Case study: Turning young Emiratis into leaders

Author: Kirsty Tuxford | Date: 20 Apr 2016

FGB's Nujoom programme prepares Emirati graduates for their first management role at the bank

With 59 successful graduates so far – all now working in management roles – and another batch due to start training in September 2016, the First Gulf Bank (FGB) ‘Nujoom’ programme is turning young Emiratis into tomorrow's leaders.
The programme was launched in 2012 as part of the bank's ongoing efforts to support the development of Emiratis, providing them with the skills required to enter leadership roles in the banking and financial services sector. The 18-month programme consists of three phases – ‘Induction’, ‘Knowing the business’ and ‘Ownership and accountability’, with additional specialised responsibilities assigned to students, ranging from strategic planning to corporate affairs, consumer banking and human resources.
“The specific skills we teach to students are banking fundamentals, technical capabilities and leadership skills,” says Noora Al Reyasi, head of learning and development at FGB. “The programme is structured in a similar way to graduate programmes you would see in other markets. We strongly believe in the importance of nurturing graduates with leadership potential and the right values, to create a talent pool of future leaders.
“Our Nujoom management trainees are recent university graduates with finance or business majors. FGB provides them with valuable insight into the banking and finance industry, as well as the leadership skills they need to progress, and ensures that they are appropriately prepared for their future careers,” she adds.
Gareth Powell, head of human resources at FGB, says strong relationships with the local community, “, particularly local, regional and international universities” is crucial for sourcing talent. “We also use internships and summer training programmes to identify strong candidates,” he adds.
Three Nujoom students who recently graduated from the scheme have been given the opportunity to go to FGB’s Singapore office to gain international experience. “Offering this chance has really boosted motivation, commitment and excitement.”
One of the graduates now in Singapore is Heba Al Zarooni, assistant manager of the Wholesale Banking Group. She believes the programme both challenged her, and allowed her to develop key leadership qualities. “I try to distinguish myself by thinking outside the box, having a positive attitude through challenging situations and going the extra mile,” she says.
The chance to gain experience across various departments within the Wholesale Banking Group was a big plus for students. “This exposure has prepared me for an exciting future,” says Al Zarooni. “Through the tools and resources provided by FGB, the organisation has helped to prepare me, along with and my colleagues, to be the leaders of tomorrow.”