July 24, 2012
|Amel Abed Mohammed Ali of Babylon University, Iraq.|
Over six months ago, Amel Abed Mohammed Ali arrived in Winter Park. A professor of operation management and head of the department of industrial management at Babylon University in Iraq, she came to Central Florida as the inaugural scholar for the Global Links program, a collaborative initiative between Rollins College, Tupperware Brands, and the U.S. Department Of State Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues.
As part of this 12-month program, she will spend some of her time in the classrooms at Crummer Graduate School of Business and the College of Professional Studies. She’ll also be at the headquarters of Tupperware Brands gleaning theoretical and real-world business acumen that she can take back with her to Iraq to share with the burgeoning female entrepreneurs in her university and community.
“As part of this program, I have studied business development, women's business ownership, and entrepreneurship through specially designed coursework at Rollins College's Crummer Graduate School of Business, and now have the privilege of participating in an externship at Tupperware Brands this summer,” Ali shared in an article published on The Huffington Post.com.
Education, Ali believes, is the only way of achieving lasting economic development. She plans to fuse what she has learned about negotiation, leadership, and social entrepreneurship into the subjects she teaches at Babylon University. She’s also hoping to launch a center for social entrepreneurship, where Iraqi women can learn to start and grow successful businesses. “We have a lot of women in Iraq without jobs and this will help them,” she said. “I want to unleash the potential for entrepreneurship for women in Iraq.”
Ali has spent the bulk of the summer at Tupperware Brands where she has studied the direct sales business model. The model has really got her thinking about possibilities for female entrepreneurs in her home country. “Direct selling makes women leaders in their jobs,” Ali said. “And it’s important for women to be dependent on themselves.
This fall, Ali will return to campus to continue taking classes and to guest lecture when requested. In December, she’ll head home to Iraq to start the process of sharing what she has learned. “I know now that I need to use my experiences and talents to benefit others,” Ali said. “It’s said that if you educate a man, you educate a man. But if you educate woman, you educate a generation.”
By Kristen Manieri