Two high-school students who launched a free online service to help teenagers find summer internships are expanding it.
Zohayr Khan, 17, founding director of Dubai Minds, and Satvik Garg, 16, vice president, said that 50 pupils from four schools had applied to their service.
Of the 50, 20 were called for interviews by six companies. Ten were offered internships.
“We considered it a success because no such service had existed here and when you are applying to colleges, you have to list your experiences,” said Zohayr.
“In Dubai, teenagers don’t have much opportunity to work before college and we wanted to offer them the real experience.
“Students were calling us after they completed their internship and thanking us because now they can put something on their college applications.”
The two pupils decided to expand their service to include winter internships.
“We felt some students were being excluded because they travel with their family over the summer and were free during the winter holiday, which is about three or four weeks long,” said Zohayr, adding that up to 10 companies with more than 30 openings were registered with their service.
At least 15 students have applied for winter internships since September.
Satvik said that he, too, considered the Dubai Minds project successful in its first year.
“The idea that Zohayr and I were able to create something that is helping people you directly interact with on a daily basis is truly amazing,” he said.
“Reflecting on our summer internship session – held June, July and August – our team was able to refine the programme and develop it further.”
Satvik said speaking to schools and at assemblies had been one of the main ways they promoted their service.
“It has been a privilege to be welcomed by all the school communities,” he said. “The ability to share the idea of Dubai Minds with my peers is the first step to accomplishing my goal, which is empowering Dubai’s youth.”