Youth in Focus: An interview with Muhammed Dwikat

Mohammed assists children in Core PM with a puzzle Muhammed Dwikat a second year student An-Najah National University, studying Public Relations. Muhammed is from Nablus, Palestine.

What made you interested in TYO's STEP! Program?

I was initially interested in registering in TYO's STEP! program because I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to get experience working with an American organization. In addition to experience with an international organization, I heard that the STEP! program helps students like myself develop the skills needed to be prepared for the job market. I've found the program to be very beneficial, particularly in that it allows me to practice my English- this was an area that I previously felt I was lacking the needed skills.

Have you volunteered before?

I am currently volunteering with the  Najah Voluntary Student Group to implement social activities inside and outside the university to benefit the community and the students. I also volunteer with the PR department at An-Najah. In this role I lead delegations to the university on tours around the campus and help organize events at the university. A colleague in the PR Department was the one who first told me about TYO's STEP! program.

What do you hope to do as a career and how do you think this will help you?

I plan to work in the field of Public Relations. So, I’m trying to better my skills and any skills related to my field. TYO helps me to develop my English skills. Learning English is really important to me as I can see what a valuable skill it is in the job market. The experience at TYO is helping me to develop my communication and leadership skills as I'm often in situations in which I need to direct groups of children. These skills will be directly applicable to any job I hold in the future.

What is the greatest challenge for youth like you in the current labor market?

In general I think  the biggest challenge for youth in the labor market is the lack of job opportunities. At the same time, the universities in Palestine don’t have a clear plan to divide the students to the different faculties needed by the job market. I also believe that students who don’t work on themselves to develop their skills and their opportunities will face many challenges to get a job even if there is an opportunity as employers don't want to waste time training new graduates on skills they could have developed in university.

-Interview conducted by Volunteer Coordinator, Ruba

This program – as part of Student Training and Employment Program (STEP!) – is funded by the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation.