More Omani students should do part-time jobs to get experience

Energy Friday 01/April/2016 19:38 PM
By: Times News Service
More Omani students should do part-time jobs to get experience

Muscat: More Omani students should opt for part-time jobs to gain the necessary experience, Dr. Omar Al Jabri, co-founder of job vacancy platform Oman Careers, said.
He noted that this is because of the lack of skills evident in Omani students, because of which they are not well prepared for the job market.
Based on his experience with job announcements, Al Jabri said there are hardly any companies that want to employ a fresh graduate.
“Many companies ask for two or three years of experience. We need to give fresh graduates the chance to be appointed and gain skills. So the only thing to do here: go for a part-time job!” he said.
Al Jabri further stated that companies should not only offer internships to students, but also offer them the opportunity to work part-time while they are studying. He added that students should sacrifice their free time to start a part-time job.
“The culture and mentality have to change. If you want to gain experience and skills, you have to sacrifice something,” he said.
“My nephew is working as a part-timer at McDonalds. He’s still studying in college, and he is a manager now. I’m proud of that,” he said.
Al Jabri said the lack of skills and experience were caused by a lack of preparation schools on offer for young Omanis before they enrol into universities.
“There is a big gap between high school and university. They spend lots of time in foundation courses in English, which I believe that this should already be covered by school time,” he said.
Al Jabri said study programmes should also cover more than just education.
“We need to think not only of education, but we need to think also of providing skills to the students. It’s very important for students to improve their soft skills, such as business writing, presentations, self-confidence, and leadership,” he said.
Tonia Gray, general manager at Competence HR, told the Times of Oman (TOO) that part-time jobs are very valuable as a preparation for a career. “Undertaking part-time work, alongside your studies is invaluable in terms of understanding how different the workplace is to your place of study and working part time may go some way in instilling a work ethic in advance of undertaking full-time work,” she said.
Some students interviewed by TOO agreed. Mazen Altaie, who studies Finance, said many young people these days do not have any experience. “That’s why I am helping my father in his construction business, for two to three hours a day,” he said.
Khalid Hilal Al Fahdi, who studies Business Administration Information Systems, said he too plans to get a part-time job. “I’m young and I do not want to waste time. I’ll get experience together with my degree,” he said.
Al Fahdi, who wants to work at a telecommunication company, said he is willing to start working in a call centre to gain more experience and get a better job later on.
Many others said they cannot combine study with part-time work, although they see the advantages of gaining experience. Also, their expectations from their first job are quite high.
Muna Haikal, a Business and Accounting student, said, “It is very hard to focus both on study and work at the same time.” That is why she is not planning to find a part-time job.
However, given that she wants to be a manager, she said she needs more experience and training.
Mohammed Al Balushi, who also studies Finance, said having some experience before applying for the first job is crucial.
“They will probably take you straight away when they see you already have some experience,” he said. However, he said he does not have a part-time job, as he does not have the time.
He said that only a few students within his college do part-time work in supermarkets or restaurants.
Nasser Bashir, a student in Business Administration and Marketing, said he cannot afford to have a part-time job.
“I’d love to have a part-time job, but I can’t afford it. Here, we have to attend all classes and prepare for exams. It’s hard to combine that with work,” he said. He said he hopes that he will be a manager in his first job, but eventually, he wants to be a “big businessman.”
Khulood Al Zadjali, who studies General Business, said she does not plan to get a part-time job, since after classes, she needs to study and on the weekends, she needs to spend time with her family.
“In Oman, you’re obliged to spend time with your family on the weekends. Thus, I do not have the time to work,” she said.