The offer is open to all students, including expatriates

Are you graduating this semester? Or have you graduated already? What are you planning to do after that? Go for your postgraduate degree or perhaps take a break? Are you planning to get a job? Have you started looking?

Oh, so you visited career fairs and flooded companies with your resume.

Anything so far?


But why?

No experience, is that what they say?

Corporations and organisations are not keen to hire new graduates who have had no real taste of the corporate world.

The need for hands-on experience and practical understanding of the market is the first thing employers look for in a potential candidate.

Many companies are reluctant to train graduates. They fear that after all the time and money spent on training them, they will lose them to the competition.

Still, many students are able to overcome this obstacle by getting internships in companies that hire them as permanent staff at a later stage.

In response to the requirements of the job market and students’ needs, the Dubai Knowledge Village launched its first student internship programme at Getex 2005.

In partnership with Dubai Knowledge Village are ICT and media companies based in the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone.

The initiative, developed by the Dubai Knowledge Village Department of Students Services and Programmes, is open to all students, including expatriates.

With the aim of turning Dubai into an educational destination, Dr Abdullah Al Karam, CEO of Dubai Knowledge Village, said that there is always a need to add value to students’ lives.

“Compared to other countries like the US, students are engaged with corporations that provide them with invaluable experience, that does not exist here,” he said.

“Universities here are fairly new when it comes to helping students get work experience.”

The problem not only lies with corporations. It also extends to parents’ and students’ negative perspective of getting a job while studying.

“That’s why we are very careful about the manner of introducing it,” Dr Al Karam said.

Placements will be between two months and a year. Students will work full time during the summer and part time during the semesters.

Candidates must have a GPA of 3.00 or above and should be registered as undergraduates in any university in Dubai Knowledge Village. Graduates are also accepted.

Placements will cover the fields of marketing, human resources, information systems and sales.

Many international free zone companies have signed up for the internship programme, such as HSBC, HP, MasterCard, Siemens, Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City and Arabian Radio Network.

“In the free zone here we have more than 2,000 companies. We are being selective at the beginning and we will work with 30 to 50 companies. Imagine at a later stage if each of the 2,000 companies took one or two students. It would be great,” Dr Al Karam said.

“We want to tap into the talents available in the region by bringing together the best higher education and the best international companies,” he added.

What is on offer?
Mark Beer, vice president of sales and corporate services at MasterCard International, said, “We want to assign students projects and let them see what the corporate world is all about.”

He added that if there are no vacancies available in the country to hire students, they could be offered jobs in the MasterCard global network.

“This is the first time we are offering an internship programme. We are still working on the number of students to accept,” he said.

“But to maximise benefits, we’ll keep the number of students low at the beginning.”

Organisations and corporations offering the internships:
HSBC, HP, MasterCard International, Siemens, Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, Arabian Radio Network.