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AURAK Holds Sneak Peek into Corporate World and Life Workshop

November 21, 2019,

The American University of Ras Al Khaimah’s (AURAK) Department of Internships and Career Development in collaboration with the School of Engineering held a Sneak Peek into Corporate World and Life Workshop.

The event was aimed at 4th year students looking to enter the workforce as well as other students embarking on internships or hoping to get a summer job. Its purpose was to prepare students for the transition into the workplace, learn about working culture and professionalism, and more.

The presenter was Mr. Vijay Menon, Head of HR at Al Hamra Group, who has worked at various businesses, ranging in size from startups to very large companies. Mr. Menon offered several key pieces of advice based on his experience and reminded students that the transition from studying to working can be challenging.

He said that in working life there are fewer group projects compared to at university and you are accountable for your own work. Mr. Menon told students that key differences between studying and work included the device-centric nature of study versus the computer-centric office. He informed participants that a lot of information in their non-working lives was video based but that work would be more email centric. He also pointed out that working life is more hierarchical than outside the office.

He emphasized the importance of being prepared to accept that that world is changing and said graduates need to be ready for VUCA – volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity – in the business world. He played a video that highlighted the pace of technological change at work in recent years, with one segment showing how Kodak went from dominating traditional photography to bankruptcy in the digital era.

Desired skillsets change over time, the presenter pointed out, adding that employees must adapt to these. Despite the changes, he cited a report by the World Economic Forum that predicted that complex problem solving was going to remain the most important skill.

Mr. Menon also gave participants various other pieces of advice. He reminded attendees that it was their career and that they should enhance it with seminars, workshops and fairs. He was also keen to stress the importance of networking and communication.

The realities of early careers were acknowledged and he advised new graduates to be flexible and adapt, to hang in there and not get frustrated, to be patient and to concern themselves with what they can control and not worry about what they can’t.

Mr. Menon ended by reminding participants of the importance of carpe diem (seize the day), saying they should make the most of their opportunities.