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Emirates work placement a boon for Hannah and James

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


  • Hannah Speldewinde and James Murphy enjoying some time off seeing the sites in Dubai.

    Hannah Speldewinde and James Murphy enjoying some time off seeing the sites in Dubai.

Having an international experience as part of your ECU degree can be one of the most beneficial experiences both personally and professionally.

Just ask ECU Security Science students Hannah Speldewinde and James Murphy.

This semester Hannah and James were selected to participate in the three month, unpaid Emirates Work Placement program in Dubai with financial subsidies provided by Emirates and ECU to assist with travel expenses.

“It’s a great way to experience working abroad - not only in the security field but in general - and see how different it is working with people that don’t have English as a first language or live in a stereotypical western lifestyle,” James said.

The Emirates Work Placement program, which will be offered again to four students in 2013, is designed to give students the opportunity to obtain practical experience in the fields of Security, Aviation, Marketing or Business while receiving credit toward their ECU degrees.

During their Emirates work placement, Hannah and James are working with Emirates security to brainstorm ways of improving policies and procedures as well as implementation.

“I am compiling daily intelligence reports on two areas of interest to Emirates Group Security,” Hannah said.

“I’m also writing security plans for a number of the Emirates facilities and conducting a study on the security processes at one facility with the aim of identifying any areas that could be improved.”

Along with hands-on work experience, this program has also provided insight into the many cultural differences between Dubai and Perth.

“Local is a weird term here, given how multi-cultural this place is,” said James.

“It’s a fusion of Arabic, Indian, Pakistani, Western and everything in between. But they are extremely nice and are more than happy to ensure you get what you are after - even if they don’t understand English very well.”

In the workplace, Hannah has noticed that Perth has a more relaxed take on authority.

“There are cultural differences relating to the behaviour expected from men and women. This takes time to understand and adapt to.”

Although Hannah said the biggest adjustment is having to be at work by 7am and doing her own ironing, the two have had plenty of time for sightseeing as well.

But with an experience like this for their resumes, the outlook is positive for future career opportunities.

“This will improve my prospects greatly,” James said.

“I have also become more confident in speaking to groups of people - especially people that are in upper management, which used to petrify me - and learning to multi-task or maintain numerous projects at the same time.”

Students interested in finding out more about the 2013 Emirates Work Placement program (how to apply, financial assistance, etc) should visit the Study Overseas webpage. 

Applications for the 2013 Emirates Work Placement Program close on Friday, 1 February.

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