August 11th, 2018, New Concept Hall, BESC. It is now mandatory for educational institutions to talk about the wide chasm that exists between traditional academia’s supply and industry’s wants in terms of manpower with the ultimate aim of reaping the so-called demographic dividend. While the debate rages unabated, the Bhawanipur Education Society College (BESC) has gone ahead and built its own bridge over the troubled waters that links the world of education with that of industry – a bridge from Passion to Profession, making the twain meet. As a matter of fact, the bridge is three years old now and the third induction of the initiative was held to offer the career Connect courses primarily to the freshers, though the courses are officially open to all the students of the college as well as to students from other institutions desirous of accessing the hands-on deep knowledge on offer. It will not be out of context to state that what had started as “Commerce +” the brain child of Prof Dilip Shah, the Dean of Student Affairs of BESC – to equip students with empowering skill sets by unshackling them from the system of education by rote and exposing them to the actual working of the world of trade, industry and commerce has now grown into a vibrant, multi-discipline nursery for knowledge warriors. Apart from Commerce +, Tally CRP & GST, career connect now offers short term, industry focussed enablers in Dynamics of the Capital Markets, Digital Marketing, Cyber Security, Corporate Communications, ACCA and CFP – the last two being unique offerings that are aimed to prepare students for a global sojourn. It also bears a mention here that the courses are highly subsidised by the college for the benefit of the student community. Commerce +, for example, for which the college charges INR 6000 (all inclusive) has been independently priced by a professional academic institution at Rs 100,000. That the courses were different – in letter and spirit, was obvious from the word go, as, instead of asking the respective faculties to make presentations before the audience of a five hundred students who had assembled to drink education to the lees, Prof Dilip Shah joined the students in the audience to lead them to ask the relevant (read pointed) questions to the faculty members on the dais. One after the other Chandreyi Bagchi (Digital Marketing), Prof Minakshi Chaturvedi (ACCA), Dr Divyesh Shah (Commerce +), Vishal Dave (Ethical Hacking), Tapash Saha (CFP) took to the podium to answer the queries raised from the floor and attempt to sell their respective domains as potential career options to the students. Chawm Ganguly (Corporate Communications) had two students – Saparya Chakravorty and Pritisha Sen, present Corporate Communications to the audience, who were trained on the spot. He also invited the students of the MUN collective on stage to make a pitch for their forthcoming event. The fact that the interactions continued well beyond the time that was originally slotted, stretching to almost four hours – with the students latching on to every word uttered by the experts was proof of BESC’s ability to touch the raw nerves and kindle the flame of inquisitiveness. As a matter of fact, the one recurring question from the students was “can we enrol in and partake of multiple courses, possibly all”? Prof Dilip Shah had to step in to bring the session to an end and he was categorical about his aim for the entire exercise – to empower the young minds so that they may develop in themselves, the spirit of entrepreneurship. “Follow your dreams” said Prof Shah “or be hired to follow someone else’s dreams. The choice is entirely yours to make. We will provide you with all the support, either way. But I will consider it my personal victory each time one of you strike out on your own and reach for the skies.” Career Connect has already rolled out more than three thousand students since its inception.