RIT student’s achievement celebrated at Etihad Aviation Group’s inaugural Fikra awards

Rochester Institute of Technology Dubai’s Amani Gharib, a Master’s in Service Leadership and Innovation student, recently beat over 2,600 other applications to win a top accolade at Etihad Aviation Group’s (EAG) inaugural Fikra awards ceremony, held at the company’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi.

The Fikra awards, which means “idea” in Arabic, were introduced by the aviation giant in 2016 to support the UAE government’s drive to encourage innovation among younger generations. Competitors were encouraged to think creatively to come up with ideas across several different categories that could be implemented across EAG.

Tackling the topic of Youth Engagement, Ms. Gharib’s proposal focused on the importance of millennial engagement within the organisation, concentrating on value proposition branding, internal journey mapping and utilizing existing resources. Ms Gharib was one of 9 category winners from entrants to reach the final stages, before being selected to face a panel of judges made up of senior management from across EAG, wowing them with her plan to help Etihad attract, engage and retain millennials.

Throughout the process she was mentored by Bernadine Karuaratne, Head of Talent and Performance at Etihad Airways, and Richard Pate, Manger of Leadership and Development. As a result of her win, she has been awarded with a coveted internship at Cognizant Software Development Company.Develoment Company

Commenting on the accolade, Ms. Gharib said: “It feels wonderful to win, but above all, it was more rewarding to experience this journey and learn from my mentors. The entire process was a learning curve for me, from the ideation stage, all the way through to finalizing my actual idea and presenting it to senior management.”

Dr. Yousef Al-Assaf, President of Rochester Institute of Technology Dubai added: “On behalf of the RIT Dubai community I would like to wish Amani Gharib heartfelt congratulations on her achievement. It is a true testament to her hard work and it is wonderful to see the theory learnt from RIT’s Master’s in Service Leadership and Innovation program put into practice in such an inventive and creative way.”