x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Pioneer Fatima the first female engineer to graduate

Fatima al Haddad receives top student award and becomes the first female Emirati engineer to complete Etihad's training programme.

September 26, 2010 / Abu Dhabi / (Rich-Joseph Facun / The National) Fatma al Haddad (CQ), attends the 2010 Etihad Graduation Ceremony , Sunday, September 26, 2010 in Abu Dhabi. Etihad graduated 89 professionals.
September 26, 2010 / Abu Dhabi / (Rich-Joseph Facun / The National) Fatma al Haddad (CQ), attends the 2010 Etihad Graduation Ceremony , Sunday, September 26, 2010 in Abu Dhabi. Etihad graduated 89 professionals.

DUBAI // Fatima al Haddad received an award for being the top student in her Leadership and Management programme - and she is also the first Emirati female engineer to complete Etihad's training programme. The 25-year-old has always been an achiever and earned her degree as a Biomedical engineer in 2008 from the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT).

"I graduated with a Grade Point Average of 3.83 from the HCT and heard about Etihad's training programme soon after," she said. "I quickly became interested because it meant I would be getting both practical and work placement experience." Ms al Haddad explained that there is a misconception among the young that the aviation industry is merely made up of cabin crew and pilots, but that is not true.

"There are so many jobs behind the scenes in finance, operations, procurement and sales. This is a wonderful world, especially for those who love to travel." She said her ultimate goal would be to head a department either in marketing, sales or procurement. Ms al Haddad said she was offered other work opportunities after graduation, but was attracted to the management aspect of Etihad's training programme. She said the 18-month programme gave her and other students the opportunity to do three work placements totally in about nine months.

"I've always been competitive, but I also like to motivate others and support the team that I work with. "My sister is studying to become a petroleum engineer, so I encourage her to keep achieving." Although family members tried to steer her in the direction of government work, Ms al Haddad said her main objective was to develop her skills with a long-term focus. "I joined to develop myself. I want to make a difference by executing successful projects and being noticed for my work. I want them to say: 'Fatima has really helped through her contributions'."

Ms al Haddad does not believe that anything is too difficult if students are committed to their goals and dreams, because that is how they can overcome challenges. "My mum hugs me and says how proud she is whenever my achievements are mentioned," she said. balqabbani@thenational.ae