May 21, 2021 – The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Consulting Club (CCNDU) at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) organized their fifth edition of the Student Leaders Training (SLT) weekend under the supervision direction of Dr. Simon Abou Jaoude, advisor of the CCNDU, Full-Time Faculty Member at the Faculty of Humanities (FH), and Dr. Charbel Bou Mosleh, advisor of the ASME-NDU, Full-Time Faculty Member at the Faculty of Engineering (FE).
The SLT Conference is an annual immersive two-day experience where a number of speakers from different industries around the world attend to work on global challenges and build their professional networks. The conference featured local and international speakers who pitched diverse topics including personal branding, startups and entrepreneurship, career guidance, and success stories among others.
This year, SLT hosted a series of webinars and talks that allowed students, graduates, and interested individuals to sharpen their leadership mindset, network with industry professionals, design solutions to global challenges, and learn to train future student leaders.
The first day included a session on leadership in light of current circumstances, followed by a Lebanese-based startup success story. On the second day, participants were able to learn how to start a business and create a solid brand identity in spite of such dire times.
The event commenced with NDU alumnus Charles Haddad, Sustaining Manager at Schlumberger, who spoke about “Resilient Leadership in Uncertain Times”. He explained that strong leadership is a fundamental element in any organization and that relationship building and communication in the workplace are crucial in bringing individuals closer and in creating a rewarding working environment.
Elie Habib, Co-Founder at Anghami, the leading music streaming service in the Middle East, shared the success story behind Anghami, which he founded in 2012 with his partner and NDU alumnus Eddy Maroun, and highlighted that passion, persistence, and iteration are vital to achieve a shared goal.
Rami Alame, CEO at Lexyom Inc. and Jad Al Fakhani, CEO at Beycom Inc. discussed “The Rise of Startups Amidst the Economic Crash in Lebanon”. Al Fakhani explained how his very first business started from a single Instagram page.
NDU alumni Tonia Eid (BA'17), Sandy Karam (BE'19), Charles Azzi (BE'16), and Charbel Maroun (BE'16) shared their experiences in a dedicated session titled “NDU Alumni in the World”. They all agreed how their involvement on campus provided them with opportunities to show leadership skills.
Joseph Yaacoub, a Digital Strategist and Trainer, discussed “Personal Branding”. He explained that an individual has the ability to control a social media platform. He explained that personal branding is a lifelong project that will help a person become an expert in the field. Joseph was voted one of the top social media experts in 2017.
Here are some testimonials from this year’s SLT participants:
"We all learn the same things at university but each one of us has their own path to discover and implement them, so it’s always nice to hear how others have paved their way and get insights from them." (Sophie Khalil, Mechanical Engineering Fresh Graduate)
"It was the first time I watch an SLT conference, and I was really impressed by the range of topics and people that were able to attend. I thought that compared to other conferences I’ve watched, this one was really simple and straightforward, the topics hit home, and the timing was absolutely perfect, as it gave me complete flexibility to enjoy my weekend, and at the same time benefit from this experience." (Melanie Kadi, NDU Student Majoring in Entrepreneurship)
"The committee for this year’s SLT was relentless in making this happen. Going virtual had not been done before and specifically for this kind of format, so it was a good challenge forced by the repercussions of the pandemic. With the help of our advisors and the NDU administration, we were able to see it come into fruition." (Naja Bou Khalil, NDU Consulting Club President)
"Being part of the SLT event has been a very fruitful experience for us as organizers and for our attendees. This event enabled us to acknowledge the importance and main essence of leadership by top notch speakers from all over the world while having the opportunity to get first-hand experience and learning how to strive in uncertain times." (Michel Khoueiry, ASME NDU Chair)
This two-day conference was empowering for all the members, and many important lessons were learned as it encouraged them to work collectively and derive efficient solutions that serve all the participants and working groups. All participants received certificates of achievement following their participation.