April 8, 2019 – The - Office of Student Affairs at Notre Dame University-Louaize organized the "Career and Internship Fair 2019: Entrepreneur or Employee?" under the patronage and with the presence of the Lebanese Minister of Finance, His Excellency Ali Hassan Khalil. Every year, the Department of Career and Placement NDU ensures a high turnout of companies to provide its students with the best opportunities for internships and full employment. Over 60 companies from various sectors, including banking, insurance, hospitals, telecommunications etc. attended to give NDU students the opportunity to begin and advance their career on the right track. This year was particularly special as NDU hosted the Minister of Finance for two panels which tackled Lebanon’s economic situation.
Televised live, and streamed on the NDU Facebook page, the opening event was divided into two segments: a shorter roadshow with An-Nahar, and a panel and live Q&A session between Minister Khalil and various students, faculty, and visiting CEOs. All panels were moderated by Lebanese television host, Maurice Matta.
Director of the Office of Public Affairs and Protocol at NDU, Majed Bou Hadir, welcomed the audience, and viewers watching live at home, and gave an overview of this event. “It is clear that there is a decisive will to determine the place of the imbalance and make a decision towards it and hold everyone responsible depending of their position.”
The An-Nahar roadshow consisted of three panels which tackled the changing career landscape of Lebanon: “Jobs of the Future and Key Trends in Lebanon,” “How Globalization is Changing the Classical Corporate Route to Success,” and “How Artificial Intelligence is Changing the Business Landscape.” Speaking on the second panel, the chair Farid Cehdid, CEO of Chedid Capital, talked about working around the difficulties faced in the region: “In spite of the crises across the Middle East, we wanted to make Lebanon a strong base. Our motto is to let our young people work in their country, and from Lebanon, we send their distinguished work abroad. In keeping with this slogan, we have worked to bring Lebanese talent back to Lebanon.”
Prefacing the Minister’s Q&A session, President Fr. Najem gave a short speech reflecting on the state of Lebanon’s economy, the concerns of NDU students, and the opportunities the Department of Career and Placement provides: “Our students today are equipped with science, culture, and enlightened citizenship, spiritual and human values in which the NDU believes.” Fr. Najem also thanked Minister Khalil and his team for their presence, and the work that they are doing. He also thanked the Department of Career and Placement for their work in securing internships and jobs for NDU students.
Lebanese Minister of Finance H.E. Ali Hassan Khalil said, “Today, after all these years, we return to the same concerns about the future of this country's youth, and the lack of real guidance. I have the honor to be at this prestigious university, which reflects the image of Lebanon. Lebanon is more than a country; it is a message of freedom and an example of pluralism for East and West, as said late pope John Paul II.”
The Minister added, “We must remain determined to lead the process of change for the better. Trust your country Lebanon, trust that you are in a homeland that requires us to sacrifice for it and work with all our energies for its advancement.” He added, “NDU embraces students with openness in the heart of Kesrouane, the heart of Lebanon, the heart of this Lebanese mountain which, despite all the problems, has been able to remain a heart of hope for solutions to crises, no matter how big they are.”
Maurice Matta opened the Q&A session with between the Minister and selected students, faculty, and CEOs. Questions from the faculty came from: the Dean of the Faculty of Law and Political Science, Dr. Cedar Mansour, Chairperson of the Department of Government and International Relations, Dr. Dany Ghsoub, interim Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Dr. Viviane Naimy, Professor at the Department of Economics – FBAE, Mohamad Hamadeh, . CEOs from high-powered companies who asked questions to the Minister were: Claude Bohsali of ITG Holding, Nafez El-Morhabi of KMPG, Fateh Bekdash of Arope, Farid Chedid of Cehdid Capital.
The Minister answered questions on Lebanon’s economic situation, governmental salaries, and tax exemption among other things, saying: “the situation is difficult and delicate, but we are not in a state of crisis nor will we be in the future.” A full rendition of the session can be found on the NDU Facebook page (link to the Facebook page).
The Q&A session was followed by the opening of the Career and Internship Fair. The various MPs and CEOs present were given a tour of the stands by the Department of Career and Placement so that all of them could witness the results of their hard work.
Towards the end of the fair, two workshops for students by Deloitte and Maven Insights & Solutions were run in parallel.