Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) announces newly launched ‘information interview’ training sessions where senior university students preparing to enter the job market learn how to contact and interview organisations and industry leaders to learn first-hand about a chosen profession by asking questions about the tasks, the business environment, and the educational background required for that job.

The training is offered through Tawjeeh, a career development initiative launched last year by the school’s Office of Outreach and Business Development. The Tawjeeh mentorship programme goes beyond standard university career services offerings by providing students with lifelong career training and support through one-on-one mentoring with alumni who have also received tailored mentorship training.

Executive Director of Outreach and Business Development, Jonathan Cartmell, said:

This newly offered training represents a significant milestone for the Tawjeeh programme, and follows a successful programme launch last year and successful training for Georgetown alumni participating as mentors…At Georgetown, graduation day isn’t the end of our connection to our students who join a family of highly successful and well connected alumni that will in turn have a major impact on each individual’s career success. We take career mentorship and life-long personal development very seriously hence our commitment to the training programme. Georgetown graduates continue to demonstrate rapid career progression across a broad range of employment disciplines and this training will further their goals.’

Before the students can conduct the interview to understand more about their career interest, they are encouraged to identify potential interview candidates from a variety of sources – family, friends, professors, or through Georgetown’s Career Center and Tawjeeh programme for alumni contacts, avenues that are the same they will pursue when searching for job opportunities following graduation. Georgetown staff put the students through the paces of the do’s and dont’s of professional interactions, guiding the participants in asking such questions as ‘How did you get started in this field?’ and ‘What skills and abilities are most important to succeed in this job?’

Georgetown student, Xiaofei Wang, said:

Tawjeeh training is a programme that inspires you how to arrange your future career by listening to alumni’s valuable experiences. It provided extremely valuable information about the application of data-analysis in different fields, for example, in sports industry and human resources. All in all, it’s a programme that everyone should join. It’s always beneficial to learn from others.’

While students are encouraged to be prepared with their own resumes, the training stresses the importance of using the opportunity to learn more about a career, rather than in seeking a job.The training sessions were launched this spring, and will continue throughout the academic year.

Through the Tawjeeh programme, Georgetown also continuously recruits university alumni from both the Qatar and main campus in Washington DC who live in the region and have an interest in taking part in mentoring soon-to-be-graduating students here in Doha. This networking has benefitted from Georgetown’s newly formed Alumni Club of the GCC, which officially set in motion the organisation’s presence as the first ever region-wide alumni club representing more than 350 Georgetown alumni living and working in the GCC.