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‘Development Unplugged’, organized by Youth Hub at Village Square

New Delhi: ‘Development sector is full of great opportunities for bright young students and offers careers in a diverse set of domains at competitive salaries’, was the conclusion of a thoughtful convening “Development Unplugged’ at India Habitat Centre. The event was attended by development professionals and organizations, placement representatives of the Delhi University campus, academia, students and social entrepreneurs. It was organized by the Youth Hub at Village Square in partnership with the Indian School of Development Management (ISDM).‘Development Unplugged’ showcased the diversity of career opportunities in areas such as artificial Intelligence, data science, engineering, medicine, program management, marketing, business development, strategy development, talent management and behaviour changeIt was realized that no CV was not relevant to the sector. And the domains were equally vast and diverse. These included health, nutrition, rural development, climate change, environment, technology, and innovations. advocacy, agriculture, livelihoods, education, community collectives, and many more. And, a vast array of development organizations exist at the grassroots/community to national and international levels, think tanks and policy, advocacy groups. Their compensations are comparable, sometimes even better than other sectors, based on skill set, qualification, experience, and the nature of the organization one choose to join.

Development Deconstructed- Masterclass 

A masterclass by Aditya Sethi, an investment banker in North America and Japan, to a social technology leader and an entrepreneur in India provided a rare insight into his inspirational journey. His session offered the young audience a peek into the career of a young development professional across a wide variety of organizations, competitive compensation and the satisfaction of having made large scale impact.

In conversation with Young Development Changemakers:

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A panel of four young changemakers shared their inspiring stories of growth and change within the sector. Saurabh Mehta, Founder of bioQ; Aakriti Parischa, Program Coordinator at Pravah, Tenzin Chorran at Think Though Consulting and Shuvopriyo Roy, AVP at Medha represented a variety of organizations and domains within the sector. They talked of wearing multiple hats while working in their current roles. The challenges they face and the motivations that help them overcome these were inspirational for the participants. They discussed the joys, hardships, and opportunities the sector offers and why they continue to work passionately. Swati Sethi moderated the panel.

An open house followed this for freewheeling discussion with the participants. There was a discussion over the relevance of all educational backgrounds to the sector, soft skills like conflict management, leadership, and deep listening that can be acquired in various roles that a young professional can access. Apart from comparable compensation, this sector is known for work-life balance and employee-friendly human resource policies. 

Vinay Kumar, Director of Youth Hub at Village Square, spoke of the Youth Hub initiatives that were involved in sensitizing the urban-educated youth to issues, problems and opportunities in rural India and the development space. Deepti Dwivedi of ISDM spoke of their institute benchmarking roles to salaries and pushing organizations to pay comparable compensation to make the sector more professional.

Finally, there was a lively discussion about why young India shied away from this sector when they graduated from college. It was largely because they had little or no knowledge about the sector’s realities, and the stereotypical image of this space shaped their attitudes. It was therefore important that the young should be exposed to this sector, its organizations and the jobs it offers and explode the myth that the compensation levels were low.