2019 Emirati Internship Initiative Builds Momentum

The Emirati Internship Initiative thrives as EllisDon Middle East wraps up its third internship, with more plans to expand the program in the future.As interest in the program grows with every year, EllisDon is inspiring more students to become the next generation of leaders.“The combination of flexibility and openness of the team made for a unique opportunity to take an inquisitive role and pick the brains of the brightest people in the sector,” says Athbah Almuhairi. “The ability for EllisDon to inspire its team and create leaders is why the EllisDon team was my favourite part of the internship.”In previous years EllisDon hosted international students from the UAE in Canada, however this year things were done a little differently. Athbah Almuhairi, a Masters student at the University of Toronto, travelled to the UAE where she completed a 10 week internship at EllisDon’s office in Dubai. “It has been a pleasure having Athbah join our UAE team as a Sustainability intern,” said Wissam Ayoub, Vice-President, EllisDon Middle East. “She brought lots of energy and passion and an eagerness to learn and develop."The EllisDon team was one of the most positive and hardworking workplaces I have had the opportunity to be a part of. Both EllisDon’s Canadian and UAE office took me under their wing and guided me through the project management consulting process" said Athbah.As a Sustainability student, Athbah was able to work and collaborate with teams at all levels on various projects and initiatives. Athbah provided sustainability insights in RFPs, project management consulting, and was actively involved in a number of notable projects in the region including Water’s Edge and the Warner Brothers Hotel."EllisDon’s corporate culture is unique, as nowhere else would I have had the opportunity to sit with upper management and discuss their experience with integrating sustainable development" said Athbah.

The idea to provide Emirati students with meaningful work experience with Canadian companies was first introduced in 2017. EllisDon’s Middle East leaders saw an opportunity to further enhance our relationships and presence in the region while also working with students and helping develop their skills and leadership competencies. With support from the Canadian-UAE Business Council and the UAE Ministry of Education, the Emirati Internship Initiative flourished from the very beginning.“We hope to build on the success of the program and engage more Emirati students in our Cradle-to-Grave divisions such as our Virtual Design and Construction, and Energy and Digital Services, on top of our core Construction and Project Management groups,” said Wissam.As the momentum continues to grow, future aspirations include engaging more Canadian companies to participate in the program and offer internship positions that will help strengthen Canadian and UAE ties even further.The next internship at EllisDon is slated to commence in May 2020, with two Emirati students being hosted in Canada.Download the case study HERE