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Five Khalifa University Students Win Honors at Emirates Skills 2019

May 8, 2019

Students Demonstrate Public Speaking Skills, Culinary Talent and Expertise in Jewelry Designing

Khalifa University Chemical Engineering student Hamda Ali Alblooshi, junior Electrical Engineering student Buthaina AlKhayat, another Electrical Engineering student Khadeeja Khaled Hashem Mohamed Aljaberi and Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISYE) student Ahoud Abdulrahman Mohamed A. Alhashmi, as well as Aamna Hasan Almansoori have successfully proved their talents and won honors for the university at the 11th edition of Emirates Skills National Competition 2019.

Alblooshi won ‘Silver’ and AlKhayat received ‘Gold’ in Public Speaking, while Aljaberi bagged a ‘Bronze’ in ‘Electronics’ at the crowded Emirates Skills 2019 competition that gave each talented individual an opportunity to outshine their peers. ‘Bronze’ winner Alhashmi proved her skills by becoming one of only six competitors shortlisted from nearly 40 applicants after individual culinary skills were tested in a cook-off challenge prior to the national competition. Aamna Hasan Almansoori won ‘Silver’ in Creative Arts and Fashion – ‘Jewelry’ category in WorldSkills-Abu Dhabi.

Faculty played a major role in developing student skills. It was Assistant Professor Dr. Nader Ayish, Department of English, who introduced the competition to Alblooshi and encouraged her to participate.

Alblooshi viewed the opportunity as both a learning experience and a challenge as she was still working on her public speaking skills. She said: “I arrived at the competition not knowing what to expect but still excited to perform and tried my best.”

As the days of the competition went by, Alblooshi learned a lot from her peers and mentors. She added: “Winning ‘Silver’ helped me to become more confident about my skill but also showed me that I have room to grow and learn. However, it was a great experience and I recommend this to everyone.”

AlKhayat promised herself that she would be 100% committed and would give it all, even though she realized she would miss a couple of labs and exams. But she went ahead all the same.

She said: “I did not set any expectations as to how good the other contestants would be because, to me, I was challenging myself and experiencing something new.”

She added that the contestants were definitely skilled and that was when she understood she had to bring in some uniqueness to her speeches. “That got me my ‘Gold’ medal which is the first step to achieve higher levels of confidence to develop my public speaking skills even more,” remarked a cheerful AlKhayat.

AlKhayat was guided by Dr Ayish, Assistant Professor Dr. Asli Hassan, and Senior Lecturer Dr. John Langille, all from Department of English.

Participating in WorldsSkills at Emirates Skills 2019 was an eye-opener for Aljaberi, who won ‘Bronze’ as she learned to work under extreme stress, pushed herself hard, and never giving up. “In the ‘Electronics-WorldsSkills EmiratesSkills’ category, students were tested in their electrical design, hardware and software skills,” she said.

On the third day, she and her partner were programming a vending machine that has its own database of users and credit information. She added: “It was definitely a real challenge, but I am grateful for the experience and happy about the medal. I am looking forward to get trained more to qualify for the WorldSkills AsiaSkills-Electronics category.”

Winning over others in culinary skills calls for professionalism and tackling several factors. In Alhashmi’s case, she never had any professional culinary experience or training, while other contestants were extremely skilled and passionate about cooking. However, she found the challenge hard for a different reason – because her category was sponsored by Emaar Hospitality which has very high standards for judging performances and even accepting contestants.

Once she was shortlisted, it was different, Alhashmi said and added: “I found it pleasant mostly because the relationship with other contestants was based on fair competition, mutual respect and similar interests.”

“The National competition in itself was a fertile soil for networking and meeting other people with a large spectrum of skills and possible project partners,” she added.

Almansoori began planning about competing in WorldSkills EmiratesSkills ‘Jewelry’ category even during her vacation. She said: “Jewelry design requires precision and I would like to be precise and perfect in everything I do. I know I have won, but in all honesty, it would not have really mattered if I didn’t, because finishing the competition with the most satisfying results mattered more to me than winning.”

Explaining how the whole experience also taught her patience, Almansoori added: “Waiting for my work to finish and waiting for the results, was quite nerve-wracking at first but I eventually learned to wait patiently. Even though my teammates and I were competing together, it didn’t impact our relationship, and we have become friends.”

Overall, Khalifa University students Alkhayat and Alblooshi won in the ‘National’ category from Abu Dhabi, while Alhashmi, Aljaberi and Almansoori were acknowledged in the WorldsSkills EmiratesSkills category.

A total of 114 Emirati youths were honored with gold, silver and bronze medals after the event in which 402 Emiratis had the opportunity to highlight their capabilities in 49 engineering, technological, technical and industrial areas, such as Artificial Intelligence, drone design, AutoCAD drawing, web design, aircraft and car engine maintenance, computer-assisted manufacturing, welding, fashion technology, robots and garden design.

Clarence Michael
News Writer
29 April 2019