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AECOM partners with female-only university in Saudi Arabia

AECOM partners with female-only university in Saudi Arabia

 March 23, 2020

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AECOM and Princess Nourah University (PNU) have signed a partnership agreement that enables the organisations to collaborate on creating a talent pipeline of students and graduates who can proceed into full-time employment at AECOM.

Based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, PNU is the world’s largest female-only university. Since signing the partnership agreement, AECOM and PNU have held several joint workshops to share knowledge and explore areas of mutual interest, including interview coaching and job search support.

The agreement supports the Kingdom’s drive to engage more females in the workplace and allow them to play a bigger role in the country’s economic growth.

Mousa Mashraqi, Vice President of HR & Shared Services at AECOM Arabia, says: “An important element of our collaboration with PNU is sharing knowledge and expertise to foster innovation and improve our understanding of current and future challenges in the Kingdom. Our partnership with PNU will focus on training the next generation of professionals with the skills that the country needs to meet the objectives of Vision 2030.”

AECOM participated in two very successful PNU Career Events, where AECOM employees conducted several mock interviews with PNU students and provided invaluable CV writing advice and career coaching sessions. The students found this particularly useful as they embark on the world of work.

AECOM Saudi Arabia award

Paving the way for women in engineering

AECOM also held two workshops with the PNU Engineering Department to explore ways to integrate the latest advances in professional practice into the university’s engineering curricula. With the aim of matching AECOM’s business and wider sector needs with academic skills, PNU is developing teaching and learning that is attractive to industry and tailored towards accreditations with professional bodies – this will continue to remain a priority under the partnership agreement.

“The partnership agreement with Princess Nourah University will leave a positive and long-term legacy in the Kingdom, equipping female professionals with the skills required to achieve Vision 2030,” comments Lara Poloni, Chief Executive, EMEA, AECOM.

Detailing how the training agreement with PNU supports AECOM’s ambitious growth plans in Saudi Arabia, Lara says: “To resource our increasing backlog in Saudi Arabia we need to grow our headcount by 600 people in the next 12 months. Hiring young Saudi talent is a key part of our recruitment strategy. The ability to draw on the skills of a diverse range of people from a variety of different backgrounds is vital to our success as a business and the projects we deliver.”

AECOM employees

A pathway for career progression

Nine PNU graduates were directly hired by AECOM and a total of 16 interns have been working at the company’s offices, gaining practical experience of current industry thinking. Eight interns have advanced onto graduate roles at the company and three proceeded to full-time employment to date.

Lena Alskran, an economics graduate from PNU, joined AECOM as a Business Development Representative. Commenting on her experience she says: “Over the last year I’ve been exposed to numerous different projects and people, and have applied the theory and soft skills I have learnt at University. Everyone has been very supportive of my professional development; I have a mentor and a clear development plan that will assist me in my goal to become a business development manager.”

Wala AlNazha has been practicing her education in Business Administration for almost two years since she graduated from PNU. Starting as an intern in human resources, she moved to graduate employment after two months, and is currently on her way to full-time employment.

“My journey has been invaluable,” Wala comments. “Throughout my time at AECOM, I was able to work my way through the application of the HR profession on the ground, learning and forming connections with colleagues and mentors. I built character and stamina and learned to never be afraid to fail. The small mistakes are opportunities to learn and grow – as you make corrections along the way to be a skilled leader someday.”

Ian Laski, President and CEO of AECOM Arabia, asserts his support for the graduate programs. “The ability to include the diversified, young Saudi talent in our project teams aligns fully with our clients’ expectations,” he says. “A key part of AECOM’s mission in the Kingdom is to support the growth and expansion of the professional Saudi participation in the delivery of the Vision 2030.”

AECOM Saudi Arabia woman

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