Learning Outside the Classroom: Job Shadowing and Mock Interviews
For Pakinam Bakr, a Business Administration student at the American University in Cairo (AUC), a recent job-shadowing day at GE was an opportunity to see what accountants really do. For Maryam Samy, also an AUC Business Administration student, the day taught her what it means to work in finance and offered insight into what career track she might follow after graduation.
Both Pakinam and Maryam were among 12 of AUC students who participated in the job-shadowing day at GE’s offices in Cairo. The program placed students with GE employees in fields relevant to the students’ areas of study and interests. The students then observed the day-to-day schedule, tasks and responsibilities of the employees they shadowed. Not only did the experience help students make decisions about their careers, but it also resulted in mentoring relationships that last far beyond the day itself.
As Pakinam said, “This was quite exciting and motivating. I was put in the real environment of working professionals and got a comprehensive idea of what accountants do.” Maryam agreed, adding that she also learned about “the pathways I can follow after graduation.”
Beyond the job-shadowing program, GE and AUC collaborate throughout the year on other projects to help build skills and provide experiences that prepare young Egyptians to join the workforce and contribute to the country’s economic development.
Some recent activities include a mock interview workshop offering interview tips and GE’s participation in an AUC job fair.
The mock interview workshop for a dozen AUC seniors involved three GE executives – Amro Kandil, Operations Director, North East Africa for GE Healthcare; Manal Zaki, Employee Human Resources Manager for the Power Generation Services and Oil & Gas businesses; and Engy Kadry, Senior Recruiting Specialist, for GE Global Growth and Operations. Each executive interviewed four students in separate 20-minute mock interviews, asking questions as if it were a real GE job interview. Then, they spent five minutes coaching the students on their performance and offering interview tips and advice on areas for further development.
At the AUC job fair, GE managers and HR professionals spoke with a large number of students, raising awareness of the many job opportunities available to fresh graduates and the exciting career paths offered within the company.
These university engagement initiatives not only benefit GE by helping build a local talent pipeline for its many businesses in the country, but the collaboration with AUC also provides opportunities for Egypt young graduates to contribute to national development and economic growth.