counselling and the methods they use to great success. Their experiences with the Mindler Partner Platform and using it as a cornerstone of their career coaching practice are insightful for career coaches who may be on the fence about adopting new technology.
Q. How has the Mindler Partner Platform played a part in the success of At First Page? How useful has the Dashboard been?
Tina: We were all trained on Mindler’s psychometric test. As we knew well, that’s the test we opted for our students as well. We grabbed the opportunity to partner with Mindler.
The Dashboard is very exciting and we were thrilled to see its features and the information it provided for the first time. We loved the Career Library, blogs, and action plans. Using the Partner Portal makes our journey as counsellors very easy.
Aparna: Integrating the Partner Portal with our website was the best part. Special mention to the Mindler team for helping us with the process at every step and we are sure we will also have this support in the future. Even learning to present ourselves and our representation on the site is wonderful.
I believe we have used all the resources that the platform offers. The newly added payment option makes things so much more comfortable for a counsellor.
Anuradha: I think it also impresses students and parents. Especially as a new company when you’re able to show the technology and the services you offer when you show them the reports are instantly available, it is impressive. Imagine assuring principals of large school groups that they do not have to run around for assessment reports. It instantly elevates your standing.
Tina: Tracking the assessment from our end is a great feature too. Knowing how much time a student spent on a section gives us a complete picture of how seriously it was attempted or if it was rushed through.
Aparna: I should mention the Career Insight portion of the report and the graphical representation which is amazing. Other than the five domains in the report, we can always check all domain qualities against another career domain. That comparison is very crucial for us because we can show parents who aren’t happy with the five domains how another career fits their child.
Q. What do you think of the psychometric assessment and how do your students find it?
Tina: Parents usually tell us that the Psychometric Assessment is like an X-ray of the child, it’s that accurate. It builds a connection between the student and the parent. They really like the outcome of the report and it is often an eye-opener.
Anuradha: We tell them it’s like a jigsaw puzzle and not meant to be interpreted separately. Integrating the sections and taking the report as a whole is what matters.
Aparna: We attended shadow sessions with PD Sir and got to know how many layers are involved in interpreting the Psychometric Assessment. The shadow sessions were very helpful even otherwise.
Q. How many of your students have been able to pick their final careers out of the options given by the Assessment?
Tina: I think around 80 percent of them.
Aparna: And for the remainder, it is important to realize that many things come into play. Parents are important stakeholders, so after giving them all the information and explaining the logic behind it, and corroborating it with the inputs that students give us, only then is a decision taken. At times, the expectations of the parents outweigh the result and they don’t want to go by the report. That’s when we take a step back.
Anuradha: After a certain point you can’t really push them.
Q. Do you have a favourite feature in the Mindler Partner Platform?
Aparna: There are quite a few. Mine would be the career insights in the Psychometric report. We always cross-check the input from the students with the report. I find it very interesting.
Tina: The Roadmap is a great feature, for both students and counsellors. Being able to input colleges and get information about entrance exams is very useful. Other than that of course, the Career Library is incredible.
Q. How relevant is the Roadmap and Action Plan in your practice?
Tina: We utilize the Action Plan a great deal and we also attach some documents and files for their improvement, for example, the entrance exams they should be aiming at, personality development, and EQ. We end up adding to the information already available on the Dashboard for students to read in their free time. As far as the Roadmap is concerned, we help students shortlist colleges. We also help them design their own roadmaps if they want to research their options.
Q. How often do you use the Career Library and blogs?
Anuradha: All the time.
Aparna: I am glued to the blogs.
Tina: The newsletters that are sent to the group and the exam updates are also very useful!
Q. What is the best part of your journey as a career coach?
Anuradha: The feedback we receive from the students and parents. Their gratitude helps us focus. Many career coaches find that parents aren’t always able to communicate with children, but during counselling sessions, it is a lot easier for them to express themselves. Knowing that we’re helping them is a very satisfying feeling.
Tina: Other than the feedback, the continuous learning process through Mindler, your webinars, and your blogs is very fulfilling.
Aparna: Yes, we completed our course in 2019-20, but Mindler made sure we are still connected. Your webinars are so informative and helpful, we feel we are being taken care of.
Tina: The first Overseas student I got, I remember being uncertain. Nirmal sir and Abhishek helped me out a lot. The support system that you provide is matchless and helps us to keep learning. The responses are immediate. I was also recently part of an offline event conducted by Mindler where I got to learn a lot.
Q. Lastly, how did the name At First Page come about?
Tina: The At represents our initials, Anuradha, Aparna, and Tina. And the First Page represents where you start your journey, which is at the first page.
A unique three-pronged perspective into the world of career coaching by At First Page and an emphatic endorsement of the Mindler Partner Platform. Be sure to tune in for the video interview on our YouTube channel later this week.
You can now explore and experience this SaaS-enabled portal by booking a free trial of the Mindler Partner Platform.