Career Center Helps Grad Find Dream Job
Boutadjine Bilel found his dream job working as an engineer, and he credits the Career Center at the University of Mentouri-Constantine, which was established by WDI under a USAID grant. The Career Center at the university has been so successful for Bilel and other students, in fact, that the Algerian government is looking to replicate it around the country.
“Thanks to the Career Center, I work as an engineer with KIS Company, one of the Career Center‘s partners,” the recent University of Mentouri graduate said. It is “an interesting and stimulating job, which I would not be able to find without the help of the center.”
Many of Bilel’s fellow University of Mentouri-Constantine (UMC) graduates had good grades but were unable to find a job. High unemployment among college graduates in Algeria has resulted in a bleak outlook for many students.
“Our rapid needs assessment indicated that the jobs were there but that Mentouri graduates were simply not well equipped to seek them out,” said WDI Development Consulting Services Director Khalid Al-Naif. “The graduates didn’t know how write a resume or have interviewing skills.”
Bilel said the Career Center increased his chances of getting a job by making him a better public speaker and helping him understand what local employers look for in new employees. Training sessions at the center helped Bilel present himself favorably to businesses and network effectively with employers. He formed a sound job search strategy and developed a personal career plan.
Bilel was hired immediately after graduating from UMC and works for an industrial construction company.
His is one of many success stories from the 14-month-old Career Center, which has helped more than 4,000 students - many of whom have been placed in jobs and internships. The Career Center has also served as a link between the university and private firms, helping teach students more marketable skills.
Officials at the highest levels of the Algerian government have taken notice of the Career Center’s success. The Ministry of Higher Education plans to establish 18 new career centers based on the UMC model. The program seeks to replicate the UMC Career Center’s success and bring invaluable job placement and training services to university students around the country, perhaps even to other North African nations. The Career Center has also received interested delegations from universities in Tunisia, Egypt, and Morocco.
The University of Mentouri Career Center has been made possible through the USAID funded Recruiting Employable Students at the University with Management Education (RÉSUMÉ) Project, managed by The William Davidson Institute (WDI) in partnership with Higher Education for Development (HED).