INSEAD’s Middle East Talent Networking Forum brings together region’s brightest minds

70 global recruiters connect with INSEAD alumni and students

Middle East
27 February 2017

INSEAD, one of the world’s leading business schools, hosted yesterday its fourth Talent Networking Forum in Dubai. Held under the theme, ‘Entrepreneurship & Digital Transformation for Sustainability & Innovation’ at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel Conference Centre, the event saw the attendance of more than 500 delegates including MBA students, Executive MBA participants, alumni and stakeholders.

More than 70 global recruiters attended the Forum including some of the world’s most renowned companies as well regional organisations such as Siemens, Strategy &, Google, A.T.Kearney, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Hilti, Endeavor, The Abraaj Group, Yellow Door Energy among others; seeking to connect with INSEAD’s brightest talent, as the region evolves into an international business hub and the preferred location for regional headquarters of global corporations.

Speaking about the Forum’s track record of matching students to the best suited employment opportunities and UAE’s evolvement into one of the best places to work across the globe, Miguel Sousa Lobo, Associate Professor of Decision Sciences, Director of the Middle East Campus, INSEAD commented: “The increasing strength of the Talent Networking Forum reflects a payoff from INSEAD’s strategy of incrementally building a solid presence in the UAE and the Middle East, bringing our top-ranked programmes to the region without any compromise in quality. The excellent match between our globally-minded graduates and the talent needs of the area have led to a thriving alumni network “.

In his opening remarks Dietmar Siersdorfer, CEO, Siemens Middle East and UAE, discussed the importance of innovation, the regional impact of digitalization and its potential to stimulate sustainable economic growth.

“Digitalization is a key driver of economic diversification in the Middle East, and in this sphere we believe the region has the potential to be world-leading. It is a catalyst for disruptive business models, inspiring change and enabling businesses, industries and countries to reach new levels of competitiveness. The combination of digital skills and the region’s well-established culture of innovation are key to realizing the opportunities presented by digitalization.” Siemens is a global leader in energy, infrastructure and industrial technology, and uses digital tools to bridge the physical and virtual worlds, creating value from data. The company recently announced it was working with Etihad and Strata in the UAE to produce the region’s first 3D-printed part for aircraft interiors.

Noor Shawwa, Managing Director, Endeavor UAE delivered the first keynote for the day on the subject ‘Demystifying Entrepreneurship’. He later moderated a panel on entrepreneurship that was headed by Bilal Ballout, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, BMB; Ambareen Musa INSEAD MBA'07D, Founder & Chief Executive Officer,; Michael Lahyani, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Propertyfinder Group;  Magnus Olsson, Co-Founder, Careem.

Pedro S. Cardoso, Senior Vice President, Head, Multichannel, CRM and Digital Transformation, Emirates NBD; Alan Gordon, Marketing Lecturer and Honorary Chairman, EMDI Institute of Media and Communications; Stacy Holland, Vice President Digital Experience, du; Yousef Khalili INSEAD EMBA'14D, Senior Partner, neXgen Group; Charbel Sarkis, Sector Lead, Telecom, Technology, Retail and E-Commerce, Google MENA discussed Digital Transformation as part of the second panel of the day. Juan Jose de la Torre INSEAD MBA'08J, Digital Transformation Leader, IBM Middle East and Africa moderated this session.

Sami Mahroum, Director, Innovation & Policy Initiative, INSEAD spoke about Rethinking Place Surplus under Digitalisation in his closing remarks. The session highlighted successful examples of location decisions made by entrepreneurs who have established hi-tech endeavours in unconventional places.

The second half of the day connected INSEAD’s global talent with top recruiters in MENA with specialized sessions that discussed current and future recruitment trends, and highlighted specific recruitment procedures and timelines of regional operations. The sessions were opened by Graham Hastie, Degree Programmes, INSEAD while Arda Atalay, Regional Manager, Talent Solutions, LinkedIn MENA discussed the region’s buzzing recruitment trends. Jim Dawson, Co-Associate Dean, Advancement and Alumni Relations, INSEAD closed the forum.

Arda commented: "The world has entered into the period of Big Data where incredible amount of information can be gathered, worked on and put into use for better outcome. This implies to the Recruitment process as well with several online social assets providing the important talent data. In LinkedIn, our aim is to use our unique insights and build the world's first Economic Graph in order to fulfill our mission of creating an economic opportunity for every member in the global workforce."

Ranked number one in the world for two consecutive years under the Financial Times ‘Global MBA Ranking 2016 and 2017, ’INSEAD’s alumni network is spread over 150 countries, the Middle East Campus in Abu Dhabi serves the regional business community through its executive education programmes and access to top global talent. The campus has also accelerated the growth of the local alumni network, through the Executive MBA program and connecting MBA graduates to employment opportunities.

About INSEAD, The Business School for the World

As one of the world's leading and largest graduate business schools, INSEAD brings together people, cultures and ideas to change lives and to transform organisations. A global perspective and cultural diversity are reflected in all aspects of our research and teaching.

With campuses in Europe (France), Asia (Singapore) and the Middle East (Abu Dhabi), INSEAD's business education and research spans three continents. The school's 145 renowned Faculty members from 40 countries inspire more than 1,400 degree participants annually in its MBAExecutive MBAExecutive Master in FinanceExecutive Master in Consulting and Coaching for Change and PhD programmes. In addition, more than 11,000 executives participate in INSEAD's executive education programmes each year.

In addition to INSEAD's programmes on its three campuses, INSEAD participates in academic partnerships with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia & San Francisco); the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University near Chicago; the Johns Hopkins University/SAIS in Washington DC and the Teachers College at Columbia University in New York; and MIT Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In Asia, INSEAD partners with School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai. INSEAD is a founding member in the multidisciplinary Sorbonne University created in 2012, and also partners with Fundação Dom Cabral in Brazil.

INSEAD became a pioneer of international business education with the graduation of the first MBA class on the Fontainebleau campus in Europe in 1960. In 2000, INSEAD opened its Asia campus in Singapore. And in 2007 the school began an association in the Middle East, officially opening the Abu Dhabi campus in 2010.

Around the world and over the decades, INSEAD continues to conduct cutting edge research and to innovate across all its programmes to provide business leaders with the knowledge and sensitivity to operate anywhere. These core values have enabled INSEAD to become truly "The Business School for the World".

INSEAD’s MBA programme is ranked #1 by the Financial Times in 2016 and 2017. 


Contacts for press


Zeina Sleiman
Tel + 971 2 6515320

Insead Personalised Experience




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