Building Relationships Through the Emirati Internship Initiative

Much of EllisDon’s success has been as a result of the relationships we build with our clients, partners, and communities. Our people are always in search of adopting new ways to hone these relationships, develop new ones, and continue our growth in both new and existing markets. It was this sort of entrepreneurial thinking that led our Middle East office Vice-Presidents, Wissam Ayoub and Daniel Murphy, to the idea of initiating EllisDon’s involvement in a program known as the Emirati Internship Initiative.

Supported by the Canadian-UAE Business Council and the UAE Ministry of Education, the Emirati Internship Initiative aims to provide Emirati students with meaningful work experience with a Canadian company, like EllisDon. For us, it was an opportunity to enhance our relationships with the UAE government and partners as we continue to successfully expand our projects in this region. "EllisDon has a much broader vision for this program than just employing the two students ourselves,” said Daniel Murphy, Vice-President Middle East. “We plan to take a leadership role in getting other Canadian construction and engineering firms operating in the UAE to participate over the coming years. The trade and investment relationship between Canada and the UAE has never been stronger so we want to ensure this momentum continues."As part of the initiative EllisDon committed to hosting two students annually for a four month period. Our first participant in the program was Jamal Alsabt, an international student from Dubai, enrolled in the Sustainable and Renewable Energy program at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario. “The Emirati Internship Initiative is such a perfect opportunity to experience the responsibilities of being a part of a great company, which also will improve your educational, communication and working skills,” said Jamal. From the beginning Jamal expressed his passion for sustainability as well as a desire to be taught as many new skills as he could to bring back home with him and apply in his future careers. A position with the Sustainable Building Services (SBS) group, headed by Global Director Andrew Bowerbank, was a natural fit. While SBS was at the core of his mandate, Jamal was immersed in many of the services offered by EllisDon where he learned about all facets of the company and even discovered his interest in other areas, particularly in Energy and Digital Services.

“Since my first day I have been learning something new every single day,” Jamal expressed. “As a personal opinion the main reason behind the success that EllisDon is accomplishing on a daily basis is the spirit and connection between the employees. This spirit would make any person work hard and actually love the work.” During his time with EllisDon Jamal learned and grew quickly while taking on a number of different projects. In as little as one month he learned how to build a dashboard for our construction management software – Gate Three. However, his most significant contribution was a recently published in-depth report that explores various innovations in intelligent and sustainable technologies used in construction. The exemplary piece was proudly published and shared across every EllisDon office. While his term was only a four-month period, Jamal’s contributions to the company have proven to be invaluable. EllisDon’s continued growth and success is heavily dependent on having passionate leaders and Jamal has been proof of that. We look forward to continuing to provide international students with opportunities through the Emirati Internship Initiative and enhancing our relationships in the Middle East. “I would like to give a special thanks to Mr. Andrew Bowerbank for all the duties he assigned to me, which improved my skills in many different ways,” said Jamal. “Also, I would like to thank Mr. Daniel Murphy and Mr. Wissam Ayoub for welcoming me in EllisDon’s office in Dubai. Finally, if I would like to add that I really wish I knew about this internship initiative since my first year in Canada.”Download the full case study HERE