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Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

So, you want to be an intern

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today So, you want to be an intern

Dubai - Arabstoday

Students and graduates will be better informed about internships and job opportunities when a new website comes online this autumn. Bab Al Shabab, an online community, will also highlight achievers, offer advice on topics such as interview techniques and offer student discounts at some retailers. It will cost Dh199 to join the site, but students say it will fill an area uncatered for by social-networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Mohammed Younis, 25, an Emirati student, has just finished a business diploma at American University in the Emirates, one of the institutions Bab Al Shabab aims to work with. Mr Younis hopes to begin his bachelor\'s degree at Canadian University in Dubai this year. \"There aren\'t really many websites like this,\" he said. \"Facebook and Twitter aren\'t really contributing in terms of graduate recruitment. \"Most locals are looking for government jobs but they can\'t all work in the Government. If there were opportunities in the private sector it would be good to have a way to find them.\" Mr Younis said finding internships was hard for some students. \"In fields like medicine and engineering there are still not a lot of internships here,\" he said. \"Many people I know have to travel abroad to do these.\" Rayne Botha, the website\'s director, said feedback from students has shown that internships are a big priority. Ms Botha gave the example of Zayed University, where mass-communication students must do internships during their studies. She said the site found through student feedback that few internship positions were advertised or available. \"This gives the students a place to go as well as giving the employers a place to go,\" Ms Botha said. Faris Bahteen, 20, said students would need to feel sure they would receive value for their Dh199. \"Word of mouth is the most powerful thing in the UAE and so if you hear from someone that they\'ve found it useful, you\'d sign up,\" said Mr Bahteen, an architecture student at Abu Dhabi University. \"But students won\'t be interested unless there is some incentive to sign up.\" He said Facebook and Twitter were still important tools, and unless there was some sort of crossover, the website might fail to reach the same numbers as those two established social networks. Gradberry, the graduate recruitment portal that also runs workshops for skills such as interview techniques and resume writing, launched last year and costs nothing to join. It uses blogs and Twitter to reach the student community. \"Social media has been quite important for our strategy and we\'ve tried to do this through social media and the blog,\" said Iba Masood, Gradberry\'s founder, adding the site had reached two million page views this month alone. Gradberry works with 125 employers, including IBM and livingsocial.com, and has placed up to 80 people in jobs and internships since launching in November. Bab Al Shabab aims to have a deal of the day, much like sites such as Cobone and Groupon, but geared specifically to students. The website is already working with companies like Canon and Phillips to offer internship opportunities. By The National

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