Posted on: Saturday 15 September, 2012 4:07
|Total UAE sponsors three Emiratis for Masters Degree Program in France
Vichy, a small town at the heart of France, rose to tremendous historical prominence during the Second World War. Nowadays however, it is more significant for learning the French language and nuances of day to day life, especially for young foreigners.
Two Emirati young ladies are currently honing their cultural skills through a five-week program at Cavilam, an institute dedicated to that purpose. Abrar Al Mahmood and Haif Abdulla Zamzam are sponsored by Total United Arab Emirates for pursuing their Master's degrees in France. Abrar is employed by Dolphin Energy as a Corporate Communications Specialist and Haif is working with Masdar Capital as a Venture Capital and Private Equity Senior Analyst.
Talking to both of these scholars towards the end of their program at Cavilam was very interesting because they were getting into the groove for their long stay in France and reaching a higher level of education.
Having worked for five years with Dolphin Energy, Abrar is very keen on exploring new horizons of her profession. Her excitement was evident in her discussion at Vichy. ''I am already gaining experience in communicating with different nationalities; some of them hardly have a realistic perspective about the UAE.'' She participates in daily activities at the ''atelier'' classes where she works in small groups with other students on workshops and projects. Haif enjoys creating scenarios and engaging in discussions centred around a particular subject. The institute also organises visits to nearby towns to orient and familiarise the students on a variety of topics ranging from tasting cheese and French cuisine to attending plays and participating in sports.
Haif is proud to describe how she contributes during the group discussions and activities. ''We are required to communicate only in French. It is not just about a different language, but also about different lines of thinking that we are exposed to while working in groups.''
They are working with people of nearly 50 nationalities.
Abrar and Haif have also used this opportunity for spreading awareness about the UAE. Both of them are from the Abu Dhabi energy industry where Total is one of the partners. They have, at different times, explained the importance of the diverse energy portfolio of Abu Dhabi, ranging from conventional hydrocarbon to renewable energies.
At the end of their orientation at Cavilam, Haif will pursue at Insead in Fontainebleau a one year MBA program, divided in five modules of six weeks each whereas Abrar has one and half years Masters program at Science Po in Paris. Their targets are quite similar. Haif wants to strengthen her business foundation knowledge so that in her job at Masdar Capital, she can include an international dimension to portfolio creation and management. Abrar has set her eyes on a target to learn how different companies communicate in different countries. She wants to learn about new media and their management, especially the social media for corporates. She is keen on doing an internship in Total Head Office to gain on-the-job experience.
Abrar and Haif also have a message for the Emirati youth. ''Dream big and pursue it'', says Abrar and Haif says, ''Education is the key to opening new doors.''
At the end of the conversations at about 5:00 pm on 15th August, Abrar and Haif went to their room for a little rest. They will meet for Iftar which is a little after 9:00 pm.
They will miss the changing colours of trees in Vichy as they will leave for Paris in three days and start adding a lot of colours to their professional career.
Sultan Al Hajji, Vice President (Institutional Development), Total UAE said, “At present, as we are speaking, Ayesha Saeed Salem Al Meamari, an Emirati young lady from ADOC (an ADNOC group company) has reached Vichy. She too will follow a similar program and pursue her Master’s degree in Geology in Nancy. So far over 35 Emiratis have availed Total scholarship for Master's degree program, almost all of them in technical subjects. We have enlarged the scope of subjects and for the first time sponsored Emiratis for non technical studies. Total in the UAE wants to engage more with the community and provide opportunities to more Emiratis to pursue post graduation studies in France. Capacity building of Emiratis is one of the top priorities of Total UAE. We undertake such programs under our CSR activities, prioritising development of Emiratis. This is our humble attempt to follow the guidance of the wise leadership of Abu Dhabi and contribute towards the vision 2030 of having a knowledge based society.''