City Desk: ‘It is a great part time job and the experience we get at the fair is priceless’

The month long Amar Ekushey Book Fair has created job opportunities for many young students to work as stall attendants.

The publishers hire them as they find the communication skills of students useful in sales, while students get the opportunity to hone their skills.

At a visit to the fair premises this correspondent found that most stalls and pavilions hired university students as stall attendants this year.

Students working at the book fair consider it a great part time job opportunity alongside their regular studies to earn some extra money, or to gain some experience in managing inventories.

“It is a great part time job and the experience we get at the fair is priceless,” said Mohammad Zakir Hossain, a student of Government Titumir College and salesperson at the Agami Publications stall.

Some students see this as an opportunity to overcome their shyness and gain confidence interacting with visitors at the fair.

Imran Mahatir, a second year ULAB student and salesperson for Pendulum Publications said he sees this job as a good opportunity to interact with people.

Regular university students find the schedule of the book fair advantageous too, as they can work for the whole month without disrupting their studies.

“The book fair starts at 3pm and ends at 9pm, so we can attend classes in the morning. As for weekends, most students don’t have classes on Fridays and Saturdays so we can start working in the morning,” said Mohammad Mohosin Ali, a student of Tongi Government College, working at the Ananya Publications stall.

Other than gathering experience, each attendant gets paid betweenTk5,000 and Tk15,000 for the month.

Mohosin of Ananya Publications told Dhaka Tribune that he and his fellow part time colleagues receive up to Tk15,000 for their month long service at the fair.

Ananya Publications has 11 students working for them, Abishker Publications employs seven students, and most of the other stalls have more than two students as salespersons.

Publishers are interested in hiring young students with their knowledge of contemporary books and writers as they can deal with buyers better than most professional salespersons.

Pendulum Publication’s Publisher Rumman Tarshfiq said the professionalism she gets from her team is no less than what she finds with experienced book sellers.

“Young people are always eager to learn new things quickly. They are also very easygoing and get readers interested in buying books,” she said.