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BESIX General Manager speaks at AUS
Philippe Dessoy, General Manager of BESIX, the largest Belgian group operating in the construction of buildings, infrastructure, environmental projects and roads, gave a lecture on lessons gained in the university of life to the American University of Sharjah (AUS) community on Sunday, May 6, 2012.
In his lecture entitled "Leadership in the Construction Business: Lessons Gained in the University of Life," Dessoy took his audience on a professional journey of learning from early childhood learning to on the job learning.
"The form of learning from primary to higher education is structured and formal, but as soon as you leave university and get into the job market, then everything changes, everything is new. It's not the same way of learning as was in university," said Dessoy. "Regardless of the new environment, you still need to learn, and this learning depends largely on you. That's the University of Life. If you pay attention, you will succeed."
He then went on talk about job opportunities for civil engineers generally and specifically with BESIX and its subsidiary, SixConsult.
"We are always looking for professionals to work in any of, what we call, job families. We have project-based job families such as project development, project management, project execution and project support. We also have a corporate-based job family, which is mainly corporate function," said Dessoy.
"For our employees we are looking for five strategic core competencies: entrepreneurship, flexibility, innovation, results-oriented and teamwork," he said.
Dessoy has helped spur BESIX into becoming one of the most competitive foreign firms in the region. In the last few years, the company has won big contracts that have helped grow the firm's reputation, as both the main contractor as well as in joint ventures with other companies.
Founded in 1909, BESIX has recorded regular and impressive growth, covering all fields of construction. Active in the Middle East for the last 45 years, the company has been awarded contracts on some of world's and the region's best projects, including the world's tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa, for which it was part of a joint venture with UAE-headquartered construction giant Arabtec and Korean firm Samsung Corporation; an AED 500 million deal with Arabtec to build the Downtown Burj Dubai residential towers; and the US$797 million contract the company won with Midmac in 2009 to build the Doha Convention Centre.
The lecture was organized by the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs in collaboration with AUS academic units and it was attended by Dr. Peter Heath, AUS Chancellor, who welcomed Dessoy to AUS; Dr. Nada Mourtada-Sabbah, Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Affairs; and other senior university officials.