This is an internship report by a university student undergone at Ufq Al-Aqsa, a limited company, as an assistant to the project manager. The internship program started on 19 January 2019 and was completed the program on 12 March 2019. It was mandatory for the student to undergo the three-month internship program, which will equate to 3-hour credits, for the awarding of a university degree.
The objective of the internship program was to introduce the student to real-life situations in the professional world, away from the classroom. The program allowed students to put into practice, in the industrial environment, the theories they had learned in class. It enabled young professionals to practice the code of conduct in the business environment. The program was a great opportunity for the intern to learn how people conduct themselves in the business environment.
Background of the Report
One of the requirements of my four-year Degree course in Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), particularly the subject of Project Management, is a mandatory internship before completion of the course, for the student to get practical experience as an intern in the area of specialization, and get an opportunity to practice hands-on the skills learned in class. According to the requirements of university degree and diploma academic programs, students ought to have one internship of at least three months in their final year of study so that they get practical industrial experience in the areas of specialization and get to know the business environment. The internship report is one of the requirements of the School of Business for a student to be considered as having completed the course. It is written at the end of the internship program and submitted to the respective department. The internship was a ten-week program from 19th January 2019 to 12th March 2019 at Ufq Al-Aqsa Aluminium Glass Factory L.L.C (Ufq Al-Aqsa), a limited liability company. The company has six functional departments namely; Production, Engineering, Sales and Marketing, Finance, Projects, and Safety, and each department has several sections, but the number varies from one department to the other. The core duty of the intern was to help the projector manager in the implementation of the goals and objectives of the department. The tasks to implement the goals included making notes during the meetings, updating the supervisor on the progress of the projects, drawing quotations, monitoring and supervising, and project scheduling.
An internship program is a comprehensive exercise through which an intern obtains hand-on real-life experience in the business environment of what is taught in the classrooms. The internship is very crucial to the student as it helps him to learn, know and comprehend the classroom teaching in the context of the industrial business environment. The report covers the objective of the internship, the description of the company selected by the intern, and the tasks and schedules carried out by him at the company. The report also includes useful contribution made to the organization by the intern, academic practice (translating the theory learned in class into practice), challenges faced by the intern and several insights gained by him, and recommendations made and conclusions drawn by the intern about the internship program as a whole.
Terms of Reference
In accordance with the Career and Attachment Placement program of the University, and the placement policy of the School of Business, every student ought to attend a 3-month internship program before completion of his/her course. The purpose of this exercise is to gain practical experience of what has been studied in school and to submit an internship evaluation report at the end of the industrial internship program. As stated in the student’s handbook, the internship program is a 3-credit hours course, which will contribute to the students’ course requirements. The internship report should contain the following sections: the value of the internship, the profile of the institution, and the useful contribution of the student to the institution. The report should also cover the practical application of the theoretical class work in the real-life situations encountered by the student, the challenges encountered during the internship period, various lessons learned from the institution and colleagues, and recommendations and conclusions on the internship program by the intern.
Objectives of the Internship program
One of the requirements of the university to the award of certificate, diploma and degree certificates, is that each student must have completed a three-month internship program with a company of her/his choice before the completion of the course undertaken at the university. The internship program helps the student to acquaint himself/herself with the work and professional conduct required of him in in real life situations in the professions they have opted to pursue. The following are the objectives of the program:
To give the intern a real-life experience and expose him/her to the various situations in the practical industrial environment in which he/she has to make decisions. It allows an intern to get first-hand exposure to the real-life situations in the operations of an organization, which is beneficial for the intern’s career development. The internship will be of importance to the intern because it will help him/her to translate the skills and knowledge learned in the classroom and taught in the University to real-life experience. It provides a chance to the intern to close the gap between practical experience and the theoretical work in the school.
The program allows the young professional to learn about professionalism and ethics in workplace of the profession they have selected. It will enable the intern to put into practice in a practical industrial environment the professional code of conduct he has learned in class. The internship program allows interns to create professional networks and expose them to the opportunities available in their area of specialization.
Profile of the Organization
Ufq Al-Aqsa Aluminium Glass Factory L.L.C commonly referred to as Ufq Al-Aqua), which is a manufacturer of the Glass based in the Sharjah United Arabs Emirates (UAE). The company is also a Systems provider and a full-service provider as a contractor of Architectural aluminium. Moreover, it operates as a modern architectural fabricator, which offers services to its customers in the modern architectural designs. Ufq Al-Adsa was designed to solve the challenges in the contemporary world facing the building and architectural industry. Ufq Al-Aqsa continues to improve its products and services to meet the needs of its customers to have a modern and quality experience. Under the able leadership of Mr. Muhammed Khan Managing Director with over 20 years’ experience in aluminum and glass has an excellent management style. He believes in worker participation at every level and involves every management team member from the start of the project to completion. Ufq Al-Aqsa prides itself in the creation of quality effective solutions that match the client’s requirements. Moreover, the company has excellent quality with the most recent technology, which makes its products and designs distinguishable from the rest. The competent professional management staff equipped with modern technology makes Ufq Al-Aqsa competitive in the industry.
Objectives of the Organization
The objective of the Ufq Al-Aqsa is to respond with the best products and services to the needs of the customer in every way possible from the concept to the implementation and to the finally delivery of the project.
Product, Goods, and Services
The company offers a range of products coupled with services namely; provider of architectural aluminum products and glass products. The only service Ufq Al-Aqsa offers its clients is the designing of structural systems.
During the internship period, I was posted to the Project Department at the Head Quarters (HQ), in the office of the Projector Manager. I was appointed as assistant projector manager in the office of the Projector Manager. The project department was responsible for all the project stock of the company and was responsible for ensuring that all projects are on schedule with any variations solved in a timely manner and informing the contractors of their responsibilities on various projects. The company is also mandated to follow up in any delays or issues concerning payments receivable from its clients. The primary duty of the intern was to assist the project manager to perform his work efficiently and effectively in delivering quality projects to the clients by coordinating with contractors and suppliers and the production department of the organization to ensure that all work is on schedule. The regular tasks were taking care of correspondence through email, scheduling meeting for the project manager, updating the manager on all the urgent emails and communications that need his immediate action. The tasks also included making notes during site visits and updating project files and taking minutes during meetings with clients, contractors, and suppliers as well as the meeting with the supervisor of the company. I was the first ever intern to be assigned this role since the registration of the company.
Duties and Schedules
- Writing notes and taking photos during site visits
- Writing minutes during meetings held by the project manager
- Filing and updating files and documents of the projects
- Writing progress reports on all ongoing projects
- Coordinating timely delivery of materials to the site and ensuring that no delays experienced at the site
- Preparing, reviewing and seeking approvals of quotations of the new projects from the project manager.
First Week Schedule
On the first week of the internship program, the intern was taken through the orientation process where he met employees and the owner of the company who doubles as the managing director. The typical tasks were an introduction to other staff and being assigned to the office where the intern will be working from during the whole ten-week internship. The project manager required the intern to accompany him to the project meeting as his core duty. The project manager ensured that the intern had been given a policy manual on the requirements of quotations and pricing mechanisms of the company so that the intern can know the kind of the guidelines and conditions of the quote of the company. The project manager assigned the intern to prepare a quotation, which was a daunting job, but the supervisor was present to help the intern out when he ran into difficulties.
On Thursday of the first week, the manager required the intern to accompany him to the project meeting at Silicon Oasis, in Dubai one of the most massive projects of the company. The project was 50% complete, and was behind schedule due to the delay in approval of steel structural design from relevant Consultants. The intern’s role in the meeting was to write notes. After the meeting, the project manager requested the intern to do a touching letter to the consultants and owner representative, which the intern did excellently.
The intern also accompanied the project manager to another new project at Safa Park a 16 building project to check on owners’ approval on the installed sample. Afterward, they made other two ongoing site visits, which were near the airport.
Second Week Schedule
The intern was tasked to prepare and submit a project file on a project located at Al Safe area for the schedules for the upcoming meeting. The intern was required to ensure that the data is complete with the original agreement, variations, shop drawings, and weight calculations. The intern noted that there was extra work for project approval by the consultants for the owner to proceed and purchase materials. Another task assigned to the intern was to go through the quotation from the estimation department and check for any errors and subsequent submittal to the supervisor.
The project manager requested the intern to accompany him to the meeting about the AL Safe project, where he was required to take essential notes during the session for updating the project file. He discovered minor changes were done to the shop drawing by the consultant. The intern was required to submit the complete file to the contractor and consultant for the alteration of the shop drawing. After the meeting, the intern accompanied the project manager to fix the details that were hindering the progress of the project at Silicon Oasis. After the meeting, the issue resolved, and the project was scheduled to be fast-tracked. The intern updated the files for the two projects and made some correspondent letters.
The intern was requested to submit the draft correspondent letter to Al Safa site Consultants with the latest shop drawing for submission and follow up too with the approval of accessories with consultants. The intern went to another site project Villa in Nad Al Hamar, which is an almost complete project, where he did his regular duties of making notes to update the project file during the visit.
The 3rd Week started with office administration work for the intern, where he was required to update files of all the projects that were not updated. The intern took the job and did it excellently. The project manager impressed with the kind of the work the intern did. In the same week, the Project manager tasked the intern to supervise the production and supply of materials for the Silicon Oasis project. The intern was not fond of the work, but he did his best to see that all which he was required to do he had done it correctly. The intern made regular visits to the factory with little work to do since the department was semi-automated and the supervisors were cooperative and hardworking. They were producing more than required materials. The week was not busy for the intern, but he had some quotation she and to proofread before submitting to the manager plus other office work of filing documents which had not been done for the whole week.
Fourth Week Schedule
The week started with a meeting with the project manager at Al Safa project, with the intern doing his usual work of taking minutes of the meeting and noting down important notes. The meeting was very crucial since there was a new labor workforce working at the site, and the owner attended the meeting to clear pending approvals to discuss the work schedule. At this meeting, the intern was assigned the role of a communicator, which proved to be a tall order, but the intern managed to communicate about the deliverables very well. The intern was required to work on the pending correspondences letters on behalf of the manager.
The project manager required the intern to work on a quotation for the tender project with the close supervision of an estimator. The importance of understanding the quotation is to know and identify variations of the quotations. It was confusing for the intern to work on alone, but the estimator was available to help where he/she was stuck. The week was too busy to cope with the pressure, but the intern was happy to attend one of the negotiation meetings with the subcontractor of a Sharjah site. The intern was required to draft a delay notice signed from him and give the new deadline the company had set. The manager went on with regular site inspections, while the intern went to the Villa in Nad al Hamar, then Silicon Oasis and the Al Safa, where he was required to check site reports to ensure that they comply with the project plan.
Fifth Week Schedule
The intern started the week with the routine office duties of checking emails, correspondences, scheduled, coordination meetings with the subcontractors for the week. After which the intern was to accompany the draftsman to a consultant for the quotation the company had already made. In the meeting, the consultant specified to the draftsman that he revise the drawing with some changes and the intern noted that the meeting was not productive since they did not discuss on the quotation due to the changes that had been made.
The intern visited a site at Marina for a project that had been stalled for over one year due to the financial crisis, and the owner wanted it to progress with the same project. In the meeting, the project manager instructed the project supervisor to take stock of the damage done during the closure of the project since 30% of the work had been completed before the work closed down. The intern, as a routine duty during the meetings, took minutes and later in the office updated the Marina project file. Afterward, the manager requested the intern to do some alterations to the terms and conditions of the new agreements for the Marina Site. The intern did review the T&Cs with the manager and forwarded it to the Consultant.
The intern together with the project manager visited the Marina project to validate the project inspection team had provided. It was hectic, but it was finally done in three hours, and the intern was instructed to review the quotation with the assistance of an estimator. The intern revised the Marina quotation, subsequently reviewed it with the manager, and finally forwarded to the consultant. Afterward, the intern updated all the project files and joined the project manager for routine site visits, visiting all the ongoing projects in Dubai and Sharjah. As a regular duty during site visits, the intern took detailed notes and the clients concerns. The team observed that there existed a shortage of the materials for the Silicon Oasis project and he took immediate action on their return to office and instructed the production department to deliver the documents. Finally, the intern updated all the respective databases along with the filing with the information collected from the field.
Sixth Week Schedule
The intern started the week by communicating with an Italian supplier (GIESSE), and the project manager authorized the intern to follow up with the supplier on the delayed shipment. After updating the manager on the scenario on the deferred payments, he instructed the intern to coordinate and with the purchaser to follow up on the agreed action plan. The intern was left in the office doing the office work as the manager went for the site visit routines. The week had many meetings on various projects with the owner’s representative and consultant attending the meetings. The intern took minutes and detailed notes on the progress of the multiple projects and set the targets for the week.
Seventh Week Schedule
The week started with a meeting at the Silicon site together with the manager to discuss the drawings that have been submitted for approval. The intern met the site supervisor, took progress notes about the projects, and took some site photos to bring back to the office staff. The variations of the project discussed, and the owners agreed on the modifications and gave their approval to progress with the project implementation. The intern together with the project manager visited Nad al Hamar, the villa project that is a completed project. After checking the project, they proceeded to the consultant’s office, submitted the final invoice, and requested for the certificate of completion. Afterward, the intern attended a progress meeting on the project at Al Safa with the consultant and site supervisor. The project was running smoothly and brought the manager up to date about the progress of the project.
The intern was requested by the manager to accompany him to the new factory site to meet the consultant to get progress on the status of the project. They completed the site tour with detailed notes for the update of the file as usual. The project manager asked the intern to suggest a layout design proposal of the new factory, and the intern did not disappoint. He suggested the layout; the manager liked the idea and requested to be included in the project drawing. The project manager required the intern to update him on all pending payments for the projects, which he did by consulting the finance department on the payment status for completed and ongoing projects. After briefing the manager on the status of the payments, he requested the intern to draft details letters to various clients regarding the delay of fees, the consequences and all legal formalities that are to account.
Eighth Week Schedule
The intern started with contacting the local supplier to obtain some materials required for the Marina site that is scheduled to begin in a week, hence, the urgency of the materials. The manager and the intern dropped an invoice to the consultant of the Al Safa site and proceeded to do evaluations on the progress check on the new design layout for the office building. After which the intern reviewed the quotes from vendors for material procurement and coordinated with the purchaser to proceed with order placement.
The intern made a periodic site inspection visit to Silicon Site and assessed whether the work done by the project work plan and company is per standard procedures. The intern took detailed notes on the labor of the subcontractor, and the manager was to be briefed on the same. The intern then proceeded to a site visit at Al Safa site and noted the project supervisors’ concerns as he proceeded to visit other sites in Barsha South. The intern updated and organized all paperwork for all current projects. After the intern updated all the files, then he started to file all the information regarding, progress report, schedules, and information, on clients and suppliers with other relevant materials that must be kept secure for easy access for the project manager.
Ninth Week Schedule
The intern set off the week by preparing correspondence letters for the manager for the silicon site for the upcoming meeting. After the manager left for the meeting, the intern joined the estimator in making for a tender project the company has to quote for Tanzania. The intern made a site visit to the Al Safa project, noted several issues, and detailed them in his notebook for the progress report preparations. The intern had an opportunity to attend a staff meeting where the owner of the company was updating the staff about his being away and what was supposed to be done while he was away. Later in the day, the intern met a lawyer regarding the issues the company faces, during the meeting, options to adopt were discussed and the intern took notes for the owner. Then the intern, together with the manager, visited the Silicon Oasis site and carried regular checks and gave the subcontractors new targets and deadlines for the week
Tenth Week Schedule
The intern started the week by accompanying the manager to the meeting that was to be held at the Silicon site regarding the delay of the due payment. At the meeting, the intern made a draft of the payment terms agreed and took notes on matters discussed. The intern reported at the Head Office in Sharjah since he was delegated duties by the manager to stand for him in his absence. The intern said on the owner on the events of the previous day, and he instructed him to write a revised payment agreement. He made the changes and reviewed them with the owner for approvals. The intern revised the quotation and submitted it to the estimation department for approval.
The owner requested the intern to deliver a NOC letter and check to the lawyer, and then update the company portfolio. The intern did excellent work on the portfolio of the company, and drafted the project list of the completed projects with all details and carried out some project checks, which he shared with the manager.
The contribution of Student to the Organization
Office administration management. The intern was assigned to update all files that have not been updated in the office for a while. He took the task and cleaned up the disorganized office until the project manager was surprised that the office was more organized than he expected.
Negotiation skills were learned during the negotiation for the approval of the Silicon Oasis Steel Structural Design, which had not been approved by that company’s consultants and because of which the progress of the projects had been delayed. It was an integral meeting with managers and consultant to negotiate on the way forward. The intern learned about communication skills when he was assigned to be the communicator about Silicon Project since he had been tracking the progress.
The delegation of duties. The intern learned the process of commission when the project manager traveled. It was a practical delegated duty learned in class.
The challenge faced on the first week was on delayed Silicon Oasis project at Dubai, about the delayed steel structural design, due to delayed approvals that potentially can cause late delivery of the project. Another challenge the intern faced during the third week was in the assignment he was given to supervise the production and distribution of materials to the site of the Silicon Oasis Project. The intern felt underworked for the two days, and moreover, he was not fond of the job. There was the frequent shortage of materials in the Silicon Site project, which might hamper the operations and the project schedule, which might increase the cost of the project. There were delays in shipment by an Italian supplier, which might affect the project’s schedule and subsequently increase the costs of implementing the plan.
One meeting intended to be a progress meeting turned chaotic because the contractor had miscalculated a full floor slap as such he was a requirement to adjust the measurement for each shutter and curtain wall on the floor while maintaining the initial design of the exterior part. After returning to the office, the intern made a communication to the relevant department on the issues on the ground about the changes. The intern had instructions to review drawings, specifications, and variations of the Silicon site floor elevation to ensure all the details for accounting.
The company experienced delays that were caused by the consultant in the handing over of the completed building. The second project is not to be completed any time soon, and that can create a big gap in the delivery schedules.
To the management of Ufq Al-Aqsa.
The administration should put down some controls in the supply chain management to avoid regular delays in supply of materials to the site to curb the postponement of projects. The administration should consider automating the supply chain management and create a good relationship with vendors to iron out on the issues of delay in supply.
To curb the delay in payments for the work done, they should create a good relationships and stick to the contract agreement. The company should consider having a credit control department whose mandate is only to make regular collections and follow up on payment status.
To the University Career Placement Department.
The management should consider a longer period of internship, that is, more than three months to allow the student to engage with all practical areas of their chosen profession. Alternatively, they should allow the internship to be done twice before completion the course.
The internship program was an excellent achievement for the intern. The program exposed the intern to the real-life situation in solving cases and how to realty with other people. The intern had a great experience to put the theoretical work learned in class into practice. The UfqAl-Aqsa’s internship program was detailed enough, and the intern was given lot of freedom to make decisions on his own. The freedom showed when the manager delegated duties to the intern while he was away. The intern experienced the full potential of the work in the tasks he was delegated to perform.
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