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Consider Apprenticeships for Experiential Learning This Fall, With Mehrad Yaghmai

Updated: Apr 1

Episode 8: Consider apprenticeships for experiential learning this fall, with Mehrad Yaghmai

In this episode, we sit down with Mehrad Yaghmai who is an active entrepreneur and investor in the EdTech industry in the Middle East. We discuss:

  1. Education models to learn through practice (internships and apprenticeships)

  2. Who is best suited for apprenticeships and how to make the most of it

  3. Innovations in university business models

  4. Adapting lecturing practices to suit online delivery

Are you a student who has deferred university this fall with no plans?

With the new academic year upon us, many students have decided to defer their degrees due to the “online” format many universities have decided to implement as a precaution to COVID-19, as many aspects of the university experience is lost through this format (e.g. classmate comradery). However, with travel also not an ideal option, how else can students make the most of their time?

Internships tend to be the most obvious answer to that question. However, young adults can also consider apprenticeships as an alternative, which is more mentor-driven in structure (which, in turn, drives guided-learning). Apprenticeships also bridge the gap between academia and the workplace further, and universities can suggest to students completing capstone projects to do so under the direct guidance of experienced persons through this model. Even for employed persons looking to re-skill or upskill themselves in an ever-evolving corporate world, apprenticeships are a good option to consider as they are often compensated roles too!

If you're in the UAE, you can seek out an apprenticeship through Qureos, and here are some tips to make the most of the experience:

  1. Communicate your progress consistently

  2. Look to add value beyond secondary research and what is already common knowledge across the company

The most common skills that are currently being sought after through apprenticeships are data science, computer science, and social media. In fact, these can be considered to be “next-generation skills” which corporations are looking to acquire specifically from recent university graduates.

Through this zoom world… a lot of things are lost in translation. The best ones I've seen do it well are the ones who do pre-recording with some post-production.

As for educational establishments looking to embrace new ways of operating in an online-first learning world, we suggest:

1. Investing in a production studio. Professors can explore pre-recording parts of their lectures to run through post-production motions that would enhance online learning by utilizing media. The right professors can really bring some topics to light by driving students to “aha” moments, which is a benefit that can be lost online.

2. Exploring a win-win tuition model. Consider income-share agreements with students, where the university is reimbursed for the education provided after the students are placed in jobs above a certain income level. This will help ensure that the university is incentivized to drive career placements and also refine its curriculum to equip students with the most relevant real-world skills.

Spark! Studios blog

A big thank you to Mehrad Yaghmai for lending us his insights for this episode!

Follow him on social media to stay up to date with his activities.

  • He is the Co-Founder of Qureos. See what they're up to on Instagram.

  • He is an angel investor and advising Victor at Avion School, which provides remote tech bootcamps.

  • He also co-hosts the podcast show Streams of Progress that focuses on sharing the stories of innovators in the Middle East. Catch their latest episode releases on Instagram.

Mehrad has also previously participated in Dubai Future Accelerators to launch Qureos with support from KHDA on the program.


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