ABU DHABI, The graduates of the National Experts Programme (NEP) have praised the role of the programme in their professional development through a blend of mentoring, tailored learning, and in-field training opportunities designed to impart skills and knowledge that will contribute to the nation’s prosperity.

Before the launch of the third cycle in November 2022, the graduates of the previous batch spoke about their experiences. They highlighted the many benefits they gained, the most prominent of which was their professional and personal development.

Emirati international assets manager, Ali Alshimmari referred to his time during the second edition of the National Experts Programme (NEP) as "a game changer."

The 33-year-old engineering and MBA graduate from Al Ain works for TAQA and was one of 25 UAE nationals selected to represent their sector in this unique career accelerator. "It was a transformational experience that helped me develop a better version of myself," he said of the programme. Alshimmari revealed what he believed was the secret of NEP’s success: empowerment.

"Through different tools including mentoring, immersive experiences, projects, and sector-focused courses, the programme empowered us with the strategic mindsets, knowledge, and tools to drive ongoing development and contribute to the economic growth and prosperity of the nation."

Launched in 2019 under the direction of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the programme is designed for Emirati professionals who want to foster change, deepen their understanding of sector trends and practices, and play a transformative role in the UAE’s centennial vision for economic growth.

With the third edition of the NEP commencing in November 2022, programme alumni shared their experiences and highlighted the programme’s impact on their personal and professional growth.

Maisa Al Qassimi, Acting Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project Director at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said, "One of the many unique opportunities of the programme is learning first-hand from UAE government leaders and executives of the country’s development strategy, and being part of its growth in key social and economic sectors," she explains.

"In addition to the leadership and educational skills I gained, the programme has connected me to a network of technical experts across the UAE’s strategic sectors, whom I now call friends and colleagues," she added.

Some, like Meera AlMheiri, were energised by the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the UAE’s future policy creation and implementation. A senior inspection engineer for the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, she said, "The programme's interactive nature and learning modules helped us to unlock the passion within us for our sectors and translate this into strategic projects that benefit the UAE."

"I represented the policymaking sector during National Experts Programme 2.0," explained AlMheiri. "I worked on my project, ‘Re-Engineering the Policymaking Process in the UAE’, with my mentor Maryam Al Hammadi, Secretary-General of the UAE Cabinet, and her team."

The most important takeaway from NEP for Sultan Al Junaibi, a 30-year-old private equity associate at Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, was learning new mindsets and ways of thinking.

"An essential mindset we focused on was agility, which teaches individuals how to keep up with constant changes affecting our economy. The programme has also taught us the importance of maintaining a personal development plan and continuously updating it to stay ahead of the curve."

The upcoming NEP edition aims to enhance the skills and knowledge of 15 Emirati professionals across three key clusters: Economic Growth, Social Development, and Sustainability and Infrastructure. To be considered for the third cohort, applicants must have at least ten years of experience, five of which must be in their respective sectors.

Applications will remain open through 8th August, 2022. To apply or learn more about the requirements that make a successful candidate for the programme, visit www.uaenep.ae

Source: Emirates News Agency