Al Rayyan International University College (ARIU), in partnership with the University of Derby UK, held a graduation ceremony at the City Center Rotana Hotel, Doha, on Sunday in the presence of Ministry of Education and Higher Education Undersecretary HE Dr Ibrahim bin Saleh al-Nuaimi, Katara general manager Prof Dr Khalid Ibrahim al-Sulaiti, Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the University of Derby’s College of Business, Law and Social Sciences Prof Kamil Omoteso, ARIU executive dean Prof Ivan Ninov, dignitaries and academic staff.

Prof Omoteso and Prof Ninov congratulated the graduates in their speeches and encouraged them to pursue their career with the best of the best of their knowledge and to be leaders and innovators in their fields.

“This is our 21st graduation,” head of academic support Othman Sadoki told Gulf Times on the sidelines of the ceremony. “We have 50 graduating with BSc in International Business, BA in Tourism, BA in Hospitality, and we have graduates from the MBA programme.”

“The BA is a four-year programme while the Master’s is one full year of studies with research,” he continued. “In the BA programme we have practical training in the first year and towards the end of the programme.”

“Most of our graduates work in hospitality, tourism, and the finance sector,” Sadoki added. “We have also students working the banking and finance as well as others who work in managing events.”

“In our 24 years of existence, we have had more than one thousand graduates,” he said.

A number of graduates spoke to Gulf times.

“It is amazing ... it has been four years of hard work,” said Mariem Ouertani, a BA (Hons) International Business graduate from Derby University. “My colleagues and our professors were the greatest support for us. We are so happy that we got to this point.”

“I am just happy to be here today. The university focused on giving us a practical education,” she said. “They also helped us with placement, internships, and fellowships towards the end of the academic year.”

“By the time you graduate, you are ready to be employed,” Ouertani said. “I am already an account manager in Espina IT Solutions. I started an internship with them last summer and now I am full-time employee.”

“The four years flew by very quickly, I am already working for Zulal Wellness Resort in the north of Qatar,” said Jan Berend Hoogendoorn, a BA (Hons) International Tourism Management graduate. “I studied here because my family moved here for work.”

“I am currently working with Audi Volkswagen, in the programming department,” said Akash Bose, a BA (Hons) International Hospitality Management graduate. “Hospitality is not limited to the hotel industry ... we are covered topics such as operation management and risk analysis.”

“That helps us to work in the corporate sector as well,” he said. “It was an amazing experience at university, I made good friends with people hailing from 10 different countries.”

“The support from our professors was amazing,” Bose added. “The best part about our university is the open door policy: we can approach our professors any time.”

Marie-Emma Willemina Hoogendoorn, a BA (Hons) International Tourism Management graduate, said: “I have been here for four years, and I am doing a Master’s in Business at ARIU as well.”

“I am really enjoying it,” she said. “I had to remain focused, make time for studies.”

“It was hard but I really enjoyed it, Hoogendoorn added. “I am not working now – I have to finish writing my dissertation. When I finish in October, I will look for a job.”

“The future is Doha, I really want to stay here,” she laughed.
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