Chemical Engineering students, Karen Atallah, Nour Atallah, and Rebecca Wakim, at the Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) Faculty of Engineering (FE) won first place in the national round of the Uniway Competition, an annual creative business competition by Unilever. The NDU team, Reverse Osmosis, was shortlisted among four other semi-finalists in Lebanon, impressing the jury in the final presentations and thus securing the national win.
Every year, Uniway accepts applicants from the MENA region, open to all majors, to pitch their business ideas; in 2023, 22 teams were selected out of 1200 to participate in the local rounds, Reverse Osmosis being one of them. In preparation for the national leg of the contest, the NDUers were invited to attend three days of training sessions at the Unilever Headquarters prior to their final pitch in front of the judges. Karen, Nour, and Rebecca were given a preview of Unilever’s national and international operations and protocol, in addition to insight into the company’s brand portfolio, working environment, and overall mission and values. The experience provided the students with a comprehensive idea of how fast-moving consumer good companies (FMCG) function, and integrated these newfound understandings into their project.
By being the national winners, the team will now be advancing to the regional part of the competition, representing NDU and Lebanon when they compete against other countries’ teams for the Regional Cup in Egypt this May. Should they succeed regionally, they will enter the final round: the Global Unilever Future Leaders League in London, England, where they will compete on the international scale.
The value of Karen, Nour, and Rebecca’s success is an example of the increasing need for young people entering the job market not only to be knowledgeable in their fields, but also to possess an array of skills, such as in business development, that will allow them to capitalize on their abilities and thereby create greater opportunities for themselves. Good luck to the team in Egypt, and here’s hoping you make it to London!