Careers Day helps students map out their future

British International School pupils come one step closer to deciding where their future lies after meeting with Etihad pilots and the first Saudi to climb Everest.

Farouq Al Zuman addresses British International School students.
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Rana El Tanbadawy may only be 15 years old, but she already has her future career path mapped out.

"I want to be a businesswoman - I want to create my own business," said The British International School in Abu Dhabi pupil.

"I know it's a long way to go, but I want to build an electrical engineering company."

Yesterday (SUN), Rana, along with dozens of her fellow pupils, came one step closer to deciding where their future lies after attending the school's inaugural Motivational Careers Day.

With a full programme, which included a talk by the first Saudi to climb Mount Everest, Farouq Al Zuman, and Q&A's with over two dozen professionals from various industries, events like this can be highly influential for teens, said Egyptian Rana.

"It's a good idea to have people here with different careers, so that you can know what you might do."

The event was also a first for Hamda Al Qubaisi and Mansour Al Khaja, both trainee pilots with Etihad who took part in a Q&A.

Advising pupils about how to enter the aviation industry, as well as explaing what a pilot's job is all about, 23-year-old Ms Al Khaja told pupils that passion should be the defining factor when choosing a career.

"They should love it and they should really want to do it."

Someone who knows only too well the need for passion to push yourself as far as you can is Mr Al Zuman, who reached the peak of Mount Everest in 2008.

Talking about his two-and-a-half-month trek, the motivational speaker told the teens to always challenge themselves.

"We see people like this in life, people who will say it's impossible, that we can't do it," said the 35-year-old, referring to a fellow trekker who told him he would not be able to climb Everest.

"These kinds of people are the key to challenge. You have to challenge yourself."

Ending the talk with a screenshot of a picture taken at the peak of the mountain, Mr Al Zuman left the audience with one question.

"What is your Everest in life? I have climbed my Everest, I know who I am. Now, I need you to think what your Everest in life is."

For 15-year-old Grace Chidoori, from Zimbabwe, the event not only provided some insight into what her future could hold, but allowed her to adopt a more realistic approach to her plans.

"It's important to have an idea, but, at the same time, it's important to have an open mind, because what you think will happen might not happen."