Lebanese American University


USP Student Attends Harvard Summit for Future Leaders

Ali Tourba says such experiences can help all students gain an edge in their future careers.

By Fatima Abdul Rassool


A USP student and member of the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society, Tourba was one of 71 young scholars selected from a pool of 1,572 applicants.

Ali Tourba kicked off his final year as a marketing student on a successful note by earning a spot in the Harvard Crossroads Emerging Leaders Program. The Adnan Kassar School of Business student was chosen to represent LAU at the one-week program hosted by Harvard Business School of the GCC in Dubai. Tourba, who is also a University Scholarship Program (USP) student and member of the Beta Gamma Sigma international business honor society, was one of 71 young scholars selected from a pool of 1,572 applicants.

The Harvard Crossroads Emerging Leaders Program is geared toward students from the Middle East, Asia and Africa who are the first in their families to attend college. The fully funded program took place over one week at the Dubai International Financial Centre. Harvard instructors and Dubai Future Accelerators members took part in training the participants on developing entrepreneurial skills that can help them excel in the business world.   

“As an LAU student, I’ve always been in pursuit of attending international summits that would help me gain experience and establish social and global networks,” Tourba said on his return to Beirut. “The knowledge that I’ve cultivated from these summits has helped me tremendously.”  

Each of LAU’s seven schools actively encourages students to engage with the outside community and other educational institutions as part of the university’s rounded approach to education. Students receive help from faculty and staff in finding and applying to programs that fit their academic and career goals.

In addition, USP supports community outreach while providing ambitious young scholars with a chance to study at LAU. “The academic excellence of the USP students is the pride of our program and proves that LAU has nurtured the talents of these scholars,” said Assistant Vice President for Outreach and Civic Engagement Elie Samia.

At the Harvard summit, Tourba worked on real case studies, analyzed them and reported his results throughout the week. “I became a member of Dubai Future Accelerators by working on a real case related to Dubai’s water, education and electrical system,” he said. As the leader of his group, he presented their solutions to the panel.

 “It was an unforgettable experience!” he added. “I got exposed to all the important trends that are taking place in the business world today. I learned the authentic way of pitching my ideas and how to master the art of speaking eloquently in front of an audience.”   

Tourba is excited to apply the skills he has acquired to his classes. “I now know which ideas are worth it and which ideas aren’t.” And on his hopes for a career after he graduates this spring, he said that he wanted to open a business and someday become a well-known presence in the market.

Tourba stressed the importance of all students applying to take part in international summits, where they can learn, gain experience and network with experts and students from around the world.

“Don’t let fear stop you from applying. These international summits give chances to up-and-comers, and anyone can be an eligible candidate if they work hard on themselves,” he said, adding, “Don’t ever give up! Let the sky be your limit.”




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