Embarking on a Professional Journey: My First 3 Months in Dubai's Corporate Landscape

December 18, 2023

I am Sarah Bernard Nasr, a 22-year-old Lebanese business analyst from a tiny yet splendid beach town, 60 km from Beirut. I graduated from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon as a Civil Engineer in June 2023 and directly joined FTI Delta in September.

Surprisingly, management consulting initially seemed an unlikely career choice for me. It all began when, by curiosity, I assisted the FTI Delta presentation at my university and was compelled by the culture and environment at this company. Little did I know that 6 months after that presentation, I would be an “Incoming Business Analyst at Delta Partners” standing behind the FTI Consulting x Delta Partners booth at the AUB Career fair convincing students to join the company.

Three months ago, as a fresh graduate at the ripe age of 21, I stepped into the vibrant realm of Dubai to embrace my very first corporate job. Little did I know, this journey would lead me to unexpected heights and unique, thrilling experiences.

Initial Impressions and Exposure:

The magnitude of exposure and the caliber of work in the corporate arena here are nothing short of amazing. Being a proud member of the public sector team, I found myself embarking on a weekly journey to KSA, a novel experience that opened my eyes to a new level of professionalism and cultural exposure.

Cultural Experience:

Imagine a 21-year-old navigating the corporate landscape, not just within the confines of the office but across borders. The weekly flights to KSA introduced me to a tapestry of new cultures, unexpected challenges, and a delightful spectrum of differences that ultimately enriched my perspective. I've become a bit of a frequent flyer, clocking in eight airports in eight cities in just three months.

Learning and Adaptation:

The learning curve was steep, but the adaptability that comes with it is transformative. Working shoulder to shoulder with people from the company, I not only improved my skills but also learned to embrace change with resilience. The feeling of productivity, coupled with the sense of being part of something grand, has been truly fulfilling. In these three months, my growth has been exponential. Professionally, I've gained insights I never thought possible at this stage in my career.

Building Connections:

Yet, amid the professional challenges, the silver lining emerged in the form of remarkable friendships within the company. These individuals have become more than colleagues; they're my Dubai family. Weekends filled with outings, late-night dinners at the office, and impromptu Oman getaways have become cherished moments.

Volunteering for a Cause:

A Saturday morning in December took on a profound meaning as I joined the CSR team in volunteering at a thrift shop in Dubai. The initiative aimed to channel funds to support underprivileged children, providing a unique and heart-warming experience. Immersed in the true essence of the Christmas spirit, I found myself sorting clothes destined for a charitable cause, realizing the tangible impact of hands-on experiences, and reinforcing the significance of giving back.

Projects in Saudi Arabia:

As part of FTI Delta's public sector practice, I took part in infrastructure and city development projects in Saudi Arabia. The project, despite initial apprehensions about navigating an underdeveloped city, proved to be particularly rewarding. This experience is not only strengthening my professional skills but it is also exposing me to a community undergoing significant development. Simultaneously, it became evident that the public sector in the region, especially in KSA, is experiencing remarkable growth. I am fortunate to be a part of our remarkable public sector team at FTI Delta, which is at the forefront of leading the practice in the region. I look forward to growing and learning alongside this exceptional team.

As I reflect on these initial months, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunities, unforeseen lessons, and the remarkable friendships that have blossomed. The corporate world is vast, but it's the people who make it a community. Here's to more growth, more impact, and the enduring friendships that make every day at FTI Delta an enriching chapter in this professional journey.

Sarah Bernard Nasr

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