Students, partners and guests of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Dubai campus attended the Mentors’ Day, an event honoring the companies supporting RIT Dubai’s cooperative education program (co-op). The event was held at Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority HQ on November 19 and brought together RIT Dubai students, their co-op supervisors as well as HR teams from various companies. RIT Dubai’s long-term co-op partners as well as new prospects from leading companies such as Emerson, Al Gurg Group, Weatherford, Pepsico and UN-World Food Program, participated.
During the event, co-op students had the chance to meet with their former colleagues, discuss their progress and career prospects while potential new interns had a good networking and introduction opportunity. Dr. Katlin Cundif, Professor of Management at RIT Dubai, gave a thought-provoking presentation on Mentorship and in particular discussed the benefits for the organization and the mentors. The Q&A discussion then focused on best practices on internship frameworks as well as the challenges companies face when managing young talent.
During the event, Steven Hector, Manager, Human Resources at Emerson MEA (Climate Technologies) commented about his experiences with RIT Dubai’s cooperative education program: “The managers that worked with the co-op students directly, feel that the program is very useful and that the students have had a big impact while working in our company. The projects they have worked on are a testament to this. If you look at their final presentations which they have to prepare to show the projects they worked on while at Emerson, I think this highlights their achievements and shows how they contributed to our business during their co-op placement.” He also stated that it was Emerson’s MEA aspiration to continue working with RIT Dubai students due to the success of this cooperation in the past.
Cooperative education (co-op) is the most extensive of RIT Dubai’s experiential education opportunities. Co-op is full-time work experience directly related to the student’s course of study and career interests. RIT Dubai’s Co-op and Careers Office prepares students for this experience and works closely with industry partners to generate opportunities and nurture connections with employers.
Mentors’ day proved to be a successful networking and socializing platform for students, employers as well as faculty in RIT Dubai’s effort to engage industry expertise and integrate academic outlooks with contemporary industry matters.