Hasan Imam MCIPD, Head of Talent Development and Acquisition, Qatar Cool and Zulfikar Jiffry, Internal Communications Specialist, Qatar Cool.
Our internship program is aimed at students who have studied in Qatar and international universities. We have two internship programs, summer, and fresh graduate. Our Talent and Development team attend several career fairs and open university events, such as Texas A&M, Qatar University and CCQ to find the right students for our programs.
The summer program ranges from one to three months and is offered to students who are enrolled in any educational institute locally or internationally. The student is fully engaged in the role and exposed to all elements of that job and function. The student is assigned job-related tasks during their tenure aimed at simulating real-world scenarios and outcomes.
Our fresh graduate program is a paid program mainly aimed at the engineering field, mechanical, electrical, mechatronics and similar disciplines. The fresh graduate is a continuing internship program with no fixed duration. It is determined by the student’s needs, nature of their assignment and the required results for both the student and Qatar Cool.
In 2021, we hosted three interns across the two programs, two of which are now full-time employees, joining our finance and technical departments respectively.
Since 2011, Qatar Cool has extended our internship opportunities to students and fresh graduates in various disciplines. Qatar Cool takes our corporate social responsibility very seriously and a major part of that is human development, enabling the sustainability of society and providing the next generation with the tools, skills, and experience to take the country forward. Our work with academia and fresh graduates allows us to give the students a real working world experience and the ability to put their classroom knowledge into practice. The learning experience is a two-way street, as much as the students learn from our people, culture, and practices, we too learn from them. We take great pride in helping mould the next generation of leaders, providing them with a foothold and the confidence to enter the business world.
Our main objective is to identify and recruit capable, keen, and motivated students with the capacity to excel in the given role and climb the corporate ladder, in time. We have two development plans for our interns, the customized work exposure plan, and the tailored development plan. The customized work exposure plan is for fresh graduates or those joining Qatar Cool in non-supervisory or junior roles. Where the tailored development plan aligns with our business strategy, objectives and role requirements and is created for middle and senior roles. Our overall objective is to develop the interns into knowledgeable and capable members of the corporate world while enhancing their skills through our robust programs.
We wanted our internship program to be an interlaced systematic component of our corporate culture, this required us to alter the way we viewed the program.
We categorized the internship program into two opportunities, the first being the summer internship program. This program offers the students, already enrolled in any educational institute in Qatar or outside to intern with us over the summer holidays and gain the necessary insight and experience to complement their studies. The program normally runs from one to three months, during which time the students are exposed to different activities related to a particular function or department. The summer program offers the student hands-on meaningful experience in the field in which they are studying.
The second program is our fresh graduate internship, which focuses on taking the student's learnt skills and putting them into practice. Our fresh graduate program mainly focuses on engineering graduates in mechanical, electrical and mechatronics disciplines, given the nature of Qatar Cool’s industry. The fresh graduate program has no fixed duration, it is a rolling monthly paid commitment.
At Qatar Cool we fully immerse our interns into our culture and business practices. Our interns are provided genuine hands-on tasks and projects to work on, they are assigned projects with the relevant supervision to see through to completion. We treat our interns like our employees, accountability and responsibility are attached to every task carried out by the interns. We encourage and provide our interns with the platform to suggest and present ideas, improvements, and innovation. We have several instances where our interns’ ideas have led to improved systems and procedures within the company. Our interns have become a part of the Qatar Cool family, they have been accepted and inducted into our culture and enhanced our employer brand.
One of the greatest achievements is the recent employment of two of our interns after completing their internships with us. This demonstrates that our program works and that our culture is desirable. Qatar Cool’s brand placement with educational institutes and students alike is solid and we will continue to strengthen and improve upon this. Our interns leave ready for the real world, equip with knowledge and experience, this is an achievement for us and for them.
Overall, we have faced very few conventional challenges, however, the pandemic did challenge us. To ensure the safety of our interns and our people during this time we have had to make several adjustments, abiding by changes in the law and restrictions set about by the pandemic. We quickly adapted our approach to our internship programs, by implementing new engagement methods, such as online meetings and work from home, when needed, ensuring that our interns receive the full support regardless of the lack of one-on-one interactions. Our quality of the internship programme was not affected, merely adjusted to suit the situation. The country has a collective challenge of hiring Qatari talent, such a challenge has not affected us, we have successfully hired aspiring talented graduates from local universities.
We will continue to develop our internship programs and further expand our youth engagement initiatives. We are working on new internship programs to grow our reach and student pool, we will also continue to be engaged with educational institutes, career fairs and sponsorship programs. Qatar Cool will continue to develop and mould the youth of Qatar and play a pivotal role in creating a sustainable future for the country.
The CIPD’s One Million Chances campaign aims to create a million opportunities for young people. It’s vital that this gap is bridged by helping young people find meaningful work and helping employers find new talent pipelines.
Let’s help young people get their foot in the door. Let’s give them a chance.