Fall 2010


A Legacy of Excellence

Modeling Success

On the Mark

A Dean's Diplomacy

Green Leads

Real World, Real Lessons

New Board of Trustees members appointed, first PhD students enrolled, dean of humanities and social sciences named, first food chemistry graduate program established


Rana el Kaliouby ’98, ’00 is a member of the Affective Computing
Research Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Documentary filmmaker Jehan S.
Harney ’93 brings to light the stories of underrepresented people in the United States

Parliamentarian Khaled El Asiouty ’93 is working to help the needy


Yomna Safwat ’10
won first place at
the Dubai Summer Surprises apprenticeship program

  A Winning Marketing Mix

    The Dubai Summer Surprises apprenticeship program was one-of-a-kind –– a spectacular experience that I believe is indispensable for a business student’s career. Now in its fifth year, the awardwinning program opens doors for young people from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to participate in marketing internships, receive hands-on experience and gain valuable exposure to best business practices.

Being the sole representative of Egypt in this year’s competition after a rigorous selection process was both an honor and enormous responsibility. Winning first place among 10 outstanding students from the MENA region was the cherry on top.The exposure and attention my team received was that of business professionals. We had the opportunity to meet and benefit from some of the greatest
minds, all working for the purpose of promoting Dubai as a global tourist attraction. We were collaborating with professionals in divergent fields, ranging from government officials seeking to attract direct foreign investment to some of the greatest marketers and event managers.

It all started a few months ago when I was nominated by my mentor and professor, Ahmed Tolba –– who has taught me all I know about marketing –– to participate in the competition, which included more than 200 participants from 10 countries in the MENA region. I had the honor of being nominated alongside five other AUCians. Only 10 students, one from each country, were selected to take part in the final competition. The selection was based on an essay question asking participants to suggest a marketing plan for the 2010 Dubai Summer Surprises and to recommend themes for the event. I did a lot of research and looked at previous competitions, prepared a mental SWOT analysis of Dubai and the MENA region, worked hard to be as creative as possible and put all the marketing theories I’ve learned in my classes into practice. I was very pleased when I was chosen to represent Egypt and AUC.

Traveling to Dubai was an experience in itself. It was the first time for me to travel for two weeks on my own. Our offices were located at Modhesh Fun City, one of Dubai’s star attractions. My teammates were from Jordan and Saudi Arabia. They were remarkable and pleasant, constantly bringing new ideas to the table and encouraging one another to strive for the best. We realized the competition would be fierce, since we were presenting alongside the best marketing students in the region. However, this wasn’t the challenge.

The real challenge was to come up with a new and creative marketing strategy, given the fact that Dubai Summer Surprises has a history of past successes and unique initiatives. Conducting intensive research, we interviewed samples of the target audience and incorporated videos of these interviews in our final presentation. We met with governmental leaders and corporate managers, visited key monuments and tourist attractions, and attended marketing, public relations and public-speaking workshops. In the end, we came up with a marketing plan targeting the enormous population of people under 30 across the MENA region and highlighting Dubai’s unique and accessible geographic position. Our presentation and award ceremony was held on the last day of the program, a few hours before heading back home
to Egypt.This was the best possible ending for the trip; it was like a farewell gift.Though the program was filled with educational and entertainment opportunities, the most important to me was the chance to work closely with some of the brightest young Arabs, who have so much in common yet exhibit so much cultural diversity. This broadened my horizons and provided memories that are forever imprinted
in my mind.

Yomna Safwat ’10, business administration graduate, is the first recipient of the Moataz Al Alfi Award for Excellence in Civic Engagement and Philanthropy. She received the award in 2008 for establishing the Right Road student club, which works in collaboration with the World Health Organization to promote road safety among Egyptian youth.



Akher Kalam is an open forum for members of the AUC community.We invite you to share your thoughts on any topic of your choice. Submissions should be sent to auctoday@aucegypt.edu and may be edited for length and clarity.