How UAE-based university students are acquiring key skills through internships, part-time jobs

Experience helps equip them with tools needed to seek top jobs

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AFP photo used for illustrative purpose
AFP photo used for illustrative purpose

Nandini Sircar

Published: Fri 12 Aug 2022, 4:06 PM

Last updated: Mon 15 Aug 2022, 11:09 AM

UAE-based university level students are busy acquiring key industry skills through summer internships and part time jobs. They aver such work experiences help them equip with necessary skills for in-demand jobs.

These jobs empower students with a competitive advantage in the fast-evolving digital work environment.

Pakistani expat in Dubai, Kinza Khan works part time at Euromed clinic doing their social media content and marketing.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Kinza who is a second-year student at Canadian University in Dubai (CUD) pursuing Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Public Relations says, “I got noticed after I started a YouTube blog on my journey to CUD from high school that eventually went viral. My university approached me first where I did a few internships with them. Then I took up this part time job at Euromed.”

Khan also attributes her drive to work to her university who has been preparing students all along for in-demand jobs. She says, “My university has been very supportive and so has the student body, staff and faculty giving me training and helping me create my CV. I definitely credit my University for this.

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Supplied photo

“Juggling between work and studies can be challenging but my employer is also quite flexible. I go to work early in the morning and then I attend classes in the afternoon and on my days off. I feel internships and part-time jobs help you stay ahead of the game. Let’s admit that it’s a highly competitive world that we live in, and these jobs really help me polish my skills. The jobs that I have been doing alongside my course are more for acquiring experience rather than for financial reasons. It’s taught me time-management, reinforces what I am learning in college and helps me gain key industry skills.”

Students further aver apart from earning extra money it’s an opportunity to learn cutting-edge skills, including entrepreneurial, digital, and technology competencies, earn professional certificates from the world’s leading companies, access hands-on learning with guided projects to master skills and stand out with employers, and ultimately explore the right career path.

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Supplied photo

Aaditya Warrier who has been in the UAE since 2018 says, “I graduated from Dubai International Academy Emirates Hills (EH) in 2020 and since then I have been studying at the University of Duke in the US and am a Statistics Major student. Since my family is here, I thought why not get some industry experience here in the UAE itself. I took up an internship with Ernst & Young (EY) through a referral. I have got good hands-on experience in Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A). I might possibly get into Consultancy and Investment banking later. The industry experience that I gained was truly enriching. I was entrusted with a lot of responsibilities, and I feel I have greatly benefited from this exposure. All in all, it’s been a very productive experience that’ll definitely value-add to my CV.”

Universities collaborate with industry to prepare students for top jobs

Meanwhile, universities in the UAE are busy preparing the next generation of the country’s talent to thrive in a competitive global work realm with new industry alliances.

Nahid Afshan, Head of Admission, BITS Pilani Dubai Campus says, “We have the industry collaboration and tie –up with almost 400+ organizations through practice school. The Practice School of BPDC is a part of the total curriculum. It literally takes the classroom to a professional location for a period of 7 and half months where the students under the supervision of the faculty get involved in a real-life situation. This contributes to the overall development of the students and helps them network with potential employers. Some new collaboration in the UAE includes companies like ADNOC, Bahwan Cybertek, Emirates Group, KSB Middle East FZE, Voltas, Axiom, and there are several others with India.”

Dr Saif Al Seiari, Vice Chancellor, Amity University Dubai says, “Amity’s Incubator Program is a Dubai SME certified free-zone business incubator. It has mentored and guided several award-winning student start-ups. This entrepreneurial student ecosystem has over 60 entrepreneurial events a year and provides a platform for students to develop 21st century skills and learn how to become UAE’s future business leaders.”

Universities reiterate they have robust relations with hundreds of industry partners, and this has resulted in students being offered placements in different careers via their university portals.

Hameed Al-Obaidi, Senior Students Enrollment Officer at Rochester Institute of Technology - Dubai (RIT) said, “We start preparing students from the first semester. RIT 365 course provides students with a foundation for success through a series of experiential learning opportunities in cooperation with industry expert partners. Within those experiences, students explore trends that shape the future such as AI, Sustainability, Robotics, among others. Students also learn how to reflect, communicate, collaborate, and use critical thinking to handle challenges.”

The Canadian University Dubai (CUD) has partnered with Coursera, Inc. (NYSE: COUR), one of the world’s largest online learning platforms to empower students with the requisite industry skills.

Prof. Karim Chelli, President, and Vice-Chancellor of CUD opines, “Our programmes are designed to prepare students for work in a future green economy. This means that the curriculum of each course is technology-driven and grounded in sustainable development principles, to ensure that graduates are equipped with a forward-thinking professional mindset, whatever discipline they study. In addition, students at CUD can develop practical skills related to the workplace of the future through the recently inaugurated Innovation & Sustainability Centre and the student business incubator. These initiatives provide a focal point for research, creativity, and entrepreneurship, for students to explore sustainable innovations and pursue projects that support our commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

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