Work Initiative Programme
At Swiss International School Dubai, we believe in developing our students holistically, not just in the classroom but in their daily lives at the boarding school, and of course in preparing them for the workplace. In fulfillment of such holistic development, our Grade 10 students underwent the Work Placement Programme, in which students were placed for three weeks in five companies, in order to be exposed to the future workplace and get a glimpse of some careers that they might be interested in.
Before the initiatives
Prior to the placements, students signed confidentiality agreements, while parents provided consent and were briefed on the nature of the work placements. Students also optionally attended induction training, depending on which companies they were placed in.
The companies themselves were visited by school staff, with health and safety procedures looked over along with their business permits, to ensure the safety and security of our students during their stay.
During the initiatives
As students pursued their work placements, Swiss International School Dubai staff conducted random spot checks to check up on student progress. Companies checked student attendance every morning, and students were required to follow company rules and dress codes.
Parents took care of students’ transportation, and for the duration of the placements, students weren’t required to go to school first thing in the morning.
The companies and placements
Design and engineering firm Arcadis hosted their students in a 4-week programme modeled after the UK’s Design, Engineer, Construct (DEC) programme. Students learned about sustainability and digital capability in the construction world, and were provided with hands-on experience throughout their stay at Arcadis. At the end of the programme, they took a practical final exam in the form of an eco-classroom design that synthesized all of what they learned.
BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP
At law firm BSA, students interned for practicing partners, conducting research for actual cases that the firm was handling. This provided them with an excellent perspective in the legal field, by performing real work that benefited the firm. Each student was provided with a laptop for use at the company.
Mövenpick assigned pairs of students to one of the sectors of the hotel, each pair stationed for one week, then rotating them out. Every pair got a chance to participate in front office, food and beverage, housekeeping, sales/marketing, operations/IT/security, and events. This provided students with a diverse look at the hospitality industry, and engaged their language skills as well as taught new ones.
AW Rostamani (Real Estate, Sales & Marketing, Technology)
At AW Rostamani Group, students chose their field of interest and were placed in an appropriate department in either the Head Office in Deira (Marketing, IT, Real Estate) or the office in the Infinity Retail Outlet on Sheikh Zayed Road. The final product of the students’ work placement at AWR were presentations about the departments they worked at, and the skills and programmes they learned throughout their stay.
Winston & Strawn LLP
A single student, Bora, was placed at Winston & Strawn, and participated with a dream team from the law firm to the Saheem Initiative (in association with the Emirates Red Crescent and the Royati Family Society). Everyone worked together to prepare and package food boxes. Bora gained valuable insight into legal work, through helping a partner do research, learning about the different law practices in the UAE, and the various ways one might pursue a law degree.
The Work Placements were ultimately a success and Swiss International School Dubai will definitely be proceeding with them in future years. They represent an advancement of the heritage of the Swiss educational model that SISD upholds, reflecting the “Berufslehre,” or apprenticeship that Swiss students may take up after finishing elementary. We hope that our students will take the hands-on education they got from spending time at these companies, and use their insight to advance their future careers.