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How to choose a university that will increase your employability

By Chloe Lane

Updated May 12, 2022 Updated May 12, 2022

Sponsored by Abu Dhabi University  

When choosing a university, there are so many factors to consider. One important aspect of university life that is often overlooked when choosing a university is the career services available to students and graduates. 

From CV help and interview prep to established industry connections, a university with excellent careers services could have a huge impact when starting out your career. 

Alongside the university’s career services, it’s also worth taking note of other factors that could impact your employability prospects after graduation. Consider the school’s proximity to work experience opportunities  

When choosing a university, consider the school’s proximity to work experience opportunities. Evaluate the university’s industry connections and how it prepares students for succeeding in the graduate job market.  

The UAE’s Abu Dhabi University (ADU) prides itself on producing internship-ready students. What does this mean? The university offers a range of workshops to ensure that students are equipped with the skills they need to meet the demands of the workplace.  

Before starting their internship, ADU students are required to complete a zero-credit module that will build the attributes that employers look for in graduates.  

Abu Dhabi University’s careers workshops cover the main aspects that will help students apply for and succeed in a graduate role after university. They focus on the 4Cs – communication, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking.  

ADU graduate Abubakar Ibrahim, is a computer engineering graduate. During his time at ADU, he completed an internship with a digital transformation consulting firm based in Dubai called Arqitek, where he learned to interact with clients and work in a professional environment.  

“ADU’s  Employability and Alumni Relations Office helped me prepare for the interviews and potential interactions with stakeholders within and outside the firm,” said Abubakar. 

Since graduating, Abubakar has been offered a role with Deloitte and will work in electronic discovery, digital forensics and data analytics.  

In his job interviews for both Arqitek and Deloitte, the Employability and Alumni Relations Office (EARO) helped him practice interview questions and prepare for his interview.  

“They encouraged me to just be myself and understand that I have transferable skills from my extra-curricular activities.” 

Ask about the university’s careers services  

A university’s careers services can offer help and advice with the next steps of your career. Consider the careers services offered by the university, how they can help develop your skills and understand how to take the next steps in your career. 

Abu Dhabi University’s extensive career services are run by a team of career development professionals and are available to students and alumni. Whether you’re looking for an internship, career guidance, or help with your CV and cover letter, Abu Dhabi University’s career services have the resources and expertise to help you. 

“The Employability and Alumni Relations Office has a range of career development workshops. I attended a few including a CV and cover letter writing workshop, and LinkedIn Profile Optimizing with a career advisor,” said Abubakar.   

The university has organised workshops in the areas such as public relations, media production, advertising, journalism and to shed the spotlight on the current demands of the workplace and to showcase the employment opportunities currently on offer.  

Learn more about the part-time work available on campus  

Part-time work experience can help you build the transferrable workplace skills needed in some of the top graduate roles.  

The Student Employment Programme (SEP) at Abu Dhabi University provides paid on-campus, part-time employment for students looking to gain work experience while studying. This is a great way to learn valuable transferrable skills in a flexible role that fits your schedule.  

Alternatively, being an active part of a student society can help build up these skills.  

“During my time at ADU, I participated in a number of volunteering and sports activities with the Sports and Wellness Office where I learned skills that I can use in my new position, including leadership, time management and interpersonal skills,” says Abubakar. 

Discover the networking opportunities 

Choosing a university with an active alumni network can give you access to exclusive job opportunities and internships. It is also a great way to gain valuable business connections. 

ADU understands the importance of networking and staying up to date with the demands of the graduate job market. Abu Dhabi University’s 21,000-wide alumni network is an extremely active presence in the university.  

The school regularly invites alumni to various talks and workshops to give careers advice and discuss their personal career path. By sharing their experience and professional journey, students can better understand the options available to them. 

“Pre-COVID, ADU regularly hosted career fairs. Currently, ADU hosts employers talks both virtually and in-person,” says Abubakar. 

The university places great value on building professional connections between students and employers and industry experts. 

“I joined the ADU Alumni Network where the Employability and Alumni Relations Office (EARO) shares jobs and vacancies.” says Abubakar. “On ADU groups, the EARO shares jobs and internship opportunities for students and alumni.” 

The degree programme’s focus on employability  

Look for a university that regularly updates and revamps its degree programmes to meet the demands of industry and keep students’ core skills up to date.  

“Abu Dhabi University is always keeping up to date with modern education standards and updating and designing its curriculum to help make its students competitive once they graduate,” says Abubakar.  

For example ADU’s College of Arts and Sciences aims at enhancing its degree programs to be up to date with local and global developments. The school has recently introduced changes in its mass communication bachelor’s degree to create employment opportunities in the media sector for graduates. 

This article was originally published in February 2022 . It was last updated in May 2022

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Written by

As Content Editor for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com, Chloe creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. Chloe has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 

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