American Univesity of Beirut

OSB undergrad wins an internship at Unilever and advances to global contest in London

Faten Kanaan (BS ‘18) won the Unilever Regional Quest Competition which resulted in an internship and the chance to compete in the Global Unilever Challenge in London. This year’s contest saw 370 AUB students registered and 48 shortlisted for The Quest.

The Quest is one of many activities Unilever holds across North Africa and the Middle East. The company engages university students with the objective of strengthening their engagement with Unilever and inspiring them to become future business leaders through access to key professional programs. Many students already recognize Unilever as a major international FMCG company and manufacturer of iconic brands such as Lipton and Sunsilk, so these programs strengthen engagement between the company and potential future interns and employees.

Kanaan describes The Quest as a self-discovery journey: “Taking part in The Quest was on my to-do list since I joined AUB, but I never really got the chance until my very last semester.” She says that she didn’t realize it was going to be a ‘save the best for last’ kind of story.

Kanaan's experience with Unilever helped her discover, learn, network, and achieve with distinguished leaders, field experts, and students from all walks of life. “It was through the challenges and the process of overcoming them that I felt myself grow as a person. Such competitions are truly the flame that triggers participants to work past their fears and widen their perspectives to start perceiving business cases and social situations more mindfully,” she explains.

Following an initial qualification round, ten students were shortlisted for the second stage of the competition. That stage featured a digital assessment for eligibility to compete in the national competition, also known as the Country Talent Championship. During this last stage students worked in teams from which three individuals were selected as winners and represented Team Lebanon in the regional competition: NAME Camp.

The Quest's NAME Camp, the final stage, was a 3-day regional competition that took place in February in Fujairah, UAE, and was made up of six teams each representing Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, KSA, UAE, and Lebanon. Team Lebanon presented to Unilever MENA's Leadership Team (managers and directors) a pre-assigned case that required the team to create a comprehensive business plan for launching a personal care brand online. “Through this experience, we got the opportunity to not only meet Unilever MENA's top managers, but also to work closely with them on finding sustainable solutions to global problems in a full-day innovation workshop,” explains Kanaan.

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