AUC, USAID Launch First Virtual Career Fair for Egyptian Universities
AUC and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the first Virtual Career Fair for Egyptian Universities (UCCD 2020) on September 28. The event was attended by the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, AUC President Francis Ricciardone, AUC Counselor Ashraf Hatem, USAID Egypt Mission Director Leslie Reed, and presidents of ten Egyptian public universities.
Bringing together 45 corporate participants and around 4,000 university students, the UCCD 2020 Virtual Career Fair utilized a dynamic platform mimicking the feel of a physical event at which employers and university students meet in a virtual environment, using chat rooms, teleconferencing, webcasts, webinars, or email to exchange information about career openings and internship opportunities.
"A university degree alone is no longer sufficient, and the labor market gives priority to those equipped with skills and competencies,” Abdel Ghaffar said. “Accordingly, organizing the virtual career fair is a great opportunity to sharpen the skills of Egyptian university students and qualify them to compete in the market after graduation, especially in new sectors and specializations," emphasizing that such events are valuable opportunities that provide the business sector with the best calibers that can compete in the labor market, and create a link between the education sector and the different industries.
Through the platform, job seekers, senior students, and recent graduates could upload their resumes, browse companies' "booths," have live chats with corporate representatives, download corporate material, and attend webinars.
"This virtual event is a demonstration of how innovation and technology can provide answers to unprecedented challenges, transcending geographical boundaries and social distancing,” said Hatem. “It is inspiring when universities and the corporate world join efforts, and with the number of job opportunities offered today, we are optimistic that those positive indicators are a sign of hope even during these tough times.”
The fair was hosted by the University Centers for Center Development (UCCD), a USAID funded project implemented by AUC, jointly with ten public Egyptian universities, including Alexandria, Ain Shams, Aswan, Beni-Suef, Mansoura, Menoufia, Minia, Sadat City, Sohag, and Zagazig. The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) was the main partner of the fair.
National Bank of Egypt (NBE) Chairman Hisham Okasha, expressed his pride in NBE being the main partner of the fair, saying, "NBE has supported many initiatives that contribute to areas of sustainable economic development and social responsibility in Egypt. Today, by supporting the public universities Virtual Career Fair, we are enhancing a new virtual job search experience for thousands of university students to help them become productive citizens in the society,” adding that NBE looks forward to hiring future talents at the event.
On the recently established University Career Development Centers, Abdel Ghaffar said, "The UCCDs implemented by AUC play an important role in helping students develop their skills, familiarizing them with the labor market requirements, training them to meet such requirements and raising the standards.”
"All along, USAID's Career Centers have introduced innovations and a new model that bridges higher education and employment in Egypt's dynamic economy,” said Reed. “Training in the skills demanded by employers, proactive outreach such as this career fair, and dialogues between businesses and universities combine to ensure that graduates have the skills they need for employment, and that they can put those skills to work. The Career Centers are the ultimate win-win for students seeking job opportunities and private sector companies looking to hire Egypt's best and brightest.”
Highlighting the importance of higher education institutions working together, Ricciardone said, "The UCCD 2020 Virtual Fair, held under the auspices of Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, has a great significance as it displays the importance of successful collaboration towards finding productive solutions during challenging times. We are also honored by the presence of the presidents of ten of Egypt's great national universities, which, with AUC, have established their own UCCDs. We thank them for joining AUC in making this first virtual UCCD Fair possible with our other valued partners: USAID, the generous sponsors, and 45 employers from various industries that share career opportunities with thousands of students. We wish both the students and partner employers great success in connecting with each other for their mutual benefit and the benefit of Egypt."
To watch the opening ceremony, click here.