In my previous post, I had discussed finding vacancies for CS training. I had also mentioned that I would be sharing a few tips to keep in mind while undergoing your training. So, here are a few crucial things you should know. 1) Where to do your training? Where you undergo your training is highly important. It determines the kind of exposure and learning you will get. Broadly the choice is between a firm and a company. A big or mid-size firm gives the opportunity to work in different domains like secretarial audit, insolvency, NCLT etc. apart from normal secretarial work. But, a small firm is unlikely to give wide exposure. A good way to find out whether a particular firm is suitable for you is to inquire. Ask employees or trainees you know about the kind of work the firm specializes in, their clients, work culture etc. On the other hand, a Company gives you an idea of how actually a Secretarial Department functions. It gives the merit of working in a corporate atmosphere. If shown enough competence, some companies also offer employment. However, the scope of learning is comparatively restricted in a Company as the focus is only on the functions of one company (unless it is a big company with many subsidiaries). Moreover, a trainee is not delegated core tasks and hence work may become repetitive. In both cases, career goals, ability to withstand pressure and thirst for knowledge play a key role in deciding the fruitfulness of your training. 2) Stipend- Does it matter? Generally, companies pay better stipends than firms. There is a statutory minimum amount of stipend payable by trainers (visit Stipend payable during training period). Whether the amount of stipend matters is a purely personal choice. But, it is wise to strike a balance between learning opportunity and money. The primary goal of your training should be to learn as much as you can. 3) Taking up training before or after exams The current training structure offers the choice to take up training before or after completion of exams. (To know more about CS Training Structure, read How to Find Vacancies for CS Training) This again is a personal decision. One benefit of giving exams while doing your training is that you will be able to comprehend the subjects better. This is because of hands-on practical knowledge. However, the reverse is also true that a minimum basic understanding of theory helps you to work. Ask yourself the following questions before deciding:-
  • Whether the work load would allow time to study and give exams?
  • What is the leave policy of your trainer? Although the ICSI allows a minimum number of leaves (check this ICSI's Guidelines for calculating leaves during training), it is the prerogative of the trainer to grant leave. Hence, it is better to have clarity on this.
  • Are you good at handling the pressure? Can you work from 9 am to 6 pm and then make time to study?
  • How many groups do you plan to write? Whether you plan to write altogether or one by one? This again depends on the above two questions. It is wiser to write each group separately as it is less demanding and lets you pace the course over your training period.
  • What are your priorities? Exams or training? While exams are the most clinching factor on your path to qualifying the profession, the train is more of a procedural step. It is important to think along these lines.
4) Handling Work Pressure This is where most people find it difficult. Points 2 and 3 are highly relevant here. Majority of the students see training as another box to tick-off on their way to becoming a Company Secretary. This is an unhealthy attitude. Working in a formal atmosphere and taking up assignments are part of your profession. Although you may be a trainee, you should carry the attitude of an employee and take ownership for what you do. Having the right attitude towards work and personal discipline is half the job in handling pressure. Remember these points:-
  • Your goal is to learn as much as you can within a short span of time.
  • Show enthusiasm and curiosity in every task given no matter how unimportant it may seem to you.
  • Be polite and humble but also equally assertive (not aggressive) with your colleagues and seniors.
  • Respect the job you do.
  • Manage your time efficiently. This is the single most important thing on which everyone misses out. Be a master of your time and not the other way round.
  • Take notes and keep a record of whatever you do. This helped me a lot during my training. It helps you understand the learning curve. It is also useful in reporting and assessing your achievements.
  • Set task-oriented goals. When given an assignment, break it up and set timelines for each step. This will enable you to attain the ultimate objective with ease.
  • Do not hesitate to ask. You are there to learn. Ask, clarify and debate wherever you have doubts.
  • Last but not the least; do not be intimidated by any situation. Whatever be the circumstance, approach with a calm and balanced mind.
5) Submission of Training Records Registering your training commencement records with the Institute should be done within 60 days. There is penalty for delay in registration of training (Fine Payable by Students for Late Submission of Records beyond 60 days). This may not seem important. But, submission of your training contract, quarterly reports and project report on time ensures that there are no hassles when applying for membership. Always be prompt. I have discussed here a few aspects that I believe are pertinent when it comes to CS training. This article is not exhaustive in itself. I have detailed only on the most important elements. Hope you found it useful. I can develop further based on your feedback. So, please do leave a comment! Feel free to ask queries! And keep following for more posts!    

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