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AUS students gain real-world experience with UPS
For American University of Sharjah (AUS) students Bardia Shojae and Liana Hajeir, gaining valuable first-hand professional skills during their internship at UPS in the UAE, proved to be a rewarding experience. The 6-month internships were organized as a result of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed last year between the two entities to promote capacity building and knowledge sharing initiatives that aim to support the future careers of AUS students and alumni in the fields of supply chain management, e-commerce, customs, and global trade.
“The internship allowed me to see how my major is put into practice in real life,” said Shojae, an industrial engineering major in his final year. “I saw a clear relationship between the courses I took at AUS and the work I did at UPS. There were also some software programs that we used at the university that were of great use during my internship.”
Hajeir, an industrial engineering major and recent graduate, was pleased to have been entrusted with a big project to work on. She said: “This internship program exceeded my expectations. I was also able to actively work on a project for automating and simplifying reporting and add my own touch to it. I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was trusted with a project that was significant to the company as its impact was tangible across the entire Indian Subcontinent, as well as the Middle East and Africa region.”
AUS is committed to helping its students make the most of their internship opportunities by equipping them with the requisite knowledge and skills as well as connecting them to dynamic corporate and industrial entities that match their major.
“AUS has always prepared its students to go out into the ‘real world’ and hit the ground running. I am also grateful because I got the opportunity to learn through a hands-on experience that no textbook or course could provide. Specifically, I was able to advance my understanding of the industry and capture the terminology used on a day-to-day basis. I was also able to advance some of my skills and use of software programs,” said Hajier.
Shoja was introduced to the various departments at the company during an orientation week before being assigned to the Pre-Load Department where he worked from 3:00 a.m. to 10: a.m. everyday. Speaking about the unusual hours and the experience, he said: “Even though my internship would start at 3:00am, the work environment was always interesting. The work culture was very pleasant, my work colleagues were very energetic, and they kept pushing and motivating us, making it a great learning experience,” he said.
For Hajeir, the experience challenged her to think outside the box. “I felt that my input was valued by my supervisor. He guided me through every step of the project, motivated me to come up with new ideas and always provided valuable feedback. I learned to be detail-oriented without losing sight of the bigger picture. I really think this balance between giving enough instructions and allowing others to add their own touch to their work is what made all the difference,” she said.
Speaking about the experience of hosting AUS students interns for the first time at UPS, Gregory Goba-Ble, UPS vice president Engineering and Operations in Indian subcontinent, Middle East and Africa (ISMEA), said: “At UPS we are always looking for ways to move the world forward by training and equipping the future leaders of tomorrow. Empowering the younger generation and especially supporting entrepreneurs is a goal we share with AUS. Students typically have a lot of theoretical knowledge about various subjects, and deeper understanding can be achieved through hands-on training. Through our partnership, we provide students and alumni with the guidance and the tools needed to advance their careers in logistics, entrepreneurship and supply chain management. It has been an absolute pleasure for us to host Bardia and Liana, and we look forward to continue hosting more students.”