Being surrounded by the right friends, colleagues and mentors empowers you to work hard, stay focused and diversify in your strengths, says Rasha Dawood, a young HR manager.

Give us a brief on your educational and professional background?

My academic background is a mix between HR and education, similar to my professional experience of the past 13 years. One of the highlights of my learning journey was being selected as a member for one of the strongest Arab Leadership Networks – the Middle East Leadership Academy (MELA).

My career kicked off in the training department of a major bank in Oman which  helped me understand the strong link between talent management and people development. After spending a few years in the corporate world, I decided to expand my skills into other fields, mainly education and leadership.

I thought it would be a good direction for me to explore people  behaviour, the different ways of learning and how we can not only create agents of change, but also transformational leaders at a young age. This resonated very strongly with me when I joined the Middle East Leadership Academy (the MELA Network) in 2017 and met like-minded professionals from all over the Arab world

When I decided to change the direction of my career in 2008. I was privileged to be able to teach in the very same college that I graduated from (Majan College – an accredited college of the University of Bedfordshire, UK). There I was able to pursue to my academic career in practical education and organizational leadership.

After that, I was hired by EY Oman, where I embarked on a great global adventure. learning how international organizations work, and how people working across all borders can come together to achieve an unanimous goal. My experiences with EY also played an important role in my participation in MELA, where the focus is to help young Arab leaders from Across the Arab world to crystallize their purpose, unleash their potential and extend their reach.

Currently. I am working for Al Mouj Muscat as the Hr manager. Al Moui Muscat is a world-class lifestyle and leisure destination in addition to a thriving waterfront community. It is a joint-venture between Omran and Majid Al Futtaim Properties.

What did enable you to excel as a successful professional at a young age?

My love for reading. curiosity about things and people, my obsession with understanding processes and I think most importantly, my versatility and ability to transfer knowledge. I have worked in diverse sectors of the business world, and I believe all the above are key for my adaptability and creativity.

In addition to this however, I cannot deny the strength of networking with people who share the same passion, drive and goals for making a difference. Being surrounded by the right friends,

colleagues and mentors empowers you to work hard, stay focused and diversify in your strengths.

Who has influenced you the most as a person and are there any role models that you look up to?

The list will probably be never ending, but I will keep it to the point.

As it is with every little girl, my first role model was my mother. I will always remember her passion towards her field (education), and her drive to empower the youth to make a difference in their own lives and in the lives of others. As I entered the corporate world, my father became my role model; he taught me the importance of discipline and commitment, and how to protect my identity and reputation from getting tainted.

And finally, as I am entering my 30s, my elder brothers have become the biggest influencers of my life, greatest mentors and coaches could ever ask for.

Therefore, I feel very blessed to be part of such an amazing support network.