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Meet Luminary Members, Jameleh Haidous & Lina Barkawi

   

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Tell us a bit about yourself! How did you get started with your current career path/business journey?

Jameleh:

I started out as a bank teller right after high school graduation and worked my way through college and then into management. I found my passion as working with business owners and now I love what I do!

Lina:

I am currently working on the development of new products and services aimed at solving social and economic problems on a global scale via Mastercard's Innovation Labs following graduation from NYU Stern's Tech & Entrepreneurship MBA program with a specialization in Product Management. Meanwhile, I'm also pursuing an MA in Near Eastern Studies at NYU's Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies part-time. Prior to my MBA, I graduated Virginia Tech with a BS in Industrial & Systems Engineering and worked in federal consulting at Accenture on a variety of projects supporting different federal agencies in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.

What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute your success to, and why?

Jameleh:

My determination and grit has attributed to my success. When I know that I am passionate about something, I pursue it until I am doing what I love.

Lina:

I was brought up internationally (back and forth between Virginia and the Saudi Arabia / Kuwait to parents originally from Palestine and Panama) and as a result have been exposed to an incredibly diverse group of people, thoughts, lifestyles, professions, education, etc. It has become a huge part of who I am and this has transpired in my success, both professionally and personally, along with my approach to problem-solving. It’s also no wonder that I am now in one of the most diverse cities in the world (NYC) working for a global company focused on incredibly diverse problems facing communities worldwide.

What’s a mistake you made early on in your career, or in your business, and what did you learn from it?

Jameleh:

My biggest mistake early on in my career was not making my career aspirations known and shying away from the spotlight. However as I get older and wiser, this is what I believe sets women and men apart. I think we are not very good at taken the credit even when it is well deserved. Putting ourselves out there and being recognized is what gets you to where you want to go often. It allows us more seats at the table especially in leadership position where we can make an impact on matters that are important to us.

Lina:

Overthinking my credibility or doubting my opinions / input in a work-related conversation. More often than not, being in the room is credibility enough and throwing out ideas and opinions in an appropriate manner is welcomed, especially amongst collaborative team members. The reason we are brought together is to contribute thoughts and only when I feel comfortable doing so is when the magic happens.

What’s one professional skill you’re currently working on?

Jameleh:

One professional skill I am currently working on is recognizing myself as well as others when it's well deserved. I think making your successes known especially so that you can be seen as valuable to a teams success is essential in career progression. I also believe that taking every opportunity to recognize others, especially other women, is vital to the other success of women everywhere. We needs more seats at the table and this is the only way this will happen. We need to create the opportunities, not just wait for them to happen.

Lina:

Taking up more space as someone rising into a more managerial role. I feel I have mastered the art of listening, which is essential with the development of new products and services aimed at solving a particular pain point; It's become natural to rely on the end user to tell me what I need to do to provide them with value and those actions being reinforced by my managers. However, I now find myself given more independence in developing these solutions and others are now seeking guidance and structure from me in how we translate what we hear from end users into solutions. I have the experience and now I am navigating that sensitive space between being offered the opportunity to speak and enabling that space of discussion myself.

How do you invite others to take a seat at the table?

Jameleh:

Especially through my work at AAWBC (Arab American Women's Business Council), I have been able to get some phenomenal women involved at various levels. We are constantly recruiting women in various industries to take part and help us address issues that are vital to our community. These issues are great for exposure through our social media platforms, emails, news articles and events locally that received recognition. Several of our board members have benefited by being recognized with work opportunities and even opportunities to serve on board through Governor appointments.

Lina:

Asking them about things they're interested in and learning about those interests.

What is one thing you wish you knew a year ago?

Jameleh:

There were so many lessons this past year specifically due to COVID, but our personal lives and professional lives were turned upside down. Professionally, I wish I would have helped clients prepare better for hardships before they entered into one. On a personal note, I have learned that I am capable of far more than I ever imagined as a wife, mom and professional.

Lina:

It's okay to frame out what you understand even if it's completely off because it then enables others to explain their work in a clearer manner and oftentimes by speaking what you understood, others also misunderstood parts or all of what you describe. At the same time, having your directs speak back what you explained to ensure they understood what you meant goes a long way in clear communication within a team.

What impact has Luminary made in your career? eg: Business Generated, Revenue, New Clients, Career Connections, Advancement Opportunities

Jameleh:

I am looking forward to the panel discussion on April 27th to highlight Arab American Heritage Month!

Lina:

Community!

 

CONNECT!

Jameleh:

LinkedIn

 

Lina:

LinkedIn

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

 

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