“Students constitute the real wealth of our country,” says Neemat G. Frem, the President and CEO of INDEVCO Group.
Frem’s company is one of many which contribute more than just monetary support to LAU. From trainee programs to positions open to fresh graduates, several of the university’s donors are extending valuable opportunities to the LAU’s students and graduates.
In fact, INDEVCO Group’s summer internship program accepts approximately 100 students per year, of which 10 percent come from LAU. “Our internship program, which is held in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, aims to apply students’ education to a practical career-related job, offer useful training, boost students’ employability, and source potential candidates for future openings after graduation,” says INDEVCO Group’s Recruitment Manager, Fadi Younes.
The firm seems to be reaching its aim. Eight LAU graduates were employed by the company in 2015, and four in the first quarter of 2016, with many having interned with INDEVCO Group prior to their employment.
“We are extremely grateful to have donors who give back in this tremendous way. Of course, financial gifts are crucial in helping us provide scholarships and fund areas of most need on campus, but training and career opportunities are invaluable in their worth, providing lifetime experiences for our students and grads,” explains Nassib N. Nasr, LAU’s Assistant Vice President for Development.
The benefits are not one-sided though—donor corporations also see value in their efforts. “LAU students, and those who come from other universities, are an investment for us as they are our future leaders,” says Zeina Nasser, Head of Administration at Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), another of LAU’s donors.
CCC offers a trainee program to students that provides a real-life work experience at project locations in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar, and Kazakhstan. And despite the competitive nature of the program, 7 to 10 LAU students are accepted each year.
“LAU students are hard workers, motivated, dedicated, and they meet the criteria that CCC is looking for,” explains Nasser.
Joe Karam, an LAU graduate with a B.E. in Civil Engineering who took part in the trainee program says, “Training with CCC showed me a very clear image of the construction life. This helped clear my options while making my career choice after I graduated as I knew what a site engineer career looked like.” Karam is now employed at CCC as a site engineer in Saudi Arabia.
Guilaine Ghossoub, an LAU graduate and current Dar Al-Handasah environmental/infrastructure engineer, feels similarly about her firm’s internship program providing students with a glimpse of their potential career. “Our internship allows students to contribute to real life projects, which not only provides them with new skills, but helps them decide whether they prefer working in design offices or on-site once they graduate,” says Ghossoub, who earned a B.E. in Civil Engineering at LAU.
Dar Al-Handasah, a longtime donor to LAU, provides a Beirut-based internship program aiming to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and information they need to become empowered critical thinkers, and confident innovators. LAU students make up a good portion of the internship participants, with many gaining employment upon graduation. In the past two years alone, more than 60 LAU graduates were hired.
Dubai Contracting Company (DCC), is another LAU donor that is contributing to the university in an extraordinary way. Its DCC-SU-LAU Internship Program, known as DSLIP, offers 16 LAU and Syracuse University students a 5-week intensive training opportunity each summer in Dubai, and is a testament to DCC’s commitment to LAU and education.
Khatib & Alami, Murex, Nesma and Partners, and Saudi Binladin Group are also among LAU’s engineering donors who offer students and graduates internship and career opportunities.