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Soha ABI RAAD, Lebanon (Promotion 6)

Susfoods student from Lebanon

My name is Soha, I am 28 years old from Lebanon. I graduated with a bachelor from the American University of Beirut in food science and management back in 2015 then worked in the dairy industry as a quality assurance coordinator for a duration of 5 years before enrolling in this master program.

After having worked in the quality and production fields I decided that it was time to expand and acquire a new set of skills and knowledge. Since I have always been intrigued in the technological aspect of the chain, I was looking for a program that offers such courses while also providing new insights. 

So, what attracted me to the master’s in sustainable food systems was the fact that it deals with the topic of sustainability which I wasn’t very familiar with while also allowing me to further explore some topics I am quite comfortable with and establishing a link between these two worlds. 

My favorite part of this whole experience is the fact that I met people from all over the world with different backgrounds and ways of thinking. I feel that this helped me really open up and listen to what other people have to say while also allowing me to express my own opinion and thoughts on different matters being discussed in the groups.

There are several key strengths for this program such as the fact that students have the opportunity to attend at least two different universities since it is a double degree which means an exposure to different teaching styles and the possibility to form various connections with professors and experts in the field. In addition to the fact that it is a very cultural experience since students get to meet and interact with people from all over the world.

There are several skills that I was able to acquire during these two years in Italy and France that also helped me during this whole experience such as:

  • Enhancing my communication skills since I had to learn how to be more receptive of what other people think about sustainability issues while also trying to convey my own beliefs and opinions
  • Strengthening my public speaking and pushing myself out of my comfort zone since there were a lot of presentations, debates and a workshop that allowed me to do so.

I feel that there is so much I learned that will benefit me a lot in my future work experiences and environment.

Today after having a better understanding of the world of sustainability, I find myself more committed to its development and further advancement in the public eye. I want to find myself a job in the food industry that would allow me to apply these concepts while also further exploring enhancements that can be put in place.

My advice to students who are thinking about enrolling in this program would be that they need to be willing to let go of some of their beliefs while also being receptive to some new ideas suggested to them.

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