• 16 Nov 2013
  • Europe

Work for us and see the world,” TAQA tells Emirati undergrads in the UK

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – TAQA, the international energy company from Abu Dhabi, has held its largest recruitment event for Emiratis outside of the UAE.Working in conjunction with the UAE embassy in the United Kingdom, the company played host to 60 UAE nationals at a two-day event in Aberdeen to showcase potential careers within the TAQA group.It is the second event held by TAQA for UAE nationals studying abroad. A forum held at the UAE embassy in Ottawa, Canada for Emirati students in North America has already led to an internship.Ken Boyle, TAQA’s Group Vice President for Human Resources, who helped stage the event said: “These are Emiratisation events; opportunities for us to engage with young Emiratis and to encourage them to take an interest in our international business.”Among the students who attended were undergraduates, Masters’ students and PhDs, all studying at UK universities. TAQA used the UAE embassy and social media to draw up their invitation list.Also present were two current UAE graduate trainees, Mayed Al Rayssi and Muhanna Al Nuaimi, there to give the assembled guests first-hand accounts of what it is like to begin your career with TAQA.The first event of the weekend was a UAE-themed reception with the room decorated after the Arab fashion, and a menu of exclusively Arab fare. The morning of Day Two was taken up with presentations on what TAQA was, and what it did, while the afternoon was given over to adventure activities.The students were also introduced to the internships and training schemes available for Emiratis wishing to spend time gaining work experience outside the UAE. They were also given the opportunity to discuss informally what it was like to train with TAQA.Mr Al Rayssi, one of TAQA’s current UAE graduate trainees was on hand to offer advice: “We each gave a three to five minute speech,” he said. “We explained why we had chosen TAQA as our career, and what they could expect if they made the same choice.”Mr Al Nuaimi said: “I stressed what it was like to work within the organisation, and how the training you receive is designed to show you what can be achieved when you work closer together; how you can become stronger together.“I think many were surprised to learn what TAQA has achieved in the short time it has been in existence. And most thought Mayed and I had been working at TAQA for years. They were amazed to see that we were already working overseas and how much we knew about the industry after just a year.”Mr Al Rayssi added: “We explained how the mentoring system at TAQA works: how we are guided by senior figures within each division, who are always on hand to explain, and to ensure we reach a comprehensive understanding of how each stage of the business works.”Both graduate trainees agreed the event had gone down well with the guests. “More than one came up to me, expressing how seriously they were considering energy as a career now,” said Mr Al Nuaimi. “No other industry had paid them the same attention, or appeared so eager to attract them into a career as TAQA.”Nearly all the guests agreed the spread of career opportunities within TAQA were a draw, regardless of the academic disciplines they were pursuing, from commercial openings to engineering and research and development work.“Also, they liked the special way TAQA treated them. And they were all keen to learn more about potential internships.”Mr Boyle described the Aberdeen event as, “an unqualified success. The net result is that TAQA has made 60-odd new friends. There has been huge Twitter traffic among the Emirati students involved and their friends – all of it positive – and we have gained great market intelligence on what young Emiratis think about the energy industry as a career.”Following the forum in Ottawa, one of the students who attended, Salha Al Kuwaiti, became the first UAE intern in TAQA’s North American operations.Salha, a UAE national, who was born in Abu Dhabi and brought up in Al Ain, holds a Bachelor of Software Engineering from the United Arab Emirates’ University, and is currently studying for a Masters degree in Computer Science at Concordia University in Montreal. To take part in the TAQA internship, Salha moved to Calgary in May, 2013 to work with the TAQA IT team there.She was involved in two projects: automation of the SharePoint processes, and upgrading the SharePoint system, in addition to other problem-solving tasks.”This experience has helped me gain more knowledge, self-confidence and determination to work hard and seek excellence and creativity.” Salha said. “It has helped me gain technical knowledge, and I have proved that I am a fast learner, and now I know the exact details of this system.”As well as contributing to her professional development, the experience has helped her personally too.“It has given me more self-confidence,” she added. “I attended meetings, discussed matters and gave my view point. I have learnt how to act in a highly organised work environment. People there showed much interest and support. They were extremely friendly with me as I was their first Emirati intern.“I was assigned many tasks. My supervisors were impressed by my performance, and the evaluation I was granted at the end exceeded expectations.”From the Aberdeen forum, Bassem Al Naqbi, a UAE studying for a PhD in International Law at Lancaster University, said: “The event added to my knowledge about the energy sector in the UAE. I was honoured with what my country has achieved, especially in alternative energy field.”Mr Boyle, explaining the strategy behind the student forums, said: “Emirati students abroad are our target. We are going out of our way to bring in Emiratis with foreign experience; get them in, show them TAQA. This is very unique. It allows us to get our message across. Where you really can tell them; this is what TAQA is all about … a young, agile company with a very focused people agenda; say to them, if you want a real opportunity in the world, you should consider coming and seeing TAQA because this is where the world hits the road.“If I was a young Emirati, I would like to think a company like TAQA is a really exciting opportunity.”As an example, he pointed to Mayed Al Rayssi, the Emirati graduate trainee who helped with the Aberdeen event. As part of his international experience, he is currently preparing to spend three months on TAQA’s Tern productio

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