AUC Organizes a Regional Career Conference for Universities and Employers
The Career Center at The American University in Cairo (AUC) recently organized its inaugural “Regional Career Conference for Universities and Employers - 2019”. The conference aimed at bringing together professionals from career services, talent attraction, university relations, and learning and development to map the future for workplace development. More than 100 participants participated in the conference from regional and global universities and organizations.
At the opening session, AUC President Francis Ricciardone said: “While the traditional concepts of career counseling, placements and employability still hold a great deal of significance, we aspire to move beyond that and make a shift toward a new level of life design. It is an invaluable opportunity to have regional conferences and guests from all over the world who wrestle with these big ideas right here on our campus. We are breaking new ground.”
Maha Guindi, executive director of AUC Career Center said: “The inaugural conference sets a foundation and a model to keep the communication between career services practitioners and employers open to map the future for a successful and inspired generation in Egypt and the Region.”
In his opening keynote, Farouk Dey, vice provost for integrative learning and life design at Johns Hopkins University, discussed how higher education's ultimate return on investment is far beyond career placement, “It is achieving social mobility for all graduates regardless of their background or social capital.” He explained how economic changes, technological advances, and generational trends are the impetus behind the rapid paradigm shifts witnessed in education, career development, and the world of work. These shifts are changing how people make meaning of their personal and professional choices and growth, how universities structure curricula and academic experience, and how organizations hire and retain talent.
In the plenary session titled: The Era of Diversity and Inclusion, speakers were Maisa Galal, VP - country human resources head, Arab Bank, Nagla Kinawi, human resources director, Vodafone and Nermine Fawzy, co-founder and senior partner, FosterEdge.
Galal discussed the vital role of universities driving gender diversity and inclusion through embedding this perspective across their curriculum, while Kinawi emphasized that employers and universities should partner to educate students and help them understand, early on, that diversity and inclusion goes beyond numbers. “It’s about creating a thriving and creative culture and allowing everyone to be themselves inside the workplace,” she said.
In his closing keynote about The Future of Work, James Wilson, director, people and organization, PwC Middle East, highlighted five megatrends influencing the future of work, “demographic and social change, shift in global economic power, rapid urbanization, climate change and resource scarcity and last technological breakthroughs.” He added that there is a requirement for HR organizations to rethink how they deliver an enhanced employee experience and support new ways of working - while simultaneously aligning the offering with the strategic needs of the business. He reflected on the regional and global trends that are shaping the worlds of work in 2030, and addressed how digital and artificial intelligence are changing the nature of work and its requirements. Wilson advised employers to focus on the re-skilling of their employees in preparation for the future changes at the workplace.