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Shell gives LOYAC’S interns a taste of the corporate world

By bazaar staff, September (2010) edition of bazaar
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LOYAC Summer Interns
LOYAC Summer Interns

Since Shell’s appearance in Kuwait, it has aimed to provide assistance to Kuwait National Energy Sector. Making sure that Kuwait has the fuel necessary from other sources to help meet its local energy demands. Signing contracts with KOC and KPC to aid in the supplies of fuel in Kuwait, Shell is on the rise. As most major companies, Shell offers workshops with KU and KISR, as well as educational programs at schools and working closely with LOYAC to give the Kuwaiti youth a chance to learn. The Shell office in Kuwait grew in the span of a year from three people to almost forty people between KOC and the office itself. They run annually, the two weeks long interactive “Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle” workshops at public and private schools to teach third and fourth graders about simple environmental principles to make changes within their local circles. LOYAC on the other hand having always proved to be a hands-on organization that helps the youth, approached companies to take on interns for the months of summer.

Shell has never had interns come in before, so when LOYAC asked they decided to take the opportunity and give the two interns a place to learn and grow. Lolwah Al-Fuzai’a and Yasmeen Hatahet were chosen to work in Shell. Thrown into a world they knew nothing about, they were out of their league. Knowing nothing about the corporate world, the girls were slightly intimidated. Walking in to chit-chat with them, I was shocked that these girls were the interns. Well-spoken and professional were the first two descriptions that came to mind. They didn’t cower, and they didn’t hide; instead they expressed and spoke like that’s what they were trained to do. The stranger thing was that they weren’t like that before they joined. The internship taught them a lot; it empowered them, gave them the courage needed to deal with their surroundingsand to deal with the corporate world. The girls learned how to be proactive and how to research and gather data.

For six weeks, they had to tackle all sorts of challenges and sit for weekly meetings to monitor their progress. The internship was no joke to any of them. The Shell office took them seriously and pushed them to the limit while the girls gave it their all to do what they were asked of. Buthaina Al-Khubaizi and Leila Al-Marashi took the girls under their wings and mentored them. Answering their questions and assisting them in any way possible for the sake of teaching them the skills needed to be in the corporate world. Lolwah is in her fourth year of university studying Business and Management while Yasmeen is in her first year studying English and Literature. Even though both their backgrounds are unrelated to Shell’s technical and scientific nature, they were placed there and worked in the research and administrative sectors of the office.

“Working with LOYAC gave us the chance to express how we feel,” starts Yasmeen, “this is my first time in the corporate world and I learned how to be positive and proactive in the working world.” Lolwah having spent time working with children in the past, was also out of her comfort zone but proved determined to learn and progress. Both girls learned important life skills as well as work skills and not only did they benefit from their mentors, but they also learned from one another. “We’ve become more focused,” adds Lolwah, “I even got the courage to apply for another part-time job and continue to grow.” Part of the program at LOYAC was that they worked part of the day, and volunteered the other part of the day. For them to have grown from doing what they were told, to taking part in everything was due to their perseverance and determination. Buthaina and Leila were like sisters to the girls and they coached and mentored them in every way they could. They learned discipline and how to respect the idea of being on time. Being interns at Shell they learned how to manage their time and that they can achieve anything if they put their minds to it. Even though internships in general were a new concept to Shell’s Kuwait office and this was their first time to take on interns, it won’t be their last.

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