LAU Economics Department Networking Event: Demonstrating Character and Seizing Opportunities

Economics students engage with top-tier organizations to gain industry-specific insights and foster professional connections to help them enhance their career paths.

By Sara Makarem

The event allowed economics students from all years to explore various company cultures and connect with delegates for ideas and career advice.
Dr. Fakih emphasized the strong interest economics students have in policy research.

Building connections with market professionals is crucial for students’ interpersonal success and future career placement. Not only does networking help students present themselves to potential employers, but it also allows them to receive direct counseling and firsthand knowledge about market trends in their field of interest.

To that end, the Department of Economics at the Adnan Kassar School of Business, in collaboration with the Economics Club, launched its first annual networking event on April 25, 2024, on the LAU Beirut campus. The event is part of the club’s roadmap for the year and is in line with the department’s expansion plans.

Dr. Ali Fakih, professor and chair of the Department of Economics at LAU, noted that the selection of participating partners was largely influenced by the students’ responses and their specialization in policy research, “a field with significant representation among economics learners.”

Some of the top-tier organizations present included the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Association of Lebanese Industrialists (ALI), the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, Institut Des Finances Basil Fuleihan, the Policy Initiative and several UN entities like the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN Women, each of which set up informative booths and held one-on-one discussions with ambitious students.


Planning, Coordination and Resource Mobilization Specialist at UN Women in Lebanon Olivia Schmitz highlighted the mutual benefit of participating in such an event. “It is important for us to reach out to graduates and people who are still currently in the university so that they know about our organization and what we do,” she said.


Frederico Lima, economist and resident representative of the IMF in Lebanon, stressed the importance of connecting with students. “The IMF recruits globally from all our member states,” he said, “and events like this are crucial for talent acquisition and for hearing fresh ideas, which are often found among young people.”

“What sets this initiative apart from a career fair is its specific alignment with the career paths of economics students and the relatively relaxed and semi-formal environment,” said Dr. Hassan Sherry, assistant professor at the Department of Economics.

The event gave economics students of all years of study an equal opportunity to get acquainted with diverse international and national company cultures and genuinely connect with their delegates by sharing ideas and seeking career advice.

“I am very proud to have had the chance to meet with people from such reputable organizations,” noted Tamara Mouhtar, a third-year economics student.

Similarly, Reem Bou Ghanem, a second-year economics student, expressed her enthusiasm at the variety of the economics-related internship opportunities presented at the event.