Mobile satellite service company, Thuraya, aims to boost hands-on learning initiatives and career opportunities among the local youth with its internship program for UAE nationals. Initiated in 2013, Al Madar Internship Programme is open to currently-enrolled university students or fresh grads with a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.5 from either local or international accredited institutions. The program is best suited to students pursuing a degree in engineering, product development, finance or human resources.
Thuraya has strong roots in pioneering innovative systems and offers interns a great foundation for professional development and tactical skills acquisition. The internship program further allows students access into the inner-workings of a leading satellite communication company that provides essential communication solutions for a variety of sectors, including humanitarian relief efforts – a unique experience in this region.
“Students choose from a minimum of 4 weeks to a maximum of 6 months for their internship with Thuraya. Upon placement, each intern meets with the HR team to draw out an individual internship plan. Interns usually rotate within departments and are placed under the guidance of senior management.” explained Maryam Taher, Human Resources Manager at Thuraya.
During the program’s inception year, Thuraya hosted 25 interns; in 2016, the program grew to include placements for 33 students. Among them, 3 interns were retained as full-time employees, post their university graduations. For obvious reasons, the highest intern demand is within the company’s technology sector as 69% of last year’s batch was primarily placed here. Other divisions also featured in the 2016 program: 9% of interns served in HR, 15% in commercial and 7% in strategy. The majority of interns tend to be female, with 69% accounting for last year’s pool of selected candidates. In 2017 so far, 14 students have been selected and apart from the usual departments, are also working with teams in product development and satellite operations. This year’s group of students hail from reputed institutions like Minnesota State University, American University of Sharjah and Zayed University to name a few.
An International Relations graduate of Zayed University, Fatima Al Yousuf began her internship with Thuraya in April 2016 and stayed on for 6 months. Unlike most interns, Fatima’s placement is somewhat unique: as a sudden need arose in the Events team, she decided to explore a new career avenue. Fatima delved into the department’s daily workings, from liaising with external partners on Thuraya’s international showcases to managing the company’s presence at the local exhibitions and conferences. She says, “Thuraya really takes care of its interns and ensures that they are placed in a comfortable and attentive atmosphere while getting a solid training and workload. This wasn’t my first internship, but it was a great learning opportunity that made me feel truly prepared for a professional role and ultimately, helped me see that I wanted to continue a career in Event Management.” Fatima is one among the few interns that stayed on at Thuraya and now serves in a full-time position as the Senior Events Executive.
As a company that was founded in the UAE and is closely linked with the country’s advances in technology, homegrown talent is considered vital to the success of Thuraya. While the organization actively employs professionals with multicultural backgrounds from around the world, it is a strong participant in the country’s Emiratization endeavor; 18% of Thuraya’s employees are Emirati, of which 5% are women. Within upper management, 30% of roles are occupied by UAE nationals.
Emirati university students or recent graduates are encouraged to consider an internship placement at Thuraya. Those interested can visit the Thuraya website to learn more about the programme, check available positions and apply online.