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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 25/08/2014
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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The 17 interns were awarded the opportunity to meet and interact with key executives of Facebook at their regional office.‘Hard work’ and ‘a genuine passion for your work’ are two values that six of the 17 youngsters who took part in the DSS Apprenticeship Programme would like to take back home.

Every year Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and organisers of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) selects students from across the Middle East and North Africa to secure a spot in the coveted DSS Apprenticeship Programme.

Some have broken out of their ‘comfort zone’ and others have learned a lot about ‘work ethics and culture’.

More than 100 universities were invited to participate this year — a significant increase from the 80 universities representing 14 markets in 2013. As part of their itinerary in Dubai the 17 interns were awarded the opportunity to meet and interact with key executives of Facebook at their regional office located in Dubai Internet City Dubai.

“Our goal with the DSS Apprenticeship Programme has always been to give the young students a comprehensive platform featuring a two-week long journey driven by unique and constructive avenues of professional growth and development” said Laila Mohammed Suhail Chief Executive Officer DFRE.

The ninth edition of the DSS Apprenticeship Programme began on August 15 and will run until August 28.

Khaleej Times caught up with six of them and according to them the apprenticeship has been ‘life changing’.

Sarah Abbas Makki (20) Emirati student of Hospitality Management Emirates Academy UAE

“I am pursuing my third and final year at Emirates Academy and prior to this I’ve interned at the Noodle House. Last year I heard about the DSS Apprenticeship Programme and I’ve been meaning to become a part of it since then. The things I’ve learnt in the last week and a half are lessons of a lifetime. I learned to interact with 16 different cultures and absorb ideas from 16 different nationalities and that has been amazing. To build a career one has to take small steps and I know this is one of the things that will help me in the future. I was the only Emirati in the programme and there is a great sense of pride in being a tour guide in your own country.”

Maryam Taqi (22) student of Financial Accounting University College of Bahrain Bahrain

“When I heard and read about the programme online I knew it will benefit me in many ways. We’ve been meeting with a lot of key figures in Dubai’s business scene and we’ve been visiting various landmarks in Dubai. I was a bit of a shy person and I did not feel very comfortable with people. I’ve come out of my comfort zone. I’ve been able to interact with people on a more professional level and seeing how the business works here gives you a broad and general idea of how business should be run. I’m going back with the experience of being an ambassador from my country.”

Nouran Mahfouz (22) Student of Business Administration (Human Resource Management) The British University Egypt

“It’s my first time here and I love everything about the place. I love the people the food the country; the entire experience has been awesome. From a career perspective the experience has enriched my knowledge in marketing specifically and I’ve learned that it is very important to publicise your product to the correct audience. Learning about different cultures has been beneficial since I’ve never met anyone from most of these countries. I am looking forward to applying what I’ve learned in a correct manner back home in a way that will benefit my home country. After the revolution in Egypt some things went very wrong and Egypt is one of the best-known tourism destinations and we needs to revive its tourism.”

Ali Al-Farsi (22) Graduate in Economics and Political Science (Finance Major) Sultan Qaboos University Oman

“I’ve come here only once and I think Dubai is an amazing city. The basic foundation structure and infrastructure of the country are perfect and that is one of the reasons that it brings in visitors from across the world. The programme has been most beneficial for me especially since I am a fresh graduate looking for a job. We’re learning how to convince visitors to invest into the city of Dubai and one of the best lessons I am taking home is that — with passion and hard work you will reach where you want to reach. The work culture of the place is brilliant. So many cultures in one city are communicating with one another and learning so much.”

Nagham Sous (22) Student of Business Administration with a minor in Marketing Birzeit University Palestine

“The entire experience has added a lot to my skill set especially my marketing skills because I am now able to work in groups and come with new marketing plans. I personally think it has been the most beneficial part of the programme: the opportunity to work with a team and be part of different cultures. So far everything I’ve learned at the apprenticeship programme has been a valuable lesson and I’ve opened my eyes to new cultures.” Dounia Boujrada (21) Student of Business Management (Marketing) Al Akhawayn University Morocco

“Mixing with people from different parts of the world and getting to know about their cultures has been one of the best experiences of this programme. From a career perspective I’ve learned to believe that this is what I want to do in the future and I’ve learned that you have to work very hard for what you want. This trip has been beneficial for me on both a personal and a professional level. I’ve understood how to organise festivals and this is an experience I can build back home. I would like to implement the same in the tourism sector of Morocco.”

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