helps Middle Eastern
women become business leaders
in a marketing class at the Goizueta Business School are
calling out what they consider to be strong brand names
while associate professor Doug Bowman scrawls them on
the blackboard, trying to keep up with their rapid-fire
suggestions. Most of the brands are American, despite
the fact that every student in the room is a woman from
the Middle East.
are the characteristics of a strong brand? asks
Bowman, and a lengthy and spirited discussion about Starbucksthe
Emory incarnation of which the students know intimatelyensues.
Its obvious these twenty-plus women have become
familiar with each other as well, perhaps because they
have spent much of the past three weeks in each others
company, attending the same classes, socializing and sightseeing,
living on the same floor at the Emory Conference Center
Hotel, and talking about business over Starbucks coffee.
was one of two business schools in the country chosen
to offer the U.S. Business Internship Program for Young
Middle Eastern Women, a mini-MBA-style program during
the month of August. The effort is part of the Middle
East Partnership Initiative, created by the federal government
to support economic, educational, and political reform
in the Middle East.
women, chosen for their promising business acumen and
ambition, came to Emory from Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt,
Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman,
Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates,
West Bank/Gaza, and Yemen. Most hold bachelors degrees
in a business-related field already, and many have work
experience. They spent a month immersed in intensive courses
on U.S. business culture and practice, leadership development,
women in business, business law and ethics, entrepreneurship,
and information technology before splitting off for three-month
internships at Fortune 500 companies around the country.
of the program hope the womens time here will help
them become not just successful business executives, but
really connected on the personal leadership component
of the courses, says Kelly Bean, director of executive
education for Goizueta. I think they have really
grown a lot as individuals in terms of recognizing leadership
qualities and how to manage those. They will go back and
lead teams more effectively. We had infused the leadership
emphasis into the entire program. I think they used the
time away to learn about themselves.
just one week of coursework to go, the students had grown
comfortable at Goizueta and a bit weary as well. It
has been very good to learn new things, said Dara
Abdulhadi of Jordan. A little bit intensive. . .
. We are in class from eight in the morning to eight at
night. Its very condensed.
is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity, said Reem Al-Ghanim
of Saudi Arabia, one of three in the group wearing a scarf
to cover her head. All my life I have dreamed of
having faculty like this, and most of them were really
impressive. The site visits [to various businesses] have
helped us learn so much about U.S. culture. We definitely
learned the basics of business and gained a global perspective.
from the educational component, one of the most important
aspects of the program was the networking the women were
able to do with one another.
whole idea was to share experiences and cultures, even
with the faculty, says Al-Ghanim. We have
been learning from each other. I think we will definitely
keep in touch.P.P.P.