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Duke Welcomes Second Class Of Middle Eastern Businesswomen For MBA-Style Training

November 22, 2005

On Thursday, November 17, 21 young Middle Eastern businesswomen arrived at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business for a month of intensive business training.  The women are participants in the Middle Eastern Partnership Initiative’s (MEPI) Women’s Business Internship Program.  The MEPI  program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, with support from the U.S. Department of Commerce, and implemented by America-Mideast Educational and Training Services, Inc. (AMIDEAST) and the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX). 

The MEPI program brought a total of 40 women between the ages of 22 and 32 to the United States this year.  The women were assigned to study at either Duke or Emory University.  After completing a month of MBA-style training, the women will embark on three-month internships at companies around the United States.

This is the second year of the MEPI Women’s Business Internship Program.  Duke and Emory both hosted participants in 2004 as well.

During their time at Duke, the women will learn about aspects of business including accounting, ethics, human resources, finance and financial reporting, leadership, marketing, negotiation, team work and team management.  

Duke Executive Education, Fuqua’s non-degree business education unit, is coordinating the women’s education and stay at Duke.  Fuqua faculty will teach the bulk of the curriculum, with special sessions supplemented by outside experts and guest speakers, including Kristina Johnson, dean of Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering.

The women will devote significant time to learning about American business culture and preparing to work in American corporate environments.  The program also provides opportunities to experience other aspects of American culture, including day trips to regional historical sites and a trip to see a production of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in Raleigh. 

The women of the MEPI program are partners in learning with the Fuqua faculty and staff with whom they work, according to Mark Brown, director of Fuqua’s management communication center and academic program director for the MEPI program.  “The women we hosted in 2004 taught us not only about their countries and their lives but also about our own society and our own assumptions,” said Brown.  “We are looking forward to a group of women who are motivated, challenging, sophisticated, demanding, focused, professional, and intending to have as much of an impact on us as we have on them.”  

The seventeen women at Duke hail from Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, The United Arab Emirates and The West Bank.