The UAE’s strategic location and its reputation as the hub of the Middle East, has made it one of the biggest job markets in the region. With millions of job seekers arriving in the country every day, getting hold of that dream job is not an easy task. However, internship programs offered by universities in the UAE are becoming the game changer for students looking for good opportunities in this competitive job market.
The UAE offers plenty of opportunities for job placements through internship programs, especially since current market estimates indicate positive growth for UAE job market. A recent survey by recruitment website Bayt.com and research and consulting organization YouGov has shown that the job market in the country is picking up. According to the survey, 44 per cent of companies in the UAE will be hiring and about 64 per cent of them will be looking to fill up at least 10 vacancies, mostly junior executive positions.
The University of Dubai, which runs a successful internship program, has successfully placed all its students (100%) into internships in the UAE, especially in Dubai. What raises optimism for students enrolled in internship programs is that 23 per cent of the University of Dubai interns have gone on to work in the same company. Besides, while three internships were offered per student, as many as 52 per cent of students who did the internships were offered jobs.
University of Dubai student Pierre Yusuf, who did an internship with United Nations World Food Program (UNWFP), states that the internship was a truly rewarding experience.
“The internship gave me the exposure of the various problems and emergencies people face around the world and how UNWFP plays a vital role in the resolution process. The Internship experience also made me realize that I truly wanted to work with a humanitarian organization such as the UNWFP. I therefore worked hard from the outset and went on to accomplish all my assigned tasks. This paid off for me as I was offered a full time role after my internship,” Yusuf said.
Expressing his appreciation of the internship program, Yusuf added: “I am thankful for the Internship & Career Development Center at University of Dubai for coordinating my internship at UNWFP. It is indeed a great opportunity that has enabled me to enter into a great career.”
Mana Mohammed, who works in the Financial Audit Department (FAD), said: “University of Dubai’s internship program played a key role in helping me successfully enter into my current career. I was always interested in working in the audit field, and University of Dubai made it possible for me to achieve my goal. With University of Dubai’s support, I was able to do my internship in FAD, a prestigious governmental audit entity. Throughout my internship period, the university followed up on my progress and helped me stay on the right track. Having successfully completed my internship program, I am now employed in the FAD as an Auditor.”
The UAE possibly offers the biggest potential opportunities for students looking to enter the marketplace through university internship programs. A report by the British Council, entitled Young People and Employability in the Middle East and North Africa: Post-Arab Spring, found employers are more likely to engage with educational institutions in the UAE than anywhere else in the region. The report also attributes the UAE's success to the Government championing internships.
Mohammed Djenane completed a successful internship program under the University of Dubai to gain an employment opportunity with Starlink ME. Stating that the internship program was the vital link to a dream job, Djenane said: “I thank the University of Dubai for their efforts to obtain the appropriate internship placement for each student. With the university’s help, I was able to obtain an internship that exactly matches my skills and preferences, and as a result of this successful placement I am now a full time employee in the same organization, loving what I do and doing what I love.”
Ahmed Sadiq, who got a job with Mawarid Finance through the University of Dubai internship program, said: “When I registered for the internship program, I requested the ICDC [Internship and Career Development Center] to place me with an organization that focuses on the marketing and development of its employees. It was always my goal to work for an international organization, and I considered it important to get a head-start when I first start my career. ICDC made this great internship possible that led me to Mawarid Finance, where I am now working as a Marketing and PR officer. I enjoyed my internship, and more importantly, it added a lot to my experience. Through the internship program I gained the knowledge that has helped me to become a recognized employee in my current company.”
In a vibrant market like the UAE, the right guidance and right opportunity makes all the difference for young job aspirants. University internship programs have not only made the job market more accessible for students but also made it possible for companies looking for the brightest minds to connect with the right candidates.