Etisalat Leadership Offers Insights into Future Careers for Students of AI and Engineering
Leaders from Emirates Telecommunication Group (Etisalat), and graduate recruits from the Etisalat AI Centre of Excellence shared their experience and offered insights into the role of artificial intelligence in industry with an emphasis on Etisalat’s AI strategy, and how students at Khalifa University can shape their academic journey to pursue a career in AI.
The seminar, developed jointly by Khalifa University Career Services Office, Etisalat, and the Emirates ICT Innovation Center (EBTIC), was titled ‘Embarking on a Career in AI – How Etisalat supports career ambitions of graduates’. Student participants learnt about changes at the workplace due to both the COVID-19 pandemic and the beneficial impact that artificial intelligence has already had on Etisalat’s business operations. Members from the Etisalat AI Centre of Excellence include more than 20 recently recruited Emiratis.
Dena Ali Al Mansoori, Group Chief Human Resources Officer, Etisalat, offered an insightful presentation on the future of work, the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on recruitment processes, and how AI has helped the company continue with important recruitment initiatives. Speaking on AI and learning, Joseph Hayes, Director of Learning and Development Planning, discussed the ‘Power Skills’ that companies look for in the individuals that they employ, and how Etisalat uses a new AI-powered training platform to help develop their employees. Three Etisalat AI Team representatives, Hend Al Jasmi, Haifa AlHosani and Alyazia Ahli, also shared their experiences.
Al Mansoori said: “This was a great platform for the next generation of innovators to gain insights into the future of work. We were able to deep-dive into how AI has changed the competitive landscape and customer expectations, ultimately forcing organisations to change and adapt.
“With Etisalat’s vision to ‘Drive the digital future to empower societies’, we have undertaken our own digital transformation within our services, operations and internal capabilities. At a group level, Etisalat is now focused on acquiring, as well as developing and reskilling its existing workforce to meet the evolving and ever-changing requirements of its digital and traditional domains of business.”
Dr. Ahmed Al Shoaibi, Senior Vice-President, Academic and Student Services, and Professor of Practice, Khalifa University, said: “Since Etisalat is looking into boosting its AI workforce, the seminar offered an excellent opportunity for Khalifa University students to learn how to hone their skills and forge a future career in the AI discipline. We believe the event also helped undergraduates and postgraduates gain an understanding of the promising career opportunities available with Etisalat, while hearing first-hand from the AI Team about their experience in business, the projects they have delivered, and the AI training program at Etisalat.”
Dr. Ernesto Damiani, Director, Khalifa University Center for Cyber Physical Systems (C2PS), Director, Information Security Center, Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, who works with EBTIC, offered an overview of the current and future artificial intelligence and machine learning program offerings, including a Minor in Artificial Intelligence, at Khalifa University.
The Etisalat AI Centre of Excellence graduates go through the bespoke development pathway that Etisalat has built, in alliance with its strategic partners, EBTIC, Microsoft and Accenture. EBTIC, a research and innovation center established by Etisalat, BT, and Khalifa University, and supported by ICT Fund, has helped the AI team with developing and upskilling in AI/Machine Learning (ML). Senior EBTIC researchers and innovation specialists supervise and collaborate with the AI team, to develop and deploy projects that deliver real-world business value to Etisalat.
EBTIC, along with Dr. Damiani, have also conducted a series of tailored IEEE-certified AI/Big Data and Data Scientist courses for the AI Team throughout 2020, upskilling them in practitioner skills, helping them to become advanced data scientists.
The three Etisalat AI Team members specifically discussed Etisalat’s AI strategy and objectives. They offered valuable insights and advice, gained from their own experiences, in order to inspire like-minded individuals in the current Khalifa University student body.
English Editor Specialist
9 May 2021