The Summers of 2018 is a miniseries about the various categories of roles offered by companies for summer internships. The author talked to interns from Consulting, Finance, Marketing, General Management, Product Management, Operations and International Intern roles to understand a bit more about their work life. The articles are meant to give the reader a glimpse into the life of an intern, and maybe help the reader understand their own fit in that particular role. This article, the seventh in the series of seven, describes the life of an international intern.
Contributed By: Nitish Varma
Edited By: J K Varshika
INTERNATIONAL INTERNSHIP IN DUBAI
This last summer I had the opportunity to intern at Arthur D Little, a consulting firm based in Dubai. With its Middle East headquarters in Dubai, Arthur D Little caters to MENA region, with offices in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey and Lebanon. Consequentially, I was exposed to a mixed bag of cultures, interacting and working with people of various nationalities.
The first word that pops into the mind when you land in Dubai is ‘Luxury’. Dubai is fairly advanced in terms of technology and infrastructure – they claim throne to having the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. And the innovation doesn’t stop there, it percolates in everything you see around. From having the world’s longest driverless metro routes to manmade islands, Dubai takes pride in being the pioneer of innovation. This was reflected in the project I was working on as well.
Culturally, Middle East is touted to be stringent and tightly controlled. I went ahead with the same stereotype in my mind and I was in for a pleasant surprise! Dubai has a very free culture and welcomes everyone. There are people of various nationalities and the same held true for my office. I had the opportunity to work with people from different countries – Lebanon, France, Iran, Italy, Turkey, Germany, Russia and Belgium, to name a few. This brought about a mixture of various cultures, working habits and greeting styles. Adding to this experience were the authentic cultural breakfasts that were organized by the people. During the internship, two such cultural breakfasts were done – Egyptian and Russian. In this, employees brought authentic and unique dishes of their country, along with lively discussions of the traditions and history. This diverse mixing of culture in a professional setting was a unique and wonderful experience for me.
The last two weeks of my internship intersected with the holy month of Ramadan, a month of fasting. It was great to see how accommodating the workplace was in respect of those who were fasting. While the eateries around had shut down dine-in services, delivery was still active. People were sensitive to others and took food and water only in the office pantry. The office hours were also reduced for those who were observing Ramadan. On one day, the whole office celebrated Iftar – the evening meal with which the fast of the day is broken – at one of the most luxurious locations in Dubai.
The internship opened a floodgate of experiences for me – some which were anticipated and others which were pleasant surprises. The professional experience of working in a consulting firm was great and augmented with the exposure towards international clients. What was even more enriching was the experience of working in an office with over 10 nationalities, imbibing element of their culture and sharing some of my own.
Excited to read more about the other internship experiences? Check out www.b-heard.in/2014/the-summers-of-2018