Empowering Middle Eastern talent

Read more about: Emerging markets

After studying and working in the US, I returned home to the Middle East. Since I joined McKinsey in Dubai, I have been constantly inspired by the diversity of my colleagues. Really creating change is a concept thrown out a lot when you first join, but it took me a couple of years to realize that some of our most inspiring moments happen outside client work. Let me tell you about one of those times.

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I served as faculty for the Middle East office’s edad program for the past year. This event is held in the US, UK and Middle East. It is designed to equip high–performing individuals with conceptual problem–solving and communication skills they can use in their studies and future careers, whether or not they join McKinsey. It’s essentially a condensed version of the training we go through as consultants when we start.

Earlier this year, I left my clients early one Thursday to catch my flight to Chicago for the first of the three 2018 edad sessions. My project team was incredibly understanding, taking on some of my meetings so I had time to pack and travel.

I woke up at 5am (jet lag, of course) on the first day of the program and started preparing. My co–facilitator and I met participants over breakfast, all of whom had extremely impressive backgrounds. The sheer diversity of the crowd was inspiring: university freshmen wrapping up their spring semester, law students, PhD candidates, and people with several years of work experience. They were all enthusiastic and eager to contribute to the Middle East.

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Later, we focused on personal values and goals. Many of the participants opened up about the change they want to drive in the region, and we had fascinating discussions on everything from public policy, to women’s rights and economic reform. The most humbling part was at the end, when the participants shared how this program helped equip them with some of the skills they need to pursue their goals.

I am happy I will be involved in this program for years to come, and I hope many of the participants will apply to McKinsey. Even if they don’t become my future colleagues, I am confident they will do great things for our region.

Apply here for the next edad

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