Dressed in their best and armed with a list of potential employers, NYUAD students enthusiastically canvassed the Internship and Opportunities Fairs that were recently hosted on the University campus. Held by the NYUAD Career Development Center, the Opportunities Fair focused on off-campus internship positions at local organizations, while the Internship Fair featured on-campus openings.
More than 20 local organizations representing an array of industries participated in the Opportunities Fair, which was targeted to sophomores and juniors and provided a means for the students to meet with representatives from a selection of Abu Dhabi organizations eager to host them as interns. In addition to the lure of "real world" experience, these companies offered positions that would enable the students to immerse themselves in the Abu Dhabi community.
Mubadala GE Capital, iMCC Green, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Hill and Knowlton Strategies, Gianni Origoni Grippo Cappelli Law Firm, and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) were just a few of the organizations that took part in the fair. For Dragana Stojkovic, Abu Dhabi team associate in UNEP's CMS Office, who has worked previously with NYUAD students, the fair was "a truly positive experience." Commending the Career Development Center on its well-organized and highly professional event, Stojkovic also spoke highly of the students who approached the company's stand. "They were well spoken, well presented, and professional," she said, " and enthusiastic to learn more about our program."
Sophomore Benjamin Jance, who currently has a Work Experience Placement (WEP) with UNEP's CMS Office, had two main reasons for stopping by the Opportunities Fair — to offer assistance to those manning the UNEP stand, and to "take a peek at the other firms represented at the fair." "Being able to go around, exchange résumés, chat with executives, and meet new faces whilst in the comfort of your own 'home' is a rare experience," he said, "and one we ought to take advantage of."
Organization representatives could also take full advantage of the fair, with its large pool of candidates accessible and eager to learn more about the companies' offerings. In meeting interested students, Elise S. Paul-Hus, of the Gianni Origoni Grippo Cappelli Law Firm, sought those candidates she felt would be a good fit. "We participated in the fair because we believe that our success rests on the skills and commitment of our team," she said. "This is why we want to attract the best people and nurture their talent." As a full-service business law firm with offices around the world, the company also hopes to attract employees who share its values and "demonstrate dedication, a real aptitude for teamwork, and adaptability," Paul-Hus explained. "Since some of our colleagues are alumni of NYU New York, we think that the students of NYU Abu Dhabi share those values. And given that many students are not from the UAE, the fact that they have decided to study in Abu Dhabi also shows their adaptability."
I was grateful for the experience. It provided an easy roadmap to the array of opportunities that are out there.
Freshman Zoe Hu attended the Internship Fair with an on-campus position in mind. "I wanted to explore work opportunities that still maintained direct ties to the University before venturing into off-campus internships in the future," she said. And with representatives from 25 departments, including Global Education and Outreach, Student Engagement and Service, the Technology Group, and Athletics, the fair offered plenty of options. As Hazel Raja, director of the NYUAD Career Development Center, explained, the purpose of the fairs was to showcase the range of opportunities available to the student body in order for them to gain meaningful work experience. And by offering a wide assortment of on-campus internships, the Center "aims to give students the chance to develop critical employability and professional skills in a supported and mentored environment," Raja said.
For the students, the fairs highlighted a wide range of potential careers in an informal, easy-to-manage setting. "I was grateful for the experience," Hu said. "It provided an easy roadmap to the array of opportunities that are out there." "It's a nice way of trying out a profession before totally committing to it," said sophomore Alf Lim, whose internships have "definitely guided" his career path. Indeed, as Jance explained, "Internships are meant to prepare you for what lies after your four years of undergraduate study. It is vital to keep that in mind — to make the most of the opportunities presented to you — as you search for potential careers. Perhaps we don't know exactly what we want, but it our responsibility to learn about what is available to us."