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AUS alumni share real world experiences with students
American University of Sharjah (AUS) students and alumni shared their experiences with current students at "Ideas to Breakthroughs: Three Ideas, Three Companies and Three AUS Success Stories," held recently, in the AUS Main Auditorium. Presenting this year were Hamzeh Al Fuqha, CEO & Founder, Next Presentations Inc.; Mona Kattan, Managing Partner, The Dollhouse; and Atheeqe Ansari, Director, Electric Way.
Hamzeh Al Fuqha, currently studying civil engineering at AUS, founded Next Presentations Inc., the Middle East's first creative presentation consulting and design firm that specializes in public speaking consulting and coaching, high-end presentation design and explainer video production, of which he is currently the CEO.
The mission of Next Presentations is to empower people to win at what they do with an aim to craft memorable communication experiences through presentations that engage the audience. Realizing his potential in understanding the art of public speaking and high-impact communication strategies, Al Fuqha quickly turned his hobby into a career.
Al Fuqha is a frequent public speaking consultant and specialized in giving presentation strategies training and coaching sessions. "People have the tendency to stop you before you start," said Al Fuqha to his peers. "You just have to take a leap of faith and take a step without being scared. You have the power to change the people around you."
Mona Ibrahim Al Kattan is a well-known Iraqi-American resident of Dubai known for her early on achievements in entrepreneurship. She is co-founder of MasterMind PR, The Dollhouse and The Puppet Show. She is also Managing Partner of Hudabeauty.com and founder of entertainment and fashion blog AdventuresInMonaland.com. Kattan aspires to build her empire in the beauty industry and The Dollhouse is what she calls only the tip of the iceberg for what she has planned.
Speaking to the packed audience of business students, Al Kattan shared her advice on entrepreneurship. "The first thing you need to do is dream. You then need to act on this dream because there are many people out there with great ideas but they don't necessarily act on their dreams," said Al Kattan. She also advised the students to be passionate and committed about their ideas and to always stay positive though any challenge they would have to face.
Atheeqe Ansari joined AUS in 1998 and graduated with a degree in accounting and MIS. He was one of the founding members of the Business Student Council serving a term as president as well and was also chosen to represent AUS at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania for the Global Village for Future Leaders of Business and Industry. After graduating from in 2001, he established his first entrepreneurial venture Electric Way. Backed by the experience he gained at AUS, he has successfully guided Electric Way to a respectable position in the industry.
Haunted by failures but learning from them as well, Ansari believes that passion and accounting are the most important building blocks for starting any business and endorses social entrepreneurship as the way forward for all businesses. "The biggest success for any entrepreneur is when his company can function successfully without him," said Ansari. "A good idea will always have backers. Always take advice but be responsible for your own decisions. Face obstacles and challenges head on. Make the most of social media," These were some other tips he shared during his presentation.
The event, in its second year, was organized by Ali Khawaja, instructor in the Department of Management Information Systems at the School of Business and Management.