A One-Way Ticket from Rome to Dubai: Professional Growth and Cultural Adventures

February 16, 2024

I am Alice Fornari, a 23-year-old business analyst from Rome, Italy. In September 2023 I joined FTI Delta working in the public sector practice. After my master’s, while I knew I wanted to pursue a career in consulting, the whereabouts were still uncertain. By talking with people with a background in consulting through coffee chats, virtual meetings, and emails, I soon realized that the Middle East was the place that could most closely fit my aspirations, goals, and career vision for the next 5 to 10 years, 

What stood out from those conversations and attracted me the most to the region was the participation in projects with a high-level impact on the GCC countries' development. This is even more pronounced in the public sector, which works to shape the future of regions and cities in terms of infrastructure, tourism and much more. From a personal perspective, working in the Middle East means embracing a journey of personal growth, and pushing myself in a different life experience from the European one. The city allows you to have a daily encounter with an international context, both in your work and private life. Additionally, the geographical location is convenient to explore a new side of the world – the Middle East and Asia. One of my 2024 goals is to visit five new countries. On top of that, I am a Dubai enthusiast! The city is a fast-paced, dynamic center, where you never get bored! 

My experience in FTI Delta is developing a stimulating and friendly office environment that makes a difference in your professional experience, daily QoL and mood! I arrived in Dubai alone and in no time, I found myself part of the FTI Delta community, sharing dinners, sports activities, and long afternoons at the beach, creating friendships within the company - what a blessing! 

From a professional point of view, the natural steep learning curve of consulting is supported by a focus on the professional development of employees. The Learning & Development team allowed me to participate in two on-site trainings with colleagues from different offices around the world, from Spain to South Africa, improving my hard and soft skills within a few weeks. Onsite, the team is always keen to expose analysts to new challenges and situations, attending weekly meetings with clients and organizing offsite activities with them.

My day as a consultant

As a part of the public sector practice, traveling is a key feature of my weeks. What I learned in these few months is that building a routine while traveling is game-changing. My team and I follow the Arabic week, leaving for Saudi Arabia on Sunday evening and returning to Dubai on Wednesday evening. On Sunday and Thursday, we work from the Dubai office, catching up with the rest of our colleagues. While in KSA, this is my usual routine:

Morning: I like to start the day with some exercise, a quick Pilates session or a walk on the treadmill. Following, as a pleasant routine, my team and I have breakfast together to kick off the day and to keep up to date with personal lives and daily movement (as gym fanatics, it encourages us to exercise during the week) before heading to the client's office.

Morning & Afternoon: The day passes quickly between tasks, internal alignment meetings and client meetings. The weekly meeting with the client makes the work stimulating, allowing the team to receive insights and inputs and to quickly adapt the work to client needs.

Evening: Back at the hotel, we usually all have dinner together.

Final thoughts

Looking back on these first months, I feel lucky for the people I met, the friendships I made, the project opportunities and the professional experience. I am very excited about what this 2024 can offer and I’m sure I’ll keep learning in this company! A special thanks for the positive experience during my first few months go to my team and colleagues at FTI!

Alice Fornari Luswergh

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