Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Missing Link

Every summer, Aramco is bombarded by summer students and interns yearning for a sniff of the all mighty ARAMCO…

Although it is usually the relatively new employees who are stuck training and tutoring the even younger employees, we never seem to mind it because you feel that they deserve to be taught and enlightened. Because when you were new all you really wished and hoped for was for someone to hold your hand and walk you through the ins and outs and do's and don'ts…

I am bothered by one thing though… Why do we still have colleges that teach in Arabic?

I am very proud of my Arabic heritage and language. What I am not is ignorant enough to believe that a person who is a Finance graduate with a 4.0 GPA will be able to survive in a 100% English based corporate culture. Is it just easier for whoever is responsible to turn a blind eye and fall for the we need to hold on to our language and one day Islamic Finance will take over the world and then we will strike, then we will convert all the Financial lingo into Arabic, and force every bank to comply or face bankruptcy…

I, ignorantly, thought that the point of having schools and colleges and universities (mind you I am calling them universities in the loosest sense possible) was to prepare the youth for the job market, to prepare them for the real world. However there seems to be a missing link between what is taught at school and what the real working environment is like. I am not even asking for strong academic bases at these schools and I am not asking them to compete with Harvard and LBS. I just expect some common sense and some realism is the preparation of the youth.

I might be blowing this simple thing out of proportion, but I should not be blamed because I am only scratching the surface of these academic issues. I am sitting at my desk, listening to my colleague struggle to explain basic financial concepts to a summer employee because of the language barrier. The summer guy looks smart enough, but I wonder if he can survive in the real working world.

The saddest thing is, he is not the one to blame.

p.s. I mean no harm with this post, and I have met many exceptions to this post, but I am talking about the general public who are only taught English when they turn 14 and don't use it in their everyday life.