Dubai: Internships are an integral part of university education for students to gain practical work experience. In some industries in the UAE placements are not hard to find, while in others they are trickier to come by.
In most working environments shy and nervous interns will either thrive by demonstrating initiative or will be merely relegated to menial tasks.
However, the newly established Light House studio in Dubai ensures photography and media interns a placement packed with experience.
The professional photography studio was opened in the Al Quoz area of Dubai just under a year ago by South African Mohammad Joosub. It offers all kinds of photography services from commercial and fashion to wedding and food photography.
The studio has a handful of full-time photographers but Joosub is always looking for extras and has found student interns eager to learn.
"We don't have an official internship programme because the company is not even a year old but we are always accepting interns," said Joosub.
"We could end up potentially working with them on a full-time or part-time basis when we need them."
However, students are guaranteed to get thrown in at the deep end with hands-on training.
"I learned way more than I thought I would, it was immediate on-the-job training not stuck in a back office somewhere," said Nataly Cardoso, 25, who did a month-long internship at the studio. She is now assistant photographer there. "I was literally in the studio helping out with lights and the photographers are really liberal with their knowledge which is great." Light House is slowly managing to position itself as a student-friendly photography studio as it offers space and photography equipment rental with student discounts of 25 per cent.
"We do offer student discounts and we've already worked with the American University of Sharjah and the Canadian University of Dubai to rent our space for workshops," he said.
"What the equipment rental allows students to do is try out different lenses and cameras so they can practise with things before they actually buy them."
Joosub and his team also work to bring budding photographers out of their shell when it comes to job training.
"We always guide the students on fashion shoots because, for instance, although they've studied it, they don't have the experience to do shoots so they're always a bit nervous," he said. "I've seen it when they come here to do shoots, they are scared to talk to the models and direct them, for example."
He added students are also apprehensive about handling equipment and lighting gear.
"When they come they are nervous to touch the lighting because they're scared they'll break it so we try to get them out of their nervousness generally."
Light House also accommodates work placements for graphic design and animation students looking to gain experience with the post-production and editing team.