This semester's first Career Services workshop: Resumes and Cover Letters: Your First Step to Landing a Job Are you interested in landing a job? If so, then take this opportunity to learn more about putting together a compelling resume and cover letter. For seniors at AUIS, this will be the first of three workshops to join our prestigious "Polished Professionals" program. Students/alumni who participate in Polished Professionals receive exclusive opportunities. Non-seniors are still encouraged to attend!
On April 21, 2016, the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) held its fifth annual Career Fair. Despite the ongoing financial crisis, 36 companies from private and non private sectors registered for the event, as well as a number of NGOs and international development organizations. The NGOs were allowed to register free of cost at the job fair. We thank @AUIS_NEWS for organizing #AUISCareerFair & accept #KSC_KCF 's participation free of charge for 3 years now pic.twitter.com/rPz8kE7l3E — KSC-KCF (@KSC_KCF) April 21, 2016 The one-day Fair provided an opportunity for the graduating students to engage with the top recruiters in the region and have one-on-one interviews. "We are incredibly grateful for the many companies from various industries who have given their time and energy to speak with our students about upcoming job opportunities. This event is not possible without the support that our community partners give," said Oliver Keels, director of student services, "They exhibit the very best of Sulaimani, Kurdistan, and Iraq." The event opened with a short speech by AUIS Dean of Students, Geoffrey Gresk, where he explained that career fairs are essential to students' career development and advancement. This was followed by a guest talk by Mr. Ghassan Marrouche, CEO of Dilnia, one of the sponsors of the Career Fair, in which he described his comapny's line of work and the scope of career growth in the insurance industry and its importance in the Kurdistan Region. This year, the job fair was open only to AUIS students and graduates which gave an exclusive access for exhibitors to meet and interview the top talent at the University. The event also provided an opportunity to the exhibitors to promote their products and brands and to engage and network with the other organizations. “AUIS graduates are resourceful. They have strong skills and capabilities and most of our students already have some work experience through internships and summer programs. Recruiters have to spend very little time training them to adapt to their new working environment," said Hana Saida, communications associate and an organizer of the event. Click team at AUIS Career Fair! We are looking for talented AUIS students to join our team. #auiscareerfair pic.twitter.com/QdGWf4aN0K — Click (@clickiraq) April 21, 2016 Each year around 400 alumni and students participate at the fair. This year in particular, due to increased number of graduates, more than 500 participated, searching for jobs or internship programs. Many of the participating companies, such as Rabee Securities, Ericsson, Ernst & Young and Qaiwan Group have already recruited many AUIS graduates, and also offer summer training and internship programs. We would like to extend our gratitude for the generous support provided by all the sponsors of the event. The top sponsors included Qaiwan Group, the platinum sponsor of the Career Fair, followed by Dilnia insurance and Ernst and Young EY as gold sponsors. To view more photos, go to our Flickr page. AUIS Career Fair 2016 Exhibitors The following companies participated in the AUIS Career Fair 2016. View or download the AUIS Career Fair catalogue to find out more about the participating organizations. AdoKurd AlMouyasser General Trading Al Qalam University College Arch Media - Silver Sponsor AsiaHawala - Bronze Sponsor Bahar Group - Bronze Sponsor Britannia Educational Services Click Dilnia Insurance - Gold Sponsor Erbil Manpower (emp) Ericsson - Silver Sponsor Ernst and Young - Gold Sponsor Halabja Group - Bronze Sponsor Hiwa Foundation Horizon Relief Organization Huawei Technologies - Bronze Sponsor Indigo Jisr al-Furat Kurdistan Save the Children Lafarge Moonline Travel and Tourism MSelect Murad Mustachee Professional Development Institute - AUIS Qaiwan Group - Platinum Sponsor Rabee Securities - Bronze Sponsor Rwanga Foundation Save the Children International Sky Air Travel and Tourism - Bronze Sponsor U.S. Consulate General Erbil UNHCR Weatherford International - Bronze Sponsor Worlwide Business Management (WWB)
These comprehensive trainings were offered with the aim of improving attendees’ job seeking abilities, interview skills and resume writing.The training sessions took place on the University campus both in the mornings and afternoons, and in three languages: Kurdish, English and Arabic. AUIS top graduates and alumni conducted the sessions using course materials provided by Foras. Through these training sessions, job seekers gained one-on-one professional experience on how best to prepare for a job interview and improve their CV, which in turn prepared them to successfully interact with potential employers during the two day exhibition. Approximately 200 job seekers participated in the training sessions. The two-day event attracted 42 exhibitors/employers from a variety of different backgrounds, such as oil and gas, technology and telecommunication, business and investment, finance and banking, advertising, architecture and designing industry, as well as NGOs and service sectors. The Job Fair offered exhibitors and job seekers the opportunity to connect with one another in person and learn more about each other. Despite the financial and economical challenges faced by the Kurdistan region, a selective group of exhibitors sponsored the fair.These included Qaiwan Group, Asiacell, Korek Engineering System and Westeye Hospital. Click here to view the list of exhibitors and sponsors or download the Job Fair catalogue. As per USAID/Foras agreement, the first day of the event was open only to AUIS alumni and students while the second day was open for registered job seekers. On the first day of the fair, USAID Senior Development Advisor Eric Milstrey addressed the audience with an opening speech, followed by AUIS Interim President Dr. Esther Mulnix. An estimated 1,400 job seekers took part in the two-day job fair. According to a conclusive evaluation form that was provided for exhibitors and job seekers, and an AUIS comprehensive report, the majority of job seekers and exhibitors were satisfied with the outcome. Click here to see exhibitors evaluation chart. According to the report conducted by AUIS, the majority of job seekers were male, aged between 18 to 35 years old and university graduates. Around 22 individuals were identified as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and four were identified as disadvantaged. Click here to see job-seekers evaluation chart. This event was organized by Morgan McDaniel - career service coordinator and Hana Saida - communications associate, with support from Geoffrey Gresk, dean of students, and Oliver Keels from the Office of Student Services, as well as the team at Communications Office, IT and FMD departments, who were instrumental in the organization and implementation of the Job Fair. View a photo gallery of the 2015 Job Fair on Facebook. The Fair was covered by a large number of local and regional media outlets, and some of the media representatives had the opportunity to conduct live interviews with exhibitors and job seekers. Click here for more information about AUIS Career Fair 2016.
The second annual AUIS Research Symposium kicked off to a great start, where approximately 30 students from undergraduate programs showcased their projects to guests and distinguished judges. The event was organized and led by Career Services Coordinator, Morgan McDaniel. This year’s Symposium, titled Discovery in Action, featured the capstone projects of seniors in International Studies, Information Technology, and Business Management, as well as research in Public Policy and Engineering. Students presented posters summarizing their research. One student out of each department was designated winner and awarded a certificate. The judges invited to determine the winning projects in each discipline for this Symposium came from various professional backgrounds. Dr. Fuad sharif, a professor at the Technical College of Sulaimani; Rawaz Rauf, commercial and strategy advisor at Hiwa Rauf Group Companies; Hiwa Osman, former media advisor to President Jalal Talabani; and Ahmed Hiwa, chief technical officer of GoranNet ISP, evaluated the projects carefully as they engaged with each student. The first place in International Studies was awarded to Mohammed Sabir for ‘The Economy of Independent Iraqi Kurdistan,’ a research paper which highlighted areas of weaknesses and strength in the current Kurdish economy that is dependent on oil, and foreign investment. “I am surprised with the level of efforts these students have given,” said Osman. “Their ideas and thoughts are actually wiser than quite a few of our current politician.” In Business Studies, the first place was awarded to Hawra Khaleel for ‘Diversity and Equality in the Workplace’, a project on diversity across the KRG region. The project emphasized the importance of every employer to promote workplace equality in order to ensure a work environment free from discrimination and inequality. “There is an incredible amount of ideas presented here; most have future potentials. I believe Hawra’s determination of implementing her vision is not impossible,” said Rauf. In the Information Technology Department, Mohamed Emad won first place for his ‘Android Application – Restaurants Reservations’, an application he developed on Android gadget to make reservations at restaurants. A simple application that helps costumers reserve restaurants, and at the same time check the menu and order food. “Most of the projects presented here are up-to-date,” explained Hiwa, “Their approach to problem solving is quite significant.” Last but not the least, the first place in Engineering and Science went to a group of engineering students; Sazan Ismail, Alla Saeed, and Khabat Abdulla, for ‘Water Recycling in Sulaimani’. The project showcased solutions to overcome Sulaimani’s current water problems. “The important fact is that the project is relevant to the community,” said professor Shareef, “it’s very exciting!” Guests from The University of Sulaimani, Komar University and other institutes attended the Symposium, along with the faculty and staff members from the AUIS community. “Great turnout, great ideas, very creative,” said professor Hemin Latif, vice president of university advancement. For more photos, check our Facebook page!
Student blog by Laylan A. Attar It was Tuesday, January 24th - the day of my Skype call with the University of Denver. I was heading to the second floor at 4:15 in the afternoon, just 15 minutes before the event began. I took my seat and chatted with my friend sitting next to me, who was excited about possible internships and job opportunities. I was worried that I might have gone to the wrong room. Then I saw students in front of the room preparing their Power Points and papers, deciding who would go first. “Hmm," I said to myself and asked my friend, "Is this the meeting for the Skype call?" She smiled, saying "Nope." "Hmm," I said to myself again. "Well, then what about the Skype call?" She said that it was delayed until next semester. The moment she informed me, I felt the background music "Womp womp womp woooooooomp." Although I was clearly in the wrong place, I realized it was too late to leave. The event was introduced by Christine van den Toorn, who was introduced by Dina Meran, one of the officers of the CISS who held the event. Van den Toorn gave a short speech mentioning some main points: How internships would improve our resumes and make them look more attractive when applying for graduate schools. AUIS students have a good chance of getting internships because they know more than one language and have critical thinking skills. Persistence is important, which means we need to apply more than once to show that we are really interested. The event was run by four students who humbly shared their summer experiences with AUIS students. Safa Fadhil talked about how her work led to a promotion in her job in Baghdad. Shwan Jamal shared his experience as a summer intern with the Stimson Center in Washington D.C., as well as the application process and what the program requirements are. Hanar Azad talked about her passion for women's rights and how she was promoted because of her continued determination for this cause. She encouraged her fellow students to follow their passion and to do the work that they really love. Finally, Nawa Shorsh ended the event by sharing her experience as an English instructor in an institute from which she graduated. She also got promoted to be a manager. I got one very important point from the meeting which came up many times: it is okay if one doesn’t love his/her work. It is more important not to expect to be handed opportunities just because we go to AUIS; instead, we must aim for high goals through persistence and patience. The event was closed by Dina Meran offering the opportunity to all students to be part of CISS and highlighting the opportunity to become an officer. She also added that the CISS students, along with Dr. Bryan Smith and Mr. Hawar Jamal Ameen, the Career Services Coordinator at AUIS, are all ready to help us apply for internships and to provide us with any needed assistance.
The report indicates that 90 percent of the total respondents are either employed, in graduate school, not looking for work, or have received job offers. Of these, 60 percent are employed full time, with only 9 percent reported as unemployed or having not received job offers. A positive trend this year is an increase of 15 percent in average monthly salaries for graduates. However, the results did show some disparity between average salaries for men and women. The women’s average salary is 26 percent less than the average for all salaries, and 35 percent less than men’s average salary per month. AUIS graduates work in a broad range of industries, and are employed in 58 different organizations. Companies employing the highest number of graduates include well-established names like Audi Bank, Western Zagros, Lafarge, AUIS, Qaiwan, Ernst & Young, Bahar Group, Kelkan, and the IOM. Most graduates are working in the oil and gas industry followed by banking and finance, accounting and retail, education, and IT and telecommunications. “I was very happy to see that AUIS alumni are in such high demand, receiving so many job offers from very diverse employers. Even in difficult circumstances, our alumni are thriving in their fields,” said Morgan McDaniel, career services coordinator. “The survey also showed that even after graduation, our alumni are benefiting from AUIS Career Services, so I am happy that they still view AUIS as a valued resource.” A majority of graduates reported high levels of satisfaction with their career paths, with 90 percent very satisfied or generally satisfied with their current jobs. Seventy-six percent of those employed feel that AUIS prepared them very well or more than adequately for their careers. Thirty-six percent of employed respondents said that they work is directly related to their field of study, and 55 percent said that their work is somewhat related to their field of study. Of the alumni who are currently studying in graduate schools, 67 percent reported that they were accepted into their first choice of programs. A majority are pursuing their degrees internationally, mostly in Europe.
The survey, conducted with 57 respondents out of a total undergraduate alumni body of 92, aimed to assess the current employment and educational statuses of AUIS graduates. The survey indicates AUIS graduates are in high-demand and able to find employment. Nearly 80 percent are employed full-time, 7 percent part-time, and the remainder is pursuing graduate studies in the Kurdistan Region, Turkey, Europe and the United States. This means that by official definitions of employment, 100 percent of graduates are employed. Many students commented that companies and employers showed preference for AUIS students over graduates from other universities. “AUIS is proud our graduates are in high demand. We feel this demonstrates that we are teaching our students the skills the market demands,” Morgan McDaniel, the Career Services Coordinator, said. While 60 percent of jobs in the KRG are in the public sector, all but one respondent works in the private sector. Many AUIS graduates work in large, well-respected companies, including Lafarge, Qaiwan, Huawei, Bahar, Bayad, Rudaw, Asiacell, and Asia Insurance. Respondents’ wages average $1380 per month, ranging from $500 to $5700. This compares favorably to GDP per capita of approximately $4000 in Iraq and $4500 in the Kurdistan Region. Significantly, 98 percent of respondents said their current employment is “directly” (42 percent) or “somewhat related” (56 percent) to their field of study. Similarly, 88 percent said AUIS prepared graduates “very well” (46 percent) or “more than adequately” (42 percent) for their current career. Many graduates mentioned that AUIS teaches students to be responsible, on-time, respect deadlines, and have a strong work ethic – all traits desired by employers. Once employed, AUIS graduates are satisfied with their future career path, which indicates graduates believe that their career options will only get better with the time. Eight-five percent said they were “very satisfied” (22 percent) or “generally satisfied” (63 percent) with their career path. “For new entrants into the labor force the results are impressive,” Chase Winter, the Institutional Development Officer and co-coordinator of the Alumni Association, said. “That the vast majority of our alumni works in the private sector and is satisfied with their career path, which shows AUIS is doing something right. AUIS will continue to produce graduates of responsible character with the necessary knowledge and skills for professional and national leadership.” To read the full report, click here.