Darden Executive Education recently partnered with Aluminum Bahrain (Alba), a manufacturing organization in the Middle East to develop a custom program titled, The Alba Next Generation Leadership Program. This was a unique opportunity to work with one of the largest aluminum smelters in the world.

The addition of a new line of specialty products to its plant — which will require new hires and leadership skills, as well as an increasingly global marketing strategy — prompted Alba’s decision to pursue executive education for its top 50 employees.

The program was delivered at Alba over two modules of practical, action-based learning aimed to drive business results and forward thinking. Module one maintained an organizational perspective and covered topics such as strategy, change management, and developing a leadership pipeline, while the primary objective of module two was personal leadership skills and team management.

Participants engaging in the Alba Next Generation Leadership Program.

While visiting Darden, Alba’s CEO Tim Murray was kind enough to spend time with some of our residential MBA students, speaking at a meeting of the Middle Eastern and Islamic Student Association (MEISA). During the presentation, Tim offered his unique perspective of being in a leadership role as a minority in a different culture.

President of MEISA, Atthur Fattah (MBA ’17), says his time with Tim was an unforgettable learning experience. He explained, “I learned career progress is not only about moving up, but also being open about the possibility of moving to other regions, even to regions that we’ve never considered before. Tim’s decision to leave the United States to work in the Middle East is inspiring — it reminds me to be bold with my career aspirations and to be agile and adaptive with the changing environment.”

Atthur continued, “I’m also really grateful for and enjoyed the opportunity to get involved with Executive Education. It shows the value of inclusivity and collaboration at Darden. I hope this kind of involvement among the MBA students and Exec Ed can be seen more frequently going forward.”

Both the Darden Exec Ed staff and faculty enjoyed this opportunity and look forward to future collaborations with Alba and our partners in the Middle East.

For more information about this program or other custom solutions in Asia, please contact Senior Director of Business Development Larenda Mielke at mielke@darden.virginia.edu.