Complex Made Simple

Exciting internships in the MENA deliver win-wins for companies and interns

Internship opportunities are essential to employment as MENA organizations continue to hire more interns and invest in quality programs that will ultimately bring them back as full-time employees

73% of respondents reveal that internship opportunities are widely available in their country of residence Many of today’s most successful leaders started their careers as interns A UAE company is offering students an internship opportunity, in which they become the CEO for a month

Renowned job site Bayt.com highlighted, in a new survey, the role of internships in career development. The ‘Internships in the MENA Survey’ reveals that employers are offering expanded opportunities for guided learning for interns to gather knowledge and gain transferrable real-world skills, with 73% of respondents revealing that internship opportunities are widely available in their country of residence.

Internship opportunities are essential to employment as MENA organizations continue to hire more interns and invest in quality programs that will ultimately bring them back as full-time employees. According to the survey, 52% of companies offer internships, and 60% of those always end up offering a full-time job to their intern, while only 20% of these companies sometimes offer a position after the internship is complete.

For the organization, the key benefits of hiring interns include identifying talent for future positions (55%), having extra help for small teams or departments (3%), completing less demanding projects at low cost (2%), and quickly filling temporary and seasonal positions (2%), while 38% of respondents say that internships contribute all of the aforementioned benefits to their organizations.

In addition to increasing the volume of internships, employers are broadening their offering to students as 68% of respondents say that their university requires them to complete an internship or practical training. A majority of respondents (81%) expect growth in remote internships over the next few months, whilst 91% agree that internships provide a viable route to a career after they graduate by increasing fresh graduates’ chances of getting a job after college.

Most Important Skills

In terms of the most important skills that interns should have, respondents mentioned communication and teamwork skills (42%), time management (4%), creativity (3%), and research and analytical skills (3%), while 47% said interns should have all of the aforementioned skills.

The survey also reveals that relevant opportunities offer interns a variety of benefits including gaining work experience (43%), developing new skills and knowledge (5%), building a professional network (2%), exploring their field of interest and career potential (2%) and all of the aforementioned benefits (48%).

From internship to stardom

Many of today’s most successful leaders started their careers as interns. Oprah Winfrey started as an intern at WLAC-TV, Bill Gates was a Congressional Page, Tom Hanks works at a local theater festival in Cleveland. 

MENA internship programs

A UAE-based company is offering students a unique internship opportunity, in which they become the CEO for a month while earning a handsome stipend.

Introduced by The Adecco Group, the ‘CEO for One Month’ program offers students an opportunity to develop and showcase their leadership potential.

Running into its 6th year, ‘CEO for One Month’ is a paid internship where the student gets a chance to earn a salary of $7,042 for one month at the national level. Registration will open in December 2021 and students can apply until April 2022.

The program runs at the national and global levels.

In the UAE, over 1,700 people have applied for the program from various universities in the region. Globally, over 140,000 applicants from 40-plus countries are screened down to the final 31.

In the coming months, the top 31 finalists across the world will compete and show what it takes to reach the next stage of the program, which is the ‘Global CEO for One Month 2021’, where the candidate gets an opportunity to shadow The Adecco Group’s global CEO Alain Dehaze at its headquarters in Switzerland.

“We understand the difficulty many young people face when it comes to finding a job, and the high expectations of employers when it comes to candidate work experience. The Adecco Group’s ‘CEO for One Month’ program will provide a meaningful experience empowering success in the world of work,” said Patel.

Meanwhile, the local operations of New York-listed medical technology company BD has launched an internship program for youth in the region. Over the next two years, the company aims to support young talent with hands-on corporate experience across various organizational functions.

The BD GenZ internship program initially began in 2018 and runs for eight weeks, during which the candidates are exposed to various modules that help them build business competencies, develop areas of emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and self-management. They are also provided with a mentor to guide them throughout the program and prove career advice.

“It is always said that the brightest ideas come from the youngest minds,” said Maher Elhassan, Vice-President & General Manager, BD Middle East, North Africa & Turkey. “Programs like these not only guide the young generation to nurture their skills but also set a pace to their career progression while inculcating a growth mindset the BD way.”