Another graduation season has come and gone. Yes, the best time of your life is officially coming to an end and while you’re busy making one-last-time memories, there’s also another very serious issue that might be haunting you: the question of “What now?”
No, seriously, what now?
It’s tough for fresh grads to get any kind of ‘job’ and that’s a feeling students share across majors.
Finding work was the biggest challenge for 72% of UAE graduates in 2015.
[2015 survey by Bayt.com and YouGov]
We agree – the job market is always cruel to fresh grads. Practical skills and work experience are the most common roadblocks for most fresh graduates.
But with the right mix of internships, part-time gigs, and volunteering work, you’d be amazed at the kind of opportunities you’re paving the way to. You’ll launch into the market with higher pay and position, and a higher likelihood of getting hired.
If you’re a graduating senior [in school or college], read this. If you’re a sophomore, or even a freshman, read this.
Recruiters love when you have a bunch of internships to talk about. You might argue, most internships don’t involve a lot of real work.
We agree – an internship can be boring and useless if all you get to do is file paper and make coffee but that’s only if you don’t choose wisely and follow these rules we’ve laid out.
There are tons of UAE-specific online agencies that can help you land the right internship:
In addition to making an online profile, InternsME gives you the opportunity to make a video CV – a great way to pitch yourself to recruiters, especially in the UAE job market.
Follow their blog for regular tips and advice on job-hunting. Can’t find an internship to match your skills/timeline? How about becoming InternsME’s campus ambassador? More on that later.
Founded in 2012 by two fresh graduates, Gradberry is the first online portal specifically designed to help fresh graduates in the Middle East. Gradberry aims at increasing graduates’ access to SMEs [small and medium sized enterprises].
What’s more—from Photoshop to Arabic to social media marketing—you can learn almost anything via Gradberry’s online courses [some are free!].
Twofour54 and Laimoon are other great online agencies for internships.
You will love: What It’s Like Being in Public Relations in UAE
2. Internships Abroad
We cannot express in words how appealing the word ‘abroad’ looks on a resume. But how easy or difficult is it to bag such an experience?
A great place to begin your search would be AIESEC – a global organization committed to promote leadership among youth. Check out this video to know more about AIESEC:
Whether you want to intern abroad, volunteer abroad or work on campus – AIESEC has you covered:
Become a campus ambassador with AIESEC
Hey, campus ambassadors are the new marketing interns [and creative interns and advertising interns and communication interns]. Various brands are now seeking this novel approach to tap into the crucial millennial customer base.
Check out their FB Page here.
Earlier this year, we wrote an article about why you should consider volunteering at the Dubai Jazz Fest. We’ll say it again: What are you waiting for? Go for these events!
Thankfully, UAE is one of the most happening places in the world and there are a LOT of opportunities – be it music concerts, international festivals or conferences.
Reasons to volunteer at these events:
- They’re temporary [no commitment issue]
- They’re mostly paid
- You get to network [a lot!]
- They show potential future employers that you’d rather get up and work instead of watching GoT all day long.
- They’re FUN [you might even get to see your favourite band or something!]
Here’s a list of upcoming events that you might want to consider:
It’s no secret. It’s a great opportunity for students to make quick cash. Some students have even reported earning AED 11,000 over the 8-day shopping carnival.
When: 16 – 20 October 2016
Where: Dubai World Trade Centre
Field: Marketing, technology, communications
Don’t miss: If you’re passionate about innovation or have an excellent product idea, enter GITEX’s Student Lab competition where you can win prizes upto AED 50,000! Deets here.
2. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix:
When: 27 Nov. 2016
3. Dubai Design Week 2016:
With a grand opening last year, Dubai Design Week is going to be back this year for what looks like an equally spectacular, if not more, second edition. Want to be a part of it? Send them an email at email@example.com
When: 24 – 29 Oct 2016
Fields: Architecture, design, marketing
4. Dubai International Film Festival:
When: 7 – 14 Dec. 2016
Where: Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai.
Fields: Media, filmmaking, entertainment, documentary
Register here and look up volunteering details here.
5. Research Internship
Where: Masdar Institute, Abu Dhabi
If you’re an engineering major looking for some research experience, this is your chance. Masdar Institute offers student internships to undergraduate students in the UAE all year round. There’s also a special summer research internship program for undergraduate students who are also UAE nationals.
Because it’s flexible and it pays. The demand for freelancers in the UAE job market is immense. IF you’ve got skills and the confidence to boot, go the freelancing route while you’re looking for a permanent place.
UAE ranks number 5 in hiring freelancers [Kippreport, 2013]
Common areas where freelancing is in demand are writing, translating, web development, graphic design, and data entry.
If you’re considering a freelancing gig, make sure you read about any licenses that you might need. Freelancer, Upwork, and Nabbesh are great online portals to explore freelancing opportunities.
Do you know of any opportunities we may have missed out? Tell us in the comets below.
Don’t miss: 12 Most Outrageous Excuses for Being Late to Work & Are Recent Graduates in Dubai Expecting Too Much?