Lebanese American University

LAU Advancement

Aya El-Mir and Rana Sakr, Career Guidance Officers

Students at LAU are interested in their studies as well as the sense of camaraderie and excitement that comes with being part of a vibrant campus community. But LAU’s students should also think about the next steps in their lives as well as the next class or next weekend excursion, and both campuses have guidance offices that can help. We spoke with Aya El-Mir in Beirut and Rana Sakr in Byblos about how they can help students preparing to begin their careers.

Students might be focused on a new academic year, but it’s never too early for students to begin thinking about their career! What sort of career services do you offer for students?

 

The objective of the career guidance offices in Byblos and Beirut campuses is to help students identify career paths that are most suited for them. All of our services, activities and programs are oriented towards that goal. The career assessment tools that we are currently using are the Missouri Occupational Card Sort and the Strong Interest Inventory which gauge students’ interests and skills in order to help them decide on a major and career. Our offices also organize CV writing and interviewing techniques workshops to prepare students for internship and job searches. We also organized many recruitment presentations by professionals from an array of industries in Lebanon.
 
The offices work as a liaison between students seeking internships or jobs, and high profile companies looking to recruit. Whenever the office learns about companies looking for employees, we send emails to notify our students. Students are encouraged to visit the career guidance office at any time with questions or help.
 
 
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Aya El-Mir, senior career guidance officer in Beirut Rana Sakr, guidance officer in Byblos
 

Given the current global recession what is the most important piece of advice that you can give to job seekers today?

I would like to advise them to research the industry they are about to enter thoroughly, and to seek jobs actively, by checking newspapers, companies’ websites, and with their career placement office. In addition, job seekers should keep on working on their self-development so that they can enhance their CV. So while searching for their job, I advise them to engage in activities and volunteering jobs.
 
The Byblos guidance office organized a speaker series last semester to help students get an insider’s view of the career options available to them after graduation.  How did that go?

The speaker series proved to be immensely popular as evidenced by a very high student
 turnout on the Byblos campus. On eight different occasions throughout the semester, we invited high-level representatives from companies in Lebanon from a variety of fields, including banking, ICT, advertising, engineering, and others. The students attended the presentations with high intrigue and found them to be practical and beneficial. The presentations provided students with an opportunity to get an insider’s look of different industries and the career options. The students also took advantage of the presentations to learn about internship and job opportunities directly from employers as well as learn about their recruitment process.
 
I know that the career fairs on both campuses saw very strong participation this past semester. How many companies participated? Is this something that you’ll continue to do in the future?

The career fair is an annual staple at both of LAU’s campuses and it is something we most certainly will continue to organize each year. This year Byblos campus hosted 74 companies, which was a significant increase from previous years. Beirut campus hosted 114 companies, a 30% increase since 2009. Next year’s Byblos career fair is scheduled for Tuesday, May 10, 2011 and Beirut career fair for Wednesday May 11, 2011.

Do you also work with alumni office on networking events?

The annual networking dinners are indeed co-organized by the Alumni Relations Office and the Guidance Offices from both campuses.

 



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