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Dhanusha Gokulan / 10 July 2012
Alooming question in the minds of most of the fresh graduates is: ‘what next?’ Conventional job websites are not giving desired results and many have huge loans to pay off.
In a bid to provide a solution to the woes of fresh graduates, 22-year-old Pakistani entrepreneurs Iba Masood and Syed Ahmed enter with their website gradberry.com. Since its inception in November 2011, gradberry.com, exclusively made for fresh graduates, internship seekers and those seeking freelance positions, has over 8,000 registered members with a very high success rate. The site records a million hits every month. “We expect the number of our members will increase to 10,000 by the end of next month,” said Masood.
The website has connections with over 350 companies which include IBM, Philips, McCollins Media and Aramex among others.
What makes gradberry so successful? Masood said: “The concept is a lot like a student-led start up. We recognised a big gap in the market. When we spoke to employers, they did not know where to go for interns and graduates are unclear about the procedures to apply for vacancies.”
She added: “Graduates are like the fruits of the future. Every company needs fresh talent. There is quite a difference between someone who has been working for 2-3 years and a fresher.” Masood, the CEO and co-founder of gradberry.com, quit her full-time job to pursue the website in 2011. Apart from job seekers registration and employer registration, the site has a micro-blogging page called the Fruit Bowl that give job seekers advice on how to prepare themselves for a job and an interview. There is a critical need for a portal like this in UAE.
“One of the things that we found in our surveys is that as students graduate, a lot of information that they have accumulated in college get outdated,” she added. Though several of the applicants who have approached gradberry are good candidates for the vacancy, they lack in basic skills like writing a presentable CV. “Applicants have very little information on social media and many of them cannot write about themselves in their CVs,” she added.
Masood stated that one of the biggest problems in the UAE is that hiring mechanism is outdated as compared to the US or UK. “Several companies still follow the Monster.com format, whereas social media is the next big thing in the recruitment landscape. The system here is about 4-5 years old. Apart from websites like gradberry, you also have vacancies available on Linkedin. But despite the numerous vacancies that are posted on the site, its penetration is limited here in the UAE,” stated Masood. The website works closely with the Dubai International Academic City, Herriot Watt University, the American University of Dubai, American University of Sharjah etc. The young entrepreneurs said that they faced several challenges before officially setting up the website. “There isn’t enough information on procedures or legislations involved for setting up your firm,” she said. The support entrepreneurs receive is limited. Masood stated that the support given for a venture in retail, trade or supply business in much more here in the UAE. “When you look at online businesses, the legislative procedures are very vague. There is a large amount of capital you need to pay out for a licence as well,” she added.
For graduates like Fadl Abbas, who graduated in 2009, gradberry came as a sweet respite. “With other mainstream portals, I received one interview for every 50 applications I sent. I applied to a position through gradberry, and was interviewed within one week of applying,” he said. He is currently a sales executive at tbreak.com
For those job hunting, post your resume on gradberry.com. Need to know how to write the right CV, check out gradberry.com/thefruitbowl. - firstname.lastname@example.org
Holidays are a lot more than just games
School has closed for the summer and the burning question for many parents is what their kids can do if they are not travelling abroad?
Hitting the beach or go-karting is out of the question in the summer. For a child’s holistic development, it is important for them to be engaged in meaningful activities such as learning a language, arts and crafts or even sharpening their computer skills. Luckily, the UAE is a haven for summer activities and courses.
Mind your language
Eton Institute has witnessed a surge in demand for its language courses for kids, from parents who would like their children to develop their multi-lingual skills and stay indoors away from the heat. Sue Brett, head of academic studies at Eton Institute said: “Multi-lingual children are tolerant of other languages and cultures, and have an ability to think more creatively.” The summer kids’ programme at the institute will cater to children from the age of 4 to 16 with tailor-made courses. The fun language activities will be available in six languages; English, Arabic, French, Spanish, Italian and German. The first session started on July 8 and the second will begin on July 29 with convenient morning and afternoon timings.
For budding architects
In addition to its five-year course in architecture, Manipal University Dubai is offering summer courses to acquaint the prospective students of architecture and interior design. These summer courses will be conducted on the university campus for students of Grade 11 and 12. A two-day workshop on: ‘Become an interior designer or an architect in one day” will also be held.
Summer courses with ADU
Offered on the Abu Dhabi and Al Ain campuses, the summer semester courses of the Abu Dhabi University (ADU) will run till August 16. Nabil Ibrahim, Chancellor of the university, said: “To cater to this year’s growth in demand for summer semester courses, the University has allocated 213 classes for undergraduate programme courses, and 25 classes for postgraduate programme courses on Abu Dhabi campus. In addition to the 81 classes for undergraduate programme courses, there will be six classes for postgraduate programme courses on Al Ain campus.” —email@example.com
Sultan chairs Sharjah varsity’s board meeting
His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah and President of the University of Sharjah (UoS), has expressed his happiness with the development and scientific achievements of the university among its competitors.
Chairing the 33rd meeting of the board of trustees of the UoS in Paris, he hailed the efforts of the administration and staff members which resulted in the excellent results and contributed effectively in the progress of the university.
He also lauded the development of the university’s programmes of study and research. On their parts, members of the board of trustees said they are proud of the significant progress of the university, thanks to the directives and leadership of Dr Shaikh Sultan and his keenness in making the UoS a leading academic institution in the world. — Wam
KU students learn from field trips, internships
Khalifa University students participated in more than ten field trips and internships in the US, Europe and Asia over the last three months.
Student groups have recently travelled to the US and South Korea to conduct research and visit state of the art industry laboratories and manufacturing facilities, while individual students headed off to participate in internships in France, Germany, the UK, the US, Singapore and Turkey.
Ten freshman and sophomore students travelled to Seoul, South Korea, as part of a nine day field trip to learn about semiconductors. The trip was organised in conjunction with the Korea Semiconductor Industry Association (KSIA), who trained the students on semiconductor and nanotechnology practice. The students also visited the high-tech Korea National Nano Fabrication Laboratory and industry giant, Samsung Electronics, and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.
Khalifa University’s Biomedical Engineering Department also organised a three week research/clinical experience trip this summer to Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in the US.
Twelve students interested in pursuing careers in the biomedical/medical fields were posted in different research labs at the Biomedical Engineering Department of Georgia Tech, and worked directly with Ph.D. students and Georgia Tech faculty. They researched a wide range of subjects including Cardiovascular Biology, Biomechanics, Neuro-engineering, Cellular and Molecular Engineering, Biomaterials, and Medical Imaging and Regenerative Medicine Integrative Bio-systems and were exposed to cutting edge, state-of-the-art biomedical/clinical research.
Dr Mohammed Al Mualla, Senior Vice President of Research and Development and Interim Provost, said: “Field trips like these offer our students unparalleled opportunities to receive real world experience and increase the knowledge of their chosen field of study through interaction with industry and academic professionals and their peers from around the world.” —Wam
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