Every parent wants their child to rise and shine, to reach their full potential, to excel in everything they do, not so that they can take pride in their offspring but to see their heirs succeed knowing that they are well within their capabilities.
Even though we want to champion entrepreneurship and praise leaders who have the stamina to succeed by simply finishing, we neglect to see that the seeds of choice need to be sewn at an early age so as to foster a yearning to succeed. Yet we continue to do a disservice to the next generation to a level that is extraordinary and yet we want them to be top of the tree, how can this dichotomy be possible?
We are all students of life and as we continue to learn new skills and ways of doing things we become masters of some and casual observers of others, however there has to be a starting point. A point where the journey of discovery, takes learning outside of the classroom. So how do we foster a culture of learning and yearning to succeed? Internships; experience through exposure.
I had the fortunate experience of getting a part-time vocational education in a family business from when I was 11 years old and continued to receive it until I packed my bags for University. Did it steal my childhood; maybe, though it gave me such an insight and deep understanding through which, Alhamdulillah, I was armed and ready to enter the real world. The mentoring I received as my exposure grew was exponential and this created a portfolio of experience, which let me make choices. I could start choosing the things I wanted to do and the things I didn’t. I could tell my parents what my aspirations were and refrain from saying “I dunno”.
The UAE is a melting pot of cultures and this diversity is a fantastic opportunity for the next generation to become equipped to tackle tomorrow’s problems. Being an intern in a cosmopolitan working environment will educate you of the nuances, which you may never experience in your home country.
Internships are not about coffee making and photocopying skills, they’re about mentoring as well as skills acquisition.