Life & Style | Education

Education meets Experience

A novel portal for young jobseekers

  • By Ruqya Khan Special To Gulf News
  • Published: 07:00 July 28, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit:
  • Abdulla Barakji Piic by Ruqya Khan
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It is like the chicken and the egg dilemma – you cannot decide what came first. Extend the analogy to education and fresh graduates in search of a job will tell you how often they are turned down because they have no experience. How will they get experience if they do not get a job?

It was to create this connect between education and experience that Jason Mathias came up with the idea of InternsME - UAE´s first video CV career portal in the region for students and fresh graduates.

“InternsME reduces the time taken to identify candidates by over 60%, bringing down the average recruitment process to only 3 days,” Jason Mathias

Just four months into its launch, the portal has over 4,000 members registered from across 70 nationalities and these are all students from the top 60 regional universities.

“There is a big gap between recruiters and job seekers who are just out of college,”says Mathias. “There is a lot for a student to take home once the phase of education completes. The degree he holds must bring more than just the certification of his learning. He needs to rise above all the others who passed out from his class and the many universities. His personality needs to shine and be given a chance. InternsME has an employment network that’s on the lookout for students and fresh graduates throughout the year. Our employers know you don’t have work experience and that it’s OK. They are looking for fast learners with a great personality, confidence and communication skills - candidates they can train, mould and absorb into their companies,” he explains.

“The primary objective of our organisation is to help young students and fresh graduates from local universities get an entry into local companies and multinationals through internships, traineeships and entry level jobs,” he adds. “We are changing the status quo for the recruitment industry in the UAE. We focus on personality over paper and promote homegrown talent.”

What are the main hurdles a student faces after graduation?

It is a classic catch-22 situation. You can’t find a job without work experience and you can’t gain work experience without a job.

1. Fierce competition: Graduates are not only competing with thousands of other fresh jobskeers from their graduating batch, but with the experienced workforce, and the scores of people arriving in the UAE each day looking for a job.

2, A small time window: Students, particulary the male gender who have been long time residents sponsored by their parents, face a time pressure as they need to find a job immediately after graduation before their residence visa expires.

3. Insufficient contacts: Most students do not know important people at the right places. There is a saying, “It’s not only what you know, it’s who you know”. Students complain that, it becomes difficult for them to find opportunities without knowing the movers and shakers in the industry.

4. Lack of direction: Most graduates tend to get disoriented with the enormous pressure of finding a job. They feel lost after graduation and not having the right guidance in the professional world is a major hurdle.

Jason Mathias spoke to Education about the success of the portal

How does InternsME help?

When a student or fresh graduate registers with InternsME, his profile becomes instantly visible to all the employers in our network. He or she is able to find an internship, traineeship, graduate training programs and full-time job opportunities without much sweat. Our employers hire throughout the year and are looking for young talented students that they can train and absorb into their companies. They also get alerted with new job opportunities that match their profile. To increase their chances of getting hired, the portal give students an opportunity to record a one-minute video to tell the employers why they should be hired.

Who are the patrons you connect the students with? How does the system work?

We work with over 27 diverse sectors, from multinationals to SMEs, from trading to consultancies. We cover profiles from internships to mid-level management jobs. When a student registers with us they are made visible to all the employers in our network. They are then contacted for an interview as soon as an opportunity matches their profile. They receive an offer letter and if they are happy with the role, responsibility, company profile and package, they are hired.

What is the secret of your growth?

“We are a community portal. We have grown because of the word of mouth. When our student members get placed, they tell their friends and the word spreads fast. Our success speaks for itself. Our goal is to place up to 1000 students over the next one year.

What is the rate of success in finding jobs or internships that students and fresh grads find as InternsME members?

Starting in August 2013, we will be breaking new grounds and launching the InternsME Job Guarantee for students and fresh graduates. Basically, all InternsME members that score well in our rating system will receive a guaranteed interview/ job offer within 1 to 3 months. We will be sharing the full details of our program towards the end of July.

How does InternsME benefit the companies that have partnered with it?

InternsME reduces the time taken to identify candidates by over 60%, bringing down the average recruitment process to only 3 days. Most candidates have driving licenses, know their way in and around Dubai and can begin from day one (benefit of hiring home-grown talent). Cost of hiring local talent is a lot lower than recruiting from abroad. Employers can gauge the potential of each student during the internship or traineeship program and can offer full time jobs to the best amongst them.

Who can register on InternsME? Are any costs involved? What is the procedure?

Any student or fresh graduate looking for an internship, traineeship, freelance, temporary or full-time job can register. We are a community service and there are no costs involved for the candidates. All they need to do is log on to www.internsme.com and complete 100 per cent of their profile.

Fact Box

To get started, follow these steps:

1. Visit www.internsme.com

2. Simply register and complete your profile: It’s FREE and takes about 10 minutes.

3. Make sure you complete 100% of your profile (which includes loading your video resume): This ensures you show up on ALL employer searches.

4. Wait for employers to contact you: You can also apply directly for opportunities that are posted by employers.

Benefits to students and graduates:

InternsME bridges the gap between university and the professional world:

• Students get an entry into local companies and multinationals through our internship, traineeship and entry level job programs.

• They can connect to hundreds of employers across the UAE with a click of a button.

• We create a free resume for each InternsME student member.

• They are able to showcase their personality and communication skills to hiring decision makers through Video Resume’s.

• They get instantly updated whenever an opportunity matches their degree and major.

• They are able to build strong relationships and contacts with industry leaders in the UAE.

• They gain practical work experience in the degree they are pursuing or have completed.

“It’s a win-win situation for me” - Abdulla Barakji

Student ambassador

InternsMe works effectively through the student community by appointing ambasadors who spread the good word in college campuses. Abdulla Barakji has created awareness of the portal amongst many students at the Canadian University of Dubai. “I transferred to CUD last semester and I couldn’t be happier. I am currently taking a summer course there. Aside from concentrating on my education, I like to always have extracurricular activities on hand. Whether paid or volunteering, if I like the job, I will do my best in it. Right now, I am the Student Ambassador of InternsME. I help in spreading the word about it. I go step by step with candidates to create their profiles, and sometimes even help in recording a video resume. I always seek to get the best results to benefit others; the same reason I volunteered in different campaigns. I finish my summer course in the first week of July and I plan to find a part time job just until the Fall semester starts. I think the best way to have a win-win situation is when you give your best and it reciprocates back to you. Right now I am not looking for a job but I know if I contributed to what I am doing I will not be stranded when my time of need arrives.”

Abdulla Barakji

Canadian University of Dubai

E-Business student

Gulf News
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