Helping Students Plan for the Future

Sumaya Hasan Jinos, Guidance Counselor, GEMS New Millennium School – Al Khail (NMS), discusses initiatives to empower students to make the right choices after high school.

When Sumaya Hasan Jinos joined GEMS New Millennium School (NMS) last April as a guidance counsellor, her first task was to better understand what grade 12 students wanted to study and what type of jobs they wanted to do, and everything she did was built around that desire. A student survey helped her understand whether their passions lay with sport or academia, if they preferred a specific curriculum, and where they hoped to attend university. This information helped her to plan the activities that the students could do that would enhance their skills and better understand their desired job profiles.

According to Sumaya, this information was valuable because NMS receives enquiries from universities all over the world and the school was able to narrow those down according to what the students want. Sumaya recently received approval from the management at NMS to attend the Annual International Conference (AIC) 2019 by University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in early April.

“I understand UCLan has a well-reputed medical stream and some of my students would like to pursue medicine in the UK. UCLan is also a GEMS Education partner so this trip was the perfect opportunity to see the campus as well as the environment for international students, first hand,” said Sumaya. She added that, as a former international student, she understands how much it takes for a parent to agree to let their child travel so far away for their tertiary education.

“For the parents to meet a teacher who has visited the overseas campus and seen everything from the facilities on offer to the safety of the school, it puts their minds at rest when I am able to tell them I have seen the school for myself,” Sumaya added.

For the parents to meet a teacher who has visited the overseas campus and seen everything from the facilities on offer to the safety of the school, it puts their minds at rest when I am able to tell them I have seen the school for myself–Sumaya Hasan Jinos

Sumaya has also started several other activities to better help students prepare for life beyond school. She has started the Knowledge Hour, which follows a format similar to a Ted Talk, where professionals from different sectors are invited to talk to the students about their chosen fields. Each talk is followed by a Q&A for students who want to know more. Internships have also been introduced to the school to allow students to get hands-on experience in the sector of their choice to give them exposure to the field before they commit to it as a major. Internships take place over one or two weeks during their school holidays. To date, students have worked in finance, HR, and marketing. Sumaya’s next goal is to introduce job shadowing to her repertoire and she hopes to have this this in place soon.