The SUSI experience: 5 years later

5:59 PM
OMG! I just realized it's been 5 years that I have been to the US for the SUSI program. You should already be questioning why am I even talking about this while many of you don't even understand what SUSI stands for. The Study of the United States Institute (SUSI) funds programs in leadership in different universities throughout the US, which benefit students in their first years of college.
The program I participated in was about Women Leadership. Yes you hear me!

It was the first year when Kansas University hosted this program. We were twenty talented intelligent and inspiring women students, equally selected from both Morocco and Egypt. I still remember the 'bananas' we were with during this 6 weeks intensive leadership journey. 

Now that I think about 'the process' leadership is supposed to be, I reflect on the concepts we were taught, the example of successful women we met, the ideas we debated and the challenges we engaged in, I am so proud to find myself still inspired, motivated and positive.
Group picture with our certificates, Washington DC
SUSI was a life-changing experience, it was my first opportunity ever to get to better know myself, to acknowledge the creative spirit inside the tech woman I am, to feel empowered and capable of change.
Sometimes I want to scream to people, "no you don't have to be a manager to be a leader", or to reply "no one is a leader, people engage in the process of leadership" and this takes form in one's daily life, at work, with one's family and in facing life's difficult situations. 

Traveling alone, meeting people from a different culture and religion, applying design and believing in its power in elicitating and translating ideas into visual representations, thinking out the box and even trying the balcony over the dance floor to better analyse, think and take the decisions...such an experience!

I do not intend to detail the five weeks, although I would have loved to start the blog at that time and to be a reporter of this unique opportunity, to share practices, ideas, books to be read, research to be carried on (Mary, do you hear me? someone should do that, any writers/bloggers among the group for this year's KWLI ?). 

As I am celebrating my birthday this month I am planning to go through the Mission Vision Values exercice once again. Who is interested in knowing what these are in a fun and new way? different from the personality tests and the 'get to know yourself' quizzes ?

Birthday cake, 5 years ago! Oh how I miss that
One last message: most of us are not students anymore, we have gone through beautiful places (just as you expected) and I can see, thanks to facebook, how successful, brilliant and true to our values we stayed and how much we accomplished each in her own way. I love you and I miss you all! Until we meet again...

My birthday is in July! Yay !

2:10 AM
July is here! For those of you who don't know me, July is what I like to call MY month. It has always been the case, because I've always thought one day is not enough to celebrate one's birthday, so I take the whole month.

Throughout the years, I have found different ways to make it special (I should confess some were coincidences, but I am free to count whatever I want), for example in 2010 I participated in a leadership program in the United States, in 2012 I started the intership at the company in which I am now happily working, in 2013 I started this blog with a list of 23 resolutions... I haven't decided yet in which way I'll make this one memorable, not because I have no idea but rather because I have many competing in my mind and haven't selected the 'winner' idea, yet.

Because I like to challenge myself each month in a new different way, and because it's the first time in three years my birthday does not fall in Ramadan, I am combining challenges. There is the #MakeThisRamadanDifferent challenge that I am carrying till the end of the holy month, the #ASunnahADay challenge which I'll pick up right after. 

As these are more 'behavior' rather than 'action' oriented challenges, I am also carrying the #DailyMeTime challenge which I have chosen to share on Instagram, rather than on Facebook for those of you interested. The objective is to take some time, each day, to care of myself, the body I live in and thus spend some money and time on my wellbeing. I am not becoming a beauty blogger, nor advertising for any of the products I use. I am just shaking the woman in me, because I deserve it.

I am planning a lot of blog posts, so I invite those of you interested in seeing how I make big life changes, how I reflect on the year which I am about to separate with and how I plan for fresh starts to follow my blog page on Facebook to get all the updates. 25 years are special, aren't they?

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