• Companies represented at first event included Al Futtaim Group, Coca Cola, Injazat, Knowledge Fund Establishment and Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park
  • Event also provides an opportunity for Zayed University to enhance its pioneering new Partner Challenge Program

Dubai: A new series called #ZUConnect will bring together leading employers in the UAE with students from Zayed University. The first event took place this month at the ZU campus in Dubai and was attended by international and local companies who are looking to hire the best young talent in the UAE.

#ZUConnect will be a regular initiative hosted by Zayed University. The university is planning to invite more companies to attend future events in the series. Companies attending the first event included Al Futtaim Group, Coca Cola, Injazat, Knowledge Fund Establishment and Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park.

Following the event Mary-Allison Irvine, Head of Student Life at Zayed University commented: “Networking events such as #ZUConnect are a hugely valuable opportunity for our students. Our new undergraduate programs are designed to provide students with the skills to succeed in the workplace and connecting them with leading employers in the UAE helps them build their professional networks and make informed decisions about their future career options. In addition, these events provide us with an invaluable opportunity to meet with our corporate partners and enhance our Partner Challenge program. We hope to see as many companies as possible at these events in the future”

Zayed University’s new degree programs seek to provide students with the skills to succeed in their future careers. This includes mandatory participation in the new Partner Challenge program, which offer students a unique opportunity to apply their knowledge outside of the classroom, to a real-world challenge proposed by an industry partner. Working in small teams, students have a chance each semester to combine their academic work with professional experience, bridging theory and practice, and delivering outputs that add value to the companies they partnered with.

Through the Challenges, businesses are able to engage students in projects which could benefit from the unique perspectives of young people, whilst also identifying the young talent who may be future employees. The program can also help companies positively engage with young National talent, early on in their careers, and contribute towards employer Emiratisation targets in future.

Waleed Alrajaby, Project Manager, Knowledge Fund Establishment, who attended #ZUConnect and is running a Partner Challenge explained: “The ZU Partner Challenge allows me to work with potential candidates for future positions. This model grants us the time to study individuals during the process, and figure out where their interests are, whether they fit or not. I am eager through this experience to learn how do the students think? What do they believe in? We are injecting fresh and vibrant ideas into our system and this will definitely improve our services.”

Students who have participated in the program to date have benefited a great deal. Talking about her experiences Alia Ahli, a second-year student in the College of Interdisciplinary Studies at Zayed University, said: “We worked with Injazat and developed an app to enhance online learning. We as students, developed many valuable skills such as teamwork, problem solving and creativity. The partner challenge has broadened my knowledge about what to expect at the workplace.”


About Zayed University

Zayed University, the UAE’s flagship higher education institution, was established in 1998 and proudly bears the name of the Founder of the Nation – the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. In the spirit of Sheikh Zayed, the University is a pioneer and innovator in the field of education and research. The University currently has more than 10,500 Emirati and international students across its full range of undergraduate and postgraduate offerings.

Led by Her Excellency Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth and Chair of the University’s Board of Trustees, the University proudly serves the needs of the nation and contributes to the UAE’s economic, social and cultural progress, at its state-of-the-art campuses in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. It embraces innovation and its virtual learning programs use best-in-class technology.

Through research, scholarship, creative activities and outreach, Zayed University provides educational leadership, expands opportunity, and enriches the knowledge of local, regional, and global communities.

The University is proud of its role in encouraging academic excellence, promoting leadership skills and advancing knowledge. The University strives to encourage the potential and inspire the promise of all its students, whilst also accelerating change in the UAE and contributing towards the nation’s ambitious plan for the next 50 years.

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