Students at Zayed University’s annual Career Fair were urged to pursue job opportunities in the private sector when they graduate.
The Career Fair, which took place on both Zayed University’s Dubai and Abu Dhabi campuses in November, brought together more than 100 private sector employers from leading local and international companies, with current students. Employers at the event were offering ZU students a range of opportunities from part-time positions to internships, graduate jobs, and graduate development programs.
Unood Mohammed, Human Resources Supervisor for Emiratization at Zurich International Life Limited, who exhibited at the Career Fair said: “My message to the Emirati job seekers, is to join the private sector, because the growth possibilities and development paths are far greater than those in the public sector. You will also get an opportunity to work with different cultures and a diverse team, and meet different personalities from around the world, and this to me is very exciting.”
The Nafis program, which was introduced by the government to encourage more Emiratis to join the private sector has set an ambitious target of creating 75,000 new jobs for national talent by 2025. This year’s event saw a significant increase in private sector participation as companies seek to meet Emiratization targets in line with national priorities. Companies exhibiting this year include e&, noon.com, Pepsico, Cisco, KPMH, EY, HSBC and Honeywell.
Rashid Al Shamsi, Acting Director of Student Careers and Alumni Department, commented: “Our national leadership has outlined a new vision for the future in its 2071 Centennial Plan and its Projects of the 50. These plans place a greater emphasis on the private sector. Zayed University plays a crucial role in preparing young Emiratis for their future careers and has introduced a wide-ranging transformation strategy which seeks to improve the employment prospects of our students. The Careers Fair is a vital pathway for students looking to the private sector for work and we are delighted that we have had record breaking attendance from local and regional companies this year. Our new degree programs, which combine interdisciplinary learning and real-world work experience, will deliver a new generation of supercharged graduates, who can make a significant contribution to the continued growth of the private sector in the UAE.”
In order to equip students with the experience they need to succeed in their careers Zayed University’s new degree programs includes mandatory participation in Partner Challenges, which offer students a unique opportunity to apply their knowledge outside of the classroom, to a real-world challenge proposed by an industry partner. Working in small teams, students have a chance each semester to combine their academic work with professional experience, bridging theory and practice, and delivering outputs that add value to the companies they partnered with.
Through the Challenges, businesses are able to engage students in projects which could benefit from the unique perspectives of young people, whilst also identifying the young talent who may be future employees. The program can also help companies positively engage with young National talent, early on in their careers, and contribute towards employer Emiratisation targets in future. By participating in the program, businesses are helping develop the future leaders, thinkers and doers of the UAE.
Rouda Faisal, a third-year student from the College of Arts and Creative Enterprises, at Zayed University, said: “The Career Fair is highly beneficial for students, it presents us with a variety of companies and face-to-face interviews, I managed to book myself a few interviews for possible internship opportunities. All of them were helpful and eager to recruit.”