Abu Dhabi: Surkus, a multi-sided experiential marketing platform offering members exclusive access to paid events and offers in exchange for engagement, has launched an internship program in partnership with NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). The newly launched 12-week program, developed by Surkus, will provide NYUAD students with the opportunity to work in an international startup that already has global exposure.

Having established its operations in the UAE just five months ago, the program underscores Surkus’ commitment to investing in local talent and providing opportunities to prepare them for the workplace of the future, in support of the UAE’s National Vision 2021 and its journey towards building a sustainable economy.

With students already enrolled, the program includes a 360-rotation scheme across key departments in Surkus, which is based in Abu Dhabi’s Hub 71. Students will spend two weeks at a time immersed in Surkus’ respective departments, then will be able to apply the insights and learnings gained to the same department in cycle two. Students have the unique opportunity to make a meaningful impact at Surkus, with the startup encouraging its interns to generate ideas based on learnings, and then execute and review findings.

Upon completion of the program, interns also have the opportunity to reapply for a second internship at the company, in which they will be able to focus primarily on the department they found the most useful to their personal development and learning. Following the success of the first phase of the program, Surkus will look to recruit more interns to join the team, in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai. 

Surkus CEO & Founder, Stephen George, began his career as an intern at The Point before moving on to be one of the first five founding employees at Groupon. Commenting on the internship program, he said: “As someone who started their career as an intern, I truly believe that the experience and learnings I gained during that period of life, and the vital role it played in developing my career path, has shaped who I am today. The Surkus internship program, in partnership with NYU Abu Dhabi, is the first of its kind for Surkus worldwide and we are incredibly proud to have launched it here in the UAE, one of the most dynamic markets in the world. The program has been designed to allow students to be active learners in a vibrant environment, experiencing different workflows across varying practices, all within the fast-paced world of a startup. In today’s thriving entrepreneurial and online marketplace, I believe the skills the interns will gain from the program will help set themselves up for success in the future.”

Garvin Anthony Reid, Assistant Director at NYUAD’s Career Development Center, commented: “With the growing startup market in the UAE and especially Abu Dhabi, students at NYU Abu Dhabi are well positioned to use their geographic location to their advantage. An international startup like Surkus can harness the talent of our students which comes at an added advantage of our campus being less than a 20-minute drive from their offices. One of the main reasons why I encourage students to consider startups for internships and even full-time roles is that the structure allows you to work on projects that are much larger and impactful in scope than you would work on within your first three to five years in a well-established large firm. This flat structure allows you to work on a large scale and even alongside senior leaders from day one. The experience often pays dividends in future roles, potential graduate school applications and recommendations, as well as diversifying your experience overall.”

NYU AD student Jude Al Qubaisi, UAE, Class of 2022, majoring in Art History and Philosophy, joined the program in early February and said: “Marketing internships can go one of two ways - it can be a command and response relationship, or it can be a discourse, where I can contribute as much as I learn. From the orientation at Surkus, I think it will be the latter. Having such a young company to start with really allows me to be part of the growth.”

NYU AD student Iris Zaid Abu Sham, Jordan, Class of 2023, majoring in Political Science, said: “I was looking for an opportunity to get a unique, hands-on experience in a place that is genuinely changing the game. Surkus is all about hands-on work which means, even as an intern, I feel like I can add value to the company – that’s the type of experience I wanted. Not only does Surkus provide me with a great networking platform, but it also introduces me to the startup world.”

Earlier this year, Surkus announced positive growth since launching its MENA operations in October 2019. With the UAE being the first live market operating out of Hub71 in Abu Dhabi, Surkus UAE has now on-boarded over 140 new businesses and hosted more than 1,200 new events and offers to date. Surkus currently has over 750,000+ engaged users of the app around the world and has successfully worked alongside brands such as Netflix, MTV, Samsung, Amazon, Perrier and Live Nation to increase native engagement. The multi-sided experiential marketing platform incorporates powerful algorithms that focuses on delivering 100% ROI on EVERY dollar spent to engage with potential customers.

Surkus first launched in Los Angeles in 2015, followed by a second regional headquarters opening in Hong Kong early 2018. The platform is now live across multiple markets around the world with new locations planned to launch in the near future.

About Surkus: 

Surkus is a multi-sided experiential marketing platform offering members exclusive access to paid events and offers from brands in exchange for engagement. Surkus was created in Los Angeles in 2015 with the mission to provide transparent, efficient and measurable marketing solutions to businesses around the globe, maximizing their growth and impact. Utilizing machine learning and deep understanding of customer engagement, Surkus has developed powerful algorithms that focus on delivering 100% ROI on every advertising dollar spent to engage with potential customers. The Surkus ethos goes beyond simply connecting brands with customers. We ensure our members perform actions that directly deliver measurable benefits to our clients. 

For more information please contact: 
Jasmine@definitionagency.com | Holly@definitionagency.com

Ellen Kerry, ellen.kerry@surkus.com

About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and science campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly-selective liberal arts, engineering and science curriculum with a world center for advanced research and scholarship enabling its students to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from 115 nations and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.

© Press Release 2020

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